Yesterday Watershed welcomed Charlotte therapist Patricia Butler to share a Valentine's Day message about conscious coupling. Patricia walked through the states of partnership/marriage and explained an intentional dialogue practice couples can use to communicate in a healthy and effective manner.  


  1. Romantic Stage (18-24 months)
  2. Power Struggle Stage
  3. Mature Love Stage

After about 18-24 months, most couples will begin to find themselves in the Power Struggle Stage of a relationship. The subconscious needs and desires of each person might clash, and, if left unexamined, will continue to cause unresolved tension. In this stage, many couples strive to return to the Romantic Stage, to "get back to how we were." However, returning to that stage is not possible. Thus, couples need to find a way to move forward into the Mature Love Stage. 

Practicing intentional dialogue is one way couples can begin to move forward into greater wholeness and mature love. Intentional dialogue slows down our brains, fosters deep listening, creates a sacred space, and can serve as a contemplative practice. Click here to view a description of each stage of the intentional dialogue practice.

After hearing from Patricia, Matt reminded our community that it can be easy for couples to lose hope during the power struggle stage. However, the moment you connect with the idea that there's something else happening beneath the surface, that there's a whole internal sub-story which is unknowingly informing your life and the life of your partner, you might experience a new sense of liberation and hope.

In Matthew 13 Jesus told a parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

May it be the same in our relationships. Once we discover hidden treasure we didn't know existed, may we be willing to forgo everything to run after the wholeness and healing that can be ours.

Contact Patricia ( or check out this recommended reading list for more. Also, Patricia and her husband will be leading a Conscious Coupling Workshop next month:



March 5, 2016

Myers Park Baptist Church, 9:30-4:00pm

$295.00 (before 2/26/16)



Listen to the full podcast of Matt and Patricia's interview here