For John and Gail Kaplan, the husband and wife co-directors of Marriage Labs, is a “time for couples to connect.”
John notes that women tend to get more excited about Valentine’s Day, while men often see it more as a holiday that boosts Hallmark’s sales. Whether you choose , or cards, the Kaplans describe Valentine’s Day as an important “point of connection” for couples; “an opportunity to honor each other.”
is an opportunity to make your partner feel good and to let them know you love them. An opportunity that people often miss, they said.
Gail teaches four specific points of connection that couples have throughout the day, as well as weekly, monthly and yearly points of connection. The important thing is taking the time to “check-in with each other.”
Not your traditional therapy, John founded Marriage Labs in 1992 as “a comprehensive psycho-educational program for couples who want to improve the quality of their relationship.” He and Gail, his wife and co-director, have each been working with couples for decades.
Gail said she sees couples going through their relationship on “autopilot. When the kids grow up, couples look at each other and wonder “how did we get where we are?"
According to John, “we often don’t realize how much we contribute to the very things we don’t like” in our partner. “We need to understand our part” in the issue.
"It is about rewriting the contract and having a conscious relationship,” Gail said.
“You can have any relationship you want if both people are willing to work on it,” John said. Once they become aware, couples can “untie the knots they’ve tied.”
“When you work on yourself, and he works on himself, the knots will untie” Gail said.
The Kaplan Difference
The Kaplans said that taking the time to work on their own relationship is beneficial for them as well as for their clients. Their modeling and interaction is particularly helpful for couples who attend their workshops.
The programs at Marriage Labs “normalize the process” of navigating relationships, according to John. Challenges are a normal part of relationships, and all relationships have them.
They offer programs for couples in all stages of relationship, including couples who want to re-ignite their marriage, those wanting a strong start to their marriage, even couples who are questioning staying in the marriage.
Gail fondly recalled couples who have “come so far. They did the work, made the commitment and took the risk. It is heartwarming for us because we remember when they were in divorce court.”
The Kaplans are taking this Valentine’s Day off to spend time together.
Marriage Labs is located at 275 Turnpike Street. Marriage Labs courses and workshops can be found at www.MarriageLabs.com.