I am Michael, Marriage and Life Coach, and help individuals rescue their marriages and relationships through the realization and ownership of one's values, goodness, and truth. Ask me anything about how I may help you in your life's journey.

Oct 10, 2017

I help individuals and couples overcome the trauma of the potential destruction of marriages and relationships. The failure of cherishing,  loving relationships and the pain of rejection, loneliness and loss of deep intimacy can be overcome to rebuild trusting, vulnerable, and fulfilling  life-long emotional connections.

Since 2005, people have been guided, with my help, into the reality of what they own within themselves of all that is good and true and beautiful.  Each person is brought in to the understanding they have played out life as life has played with them.  Ineffective and counter-productive behaviors, manifested in adult life, are the injuries resulting from what has been done to them or for them as a baby, toddler, school-child, teenager, and adult. Our traumas have arisen from anything that has not been nurturing to our development into a mature human being. The labels we place on ourselves as a performer, perfectionist, people pleaser, controller, emotionally-disconnected, or victim are the devices we employ to survive. The desperate roles we play in relationships display the wounds from our life’s journey’s trials.

I open the individual’s eyes to their true self. Most of us have been driven via shame to an alienation of who we are as worthy, cherished, valued, embraced, and loved persons - without any condition of what we do, think, feel, look like, or own. In that alienation from the true self, we create a false self to meet our perceived expectations of what others and the world desire. In that falseness, our investment of energy to maintain the façade becomes destructive and akin to one being as the walking dead. The transformation from the false to the true person awakens each being to a life of enrichment and fulfillment. The good of all a person can offer others is internalized in the intimacies created from connecting with those in our lives at a heart, soul, and spirit level.

In my initial, free coaching session with my dear clients, we examine the challenges of the relationship they are in and goals desired to realize the fullness of a loving, intimate journey. Hidden obstacles are sought that may be sabotaging efforts to do what is right. Strengths are evaluated for creating strategies and tactics to develop an action plan specific to the uniqueness of the relationship challenges. A vision is determined to re-focus, re-energize and define a new direction for the best opportunity for success in what can be a beautiful journey of discovery and celebration of two lives becoming one, together.

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Is it necessary to compromise with your likes, passion, dreams to keep your relationship safe and forget actually who you are? 

Oct 12, 4:30PM EDT0

I am 17 years old, now want to marry without family permission. But How?

Oct 11, 12:58AM EDT1

Can a marriage where one spouse is the other's boss ever work out?

Oct 11, 12:27AM EDT0

What is the best way to break up with someone "nicely"?

Oct 10, 10:11PM EDT1

The best way to break up is dependent on the unique dynamic of each relationship. The following is specific to a non-marital relationship.

The broadbrush breaking up, in a nice way, is to be truthful, compassionate, sensitive, and forthright. The pattern to follow is:

1. State you are breaking up. 

2. Give the specific reasons why you are breaking up. Avoid giving cliches such as, "It's not about you. It's about me." or "I love you, but I'm not in love with you." or "This hurts me more than it does you." If you've met another person and that is a contributing factor to the breakup, you must be careful about how you sensitively bring that into the commentary or you do not mention it at all.

3. Speak to the good things you experienced in the relationship and the good things about the partner that stand out in contrast to the factors that compel you to separate.

4. Be in the moment with the partner as they grieve the news of your departure. They may respond with shock, disbelief, anger, pleading, and more. 

5. If you think the breaking up will be confrontational, you must protect yourself by either talking  with the partner in a public place or talk at a distance via phone.

6. Do not give any suggestion of a possibility you may get together again. You stop communication with the partner. Continuing communication gives a false hope. The false hope is not fair and is cruel to the estranged partner.

Oct 10, 10:39PM EDT1

Found your AMA very interesting Michael, thank you! I thought you might find it interesting to read about this ladies struggle with Anxiety and Depression as this is something you must come across on a frequent basis  - HealthAMA 

Oct 10, 7:01PM EDT1

Thank you for your kindness, Hanna. I will check out the information. 

Oct 10, 7:16PM EDT1

What are your qualifications to give relationship advice?

Oct 10, 5:55PM EDT1

Hello Vukasin, Following is my education and experience. Thank you for your question.

Michael Popovici


Associate, Psychology - Niagara County Community College,

Bachelor of Arts, Biology: Anatomy, Physiology, Neurobiology - Cornell University

Graduate in Biblical Studies - Dallas Theological Seminary

Shepherd's Heart Pastoral Counseling - Center for Biblical Counseling Certification

Spiritual Director - Episcopal Diocese of Dallas Commission

Life Coach - Chase Oaks Church Certification

Stephen Minister - Stephen Ministry Commission 

Life and Marriage Coach - Engage with Love Certification

Marriage Development & Attachment Coach - Couples Institute Certification



Men and Women's Life Journey Mentor, 27 years

Spiritual Direction, 12 years

Life Coach, 7 years

Stephen Minister, 3 years

Marriage Coach, 1 year



Married 35 years

Six children and five grandchildren 

Divorced from first marriage

Oct 10, 7:15PM EDT1

What is the one best piece of advice you can give to a married couple?

Oct 10, 2:36PM EDT1

The best advice for each couple depends on their unique circumstances. 

Overall, the significant and life-impacting advice is to set proper boundaries and communication in a way that shows respect to both partners and helps them open up to the many intimacies strengthening and deepening the relationship.

Oct 10, 7:13PM EDT1

What is the most common problem you see with couples?

Oct 10, 1:26PM EDT1

Unmet expectations is the main problem where one or both partners do not share what their expectations are and what they desire for themselves and for the relationship.

Oct 10, 7:08PM EDT1

What are some common "red flags" in a relationship?

Oct 10, 12:38PM EDT1

To name a few:

The inability to openly discuss matters.

The stifling of openly expressing emotions.

Keeping secrets from each other.

Distrust of each other and of those outside of the relationship.

Attempts to make the relationship look good to others outside of the relationship when things are not good.

Oct 10, 7:06PM EDT1

Do you think arranged marriages are more successful?

Oct 10, 12:30PM EDT1

I cannot answer that adequately. I have only worked with one couple in an arranged marriage. Having one client couple with that experience does not allow for me to offer an adequate answer.

Oct 10, 7:01PM EDT2
Oct 10, 11:49AM EDT1

One first starts with the question of how does one behave in relationships? What values are held dear and are actually applied in life? Another question to ask is what losing strategies do I use to demand I get my way to the disadvantage of my partner? What losing strategies does my partner use?

That will get you started.

Oct 10, 6:59PM EDT1

Do you think love gets boring over a span of time?

Oct 10, 11:37AM EDT1

We actually fall in love and out of love, in a sense, throughout the lifetime of a relationship. There will be periods of hitting a plateau and boring stages that can be overcome dependent on the motivation and desires of each partner.

Thanks for asking. There's more to say on this subject, but time and space are limited to allow for a comprehensive answer.

Oct 10, 6:54PM EDT1

When is a relationship co-dependent and how would the couple know if they appear very much in love?

Oct 9, 8:25PM EDT1

There are three examples I use for describing co-dependence. Two of the examples are about one person having a problem.  1. One person imposes their own problems on their partner and, 2, the partner willingly takes on the problems that are not theirs. The third example is where one person demands their partner be their source of joy and happiness when, in fact, we are to be responsible for our own joy and happiness. 

A couple may not know they're co-dependent in the beginning of their relationship until it becomes a realization the co-dependent offender is self-absorbed and self-serving to the expense of the other. What makes it even more fun is when both partners have co-dependent behavior.

Oct 10, 6:50PM EDT1

How do you know if your are in love with a person and not in love with the feeling of being in love?

Oct 9, 6:05PM EDT1

Good question, John, and difficult to answer.

For one to know if there's truly love, it requires a period of time for a person to discover how their partner plays out life based on how life has played on them and how the person, themselves, does the same.

Love entails many factors to consider if there is only a 'feeling of being in love' or 'being in love.' A huge part of love is sacrifice for the other - being willing to accept imperfections while working toward a better relationship. Another part of love is suffering the consequences of bad behavior of each person upon the other and entering into grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing to a better union. Just 'feeling being in love' will not sustain a relationship, because it is based on emotions that can dissipate easily,

Oct 10, 6:37PM EDT1

Do you think that relationships between 2 religious people but of different religions, like Muslims and Christians or Jews for example, can work well despite the pressures they have to endure from family and friends?

Oct 9, 9:09AM EDT1


Your question is important in consideration of the global community created at this time in history.

I've seen culturally, ethnically, and spiritually diverse couples experience fulfilling, loving relationships.

The challenges regarding the different faiths is that each faith believes one should have a relationship and a marriage among their own. You are correct about the pressures that play out with family and friends upon the spiritually-diverse couple. Hostilities, estrangement, and isolation are serious actions that can play against a couple from those in their lives that disagree about the perceived, faith-corrupting relationship or union.

Oct 9, 5:37PM EDT1

Do you think that its true that many men are scared if they meet a strong, independent woman?

Oct 9, 8:09AM EDT1

Hi TurnerAnita. Thank you for your excellent question and the thought.

If a man or a woman is not mature, there will be issues with contending with a strong personality in their partner.

A mature person and complete person enters adulthood and into relationship with the ability to give love and receive love, be able to care for themselves in sustaining their life. be able to live out values with integrity, handle responsibility well, have self-confidence, face and work through challenges and accept failures, fully develop and apply their talents, and have a life.

Maturity and having a sense of self-worth, have self-esteem, and the ability to respect oneself while respecting others will enable a person to engage with and complement many personality types

Oct 10, 5:48PM EDT1

How long have you been doing this?

Oct 9, 7:16AM EDT1

Elizabeth, It's been 27+ years in total working with individuals and couples.

Oct 9, 5:45PM EDT1

How many couples have you helped so far?

Oct 9, 6:11AM EDT1

Hello Blake.

I do not know how many couples I've helped. I've not kept score. Based on my 27+ years of helping individuals and couples, and in consideration of the possible directions where people have taken their lives to positively impact others with my help, it could be anywhere from hundreds to many thousands.  

Thank you for a thought provoking question.

Oct 9, 5:43PM EDT1

Do you believe that opposites attract each other?

Oct 9, 6:03AM EDT1


We're all different and unique individuals in our life experiences, in how we think, what we feel, our interests, likes, dislikes, and so much more. No matter the perception of opposite or similar, we are each truly one-of-a-kind. In that sense, my contention is, in varying degrees, we are all opposites and, yes, we can be attracted to others.

Great question!

Oct 9, 5:54PM EDT1

What makes a good relationship and what makes a great relationship?

Oct 9, 4:44AM EDT1

Jennifer, Love the question.

A great relationship, in good part, is realized in both partners continuing to engage each other at many levels and kinds of intimacy; where the partners desire to grow, enrich, and better their relationships in entrusting themselves to each other, sharing imperfections and lovingly holding the other to accountability; where boundaries are in place to have each respect the other’s feelings, attitudes, behaviours, choices, limits, desires, thoughts, values, talents, and love as long as they positively contribute to the good of the relationship

Oct 10, 6:23PM EDT1

Do you believe that 'modern' women and men need more coaching to be in a successful relationship compared to the generations before them?

Oct 8, 8:45PM EDT1

Rhonda, Thank you for asking.

History repeats itself and relationships have prevailed and failed consistently for the same reasons throughout the existence of humanity.  In that, there is no differentiation on the degree of need for coaching based on different generations' relational dynamics.

Oct 10, 6:16PM EDT1

Do you believe that there is such a thing as love at first sight?

Oct 8, 7:56PM EDT1

Kathryn, My short definition of love is a long term relationship where each partner enters in to a trust and accountability with the other to be open to share vulnerabilities without fear of being abused or dismissed in some way. 

Love at first sight is based on a number of attractions that may not last in the long run once the reality of the imperfections of each individual comes to light and each perpetrates their dysfunction and counter-productive behavior on the other.

Oct 10, 6:12PM EDT1

Have you ever told a client to leave their partner for any reason and why?

Oct 8, 7:37PM EDT1

I have made sure the client understands the dynamics of what they are experiencing and the reality of what they face for them to make a decision. 

As I've stated in other answers, an abused partner must leave where harm is perpetrated on them. When the abuser does not want to own nor change their behavior, the continual harm to the abused is not to be tolerated. The relationship is irreparable and should end.

Oct 10, 6:07PM EDT1

In your opinion, are there relationships that are irreparable?

Oct 8, 7:32PM EDT1

Yes, there are relationships where abuse is perpetrated and the abuser does not want to own nor change their behavior. In those cases, the continual harm to the abused is not to be tolerated. The relationship is irreparable and should end.

Oct 10, 6:06PM EDT1

How do you attract eligible men or women? Should I make a list of personal requirements?

Oct 8, 6:29PM EDT0

Hello Cervantes, Thank you for your question. 

I'm not sure if you mean how I reach men and women to help them or are you asking about you connecting to develop a relationship.

My apologies on not being sure about what is being asked. 

Oct 8, 10:05PM EDT1

Do you think that some problems within a relationship are strictly due to cultural or religious differences?

Oct 8, 4:50PM EDT1

Devon, I like your question.

Troubles manifest from not respecting oneself and not respecting the other person in the relationship . We are to set our boundaries and respect other's boundaries both externally (physical and sexual boundaries) and internally (listening and talking boundaries). This includes filtering and protecting ourselves from what is coming at us from another person and to respectfully contain our communications and actions towards another. 

We can perpetrate a subtle or overt violence on others by demanding to be right, trying to control our partner, being defensive, presenting unbridled self-expression, retaliating, and, even, by withdrawing. 

Respecting another and intentionally establishing a non-violent posture are requisite in relationships no matter cultural, religious, or other personal differences.

Oct 9, 6:57PM EDT1

Do you think that some women bitch to much openly about everything like friends, work, looks, love, other relationships and that's why they often don't get the same job opportunities than men?

Oct 8, 3:39PM EDT1

Hello Ashley, Stereotypes of women and men are not reality. Stereotypes arise from individuals' perceptions based on their own biases. I've not seen a difference between men and women on degrees of bitching. I've not seen a difference in capabilities between men and women that would deny either gender the ability to perform their job duties to the optimum. 

Love the question, Ashley. Thank you.

Oct 9, 5:06PM EDT1

What advice would you keep to yourself and not share with your clients?

Oct 8, 3:38PM EDT1

Wow, RobertWhite, that's a thought provoking question. If there's advice that needs to be given that's necessary to help a client advance their journey, it must be stated no matter how painful or affronting it may be. However, in providing difficult-to-hear advice, I'll be very sensitive in how it's delivered to be best heard and accepted by the client.

Oct 10, 4:08AM EDT1

Can long distance relationship work and is there a significant point of time in which the relationship generally starts to go downhill?

Oct 8, 2:09PM EDT1

Donald, Thank you for your question. Many people have long distance relationships. Many have that experience because of work requiring partners to be separated, and in different parts of the world, to best provide for their families. 

If both partners are mature, have reasonable expectations about the separation, and have long-enduring patience and love, the relationship can be sustained. 

I cannot imagine there being any particular, defined point of time that a long distance relationship can begin to deteriorate. That would be based on the character and expectations of each partner to commit to the other.  

Oct 10, 4:23AM EDT1

Do you have a degree of any kind relating to this field?

Oct 8, 1:39PM EDT1

Hello Jennifer, Following is my education and experience. Thank you for your question.

Michael Popovici


Associate, Psychology - Niagara County Community College,

Bachelor of Arts, Biology: Anatomy, Physiology, Neurobiology - Cornell University

Graduate in Biblical Studies - Dallas Theological Seminary

Shepherd's Heart Pastoral Counseling - Center for Biblical Counseling Certification

Spiritual Director - Episcopal Diocese of Dallas Commission

Life Coach - Chase Oaks Church Certification

Stephen Minister - Stephen Ministry Commission 

Life and Marriage Coach - Engage with Love Certification

Marriage Development & Attachment Coach - Couples Institute Certification



Men and Women's Life Journey Mentor, 27 years

Spiritual Direction, 12 years

Life Coach, 7 years

Stephen Minister, 3 years

Marriage Coach, 1 year



Married 35 years

Six children and five grandchildren 

Divorced from first marriage

Oct 8, 5:01PM EDT1

Do you believe everyone's marriage should be fixed? Do you ever counsel that divorce may be the best option?

Oct 8, 1:32PM EDT1

Melody, Thank you for your question.

If there are unreconciled addiction issues with a spouse and/or physical, sexual, emotional, or other mental-type abuses, divorce may be the best option. The first option is to see if there is hope for the addictive and abusive spouse to obtain help. In the interim, the abused spouse and children are protected by going to a shelter, to the safety of relatives or friends, and, if necessary, have a restraining order imposed.

Oct 8, 5:09PM EDT1

What are your thoughts on unconditional love?

Oct 8, 11:39AM EDT1

Thank you for your intense question, Shilpa.

Unconditional love is that love given without any demands or expectations of a person as to how they perform, what they think, what they feel. what they look like, what they own, or the good or bad of their personality.

Unconditional love, in a perfect world, is wonderful. However, in our imperfect world, the offering of unconditional love can either be transformative or abused. Transformation happens where the unconditionally loved one accepts the offered love and wants to better and enrich their life for good because of what they were gracefully offered. Abuse can come about in a person taking advantage of the offer of unconditional love and journeying through life with the intent to take what they can get for their own advantage and at the expense of the lover.

Oct 10, 5:59PM EDT1
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