Joseph & Sarah Elizabeth Malinak, M.Div.
Authors of Getting Back to Love: When the Pushing and Pulling Threaten to Tear You Apart
Joseph and Sarah Elizabeth Malinak live in Fairview, NC. In the shadow of Little Pisgah Mountain, Joseph tends to the land they live on and the forest they live in. Sarah spends as much time reading and writing as she can each day. Although no longer offering relationship coaching, they maintain this website as a place for information that helps heal what hurts in relationships.
The Malinaks’ love story began while attending a self-development school. “We were in a unique situation when we first started dating,” says Sarah, who holds a Master of Divinity in pastoral care and counseling from Gardner-Webb University. “In the self-development school, Joseph and I were learning how to build healthy, lasting relationships at the same time we were entering into our own relationship. It helped us be honest with ourselves and each other about the dynamics we came to call The Mama’s Boy – Daddy’s Girl Dance!”
Sarah and Joseph quickly discovered that these learned traits that brought them together could just as easily tear them apart. Driven to understand the feminine and masculine dynamics in their relationship, the Malinaks spent six years researching the work of renowned European therapist Bert Hellinger, who developed a therapeutic tool called Systemic Family Constellations in the 1980s. Through Systemic Family Constellations, Sarah and Joseph discovered how to keep the romance alive and maintain a healthy balance in spite of the mama’s boy – daddy’s girl dynamics.
To help other mama’s boys and daddy’s girls find happiness and restore balance in their own relationships, the Malinaks coauthored, Getting Back to Love: When the Pushing and Pulling Threaten to Tear You Apart (Bridgeway Books, February 2008.) Truth be told, there are aspects of being a mama’s boy or daddy’s girl that offer a whole lot of love, understanding, and compassion to a couple’s life and to their community. A woman being able to take charge and a man being able to be considerate about his spouse’s and children’s desires is good stuff. But there are other aspects of these learned traits that can seriously harm a relationship or marriage. Getting Back to Love offers tools for working with the traits in such a way that couples can get back to the love that brought them together in the first place.
Joseph has a degree in psychology and over 35 years experience as a self-growth facilitator, leading counseling and self-help workshops for men and couples. Sarah has a Master of Divinity degree and over 15 years experience as a self-growth facilitator. She has been writing stories, personal reflection, and poetry since second grade. Married since 1998, they have co-led workshops, written and published two books together: Getting Back to Love: When the Pushing and Pulling Threaten to Tear You Apart and Create the Love You Want: 5 Unique Steps to Improve Your Marriage or Any Relationship In Your Life), and have been podcast hosts. Sarah continues to write about relationships here at IdealRelationships.com.
Joseph and Sarah are deeply grateful to have found each other and to have trusted the love that blossomed between them so many years ago. Their relationship is an intimate part of their spiritual lives, a fact that makes their life and love together even sweeter.