New Tools To Help Create Lasting, Satisfying Relationships

Couples can improve their “relational fitness” by using the many suggestions and
practical tools for couples shared within the stories to strengthen and enrich their
relationships, and the User’s guide for designing group experiences with other couples.

Inspiration, Hope, and the Gifts of Aging

With an acute awareness of time running out, couples demonstrate how the final years can be the best time for a relationship. They can discover the many gifts of aging: more personal freedom, a spaciousness with time, a growing capacity to explore relationship quality and depth, increased acumen for altruism, deepening interior lives, creativity, and offering a beneficial presence to each other and the world.

Nonviolent Practices For Relationships:

Guidance for ways to honestly navigate conflict that respects the dignity of each person and honors the potential for growth embedded and the presence of Spirit in the challenges.

Gain skills for working with aging couples.

Education (in narrative form) regarding  the many issues older couples encounter, as well as use of the practical tools in a User’s Guide for individual couples, or for couples group work designs.

Avoid Divorce For Older Couples

By improving the “daily bread” of communication and strengthening trust, mutuality, and other healthy relational practices, the 14 couples interviewed share many ways they have strengthened their communication and avoided harmful interaction with each other. Many demonstrate how they found the wisdom to know when they needed help for sustaining their relationship and growth.

Side by Side: Embodied Wisdom for Couples Aging Together in Spirit

Caryl & Jay Casbon

“It is a secret hidden in plain sight: relationships are hard. Relationships bring us to the edges of endurance, mirror our tragic flaws and goodness, and offer the most fertile path to growth we know of.”

For aging couples aspiring to make the most of the final chapter of their shared lives, the authors offer their new book, Side by Side: Embodied Wisdom for Couples Aging Together in Spirit, along with a User’s Guide for a deeper exploration into its themes. The readers enjoy access to unique glimpses into fourteen stories of elder couples honestly discussing their relationships, spiritual journeys, and the realities of aging together. Possibilities for enriching and enlightening their relationships are presented through many examples and suggestions. Couples are invited to reflect on the meaning and purpose of their lives and discern how to leave a lasting legacy for those they love.

Through this WEB site, extended learning opportunities for working with couples’ groups, online seminars, in-person retreats, and video clips of each couple are made available.



In Side by Side, we invite couples to explore how to maximize their final years left together and explore the intersection of aging, spirituality, and relationships. The book opens a rare window into the intimate, true “soul stories” versus “ego stories” of 14 elder couples with a fierce commitment to thriving and growing in their relationships. We ask the question, “What does love mean now?” that offers couples an invitation for couples to trace the evolution of their love over time. We explore what is possible as we retire and spend more time together, re-evaluating life priorities and ways to pursue meaning, purpose, legacy, and service. We address our changing sexual needs, parenting with our adult children, skillfully working through conflicts, and facing the inevitable losses entailed with aging. The intention of this book is marriage/couples’ enlightenment, and conscious aging together.

Aging Together

In Side by Side readers discover the powerful intersection of relationships and aging, and address some of the issues entailed in growing older together. The fourteen couples share their discernment practices, for this is a time of life to carefully exercise the power of choice regarding living circumstances appropriate to this age, health issues, sensitive caretaking, grief, and the loss of friends and life as we knew it.  We explore how much time to spend together, the dance of “me and we,” and the notion of “befriending the stranger” as we change in front of each other eyes. Men are called to consider their “father wounds,” and women to address their challenges as a transitional generation moving in mass into the work world. Each is invited to heal from the damage of the patriarchy and its influence on our lives. Preparing for end-of-life is addressed through the couples telling their stories of losing their parents.



There is an aliveness and brightness to the couples interviewed in Side by Side which the authors believe reflects their deep commitment to a shared spiritual life, each following their unique pathways and faith traditions. They demonstrate how couples who share the values and practices of a spiritual foundation experience a field of mercy, and a rich capacity for renewal and growth. Their relationships with the Divine serve as a Home that offers stability and safety through the many difficulties, challenges, and heartbreaks that are the normal ground of committed relationships. They offer many suggestions and practices for deepening a spiritual connection with each other and with the Creator, and address themes like forgiveness and reconciliation, daily examination of where grace moves in their lives, reading spiritual books aloud to one another, and Centering Prayer or meditation, etc.



Anne & Tom Butler
Laurie Rutenburg & Gary Schoenberg