April 19, 2022

E274: Finding Love after abuse with Kari Petruch | Trauma Healing Podcast

In this episode, we have a guest speaker today with Kari Petruch, a master relationship coach. I know at first that title might seem a bit on until you understand that I believe that Kari is a master of relationships like many of us; she's grown up in...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e274-finding-love-after-abuse-with-kari-petruch-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes

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In this episode, we have a guest speaker today with Kari Petruch, a master relationship coach.

I know at first that title might seem a bit on until you understand that I believe that Kari is a master of relationships like many of us; she's grown up in an incredibly traumatic and abusive household and fell into narcissistic and abusive relationships. Then through doing the work and creating her own program, she's now helping coach others through love and playfield relationships. I love this conversation, I'm going to be honest with you because I was asking a lot of personal questions in this so I can have a better understanding because as someone who's been through trauma and abuse, which, if you understand this, love, relationship, intimacy, fun play, conflict conversation can be very difficult for us.

Kari lays out her journey and many of the beneficial tools that helped her to be where she is throughout her journey. She is a proud mother of three, grandmother of eight, and married to the man of her dreams.

I found this episode to be very powerful for me because I'm always thinking about understanding the impact of our past, how we do not have to be that story, how we don't have to live in that box that's planted around us and how when we go into the world intending to create what we want or who we want that we can manifest it and bring it to fruition.

Have you been in a narcissistic or abusive relationship and gotten out or been stuck in it, or maybe you're there now, trying to figure out what's next in your life?

Catch Up and Listen Now!

Learn more about Kari Petruch at: https://highestintentcoach.com/

Learn more about Think Unbroken and Pre-Order my new book: Unbroken Man. Plus, learn more about the free coaching and other mental health programs. Click here: https://linktr.ee/michaelunbroken

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Learn more about coaching at https://coaching.thinkunbroken.com

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. Very excited to be back with you with another episode with my friend Master Relationship Coach Kari Petruch. Kari, my friend how are you? What is happening in your world today?

Kari: Thank you for having me here. What's happening in my world today is I wanna this show with you.

Michael: I'm very excited to have you, I promise you the pleasure is all mine. For those who don't know you, tell us a little bit about you and how you got to where you are today?

Kari: Well, it's a really wonderful story in the end but it's not so wonderful in the beginning. I had a mother who suffered from a severe mental illness. So, my world when I was a little kid was different than most people's world and that is; that I was raised as a small child thinking that I didn't see what I saw and didn’t hear what I heard because my mother saw things and heard things that weren't there. So, it was habit for me to be awakened at two o'clock in the morning to kill bugs on the walls that weren't there, to answer people that were talking to her having conversations with her that I couldn't hear. So, along with that I had severe mental, emotional and physical abuse I would be hit when my mother didn't understand that person wasn't there or if I couldn't answer the questions that the people that weren't there were asking. So, it was a very, very traumatic early childhood and continued on later in my childhood years, I didn't have an understanding of what a real relationship was or what reality was and because I didn't see what she saw and she was my primary caregiver I thought that there was something wrong with me. And I had an early childhood of being yelled at and told I was things in called things that I had no concept of what those things were so, I knew names for very bad news for women when I was very very young though I didn't know what they meant as I got older and understood what they met I took that on and really believed that early childhood whoever your primary caregiver is you believe what they tell you because that's their barrier linked to reality. When I got into school I didn't understand about relationships and since I didn't understand and I saw that the kids sought different things and did different things and had a different relationship with each other, with the teachers, my answer to that was to completely totally withdraw, and I wouldn't talk in school it would just hide and be by myself, I did that and watched other people's relationships. I watched very carefully how they treated each other, did they treat each other well, did they treat each other poorly, I spent a lot of time observing. I was bullied severely in school because I didn't you know where would they wore, I didn't act like they acted and I wouldn't fight for myself. I didn't know how to defend myself. Sometimes kids get into anger and they fight all what I did was dispute, I thought the best answer was to disappear. I battled as a teenager with thoughts of suicide and didn't really wanna be there, couldn't handle all that the world was giving me. And then this young man came into my life and he was a very good-looking guy and I thought I'm ugly, I'm unworthy, would he wanna go out with me okay, I'll go out with him. And what ensued was control and I did not understand that of course a lot of teenagers don't understand that you're given a box when you kid and that box carries on to your teenage relationships and adult relationships. Because I had lived a life of being severely physically, mentally and emotionally abused I chose the abuser. When I chose that person, he was to control me and everything that I did and so I moved into that relationship and he said jump and I said how high. And the more control I gave him over my life the more he took and it got to the point where I couldn't do or say anything that was pleasing and my survival technique was to eventually withdraw and complete; be completely quiet and to do everything he said and I have this feeling like in order to be worthy of him that I needed to be perfect. So, I got it into my mind that perfection what I needed to be and that didn't really work either. This man had control over all of my finances, I was not allowed to have a credit card, I was not allowed to have in any checkbook, I was handed cash to go to the grocery store and if I left the house I was interrogated about where I was and what I was doing and things like that and if I didn't have the right answers, there was a consequence. I absolutely hated the invention of a cell phone because not only was I answer then but I would get called ten times a day asking what I was doing, where I was so even more control happens so I really hated the cell phone. And so, one day we were at an event and he said to me, somebody asked me a question, I answer the question and he said shut that up, you don't know what you're talking about in front of everyone. And a woman from Texas grabbed hold of my arm and said let's go to the bathroom and she stood there in the bathroom and she said to me whatever you do you need to get out; go to Texas and get out because we don't put up with that in Texas. So, got it took be ten years and I eventually got to Texas and once I got in Texas you have to be a resident for nine months before you can file for a divorce and nine months in one day after we got to Texas I fled and I went to go file but my ex-husband been filed first. So, that's how I got to this new life and to start discovering and healing and becoming who and what I always was supposed to be.

Michael: And such a powerful story and I resonate with a lot of what you said because growing up and being in abusive household, having incredibly mentally, emotionally abusive mother led me to seek toxic relationships as a teen and in my early twenties. And a byproduct of that was just the verbal violence of it all, back and forth on both sides, and trust men always tell people you know I've certainly played my role in those relationships as well. And there's a turning point that I believe happens for people when they're willing to finally like look at this life of abuse and say, wow this has been happening since I was a kid, I'm continuing it, I'm in it, we're groomed into it to a very large extent where we go this is what we expect to have this is what we believe we deserve and there's not until that moment I think often it is but unfortunately someone coming along and saying hey, wait a second maybe have you thought about this thing? And that's kind of what it was for me as well as a friend set me down on day like dude, you are nightmare, what are you doing? Like, okay and it was like going through this process of therapy and looking at the women, I was dating and being oh, I'm dating my mother again and again. That’s interesting thing that happens but there's like you have to decide to change the pattern, right? Talk about that process because anyone could have come up to you on any given day and like hey, here is the opportunity for what's next and you could easily decline that which perhaps you may have before because I know I certainly had. But how do you decide to change that pattern? How do you really start to go into what's next?

Kari: How I decided, I knew what I didn't want, I knew what I've been through and I knew what I didn't want and then I acknowledge that I needed help, I was not gonna do it by myself, I needed help and I needed to go to the people that could help me. So, I would for therapy, I had a therapist, I went for therapy and I have been through a lot of therapy in my life you know the environment didn't change so I didn't benefit from what I got. But I went on a search because I had a new friend who now is my best friend and it's been my best friend for like ten years and I went on a new search and that best friend said to interview my therapist and what I wanted is a therapist that would tell me the truth always and come back at me and not cosign my bs basically, and of course I lied to myself all the time. I was honest with anybody else but I lied to me about me all time because I couldn't face how I felt about me. So, I found a great therapist and she did and I allowed her too.

I did what she told me to do, I did the healing work that she told me to do, I read the book she told me to do, I went to groups that she told me to go to, I did everything that I needed to do to heal and to become the person I was always supposed to be. And its work; it's a lot of work but I was willing to do it because here is the thing, I wanted to have that inner peace, I wanted to have that spiritual connection and spiritual healing. I didn't want money, I didn't want fame, I didn't want any of that, I wanted to be okay with me and loved me and then the next goal was to be able to love myself enough and allow someone who was loving and kind and wonderful into my life. After I got there that's when I fell my husband Ray and he is my rock in the loved of my life.

Michael: Wow! That's really beautiful and congratulations. You know, it's such a testament to this idea, this willingness to take action and what can happen in your life if you do. But I fear and I do know this to be true because I have people reach out to me quite frequently who were in and circumstances like this whether male and female or have identify and my thought process is like, look you can ask for help all day long but unless you're willing to take massive action it's almost a fruit endeavor.

And I think that there are these layers, right? Tremendous amount of fear, tremendous amount of guilt and shame and all the other things all with that because you've just been embedded and ingrained and to some point hypnotize into this idea that you are this person and you need this other person because without them, you're not you and you know that whole room mind fuck that happens in this process. So, I'm thinking about this, I'm putting myself in and someone else's shoes that the money going okay, if I would say I'm married and I have children, mother, male or female I think it's regardless but I'm in this position where this is everything that I know but I know that this thing that I know is dangerous. I know that there's a potential this could be the end of my life or my child's life like what does someone do with taking the willingness to take the action like, how do you like wrap your head around like you have to do the thing?

Kari: I had to become humble and I had to be willing to believe that I don't know. I don't know the answers, I don't know the solutions, I have to be humble and you know it's really difficult to tell someone who's in that big pile of crap that they need to be humble because you think well, I'm the abused one, I'm the one who's being hurt. And a lot of people take ownership of that and what my therapist to help me to understand was that my ego was still wrapped up in it, I was cosigning it, I was being the victim, I was playing the victim, I was deciding that well you know you should feel sorry for me or you should have pity for me because I am a victim. Today, I was a victim but I'm not a victim today and I don't have to be a victim today and when you realize that then you have the power to change that, you had the absolute power to get help to change that and you don't have to stay there make a choice; you have to make the choice and that's really bottom line is to decide that you're either gonna to stay in the ship and play the victim and be the victim and identify as that or you're gonna change and you're gonna know that you were victim but now you can be who you are.

Michael: I love that and I think that you're spot on. I think the probably the most unfortunate part about what you just said like you're gonna have to look in the mirror and get really comfortable with the idea that to some extent you’re in this because of your choices. And that's hard and it's fucking uncomfortable and it's unfair and you know, I go look back up at the relationships and I've been in that work these incredibly toxic hard things that just they would suck the life out of me, right? And it would just be keep showing up, keep showing up, keeps showing up and again this is not the say I wasn't guilty in this because I promise it was like.

Now, I look back and I reflect I go what the fuck was wrong with me? Why would I ever do that? And then we realize like the truth coming back to where you started this like, the thing that I realized was quote unquote wrong with me what's like, oh, this is the only thing I've ever known about what it means to have companionship, to have love, to have connection, to have interest, it was violence, it was screaming, it was yelling, it was pain, that was suffering, it was ramifications, it was getting called thirty-five times a day, I have dated someone who did that to me and just being like, I guess isn't normal and going through that whole thing and looking at it in retrospect and of course hindsight 2020, right? But sitting here and going I would set up for this this is what I inevitably would fall into because of all of the experiences of my past. And I think that one of the most important things at least in my thought that people need to be able to do is deploy grace for themselves in this process because you're like holy shit, you never gonna learn something about yourself you've never understood And I'm wondering if that held true in your journey as well in which you have to just deploy a tremendous amount of grace for yourself?

Kari: Well absolutely. If you'll give me just a little way, I'll tell you a tiny little story and it was told to me when I was trying to understand I could saying, why, why, why? Why do I keep making these choices and this wonderful person said to me, you know, you live in a pile of shit that's what you live in and you know the pile of shit it stinks, it's nasty but you're familiar with it, you know what that pile shit is? And then some wonderful person comes along and says, do you see the flowers over there? If you just climb out of the pile shit there are flowers over there and there's ice cream and just get out of the pile of the shit and what I did was say no, I can't get out of pilot shit because I know the pilot it stinks, it's nasty but I know the pile shit I don't know those flowers, I don't know all of that chocolate and fun and freedom and I don't know and understand that's frightening to me. What I know is the pile of shit and she said as long as you believe that it's okay to be in that pile of shit, you're never gonna climb out of that polish to go to; the flowers, the chocolate, they're wonderful feelings, the freedom, the love, the care, the spiritual connection as long as you believe that it's okay to be in there, so, I had to change my belief.

Michael: And that's right. I really truly believe is a process of just doing it every single day, day-in and then day-out and I'm sure like me you probably screwed up more times and you can count trying to get to where you are today but you're right on the backside of the resonance beauty that like really I know especially if you're like in the fucking little like that doesn't go plausible there's no way, this is so anxiety, provoking and depressing and anxious and like everything feels like it's upside down and then the other side of it and you go wow, life is really beautiful over here. And you said something that I wanna move back to because I think it's really important is we talked about this idea like giving yourself permission to go and find what you wanted and end up having this partner who's know your rock, your husband, your companion. For people who let's kind of laid this out and moving for chronic for lack a better term around a lot of like chronological wages, if I get the damn word out. Talk to me about like this process from okay, you're going through therapy, you're doing the work, you're reading, you're showing up, you're in the groups, you're doing all this to put myself in a position to go and seek what I want. What was that transition like?

Kari: Well, the transition was that my therapist was graduated, never seen anything like that before my life and she says it's time for you to fly, you're good, you're doing great, you know what you need to do to maintain you're doing great and she said now before you leave I wanna teach you about manifesting that person that you want in your life so much. And so, she taught me how to make a list and it wasn't a list of someone who had money and it wasn't a list of someone who like the same music guy did, the list was a values list, what do I want. I want someone who has integrity, I want someone who values me and loves me, I want someone that thinks that I'm the best thing that ever happened to them and then I think is best thing that ever happened to me, so that list was fairly long of what I wanted, you know, not things, we didn't have to always be right or whatever you know, he needed to be someone that shared the same values as me, the things that I value the most. And I went through the whole stage of discovering what my values are.

So, when I met Rey, we started dating and it was slow and he brought me over to his home to see his home and I needed to go to the restroom and I had made a list, a manifest list of who I wanted and I put it up by my mirror and I looked at it and set it out loud every day. Well, I met him and I started dating him, I went to his restroom and on his mirror by his sink was a manifest list in it, with a list of values that he wanted in the person that's he wanted in his life and it was the same list that I had, and what was amazing about that list is it was dated just like mine and we wrote it on the same day.

Michael: Wow, that's amazing, yeah holy crap. You know, I think about stuff like that all the time and it's like we truly do have the power to create everything that we won in our life, we have the ability to move towards joy and happiness and fulfillment and fun and all of those things. And I think that when people kind of transition into this and they find someone the thought is especially if it's the first time you're standing lesson this was an experience that I went to was going to oh, this is too good to be true and thinking about this idea like oh, no, the other shoe gonna drop eventually, we're gonna be back to all the chaos that I once knew. And there's something about that clarity that you just laid out about having that list, about having alignment of value, so you don't have a collision of value, it's about creating and bring a bond around joy and happiness and love and companionship as opposed to trauma and pain and suffering and all those things and it's not that we own me and symbiosis with each other stories and narratives and experiences because I think that's part of human connection. But you know there's something to be sad about the enjoyment of it all and as you've kind of transitioned your own personal life in our position of being a master relationship coach I think it's really beautiful. What do you think is like the area in which people they start to get them these relationships, they're seeking love, they're maybe even in line with the values, how do you maintain that, like how do you grow that? How do you cultivate and build that to be something not only long term but impactful and powerful in your life?

Kari: Well, the number one thing that I tell couples is that you're gonna read anything that you wanna read, you're gonna hear what people tell you about how your relationship needs to look like. The truth is you and your partner are the only ones that know how your relationship is supposed to look. You are the ones that made the decisions and the choices about how you communicate with each other, that people can tell you what to do but you need to decide together how you wanna live your life and if you wanna stop all the stress and you wanna stop all the arguing and do you wanna stop all the playing game and all that stuff it's real simple, it's really boils down to one things, let go of your need to be right, let it go, that need to be right get you in arguments, so stress money, sex, kids, blah, blah, blah, all those things that's all true they're all stresser but the arguments start because one are both of you need to be right. You don't have to be right if someone disagrees with you the most wonderful thing you can say is that's interesting tell me some more, tell me more, and it's not easy to be in a relationship and I will tell you if you don't have conflicts between the two of you then you really are in trouble which is for someone who has been an abusive relationship you don't want to be hurt, abused and that's true but peace is not the answer you know it's everything is happy go lucky and there's no arguments and there's no conflict in your relationship, you both are dead and you're not growing. You gotta argue, you gotta grow, you got it have fun together, you need to enjoy each other. You know, play like your kids, don't forget that, you know, I know that children who are in abused situations we feel like we have to grow up, that we're not allowed to play anymore, you're not in the abusive relationship anymore, play that is so much fun it's okay, be a kid end play because you know your partner is your play mate go have fun.

Michael: I love that you said that in like in real time thinking about those words I'm like I've never heard anyone say that before, right? And it's so I think it's so true, it's about there should be enjoyment and fun and adventure in it, right? And you pointed to something that I thought was really fascinating as well there's a couple of places I wanna go here, it's talking about like there should be conflicts sometimes. I wanna go back to that first a second throw before and I'm gonna ask you about playing well but I wanna go back to this concept about a little bit of conflict because that feels to me in real time, I trying to understand that it feels like a necessity, having learned and understand that when you're in peace there's probably a lack of substance or connection or things of that nature but there are people listening right now, the Unbroken Nation are probably like that makes sense to be? Why would you ever want conflict in your relationship and I'd love if you break that down a little bit more and explain why that's actually something viable and important in a relationship?

Kari: Conflict is about growth and we as ourselves need to grow and as a couple we need to grow that's how we become. So, if you have a disagreement with each other and one like something or doesn't like something, learning how to resolve that with each other makes it for a better relationship, it makes you get closer, it makes you understand each other better but it doesn't just do that, it echoes out into your other relationships, it's in the safe place to learn conflict resolution, it's in a safe place where you know that person loves you, told you, cares about you even if they don't like something you did they love you anyway and that that is the relationship you want be in. So, that also echoes because your children now see you doing conflict resolution and still loving each other even when you disagree. And when you go to work and you're around the people at work they see that you can do really well and conflict resolution and then see the hope for them and their conflict resolution. So, all that we learn in that little tiny space that between me and my partner all that; that I learned between that space, it echoes into all of my relationships all around me and learning that conflict resolution in that safe space is where you wanna be.

Michael: Yeah, that's amazing and that's such a good point too because growing up conflict resolution is probably like something painful, something that hurts, something you know detrimental to your identity and don't like that just does not serve you, right? And so having the ability to communicate effectively, peacefully, calmly like I have known yelling of my life, straight up, if you yell me, I'll tell you one time like you cannot do that again, if it ever happens again, I'm out, I don't care who you are because like that's part of it. For me, conflict resolution is can we sit down and have amicable conversation like adult human beings, not letting our or past in our traumas be what influences that moment and like honestly like because we're humans and we get off at each other sometimes you need to take a fucking break and walk out outside and come back in twenty-five minutes, and have a talk, right?

Kari: Yes, you do and often that's very difficult for people who have been in abusive relationships to step away, not only sometimes do we have a problem with stepping away we also have a problem with our partner stepping away because of that abandonment issue are not knowing what's gonna happen next. Sometimes that quiet before the storm led to abuse. So, it's very difficult in a healthy relationship to learn that space is so important. You know, Rey and I disagree if it starts getting heated we go up that no and we take a time out for ourselves and it's kinda like self-parenting you know it's like, okay, you to need to go to your corners there for a little while and then come back and make up and really it does work because when I walk away, I'm like oh, well I probably didn't really have to be and I really didn't have to like come at back like that and he does the same thing we come back together and we're like yeah, you know, I'm sorry, yeah me too and then we go on and hugging kiss didn't go on, it works really well that time out is pretty important.

Michael: Yeah, and it's really interesting me how often like whatever thing was you were arguing about had nothing to do with anything, right? The TV controller or you know, to take thing like that shit doesn't and that's not even why we're arguing. And space to move away for just a moment to find peace and clarity make it's everything when you're in conflictbut I apply that to career, to coaching, to that I do and it's been so powerful. I wanna go back to talking about this idea of play and looking at this experience that we have as people have been through traumatic experiences of not being a lot of the space to explore that like, I had I felt like by the time that I was seven years old, I was a grown up and I had so many responsibilities between cooking and cleaning and taking care of my brothers and I was walking the school together like the whole nine and it was you know dealing with just the whole chaos of all that experience, I felt like that was taken from me. And the word that I actually put into place through this year was fun and I was like I'm gonna have fun, I'm gonna go do shit, I'm gonna enjoy my life, spend this money I make, I'm gonna get on playing, go adventures and go all those things but I'll be honest it took me a long time to be able to get to that place because I always felt like that was shame or guilt associated with the enjoyment. And so, I know one of the things you talk about that I wanna dive into its talking about the worthiness of play and how someone can get to that place with themselves?

Kari: The first step to getting to that worthiness of play is to play and sometimes it's playing like a little kid, it might sound a little odd but go it's inside off chop and go outside and draw pictures of sidewalk tuck. Michael, I totally understand, I was fully responsible for my brother starting you know very young like at four and five and he's two years younger than me and it really was about you know mom disappeared for the weekend I need to feed my little brother. So, for me playing was not something that I had the luxury of and I thought of it as a luxury and not getting worthy, you know the same thing. Go get some inside off top, go buy some little scorpions’ guns from dollar tree and have a score fight outside with your partner, start doing those little things that little kids do. And you know what? If somebody says oh, you look like a little kid watch this vinyl on her face, watch how will help people react to your joy, watch how infectious that joy is on other people. If you're interested, I have a free pdf it's got fifty fun things that couples can do and it is about playing like a little kid and you get to, you are allowed to whatever that play looks like you get to have fun, don't let it take the rest of your life to do that.

Michael: What do you think the impact of that really has on somebody not only individually but in relationships?

Kari: Joy, peace, relaxation. You know, every time someone laughs you release all that stress, you relax on the inside, you breathe in more oxygen, it's a wonderful thing I didn't get myself permission to laugh about much of anything and today I laugh at least once a day, I laugh. I love laughing, yeah, I'm like wow, this is what this is, oh, cool, you know making jokes and being fun it relaxes me, it's the best stress relief that I know. And meditation is good but I do really well with laughter.

Michael: Yeah, I love that and I think that's part of the reason that I'm obsessed with staying up comedy because it's always been like that thing that brings me just a tremendous amount of joy. And I wanna go back to that pdf, we'll talk about where folks can find that here in just a minute but can you give us, two to three of those things that people can do outside of what you've already mentioned that maybe they could start doing today?

Kari: Oh, yeah. Well, the things I mentioned, the thing that my whole group of peers the that they laugh about and joke about that they think it's really wonderful is naked and monopoly, you can play naked monopoly. The thing that you don't think about is are things like finger painting which sounds really silly, you can body paint but you can finger paint also. Anything that you could do when you were a kid you can do together as adults, you know decide to finger paint on the windows, you never know what those things are gonna lead to, all of those things lead to intimacy, joy, laughter fun all of those things and they can be really small you do not have to spend a fortune on having fun with your partner If you're standing in the kitchen you know, if you think your husband isn't interested in you, go into the kitchen with only an apron on and cook dinner I promise still be interested. It's all kinds of fun things my husband will walk by, you know the little spray thing for the sink you know, once in a while I'll just spray on purpose with it and then we play chase around the house over it you know it's play, do this stuff and what did you do you put water somewhere, big deal, who cares, it's just water. And that's one of the problems with people all grew up abused or we're in abusive situations it's always what are the consequences of my play if I take time to play then there's gonna be something wrong, they gonna get trouble.

Michael: Yeah, and what I hear in that is just letting go a little bit of the past so you can be in the present and enjoy your life. Kari, there's been an amazing conversation before I ask you my last question can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Kari: It can find me at highestintentcoach.com

Michael: Great and of course we will put all those links in the bio and my last question for you my friend is what does that mean to you to be unbroken?

Kari: What it means to me to be unbroken? The Freedom. I have the freedom to be who I am, the freedom to give to anyone who wants what I have to offer, the freedom to enjoy my life, the freedom to have goals and have dreams.

Michael: That’s beautiful, very well said my friend and could not agree more. Thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.

Please like, subscribe, comment, share.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you!

Kari PetruchProfile Photo

Kari Petruch

Master Relationship Coach

Master Relationship Coach, Strategic Interventionist and Owner of Highest Intent Life Coaching Kari Petruch has been helping people all over the world for a lifetime. A mother of three and a grandmother of eight, and married to the man of her dreams. Kari has a lifetime of experience with many people and cultures. Having lived in many places in the world, she is uniquely qualified to help all people. Kari spent her young adulthood as a stay-at-home-mom where she devoted herself to changing people’s lives by educating military families about the Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) and volunteering as a parent advocate for children with special needs. Her truest mission is to help as many people as possible to embrace the incredible joy and excitement that comes with a great relationship so that they will live their best lives together. In Kari’s spare time, she continues to volunteer her time to help military families to have happier lives. Kari has helped many couples with innovative ideas and amazing tools throughout the years. She is the author of Get Out of the Box and Into Play: The Secret to a Lasting Relationship and is happy to announce the development of an amazing new couples retreat.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.