About Marcia and Brian:
It’s hard to believe we have been married 37 years. Like most of you in long term relationships we have lived through peaks and valleys over the course of these three decades. From possessed lovers to obsessed parents and through the emergence of our life work together it has been, well, everything imaginable. Ours is not the perfect relationship . At times we treat each other poorly. We push one another away, or say hurtful things, or just forget to see the beauty in the other.
What we have learned is that everything can lead back to love, intimacy and deep growth, if we are open to facing each other in our most difficult places. What we have come to practice over the years is a set of guidelines that help us to remember what it takes to attain an exceptional marriage. We call them our vows to each other. If you want to know how we operate as a couple here are our vows.
Brian and Marcia’s Vows for an Exceptional Marriage
- To remember that there is more to each other than we can ever fully know.
- To allow our tender “child-like” places to have sufficient room to emerge and be held in compassion by our partner.
- To be willing to surrender and be willing to take control.
- To embrace conflict and accept that our messy interactions can lead to deeper empathy.
- To abandon our “scripts” and recognize that our relationship is more improvisational than predictable.
- To make it safe for each other by never losing sight of the other’s goodness.
- To care for our bodies.
- To expect the unexpected.
- To take responsibility for our part in unhealthy interactions.
- To be fully expressive of all our emotions – from blame to pain, greed to need and remorse to gratitude and love. No hiding from any of it.
- To discover our sexuality anew as we continue to age.
- To have the humility and courage to acknowledge how important the other is to us.
- To be aware of and act upon our obligations to the world.
- To bring our relationship work to anyone who would like to make their marriage more exceptional.
- To take big risks when life calls us to do so.
- To encourage each other’s individuality even when to do so might make us insecure or inconvenience us.
“To be deeply in love requires stripping away all the controls we carefully put in place to try and keep ourselves safe”
Brian Gleason, LCSW
is the co-founder, director, trainer and developer of Exceptional Marriage. Brian has over 30 years of experience in working with organizations, groups, couples, and individuals in a variety of mental health, corporate, wellness, and educational settings. Over the past two decades Brian pursued his education and personal growth through a wide range of experiences. He received a certification as a Master Hypnotherapist in the California Institute for Hypnotherapy. Additionally, he completed a six-month intensive relationship training, studying with psychologist Dr. John Gray, bestselling author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Brian also studied family therapy at the Ackerman Institute. Then, in 1991 Brian began a five-year certification process as a Core Energetic Practitioner from the Institute of Core Energetics in New York City. This body-centered psychotherapy training became an essential component in the development of Exceptional Marriage, as Brian brought together talk therapy, body therapy and spirituality. On a personal level he has immersed himself in numerous intensive program including a wilderness Vision Quest in the Canyonlands of Utah under Dr, Robert Gass, numerous courses at the Omega Institute and the Kripalu Holistic Center.
Together with his wife Marcia, Brian developed the Exceptional Marriage, an experience-based methodology for working with committed relationships which allows couples to honor each partner's capacity to discover his/her greatest gifts and deepest truths. This authentic, rich and powerful journey is explored in couples workshops, professional workshops, books and CDs, including the latest book: Going All the Way, The Heart and Soul of the Exceptional Marriage.
Brian is a senior faculty member of the N.Y. Institute of Core Energetics. He teaches internationally and is author of a book on transpersonal psychology – Mortal Spirit. Brian also enjoys a thriving private practice in the New York area for individuals, groups and couples as well as providing supervision for therapists.
Marcia Gleason, LCSW
is the co-founder, trainer and developer of Exceptional Marriage. Marcia brings 30 years of experience, dedication and passion to working with matters of the mind, body and heart. Trained as a clinical social worker, Marcia recognized early on the limitations of talk therapy. After graduating with a Master’s of Social Work in 1978, Marcia went on to explore post-graduate experiences and training that she could use to expand her reach as a psychotherapist. She achieved certification as a Kripalu Yoga teacher in 1981, deepening her understanding of the body and its role in the therapeutic process. In 1984, motivated by a desire to learn more about transformational approaches, she spent six months in California, studying with relationship expert Dr. John Gray, bestselling author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. In 1997, she completed a four year certification program as a Core Energetic Practitioner from the Institute of Core Energetics in New York City. This body-centered psychotherapy training became a central component in the development of Exceptional Marriage, as Marcia brought together body psychotherapy and couples counseling.
Together with her husband Brian, Marcia developed the Exceptional Marriage, an experience-based couple’s methodology which aims to maximize the potential that resides in every long term committed relationship. She is interested in how couples can bring their combined gifts into the world to impact change. Her approach to her work is a synthesis of her vast experience combined with her big heart.
Marcia has a private practice in the New York area for individuals, groups and couples. She conducts workshops and trainings in the US,Canada, Mexico and Holland in the Exceptional Marriage approach and is co-author of Going All the Way, The Heart and Soul of the Exceptional Marriage and Exceptional Relationships: Transformation Through Embodied Couples Work. She is on the faculty of the New York Core Energetic Institute and the Core Institutes of Holland and Mexico. Marcia also has training in Internal Family Systems. She lives in Dutchess County, New York with Brian and is proud mama to her 27 year old daughter who is an opera singer in New York City.