I’m in a FB group where people are looking for advice, support, and help with their relationships and marriages. There are issues of trust, intimacy issues and much more. It makes me feel sad. But you can choose to heal your relationship.
Courage over comfort. That is the key. The primary vehicle for change in a relationship really is developing a better relationship with our own feelings and unpacking why we feel what we feel when we are having that feeling.
Read a story about a couple as they communicate and see how they miscommunicate. This will help you with your own communication in your relationship.
Over the years of working both as a therapist and a couples’ therapist I have come to believe that something more is needed to help all of us with our relationships. Many of us just don’t have the skills we need. Therapy has limitations due to its cost, and many therapists, though effective with individuals, don’t have the specialized training needed to be effective when working with couples. The time constraints of people’s busy lives, and the stigma that therapy has for some also inhibit people seeking help.
Emotions are intense. They rock us. We have to deal with them. Someone says something the wrong way, or we are in a difficult situation and all of a sudden we might find ourselves in a fury, or in deep grief, or perhaps an awful sense of embarrassment and shame as if we are ‘bad’.
When we are in these feeling places we usually don’t have any perspective or not much.
Working with couples effectively means you understand the three dimensions of our relationships: Attachment, emotions and cycles. Learn about what needs to be focused on to do effective couples work, or to work on your own relationship.
Sometimes our wounds collide in such a way that we hit a roadblock. One of us has an intense need to talk about something. The other can’t bear hearing about it.
Think about your relationship or what you imagine your relationship will be like. What do you long for? What do you dream about? What are the feelings you are looking for? Connection? Love? Safety?
In relationships, each person lives in a different world. We will never live in the same world; never have the same past, the exact same experience or way of understanding our lives. We have different wounds and different sensitivities. When we are listened to, we feel less alone. We crave to be listened to without argument or interruption, to simply be heard. One of the things that make a relationship work is when we can listen to our partner, and conversely, know our partner will listen to us.
How do we change the direction of our lives? Despite our histories, why do some people create fulfilling lives for themselves while others do not? As a therapist, and as a person who has made her life about self-transformation and then later, the transformation of others, this is easy to see. But for many people, especially those who do not know much about “therapy,” and the process it entails, this is more of a mystery.