If you want a successful marriage then getting the right foundations in place is going to be critical to ensuring it’s survival. If your marriage is in trouble and these foundations have not been in place then you’ll start to understand why things are going wrong.
Intimate relationships are riddled with hidden problems that no one is either aware of or talks about.
So to avoid these problems these core foundations are needed if you are both going to make a real difference to each other.
I have spilt these into 5 foundational topics to help you.
This one won’t be a surprise however there are some key areas of focus that many miss. Yes I can see everyone nodding it’s really important to be able to trust your partner.
This is what most miss. It’s important for you to trust you to bring the very best of you to your relationship and life.
When most people experience relationship problems, they are so consumed by their own automatic emotional protection they miss the fact they have disconnected from who they are and what’s important to them.
So loving, warm, respectful people lose control and behave in ways that simply don’t reflect who they are. Of course they are likely to blame their partner for how they feel, but the cold hard truth is there is only one creator of your emotions and that’s you.
Everyone would agree that effective communication is critical for a couple. The biggest challenge I see is the dramatic difference between men and women and the confusion this brings.
Not only do the individuals speak very differently they also hear differently. So what sounds like english may as well be Russian and Japanese because the words will simply not be going in.
The further layers that add confusion is stacked resentments that add additional protective filters that distort what the person hears.
- What equals normal day-to-day communication?
- What equals emotional connection communication?
- What equals communication that can dissolve anger, frustration and aggression?
- What equals communication that gets stuff done?
Meeting critical needs is a significant problem for couples. If a couples needs are not met they will go into a needs deficit. This is dangerous for the couple because it means that critical needs are being met outside the relationship and so the relationship slowly becomes redundant.
The complexity with needs is very few people really know what they need let alone what their partner needs. So everyone is in the dark usually focused on want they want or are not getting or they trade to get their needs met. This all ends badly.
To add a bigger challenge for couple in crisis. When a person starts to protect themselves in the relationship their whole need structure can change. This can feel like the person has had a personality transplant.
To add more challenges, a persons needs and what’s important to them will change over time and it’s important the relationship follows these changes so the couple remain connected.
Big events, such as births, deaths, children leaving home can change a person needs structures and confuse a partner.
Some individuals can become destructively attached to meeting their needs in a ways which make their life problematic. The behave in ways designed to feel safe, yet they can feel exhausted, negative, stressed, negative.
My relationship with myself
I see so many couples enter my process totally disconnect to who they really are. They will have spent years coping and managing their emotional positions in their marriage.
One of the core goals is to help them learn who they are so they can make a conscious decision to make sure they never change to their detriment again.
The automatic changes that individuals make are reactive and for many destructive. The goal is to help them become much more considered about how they show up in their own lives because this is safer and less painful.
- So what do you value and why?
- What is your relationship with your own past, your now and your future?
- How do you see yourself and what are your beliefs about you and what you are really capable of?
Couples in crisis are not usually that interested in their future as the crisis will have dissolved any future potential.
However the future is really important for all couples. After all if a couple is going to agree to share their lives together then it’s critical for them both to be on the same page.
A couple needs to be excited about what they are going to have and experience together. They need to learn about each others dreams and do all they can to support them.
No one likes a dream killer!
So these are just a few of the foundations that couples need to be aware of to create a meaningful emotional connection. Couples that ask me to help them create better relationships learn all the above and much much more.
In the next post I’m going to focus on the key skills any couple will need to make their connection passionate and lasting.