What’s always so sad is the volume of people who come to me with problems that could have been averted very simply many years before.
The question is when should couples come and see me? The answer is the day they committed their lives to each other.
The challenge is people who don’t see their problems don’t seek help but an expert would see the signs long before they become a problem.
You see when two people with very different emotional systems have agreed to try to be happy together for years they are in for a shock at some point.
As things go wrong they will start to see these differences appear as each person makes less and less sense to the other.
The ticking bomb
In today’s post, I’m going to share the biggest problem and what has to happen for the couple to get past that problem and experience their truth.
You see far too many married people are not seeing their problems before they start to grab hold and silently erode their connection year on year whilst no one is looking.
It’s a ticking bomb that doesn’t go away.
I remember one lady who was desperate for help. Her husband couldn’t see the problem so refused any help and stopped her from getting help on her own.
A year later we got a message she had given up and filed for divorce, he was devistated.
Please note: Getting help has an expiry date so please don’t ignore problems.
People are only seeing or believing the problem when a crisis strikes and at this point it is usually so hard on both people.
It’s why many give up and walk away.
I have lost count of the number of people I have stopped from walking away from their marriage because I can see their problem(s) are not permanent.
I just need a chance to show them what they cannot see today.
The smart ones are sceptical, but curious enough to explore this with me.
Imagine breaking up a marriage and a family only to discover the same problems happening in the next relationship, how devastating.
Most think the problems are because of their partner, they are unaware of their part in the process of disconnection.
The problem that clouds the truth
When someone has spent years feeling bad in a marriage and has done all they can think of to deal with their problems they can give up.
The shorthand version is their resentments would have outgrown their pleasure and the person can conclude the next 5 years to be more of the same, so what’s the point in carrying on.
Some people can find their resentments are attached to a need to self-protect or defend themselves in some way.
This process disables their ability to keep a healthy connection alive so they naturally lose feelings of emotional safety, and so lose feelings of love and passion.
In essence, they stop finding their partner attractive, some can emotionally detach others simply feel numb.
So it’s not difficult to see why so many think this is the end for them.
Understanding the first real problem is critical
The real challenge isn’t about others being able to see the couple’s true potential this is the mistake a panicked person can make.
The mission is not to change the person’s mind because you will only solidify their negative position.
The way to help them is to change what you bring to the table so they can have a different or new emotional experience when they are with you.
They will only change their mind if they convince themselves it’s a good idea to do so.
FACT: People can never be forced to love their partners when they don’t.
FACT: People fall back in love because they choose to through a reinvestment model.
You see falling in and out of love is a process and this process is very different from the process couples who have just met go through.
In extreme cases, the problem is this.
The person who is convinced it’s over or sceptical will probably be exhausted from years of upset and have a belief system that means reconciliation is either not possible or not palatable.
Some in this place will not want to take action and probably stopped taking any positive action months or years before their decision/emotional disclosure.
Note: When someone is convinced the marriage is over, getting them back in to explore will be emotionally upsetting and challenging for them.
To them, they are volunteering to experience more pain with the proof of how bad it’s been clearly embedded in their belief system.
Investment or lack of it is the first problem
You see when people come to see me they are in many levels of investment.
- Some are convinced it’s over and are only speaking to me because their partner asked them to.
- Some speak to me because they are confused they don’t know what they want anymore.
- Some are afraid of both staying in the marriage and being on their own.
- Some would like it to work but just cannot see how.
Some have spent years removing their investment because for them nothing they do works so what’s the point.
A person can display their upset passively or aggressively.
Others have just accepted the lack of emotional connection and so they live a transactional life – one person is going to become unhappy with this as loss of sexual intimacy usually follows.
See the truth and reinvest
Thankfully once couples understand their situation and the influencing factors a person’s feelings can return to them.
You see what people are not seeing is reinvestment and continuous investment is what creates feelings and keeps them alive.
Before I go into this I do want to stress that it doesn’t mean anyone can make it work with anyone.
What’s important is with so much at stake discovering what’s possible for any couple in crisis is so important.
So when couples come to see me I stress to them I am not trying to fix them.
What we are looking to discover is what is possible for that couple with the right help.
This way two intelligent people can make informed decisions.
Far too many people leave their marriage unaware they are the problem too.
“I need to look at myself in the mirror and know I did all I could”
This is a typical message I receive from those wanting to see the truth.
- People trying to save their marriage on their own come to me.
- People who are desperate to save a marriage with a sceptical partner come to me.
- Sceptical partners who want a sanity check come on their own.
- People having affairs who are stuck with who to choose come to me.
The truth is relationships are a challenge made significantly easier by understanding what is happening and how to influence the situation positively.
What does a healthy relationship look like?
- So a healthy relationship helps each person become more of who they really are.
- Both people are invested in supporting each other’s core needs.
- When things go wrong they get closer and become a team solving their problems together.
- They have a shared vision of the future and are excited to experience that future.
- These couples are not disappointed when a problem arises because they know what to do when they do.
- In fact, the way they deal with their problems is one of the keys to keeping their sexual intimacy alive.
- These couples don’t have a need to focus on being safe with each other, because the way they love and support each other keeps them safe.
Most couples are struggling to achieve this and it’s because their thinking is limited to what they know, not what they are capable of achieving.