The challenge all couples face with relationship problems is they can’t see how to stop their problems. They use the same strategy over and over again with always the same results – destruction!
So if you are both doing the same thing and it’s not working then maybe it’s time to change that behaviour.
Understand what drives your partner
When couples are in crisis, what happens is they both revert to wanting whatever drives them the most.
For example: If a female is worried about the relationship she may want to feel secure again. If the man is worried he might feel that the relationship will never work and so he might feel insignificant as a man. He can’t make her happy and can’t fix the problems in the relationship.
To feel significant again, he may become frustrated/angry and either give up in some way, threaten to leave, or get very loud.
If she is driven by security or certainty, his frustrated behaviour will fuel her lack of certainty and she will pull her love away spend more time with friends or family. This fuels his fear that he will never be enough for her.
These are not the only patterns that happen in relationships, but you can be sure that there will be one you are both fueling.
I recently saw a couple with this pattern, at the start of the session you could see that for both of them the end was not far away. He could not see a future with her and told her and she had lost all trust that he would keep her safe. They looked doomed, but with a young child I knew they both wanted help fast!
By using their core driving forces I was able help them both understand how they could meet their own core need and meet their partners at the same time. When they both realised they could do this and feel good they embraced a new behaviour that meant the relationship could grow.
He then could see a future with her, she felt safe again and they left smiling and hand-in-hand – the trust was rebuilt and the needs were met.
All this happened in one session.
Change does NOT have to take along time it happens very fast, but only when they both feel safe to change. So it’s the feeling safe to change that takes the time. My job is to help them feel safe fast by helping them understand that not changing was not going to meet their primary needs. Once they understood that the change was easy.
Will it last?
This is a question I always get asked. If the couple keep focused on meeting each others primary needs especially when further challenges hit they will be successful.
This couple learnt how to do this in detail and why it’s important, we covered many areas of human behaviour and differences between men and women. So the couple always goes away with tools to help both themselves and each other without me there.