Many couples in crisis try to sit down and talk about their problems. They have the best of intentions to solve their problems, but the result is more bad feeling.
To be 100% clear I am NOT telling couples to stop talking. Cloe and I make it our mission to have meaningful connection every day. When couples I work with are out of crisis this what they are also taught to do.
What this post is about is when to know when talking is counterproductive and you need a new approach.
Many couples talk to me about going for help with a counsellor or therapist and come out of the session feeling worse than when they went in.
One lady this week told me she was terrified of getting help. She was convinced the “help” would make her marriage problems worse. She felt this way because that’s what’s happened to her friends.
The question is why? Why do couples who have problems struggle so much to deal with communication?
Let’s look at the answer…
Relationship problems have the power to create fearful emotions within us all…
Each person facing an uncertain future is living in a protective version of themselves. Their whole experience with their partner is filtered through this.
This means the persons essence has been taken over by a protective version of them, so they are not themselves.
So they hear a very distorted version of what their partner is saying and not their true intent.
So they are not really hearing their partner. What they hear is danger!!!
This problem is fundamental.
To help a couple successfully out of their problems you can’t focus them on their problems with each other. This process will compound the pain they have already attached to the relationship.
To help a couple out of trauma you have to get them out of their pain first.
Think about it, if someone is going to ask you to condense all your relationship problems into an hour, what do you think might happen?
Of course it’s going to create a heightened sense of fear and more pain – the mind is going to hear proof of danger.
So the goal is to help the person(s) experience the relationship from a new perspective where they don’t feel the danger in the same way.
I have had many people come in to my meetings convinced the relationship is over.
The moment I helped them understand why they have this perspective that’s the moment they can feel different about their relationship.
You see your mind is not designed to search for happiness it’s designed for survival.
When you feel your intimate relationship is under threat your survival mind takes over. It is looking for proof of danger, and it won’t be long before it finds it.
This threat changes the couples dynamic. It won’t be long before both people are on red alert consciously or subconsciously. This hidden energy changes their behaviors.
Individuals can change their perspective on their marriage when they see their survival mind has a totally different identity to the essence of who they really are.
You have to shift a person out of survival long before you can ever help them talk about their problem together.
This is why couples in crisis struggle to talk and this is why so many people are resistant to seek help.
They know in their heart the talking won’t help…
…BUT it doesn’t mean it’s the end, it means you have a short window to explore a new proven approach…
At a Glance: Relationship Building Programs available to you with Stephen Hedger
- If you are in marital crisis you may need a tailor made 12 week Marriage Breakthrough Program.
- If you NOT in crisis, but going round in circles then you may need a 6 week Relationship Repair Program.
- If your in personal crisis then you may need a 4, 8 or 12 week Personal Breakthrough Program.
If your interested in any of Stephen’s programs either
Book an initial consultation so Stephen can assess what you need click here, or call to discover more information.