These are some of the key steps I use when working with couples in crisis.
Step 1 – Get leverage
I help people understand the true cost of not fixing their relationship problems. When people decide to split-up they don’t think about the true cost both emotionally and financially. The cost is always much bigger than they thought, it’s far more expensive, the emotional fall out goes on for years and massively effects their future relationships, plus their children are affected for life sometimes hating their parents.
Plus many couples who do split regret their decision after everything has calmed down, because in the moment of maximum pain all they want is the pain to stop so they irrationally end their relationship.
- This leverage activates motivation to discover the truth and stops them living in learnt helplessness as they go round in circles.
Step 2 – Where is your relationship really
The next step is to understand where your relationship really is. Very often the couple feel the relationship is much worse than it really is because they have been focused on their problems for so long that they now can’t see how the relationship could ever change or be different.
This is just a perception based on the state they are in, which is likely to be a state of fear. In fear states not only does the world look and feel different, but in this place bad decisions are made. States of fear take us back to childhood where we cry, thrash out, look for revenge, want to hurt those who are hurting us.
- From this place really bad decisions are made.
Step 3 – Understanding your critical needs
The next step is to help the couple understand how their critical needs are being met. When the couple first met the chances are they met all of each others critical needs. As time goes on this can change and when the couple fail to meet each others needs they go outside the relationship to feel good again.
This can have a big impact because the couple stop believing that they can trust each other to give them what they need to feel happy. They could stop feeling loved, not feel important, loose feelings of security all this will stop the relationship from growing and so it starts to die.
By teaching the couple how to meet each other needs through practical steps dramatically changes how the couple interacts and starts to bring them back to where they can be happy together again.
Step 4 – Uncover a conflict in values
The couple with guidance will discover why they have both been behaving the way they have and how this drive to get their needs met is hurting them because they are very likely to be contradicting their own values.
What this does is put someone in a values conflict where no matter what they do they feel pain. So they become stuck.
Women in this place will cry and scream men will seemingly shut down impossible to get through to.
Understanding is the key and shifting values so life and relationships become winnable again frees the couple to help each other again.
Step 5 – Rebuild the trust
Now we have a clearer understanding of what has been going on and why, now the couple is in a position where trust can start to be rebuilt. The couple at this will make a solid commitment to each other to love each other no matter what and to make meeting each others needs their goal every day.
When they do this then unconditional love is possible.
Step 6 – Relationship management
Assume things will go wrong. Life throws challenges every day some small some much bigger. Helping the couple understand how to manage themselves, each other and the relationship is critical to keep each other on track. This covers what to do in arguments, the differences between the sexes and how to be successful with each other.
Step 7 – Planning for success
Planning an amazing future together. Many couples become disillusioned with their relationship because they seem to have no purpose, no direction, no reason for being together.
The reason couple feel this way is because they plan nothing. This next step is to get them excited again about their future and what they want to do and have in it.
Step 8 – The different versions of you
Going deeper, I encourage many couples to gain a deeper understanding of each other by understanding the many personalities they both have and what these personalities were set-up to do.
This will help the individuals in the couple shift the state of their partner from down to happy from serious to sexy. It will also help them understand when they are living to long in one personality that could lead them to depression.