Men and women are needlessly suffering in their relationships simply because they don’t know how to translate the other persons’ words and behaviours.
The impact of not understanding this critical skill is significant.
Due to this problem some couples enter into a conflict that goes round in circles without a solution.
Some stop communicating their problems but stack resentments against each other.
Some people create other relationships or get their needs met outside the marriage.
Some simply don’t know the extent of the pain and suffering their partner is in.
Men and women are both suffering, but are likely to express it very differently.
‘the final nail in the coffin’
Whatever dynamic the couple creates through their lack of understanding they will start to practice what I call ‘the final nail in the coffin’ – They will start to consistently protect themselves from their partner.
When this happens it transfers that persons focus and belief system to focus on everything that’s wrong, to be clear the good is still there they just cannot see it.
They can practice focusing on everything that’s wrong until their emotions for their partner have died and now they can leave.
An example: One lady I was working with wanted to save her marriage, her husband was not sure what he wanted.
She started sharing her problem with her husbands’ historic behaviours.
I watched her husband emotionally running out of the door as he translated her words.
She had no idea she was making things worse. She had no idea he was hearing attack and criticism.
She had no idea he was collecting her words taking them to heart in such a way he could never be successful with her.
So she was providing the case for him to leave.
For her she was simply hoping he would connect to her pain and suffering totally unaware she was connecting him to his own pain and suffering – the more she spoke the more pain he was in and he simply wanted to go.
In this case, both people had misunderstood what they had to do to get to the truth in their marriage.
Her way of communicating was actually shutting him down but he too was not understanding why she speaking this way.
To him, she was aggressive, negative and mean. I totally understood why he would say that but he wasn’t right.
Two things needed to change – she needed to understand the tools and understanding that would attract him back into the marriage.
He needed to understand how to accurately translate her words and actions so he never needed to protect himself from her again.
His problem was his translation of her words and actions. Her problem was she had no idea how he was translating her.
I did ask her, did you not notice that what you were saying was making him retreat? She said when she communicated this way historically he understood and looked after her.
I had to tell her he never understood he thought one day you would just be happy. Through his lack of understanding he simply emotionally emptied and now he just wants it all to stop.
To help couples like this I have to help him understand her natural emotional patterns and what she needs to feel safe and loved.
He must translate her in a way that enabled him to stay connected to himself. For him, this would be a critical life skill.
For her, she would have to understand his world and how to connect to him in a way he would value.
By helping couples understand how they can become positive influencers of each other in the marriage you empower them to create two powerful forces needed for the marriage to survive.
- They understand their partners’ world and what they need.
- They stay connected to their core self.
This process enables couples to start to see a future again.
Far too many couples are practising the reverse and it’s destroying their connection and any kind of future.
This example is just one pattern of many distorted dynamics couples can create without knowing.
With so much hanging in the balance, understanding how to be successful together is one of those critical life skills we never know we needed until it’s too late.
Many of my clients have told me that when their children marry one of their wedding presents to their children is a pre-marriage course with me.