Every couple that attends sessions with me are sharing very different perspectives about their relationship, and both people think their version is the truth.
They communicate to me what they both think is the problem, but very few are connected to other ways to think and see their problems, so they live in a disempowered perspective.
This can lead couples to feel their problems are impossible to solve. In so many cases, this is not true.
By helping couples to understand the core problem, they are empowered to see their problem in ways that empower both people to reconnect.
In essence, I have to expand the knowledge of both people so they can connect to their partner’s experience so they can start to add value to each other again.
In today’s post, I’m going to share some of my observations from a session to help those of you who are lost think differently about the situations you are in.
So if you want to solve your problems then a new understanding and a new approach are required.
Let’s look at this example:
One gentleman was sharing a story about getting frustrated with his wife in a restaurant she seemed unhappy, grumpy and in his opinion rude to the waiters.
In his mind, they were both lucky to be in such a great place, why couldn’t she see how lucky she was.
To him, she was ungrateful and spoilt.
So when she became in his option rude to the waiter, he told her off in front of him and tried to make her apologise.
She wouldn’t apologise, and so in his opinion, she was awful. The rest of the day was now spoilt.
In his mind, she was ungrateful and mean, and so he became withdrawn.
So I asked him if he was willing to see another perspective.
“Who is your wife really?” I asked.
“Because I bet at core, she is loving and kind supportive and would do anything for anyone.”
He said, “I don’t see that anymore; she is always grumpy with me.”
I shared a thought “What if she knows you see her this way, and this is partly why she is so grumpy?”
You see if you had the perspective that in the restaurant she wasn’t her true self, a loving husband who knew the core of who his wife was would have cared she wasn’t being herself and would connect to whatever was troubling her.
What she experienced was not your support, care or help what she got was your judgement, and then you humiliated her as a means to correct her behaviour.
So now you are her parent.
At that moment, she couldn’t have been further away from the feelings she wanted to have with her husband.
This would make most women upset, and I expect your behaviour, and this perspective of her is one of the patterns in the relationship.
He then said, “I had never looked at it from her perspective before.”
I said to him, on one hand, you’re not wrong. We should be grateful; we should be polite we should search for happiness.
“It sounds like this is what your parents taught you” he nodded
But she is a grown woman; she doesn’t need you to be her parent telling her how to behave. What she needs is a husband who cares enough to check-in and care for her.
So I totally understand why you thought that way but her happiness must be at the core of your own needs.
Judging her isn’t loving.
So what you also missed in your need to be right about her behaviour you also disregarded your own values.
“How so?” he asked
“I see that at the core, you too are a loving man. I see you are kind, supportive and fun-loving.”
“But you were none of that in your quest to make her wrong. You became less of yourself in your quest to tell her she was wrong.”
“Can you see the irony?”
In relationships, if one person wins and the other loses you both lose.
So winning and being right cannot be the mission ever.
Critical rules for couples: If you create a behaviour it must be for the good of who you really are. For the good of what’s important to her and for the greater good of your purpose of being together.
I helped him see her perspective. “She was grumpy a lot of the time because she is waiting for the next time when she has to protect herself from you. ”
“With this thought within her, she can never be herself when she’s around you.”
“Her biggest pain is she cannot love you the way she wants – this is why she’s so grumpy.”
“I can see your biggest pain is you don’t feel loved or able to please her.”
“You must connect with how her world works, or she will feel disconnected and alone.”
“Both of you have a responsibility to change this pattern, but helping you both to see what’s really going on will help you both reduce your fears and empower you to become a team.”
Couples are so disconnected from each other’s worlds and their destructive patterns help them become the worst of themselves in their quest to correct their partner behaviours.
It’s not natural for men and women to understand each other, so it’s critical the couple are helped to understand each other’s world because without this knowledge communication will feel impossible.
Being right is such a destructive need.