Couples seeking marital help will naturally fit into a few camps.
From both people knowing they are making the marriage worse, but don’t know what to do about it.
To one person virtually out of the marriage, but for the kids they will give it a go.
To two people that say they love each other, but can’t live with each other.
To helping just one person to save their marriage alone.
Every couple has a unique starting point and how that person or couple approaches the starting point affects the direction of travel.
The first step is an important one.
Starting with a WIN-WIN in mind
Whatever the starting point the individual/couple must eventually be working towards a win-win model.
So the key is for each couple to establishing a win-win goal that doesn’t stress either person and allows both people to freely explore themselves and their relationship, but from new perspectives.
One of the reasons so much of couples work doesn’t work is the objective is poorly designed at the start.
To start with they go for help without agreeing why they are going so they arrive in yet another battle.
Imagine 2 people in a room each one with a different future goal?
For example: One wants to save the marriage, one doesn’t know what they want so the question is what goal should they create that aligns them to be able to work together as a team?
If a couple is going for communication breakdown and one person feels the breakdown is their partners fault. Are we going to be a team or is one person going to defend themselves against the other.
When a battle is the process, then the process is not going to work.
If you are going to have a meeting due to a broken marriage then the reason for the meeting must be agreed at some point.
Let’s say one person wants out of the marriage, you cannot agree the meeting is to “save the marriage” as it will put too much pressure on the person wanting to leave and they will block everything.
You need a goal that will help them lower their guard and explore intelligently, all pressure creates is a stronger and bigger wall of self-protection.
Start the process as a team
The 3 people working together need to be on the same page working towards the same objective.
Once the couple have this now we are on the right path for a win-win outcome.
This creates the right starting point where the 3 people can work as a team to create an authentic outcome.
So we need two defined points where the couple really is today and what they would both like to get to.
Please note: Where they would like to get to will change based on each persons perspective when they enter the process.
Once you have defined where they are and where they want to get to all that’s left is designing the strategy of the steps they will need to take to go from point A (where they really are) to point B (Their desired outcome).
Point “A” is a critical point as some people are in a worse state than they think and some are not as bad as they think.
In helping couples out of crisis the order of these steps from point A to point B is critical.
In many cases rebuilding trust is a critical first step before you do anything. Imagine if there is no trust and they start talking about their issues with each other.
Who is really going to be interested and what’s the chances of a fight?
Each step towards the outcome they agreed must keep the person aligned with who they are as they go through the process of understanding themselves, their partner and their relationship differently.
You cannot change a person
We are not trying to change the people, just make them more effective at understanding how to translate what is really happening so they stay self aligned.
It’s critical the person isn’t changed as that would only create a short-term change in their behaviour.
Forcing a change will only lead a person into a submission and this won’t work.
For example some may do anything to win their partner back, but unless the behaviour is authentic they will go back to their old ways losing their partner all over again.
Long-term changes only happen when new behaviours are connected to helping the person feel good about themselves as they take action to contribute and influence.
The process must be making each person more effective not changing them to fit the goal.
Time to drop your weapons
By starting with a win-win process that empowers each person to no longer need their weapons and defences the truth can start to appear.
Essentially the couple are left with a new perspective on their situation.
You see if you take away the fear and the confusion and you replace it with knowledge that is empowering and actionable.
It means now each person can freely explore what they are capable of achieving together no holding back.
They can see where they went wrong and why.
This ability to explore with “FREEDOM” is a critical value in this process as each person must act in alignment with what they value most as they discover what path is right for them.
Fixing the marriage is not the objective, organically allowing natural connection is what creates lasting success.
Make it a new pattern
Three months of repatterining a couples perspective and interaction helps the couples to create new patterns of connection.
The goal is to create new patterns that create new constructive behaviours that eventually become actions without thought.
This is what makes the changes easy.
We know what the worst of them both can create because they became very good at that pattern.
They were destructive without thought.
What we need to learn is what can the best of them both create with the right information and understanding?
This has the power to create new constructive win-win patterns that the couple can keep.
The key to their changes is new patterns of behaviours through repetition.
At that point couples can really see their truth and this can now open a new vision for what their future can look like.