Last year I was working with a couple who were struggling to connect with each other and it looked on the surface that the relationship was actually dead.
In fact it was dead the way they were running it. They came to me wanting to see if it could be fixed, she was not that hopeful, she felt he was too selfish and she had made a mistake marrying him.
I had to help them discover the truth and help them understand their beliefs about each other and the relationship.
So I explored what the start of the relationship was like.
When they met she loved the potential in him she could see the growth potential and the security that would provide, but she also loved his sense of freedom and passion in his interests. He seemed like the full package so getting married was easy.
As the years passed and they became a family she started to resent his need for freedom, the very thing she loved when they met. His need to play polo, race his horses and go to his club always felt more important to him than her and her children and she started to feel resentment towards him and those activities.
It wasn’t long before the arguments started and for nearly two years they went round in circles until they had nearly destroyed their relationship.
He came to me sharing his story of how controlled he felt. He told me that he loved his wife and family, but he also needed time for himself and so he felt trapped.
He told me that he feels he rarely goes to his interests because of the battles and he resents her for this and so now their connection has died along with their sex life.
So instead of feeling free he felt trapped and he could not see a way to grow and so he and the relationship was dying fast.
So I wanted to understand more about this man. I discovered that he was not just looking for freedom for himself, he valued it so much he wanted to free his wife family too.
He was not selfish at all, he wanted her to feel free too, I knew we could use this to start to heal them.
As we chatted I explored what this could mean and how he could free her, he was visibly excited at the prospect. We discovered he could free her from her loss of love and connection, he could free her from her loss of security, he could free her from feeling she is second best to his hobbies.
Knowing that his real mission was to please her I new this would feel good for him to create a conscious focus on freeing her.
This new focus opened up a new way to connect what’s important for him, with what’s important to her.
This small shift of focus in him totally changed the relationship as he looked for ways to free her from her pain, so she could feel she was number one again.
This helped her to take her focused off her pain and insecurities and to focus her energy into what felt right for her, being loving and wanting the best for her family.
She told me she never wanted to control him ever and today now she feels she is number one. Today she actively encourages him to go and be free, ironically this new connection with her is so powerful for him he choses now to spend more time with her and his family.
The key for this couple was to help them discover how they could connect with what’s important to each other.
He couldn’t connect with her if he felt she was trying to trap him, but the moment he could see how trapped she was too he had instant empathy and took action.
The key is to help couples connect with what’s really important to them both with the goal of putting love first.