Today’s post is really important to understand because the message you’ll receive creates a significant bridge that helps couples maintain attraction which is critical.
Have you ever spoken to your partner and felt they understood what you said only to watch them behave in ways that prove they didn’t?
Do you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall as you struggle to be heard or understood?
Are you starting to feel that communication is impossible with your partner and there is no point in speaking?
Circular conflicts are very common in relationships because couples are not aware of what their partner is hearing or feeling when they are speaking.
Many people helping couples in these types of situations teach something called “active listening” which means the person is 100% present with what the other person is saying. They are not distracted by what they want to say next, or by something else.
Active listening is very valuable, but…
…what if what’s being said is not the real problem?
This is a very common problem.
For example I have seen many men trying to support their unhappy wife by complying with exactly what their partner is saying she wants. She also agrees he has complied and has put lots of effort in, but she also says she feels no different about him.
I see this a lot in my sessions: When we start to explore a critical need for a person that person will tell me what they think they need. As I delve deeper into how their mind works what we discover is that person had no idea what they really needed and why.
Look at this situation…
A lady in a session was terribly upset with her husbands’ lack of attention around the home. She had focused on a large wooden box that was left in their dining room.
She had asked him to move it days before, but he had forgotten and as days went by she was more furious about the box and his lack of care “this was typical” of him she said.
His frustrated response was “I’m sorry I’ll move the dam box! I had no idea it meant so much to you” He looked at me and said “why so much emotion about the box? Everything is so emotional, I’m busy too you know!”
I said to him I think you are missing her real message, this is not about the box.
Now he’s looking confused.
As the session progressed I asked her what she thought the real problem was.
What we learned was as a young mum she was fed up with just looking after the children all day. She missed her professional life as an accountant and felt guilty at that feeling.
She was totally frustrated she had lost the emotional connection she needed with her husband. She had lost the connection that meant she struggled to be the wife and lover she wanted to be.
He was also holding resentment about their lack of passion but had put it down to young children and busy lives. He was not aware this would not get better unless he connected to the real problem.
Practically what she wanted was help in the home so she could spend a couple of days doing her professional career, she wanted to reconnect to that part of herself.
They could solve this with a nanny.
Emotionally what she missed was his presence, his time, and his energy that would help her to connect to being a girl, feminine, and a lover to him.
They could solve this by learning the simple steps to create an emotional connection.
She had ended up being a 24/7 mum and other parts of who she is were shut away and she was miserable.
She was unaware and decided to take steps to understand her emotional self better.
He learned how to be the protector she needed that enabled her to reconnect to her feminine energy through feeling his strength and confidence in the relationship.
Both people are now growing together and personally empowered and no one is now focused on the box.
You see talking about the problem I.E. THE BOX would have taken them round in circles. He would have moved the box and she would have found another problem.
She was unaware that when he ignored the box this was a metaphor for her life frustration.
So she didn’t feel heard, she didn’t feel understood, she didn’t feel protected, cared for, or loved.
To him it was just a box, he had no idea what it meant to her.
This illustration is a taste of how complicated communication can feel for couples and why they go round in circles.
Both men and women need to learn very different ways to hear each other if they are going to connect successfully.
Lack of communication causes deep problems and both people can suffer unnecessarily for years.
So if you’re going round in circles it’s likely that you are both missing the real problem.
Communication is going to be a key part of many couples’ bridge to a happy sexual connection so this might be worth learning.