So I’m sat with a couple who I’ve watched for about two minutes.
Sometimes it’s good to let a couple do their normal destructive patterns in front of me so I can learn what they are doing and why.
So off they went…
She said something he didn’t like, so he defended himself and attacked her back, she in turn, became more upset and threw more mud at him and so they were off…
They had started their normal cycle of disconnect they both told me they don’t like but seem quick to do at the drop of a hat.
I could see they were well versed in their pattern it’s like they both switched off their minds to get to the same place they always go.
Feeling frustrated, exhausted and hopeless.
Once I had what I needed I stopped them, after all, they are not paying me to watch them argue and two minutes was more than enough.
Once they had calmed down and were back listening to me I had a question for each person.
The question was this:
“Are you purposely trying to hurt your partner”?
I turned to her first, “Are you purposely trying to hurt your husband”?
“No of course not” she replied.
What about you “Are you purposely trying to hurt your wife”?
“Absolutely not”! replied the husband.
I fell silent to allow their minds to process both their answers, they both looked confused.
“I have watched you both become extremely defensive during that exchange of words and energy”.
“When a person defends themselves it means they think they are being attacked”.
“What are you defending yourself from if both of you agree you are not trying to hurt each other”?
Again more confused expressions, “you are both feeling attacked, but it isn’t true so what are you both missing”?
This is a common pattern in couples they don’t see what’s really happening because they are so caught up in their pattern.
“Each of you is defending yourselves from your partner who is not trying to hurt you, we have already established this point”.
“If you both took a moment to stop defending yourself and stop preparing your counter attack you may have a chance to change this pattern”.
“When your partner says something that sounds unfair or untrue you are not seeing that there is a choice of what to do next”.
“So neither of you is looking at your choices”.
“You can slap them back like two five-year-olds in a playground or you can start to ask some intelligent questions”.
“What must be going on for them if they are saying those words to you”?
“You see it’s the process of understanding what is going on in your partner’s world and what they are trying to achieve is what will free you both from this pattern.
“So what is going on in your wife mind as she brings that energy to you”?
“What is she trying to say and why”?
“What emotions is she trying to avoid and connect to”?
“And if she could get there how would she feel about herself and then see you differently”?
“I have no idea” he replied.
“So how do you know what emotion to bring to her”?
“How do you know defensiveness and counterattacking her is the right energy to choose”?
“You tell me you love her and I believe you, but you are responding without thinking and with so many unanswered questions she may be in real trouble and the answers to those questions may lead you to help her which I know you would”.
You see both people were not connected to the others world and so both people were missing an opportunity to get to their truth.
This pattern can exhaust people so badly they feel they have to leave the marriage because they are so unhappy.
Each person in this illustration was trying to achieve something very different and neither understood this.
They thought they were having the same argument, they were not! So the frustration turned to anger and now their fears were running the show.
Slow it down and think!
If you can’t work it out then you will need help doing so.
Sometimes understand each other actions and words can be very challenging because it’s like a different language.
I’m a bright guy and as much as I try I could never speak Chinese just by thinking hard, those words would never just come to me.
We all need help from time-to-time and if this is your pattern then it must be understood.
The bigger message to everyone is to stop defending yourself from your partner.
It’s highly unlikely they are really trying to hurt you.
Plus becoming defensive from an assumed attack leaves an unsaid sentence on the table.
That sentence is I’m protecting myself from you because “I don’t trust you” and that is decimating for any couple’s connection.