The simple answer to this question is in their patterns of behaviour. Couples can create patterns which can create a negative ping-pong effect in their relationship. Both people can then end up protecting themselves from each other which is disastrous for their future together. If the relationship is to be saved then it’s important to break these patterns and build new ones that are safe for both people.
Of course sharing each others experience through talking about the relationship is important when trying to solve any problem(s).
When the couple understand the truth in their relationship then there is a potential of an intellectual understanding of their situation.
However to make the changes needed to live safely and passionately together, the couple need to emotionally connect with any changes they need to make and then make those changes a part of their physical lives.
My point here is talking about the problems and creating an understanding of each persons truth in their relationship is important, but this alone is not enough to create life long changes.
One of the challenges when talking about your problem is this: When you speak, what is your partner really hearing. You see, when we speak we can assume what we are saying is being heard in the way we mean it, but sadly when marriages hit problems the ‘red alert’ filter has the capability to distort their conversation.
This is one of the reasons couples go round in circles.
I have met couples whose red alert filter has been on from the start of their relationship. This obviously creates a very distorted experience together and is not reflective of their true potential.
My experience of creating change with individuals and couples is that the change in itself is very fast but, to make that change, the individuals have to feel emotionally safe to make it.
So how do we create that safety so change is really possible?
This part of the process is an opening into the individuals and each others emotional worlds. Really understanding yourself combined with understanding your partner from their perspective helps to create the possibility of safer new behaviours.
The couple from here will need tools that enable them to be connect and grow closer with each other.
The goal in creating lasting changes for any couple is that any change…
- Helps the individuals to connect to who they really are.
- Help both people feel their partner understands what’s important to them both today and in the future.
- Help the couple to see that the future is compelling.
- Help the couple grow together and become a team.
With new understandings/perspectives of themselves and their relationship the couples can build new and more secure patterns of behaviour that can kill their fears and build more security through being free to be themselves.
Being free to be yourself without fear is a top priority of mine when working with couples. When the couple learn the tools that build a stronger passionate connection they find they can automatically dissolve their fears.
Far too many couples are trapped in patterns which they think will keep them safe, unaware they are actually killing the relationship they want to keep.