Many couples do their best to solve their marriage problems but end up lost, knowing they are just making things worse.
The reason they make things worse is because they only see the problems from their own perspective.
It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of couples sharing their problem without critical translation tools in place.
You see, the deeper the problem the couples face, the bigger the communication differences.
The differences were always there but less apparent through happier times.
Men and women communicate for very different reasons in an intimate relationship, and this difference is compounded when conflict or upset strikes.
If a man is listening to a woman’s upset words, he will use his translation filters to hear and put meanings to what she is trying to communicate.
If he does this, his translation will be wrong, and she won’t experience the connection or care she needs.
Women, of course, do the same, so men are also experiencing this deficit.
This causes terrible disconnects as each person ends up putting very different meanings to the exact same words.
As couples fail to align with what’s being said, they can feel the problem is becoming hopeless.
Loss of emotional connection and trust is the start of their challenge.
Many couples come to me before the tipping point and this makes helping them easier.
The tipping point!
Understanding this specific problem is only half the battle, especially if the issues have gone on for too long.
Most people seek help far too late and give themselves terrible stress as they try to understand what they should do.
In truth, the real problem isn’t just in their inability to connect and solve their problems.
The biggest problem after the tipping point is when one person is no longer invested.
This is the most dangerous position to be in.
They might know they are out or have one foot out of the door.
Helping the uninvested person to discover the truth about their connection without the pressure of fixing the marriage is a critical step.
Pressure makes them want to leave faster.
The strategy of helping them is different because their position is now more severe.
When you are helping a couple who cannot translate each other and end up going round in circles, that is a very different starting point to helping them from the position of a person who is no longer invested.
This means the strategy to help them must change.
Now the objective is to help the uninvested person to see what they couldn’t see when they look at their past from their perspective.
This is about helping a person to reinvest safely through introducing new perspectives and empowering them to discover the truth they couldn’t see.
After the tipping point, their partners’ actions are critical as their relationship is on a knifes edge.
Most people get his horribly wrong and make it worse.
The mission must be to help their partner reinvest by helping them feel good about themselves when they are in the relationship.
For each couple, these actions could be different.
If you help them feel worse or prove their point, you will be accelerating their need to exit.
The most common mistake I see is people becoming emotionally erratic through a pleasing and blaming cycle.
You must be consistent, as rebuilding the connection isn’t an overnight process, so you’ll need patience as they won’t show you what you are doing is working to start with.
The other problem I see is the confusion of what equals help and support.
Men seem to become more active domestically and hope this will solve the marriage problems, and it won’t.
Most people have never understood their partners’ real needs so their crisis can quickly prove that point.
My point today is not just about knowing what to do; it’s about knowing where you are in the process and how that affects what you must bring to the table.
Strategy in these situations is everything!