Isolated, Confused, Conflict, Infidelity, Divorce?
The reason relationships are hard is that many of us have reaction points to things that have happenned to us at previous times in our lives. If we can somehow work with our spouse by remaining non-reactive to their reactivity, we will grow and change and come out the other side as better people. We become more patient, less selfish, more self-aware and sometimes even more content in life as we come to appreciate who we are in the relationship. The price for these improved character traits can be high and painful.
The problem is usually found in our reactions to our wives and husbands. “They don’t listen to me.” “They are too controlling”. “They are stubborn, immature and unfeeling.”
“I’m sick and tired of their belittling comments and yelling.” (The list goes on and on.)
One of the ways I help couples that come to my office, is to find the pattern of talking or relating that leaves them both feeling lonely and hurt. Couples typically have one of three responses when they communicate with each other. We meet together so we can understand your unique pattern that is causing distress or lack of emotional intimacy.
The three culprits
that rob couples of true intimacy are listed below. Take note of which pattern you find yourself using, and see if you can change it. Resist sarcastic, belittling or angry comments that hurt your spouse. If you withdraw and use silence, this can be just as ineffective and painful as yelling or saying hurtful things to your spouse. Instead, resist the temptation to use silence or withdraw, and communicate to your spouse that you are feeling deeply hurt but would like to work through these differences.
AVOID THESE PATTERNS LISTED BELOW:
1. USING SILENCE- This person knows how to get control fast. They withdraw and simply do not speak to their spouse. This is very painful to both and stops intimate communication almost immediately.
2. USING VIOLENT WORDS- This person uses their anger to get their way. They yell, call names, or use put down comments. Almost anything goes to win. This pattern gets the couple nowhere fast.
3. COMBINATION OF SILENCE AND VIOLENCE- This person uses a combination of withdrawing at critical times, and then assaulting their unsuspecting spouse. This style is really painful and adds to the deterioration of the relationship. It needs to be stopped immediately.
I hope this information gets you speaking kindly again to your partner. I will be glad to meet with you alone or with you and your spouse. I can show you both what can be done to make your communication and relationship healthier. If your relationship becomes more loving, this change will flow down to your children as you model to them how healthy couples relate and communicate together. I have witnessed houselholds become happy and seen first hand how these happy homes effect our own attitude and view of ourselves. It isn’t a secret that at the heart of a good home is a very healthy and good marriage. It is possible to adapt and change and break away from dysfunctional patterns and begin fresh with sound habits that demonstrate care, value and love to one another. I have helped many couples do this during my 26 years as a clinical psychologist. I will be honored to see if I am a good fit for you, and can help you as well. I wish you all the best.