Many couples have killed the element of surprise in their relationship.
Information they say is power and this abounds everywhere. When was the last time you were genuinely surprised about a gift from your spouse, wore it with pride without going back to google for some insight on the price. The days when spouses adorned what they had with pride only caring about the thought and not on how much it was, where it was bought or who needs to know it was bought.
In the old days, there was no internet to dull the edge of my mothers curiosity. She simply wanted to go somewhere new and exciting, do something different and thats exactly what they did. Can you imagine the genuine ways and opportunities she would have to be serenaded, shocked, angered, enthralled and awed? Nothing beats the fact that you are experiencing something for the first time and understand how important your role is in the entire lifetime of that experience.
MY IDEAL SECOND STEP WHEN COUNSELLING COUPLES
This is the part where the couple recognize and accept the fact that there were repetitive vicious cycles that have continously taken away the joy of their relationship and that they have been victims of this repetitive cycle.
Once you accept the existence of this cycle, i notice that most couples begin their healing process.
Step two is an opportunity for awareness to prompt a response / an action. Simply put, now that you know how you and your partners behaviors, personal-defenses, ego, attitudes aid this cycle, what next? This is the point each of the partners understands their input in this bad cycle and the depth of the power they have to overcome that particular action (should they decide to).
Regain Your Intimacy
Over time, i noticed that the couples who were willing to consciously hold themselves back from frustration, withdrawal or anger were better positioned to regain the lost intimacy in their relationship. This is done by showing the couples how to orchestrate and steer conversations to points that bring up anger and frustrations. When these strong negative emotions come up, the couple are taught how to recognize them and unravel vulnerable experiences that fuel angry defenses in them.
Anger, frustration, and the misleading appearance of apathy tear couples apart. Authenticity, the ability to be more and more real about what you’re feeling is like relationship a balm. When it happens again and again, individuals within couple relationships start to take a more active role in not only recognizing a nasty cycle, but taking steps to reduce their part in it.
Always understand that your partner is suffering too. This simply makes you see them in the reality of what they are going through and weakens your resolve to remain as combatants.
Once the couples know their role in the conflict life-cycle, theres an emotion that shows up and this by far is the most exciting for me. CURIOSITY. Any couple who become curious about their current distasteful plight have a 6 in 10 chance of making it. Once this happens, it’s the same type of curiosity that overwhelmed my mother at the beginning of this post. Once partners recognize their own roles in the cycle, they get curious about why their spouse/partner acts the way they do. This thought process shows them that their partners are humans who also are lost, lonely, confused, crave closeness or a connection.
This is like seeing a great wonder of the world that maybe you’ve heard of or read about but never experienced. Once this level of curiosity and anticipation for the next step shows up, I know we’re ready for step three.
Written by Obike Temple
Counselor | Brand-Sage | Entrepreneur