Chris, my spouse is my standard for love and kind treatment. He is my lauchpad for care and respect.
In my rooms I see couples, lone partners and singles all striving for love.
Many times there’s a struggle to find self worth, value and a belief in ourselves as deserving of a loving happy relationship.
Things go off into the ditch.
This is when our negative patterns show up in partnerships.
We use the idea of a maximiser – the one who demands and speaks up. They are like the hailstorm and pour down harder to be heard.
On the flip side is the minimiser. Their pattern is withdrawal. We call these guys the Turtle. They pull back into their shells protectively.
Whey I say this to couples they nod knowingly. They usually know whether they are a turtle or a hailstorm in their partnership.
I saw John Aiken pointing out this very dynamic on Married At First Sight. Boy what a hothouse for explosivity. Makes for TV ratings. I love that we are talking about relationships.
This dynamic becomes problematic when it goes off road in the ditch.
When harsh words are said against ones character, foul language and escalation happen.
We can quickly go to the danger zone.
While time outs are a useful tool and necessary tool. It’s vital we learn newer, safer, supportive ways of connecting and communicating.
That’s why I coach couples dialogue in my sessions. So your can find a part to help you get your needs met.
You get real world skills to apply in your relationship when the sparks fly.
If a partner comes alone, I always will extend an invitation to attend. Some come, some don’t. Sometimes it’s a new beginning or the next stage in their partnership.
One gentleman I saw for 10-12 sessions solo, by the end of our work they were happily engaged. Gorgeous pictures of roses, rings and romance. Ah love my work!
Occasionally my radar goes up where I hear contempt and threats. I gently query how the person feels on the end of this – this is the marker and what if any repair happens.
When there are excuses, blame and no accountability, I get concerned.
While I totally believe people can change. The proviso is they must want the change for themselves.
It’s usually then I point to a picture of us on our wedding day and say this is Chris. He would never say $%$^ to me. I have haven’t ever heard him use foul language apart from the rare stubbed toe expletive.
Chris wouldn’t ever say or treat me in that way. I trust him to support me and have my back. While we may not agree on everything, it’s all up for negotiation.
No he’s not an angel but he is good, kind and acts with restraint. Guess who’s the turtle here!
Respect is a cornerstone in a healthy relationship and it’s important we restore it quickly when it’s lost. No one’s perfect!
You are welcome to use Chris as a baseline too!
Ask yourself if there is a person or partnership you admire. Would they act that way, or say that ?
Perhaps we can require more of ourselves and our partners as we learn and grow together. Go gently and live fully. Yours in gratitude Philipa xox