It is hard enough to figure out what we are each here to do individually, to get into routines of good self-care, good work habits, good money management, good balance of everything that is important in our lives. It is a whole other collaboration to get our intimate relationships in a really good place. The reason that relationships are so much more difficult, is because most people did not have excellent relationships modeled for them. Therefore, they have habits and means of relating that they learned from their parents’ relationship, a large percentage of which, resulted in divorce. If we are patterning our behavior on relationships that did not work, our relationships are highly likely not to work also. Therefore, most people could greatly benefit from learning entirely new ways to relate. These new ways could work so much better, than what most people are currently employing that may be only marginally working.
When people are open to learning a new way, then they increase the probability to receive the closeness they desire, the love, the intimacy, the safety, the feelings of being seen, heard, acknowledged, validated and honored, that are universal needs.
When a couple who were high school sweethearts were asked what their secret was, for being happily married for 69 years, the reply was, “When I tell my husband something that is important to me, he does not question it. He makes it important to him, remembers it, and wants to do it for me, because he loves me and it is important to me. It is easy to love someone who respects you.” The husband replied, “And she does the same for me.” They joked, “Well, at this stage of the game, if she doesn’t do it for me, it is because she forgot. If she would have remembered, she definitely would have wanted to do it for me.”
There is no questioning of “why” it is important to the other one. There is no discussion of why it should not be important to the partner. If it is important to the one, then it is important to the other. It is done with love.
In addition to making important to you, what is important to your partner, Couples Counseling also involves understanding where your own woundings are. An awareness of where your own woundings are, and when you have been emotionally triggered by your partner, is paramount to a good relationship. You can take ownership of your own reactivity. You can navigate through that.
An understanding of your partner’s woundings and when your partner has been emotionally triggered by you, is crucial to an even better relationship. You can lovingly assist your partner in taking responsibility for, and navigating through his or her own reactivity.
Then, together, you can lovingly move through issues, instead of repeating the same fights over and over, with no resolution, and resultant distancing, disconnecting, and dissatisfaction, often leaving an opening for affairs.
In the previous example, when the elderly couple were married less than a decade, the wife said to her husband, “I am happier when you are gone traveling with your job, than when you are at home. You need to go to therapy.” He replied, “I am not going for therapy.” She retorted, “Then I am leaving with your 3 children.” He went to therapy. After several years of counseling, he told her, “Now, I have outgrown you. You need to go for therapy.” She went for counseling.
This 89 year-old woman and this 90 year-old man have been married nearly 70 years. They brought out the best in each other. They took personal responsibility for working on their individual issues. They started a business and worked together, capitalizing on their different strengths. It became a world-wide successful business endeavor. They retired early. They have excellent health, a beautiful family, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and a lovely retirement.
If it is available to them, it is available to you!
Come and learn the tools from Couples Counseling to enhance your relationship and make your partnership the best that it can be!
You can have it all!
If you would like to schedule an appointment or discuss any questions you may have about Couples Counseling, please call 734-417-9522. I try to return voicemail and email within 24 hours.
It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey
the mind that is not baffled is not employed
the impeded stream is the one that sings
Everything depends on inner change;
when this has taken place, then, and only then
does the world change.
Emotions consist of energy and a story.
If we let go of the story, only the energy
If you wait for the ideal, you’ll never start.
Always you must take what is nearest at
hand, no matter how unpromising, and
accept it as the only and therefore best
thing you can do and by sheer hard work
transform it into this thing you need.
The greatest gift a parent has to give a child-
and a lover has to give to a lover-
is emotionally attuned attention and
Do not abandon the longing that comes from the sense your life could be much more, that there is a state in which you can function on a level of inner resilience, contentment and security; where you are capable of deep feelings, of blissful pleasure; where you (can) meet life without fear because you no longer fear yourself.
The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, judgements and interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as the watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional energy charge will be, whether you are aware of it or not. If you cannot feel your emotions, if you are cut off from them, you will eventually experience them on a physical level, as a problem or a symptom.
This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.