The short answer is that when differences come up it can feel threatening, which then activates coping mechanisms that clash with your partner's coping mechanisms. When this happens its really difficult to listen with the desire to understand the other person, so neither partner feels heard or understood, even though you keep trying to talk about it to resolve it. The patterns keep each of you stuck in the same loop of trying to cope in ways that just don't help. When we’re triggered we have limited access to our curiosity, and the focus is on getting the other to hear and understand us. In those situations, we usually have our own inner conflicts about the subject, and as it turns out, our real need is to understand and resolve them from within, and then we have more choices about the way we respond to the issue from our partner’s side. The tool needed in order to do this is the ability to inquire within and get to know your inner world, such as your thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires, and have the ability to speak up about them to your partner in a clear way, and to allow for the vulnerability of asking for your needs to be met in a way that is attuned to your authentic self. It may sound simple, but I believe it’s challenging for many people to do, especially during times of vulnerability. But learning this technique can definitely improve your communication skills, give you a stronger sense of yourself, and enhance your ability to show up as your authentic self in all of your relationships. This type of work can be done during our couple’s sessions, or our individual sessions as well. We’ll start with current issues and work from where you are now, and also work to heal the past that is still triggering the present. The benefit for many is a sense of being more grounded in ones one life. Contact me to start your own inner journey of self-discovery. One of the main reasons couples fight is literally that you’re two different people with your own needs, desires, opinions, values and lifestyle choices that are often different from each other. We are wired to connect through similarities, which is what you naturally do when you’re first getting to know you’re partner and growing to love them. But when differences begin to come up, which they always do because you are different people after all, differences then begin to feel threatening and lead to conflicts. Some differences are such a big deal that you begin to feel hurt, disappointed, distant, angry or sad; and it can feel like you’ll never be able to get through them and come to a place of resolution and feel close again, even though the love is there. Counseling can help you work on issues and give you the skills and clarity to see your way through. Learning to communicate about your differences and negotiate through differing needs and desires can go a long way to create a healthy, respectful, and loving relationship. The U Turn In order to have a good relationship its important to be able to self-reflect and build the capacity to take ownership of your part in uncomfortable situations. To be able to get clear about matters to you, what your needs and desires are, and find ways of saying it so your partner can hear it better. Are you making a request, just speaking your truth, attempting to negotiate, or trying to set a boundary? The more clarity you have, the easier it will be for your partner to understand and respond more authentically. Nobody is easy to live with, and everyone has a personality that is unique to them. Personalities come with needs and desires, ways of coping, and ways of loving already wired in, so getting to know yourself helps you own your truth and your issues, and enables you to be less defensive, because if you’ve already owned your issues yourself, then you can own it when your partner inevitably brings it up. It also feels empowering and healthy when you can show up authentically and express your thoughts, needs, and desires to your partner and have them hear you and actually get you without getting defensive. But, as easy as this sounds, its not easy to do, and counseling can help you gain the skills to bring up tense topics in an effective way, and to help your partner hear you effectively as well. Get in touch with me today.
Do Women Expect Too Much From Men According the latest research as reported on by Kathryn Foster in her book, The Naked Truth About Men and Romance, men’s brains get a dose of female hormones when they first get into a relationship, which makes them good listeners with empathy; which is what most women want in their relationships with men. But then after the man’s brain gains the understanding that he’s won his sought after partner, then his brain switches back to normal and he actually has limited capacity for listening and empathy. But because he could show up as a good listener at the beginning of the relationship, women can feel hurt and disappointed when he appears to struggle with it later on. And men can feel confused and pressured to be something that they don’t really know how to be without those hormones giving them a boost. But the disappointment is real, leaving many women to wonder how to proceed forward in the relationship. Counseling can help. Contact Brenda at Heart of Life Counseling to find out more.
- Pre-marital Counseling
- Discernment Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Couples Counseling