ERP 108: What Most Couples Do That Creates Problems
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We look to solve our concerns through our partner.
We spend our time trying to get our partner to see what THEY are doing wrong and get them to see our perspective. We think, “If I can just point it out to them in a way they can hear it…” “Or if I can give them a good enough example and illustrate my point, they will understand.”
We think if they understand, they will see the error of their ways and they will change their behavior.
Attempts at this strategy usually never work. When we tell our partner what they are doing wrong, most often they will get defensive. They will feel hurt, attacked, or blamed.
Many times couples go into therapy expecting or hoping that the therapist will help change their partner. One partner or both partners want the therapist to be a judge deeming a particular behavior as unacceptable and convince the offending partner to change.
To hear how to shift out of this dynamic, please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript. You will hear explanations, stories and examples as well.
Here are 4 steps to shift out of this challenging dynamic:
1. Recognize the cue (i.e. complaint or issue).
2. As soon as you are able, inquire into what is going on for you.
“Hmm.” ”What is going on in me?” “What is wanting to be expressed?”
3. Stay with it.
Stay interested and curious in what is going on for you.
4. Allow new insight and awareness to emerge (may happen immediately or it may happen over a few hours or days).
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If you are interested in developing new skills to overcome relationship challenges, please consider taking the Empowered Relationship Course or doing relationship coaching work with me.