Put It On The Shelf - One Piece of Counter-Intuitive Advice From A Relationship Coach.
When your marriage no longer feels like a safe haven and you feel that you need to build resilience just to spend the weekend or downtime together, your mind goes into overdrive, looking for solutions to the problem, creating plans and strategies and generally exhausting itself.
Of course, my business is all about relationships, romantic and familial breakdowns and how to make them work. I help women move from the brink of divorce back toward a loving healthy simply connected partnership.
Of course, we deal with lack of communication, infidelity (both yours and your partners), we identify emotionally abusive patterns v.s. poor communication patterns.
We identify your behaviours and beliefs (long-held and oft-times subconscious) which may have created expectations and/or dynamics which cause friction.
We identify the relationship you dream of having with your partner and get very clear on your current reality. It is only by accepting the reality that we can move away from it, and create a solid plan of action to get the ball rolling and to help you move from today’s reality towards your desired lifestyle.
Along the way the we firefight your deep-rooted insecurities, lack of self belief and low self esteem and we replace them with a firm foundation of self confidence, for without this it will be impossible to make the necessary changes, ask for what you want, set standards within your relationship (and yes very well established patterns can be changed when one knows what they want and are prepared to make the necessary shifts to achieve it).
We build resilience and strength to bring out the best version of you (The Empowered You as I like to call it).
We rewrite old stories and question the relevance of what we have been taught about yourself and your role in the world
“Good girls are seen and not heard” this is not a firm foundation for an empowered woman to create a relationship on her terms. Although the logical mind would dispute this statement as rubbish, the little girl within may still feel that speaking up is wrong, which makes communicating your needs in a clear and healthy manner impossible, and often-times this is where the journey into people pleasing begins. If I am available, giving, loving, serving then surely he will love, give and serve what I need in return.
Although we do teach our partners through our actions, when our actions are based on our “neediness” or expectation – it almost never bears the fruits you desire.
The only way is to clearly state your needs, he isn’t a mind reader.
All this being said of all the problems my clients present me with, the biggest most destructive isn’t infidelity or boredom or lack of common interest, not even communication breakdown, the worst and the truly most destructive problem I see is one which 99% of clients aren’t even aware.
The need to take action! The timescales and ultimatums you give yourself.
“I must confront the situation, I’ll do it when the kids are in bed.”
“I really can’t go on like this, I’m leaving in September, January after little Joey’s birthday party.2
“I’ll definitely deal with this when we are on holiday and both a little more relaxed.”
That moment in the future which feels empowering in the present moment erodes confidence every time it passes and you haven’t taken the action promised yourself you would.
There is always a reason not to have “that conversation” or to take the promised action and you continue to push it into future, to be dealt with.
As each moment comes and goes and you acknowledge your lack of fulfilment there comes anxiety, dread, your begin to chastise yourself. Your self-confidence dips to new lows, self-loathing and unhealthy self-talk skyrocket.
In the end, you find that your main source of current unhappiness is not the state of your marriage, rather the relationship you have with yourself. The opinion you currently hold about yourself, you may question even if you deserve more than you have, you become your own biggest enemy.
In fact when I begin a journey with a client the very first thing I ask of them is to put the relationship and their partner on an imaginary shelf, just for a while, whilst we work on letting go of all those negative feelings about yourself that have been allowed to build up over the months and years of looking for resolution.
This is for me the most necessary step in any marriage resolution strategy and process and why (in my opinion) couples counselling doesn’t work for many.
When we are at our weakest in terms of self-confidence and self-esteem it is difficult to take on board other people’s opinions or views of ourselves, especially if they mirror what we feel. It is impossible to listen and embrace another person until we have the resilience to face ourselves truthfully.
As these are necessities in any communication resolution you must first put yourself in a state of self-acceptance and confidence to truly transform the relationship.
Ask yourself – today what is the biggest cause of unhappiness in my relationship, is it the rapport with my partner or my relationship with myself?
If you realise like most of my clients do, that it is your own voice your hear berating you for not resolving your marriage problems, for failing, then it may well be time to put your marriage and your partner on the shelf and start rebuilding a loving relationship with yourself – this is exactly how the majority of my clients have managed to create stronger, more loving simple connections with their partner.
If you are struggling in your relationship, with communication problems, lack of trust and a feeling that stalemate is quickly heading towards checkmate, but the idea of divorce fills you with fear and dread then schedule a no obligation "Connection Call" with me and I will help you get totally clear on what you can do to create healthy reconnection with your partner and watch the ripple effect across all areas of your life.