First, the honeymoon period, then engagement, then marriage and when you start to settle down into ‘happily ever after’ your relationship turns sour and you wonder ‘what have I got myself into? What have I done wrong?’ Or maybe the problems start earlier than this and you want this person so much in your life but wonder ‘how can it work’!
Sourness can show up in many individual ways or in a combination of symptoms: Out of control emotions that result in hurt and regret; infidelity that results in hurt and usually regret; boredom; fear of truly being yourself; unable to resolve or repair after arguments and withdrawal to name a few.
When you emotions start to railroad your relationship, it is hard to talk to your partner in ways that make sense let alone resolve your argument to a point where you both feel heard and seen.
It is at this point we usually play the ‘blame game’ and you think ‘if only they’d changed we’d be fine’ or ‘I see so much potential in my other half but… .’.
What is really happening is that your brain has ‘been triggered’ and has gone into survival mode. So you’re either in fight, flight or freeze mode. It’s hard to believe that here in front of you ‘your beloved’ has now become the biggest threat to your survival. The part of your brain that watches out for threat has been activated and has now gone into automatic and invariable you’ll be wanting to fight, flee or you’ll freeze.
We keep pulling out our hair out to solve the problem and actually what we need to be doing is finding out what is it we do in relationship that sabotages us from being present for ourselves and our beloved. What you’ll need to do is ‘somehow’ calm yourself down enough so you can start to really hear what you partner is saying. This will start a process of softening and opening up to each other again.
Here are a few ways in which we can gain control of those heightened emotions…
- Take some time out…it usually take up to 20 mins to regain composure to the point where you can talk about the issue at hand.
- The sooner you notice your emotions are getting elevated, which is before the out of control state, calm yourself by slowing your breath and speech down.
- Stating what is happening for you out loud so your partner hears you and follows suit e.g I want to calm down so I going to breath and talk slowly.
If you need help with your relationship book a relationship session now…it’s always better to start learning how to get to the bottom of your relationship trouble earlier than later. Later might be too late!
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The phrase ‘it takes two to tango’ can be applied to many aspects of our lives….from dancing to relationships! Primary to successful relationships are when two people are fair, just and sensitive. Of course we can not be these at all times yet when we are not we are able to recompense by making amends, repairing the ruptures, making right of the wrong, if our marriage is to be successful. Stan Tatkin in his latest released book “We Do” offers practical skills for relationships whether the couple are just starting out on their adventures together or for those who wish to enhance their relationship after years of togetherness.
Committing fully to a loving relationship, which can be the most fulfilling experience we’ll ever have, can also be one of the most challenging. When people come to me for relationship counselling most do not realise the opportunities for their own personal growth which lay in front of them. These opportunities, alongside the focus they are placing on their partner, are part and parcel of relationships as successful relationships demand that some of the hard questions that we tend to avoid need to be answered.
Some of these questions center around responsibility, honesty, compassion, curiosity, trust, respect, your ability to regulate your emotions as well as take care of your partners. Sounds like a tough call? Well it is, but then these questions don’t happen all at once. They happen and develop as we engage and grow with our mate over time.
It is the willingness to engage with ourselves and our partner that either will make or break our relationship. Couples who take the steps to come to counselling are usually at a crisis point. It is their ability to repair, patience, willingness to understand, facing up to themselves and their beloved, along with their care for each other and commitment to stay with the process that gets them through these tough times.
In a 75 yr Harvard Study found that good relationships keep us happier and healthier and its the quality of your close relationships that matters. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. Good, close relationships seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old. Happily partnered men and women, in their 80’s, report that on the days when they had more physical pain, their mood stayed just as happy. But the people who were in unhappy relationships, on the days when they reported more physical pain, it was magnified by more emotional pain.
Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. It turns out that being in a securely attached relationship to another person in your 80’s is protective, that the people who are in relationships where they really feel they can count on the other person in times of need, those people’s memories stay sharper longer. Whereas the people in relationships where they feel they really can’t count on the other one,those are the people who experience earlier memory decline. Those good relationships, don’t have to be smooth all the time. Some octogenarian couples could bicker with each other day in and day out, but as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough,those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.
We learn how to make a living, play sport and do craft but we learn little on how to create satisfying and fulfilling relationships………………………