Couples often return for a few sessions after time and events have changed things. For example:
I will hear from them; they ask for a ‘tune-up.’
One of the biggest changes is how we adapt internally. If we are sensitive to those subtle shifts in ourselves, they can add a bit of the novelty and arousal which keeps a relationship renewed. In a sense, we are more than we were before.
Sometimes the changes have deprived us of a dynamic which we relished and it may be lost for good. Like when we celebrate the arrival of a baby.
For example: Once a young executive came to see me because he was privately alarmed at how he was not feeling happy about his wife’s pregnancy and how they would soon be parents even though it was the fulfillment of a mutual goal.
They had a beautiful marriage and had been grateful for their years of intimacy, work and international travel together. They agreed that it was time for their first child. But, he hadn’t considered that he was losing the relationship and the lifestyle that had meant the world to him for many years.
So, he came to talk to me. And, as we worked to help him examine his losses and the stages of grief, it made sense to him. He left with the turmoil validated and healthy so he could work through the losses and be joyfully ready when his baby arrived.
I was able to mentor him how he couldn’t be happy yet because first he needed to grieve.
Sometimes a relationship update conversation with your counselor is a fast forward to even more confidence, gratitude and love.
Have you experienced one of those bumps in the road? It’s always great to hear from my readers or viewers.
NEXT: Friday, July 11, 2014, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Pre-Register Online: $37
(or $47 at the door)
Location: Stoney Hollow Estates, Plano, TX
Call for Directions: 214-636-5889
Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to leave a question for me; I am always happy to help if I can. Click on the link below for my welcome message.
P.S. Yes, That’s our cat, Casey, on my desk. He and his sister, Tookie, often assist me with their affection when I’m writing. We adopted them as orphaned kittens from Take Me Home Pet Rescue. And they turned out to be Balinese!
COMMUNICATION: When people call me for Marriage Counseling, they usually really want to be married to each other but something needs to be improved. It most often begins with the beginning of relationships: being friends. Friends share and that means communication.
PAYING FULL ATTENTION: One of the most direct methods I invented to help get past filters is what I call The Three “Y’s” – it’s a way to make sure we not only listen to our mate but we give him or her the experience of being completely heard. And when someone pays full attention, we feel loved and respected…if not treasured.
Y – YES, TELL ME – LISTEN
Yes, I hear you. Yes, I see. Yes, I’m listening. Yes? Yes, you have my full attention. Yes, I want to know.
Y – YOU THINK – MIRROR
You think that _______ . OK, I think I get it. Is this right? I want to understand you; your thinking is _______ . I want to understand where you’re coming from. I’m interested in you. I’m interested in knowing what you are thinking. Did I hear you correctly?
Y – YOU’RE RIGHT – APPROVE
You’re right. I want to validate you; I respect your feelings and your viewpoint. I want to agree with you. I want to be on your side. I am willing to know and respect your views because I respect you
I may not agree with some or with all of your views, but I’m fine with that difference. AND, there is probably more here for me to learn about the person I care about and love. AND, If I were you, I’d likely think that way, too. I can see your way of thinking and that makes sense.
CONVERSATION: With this much connection and mutual understanding, we can open the doorway to conversation rather than “telling” and, logically expect the other person to be willing to see our viewpoint.
LISTENING: In my marriage counseling private practice I often mentor a couple in various skills for communication. The first, and, I believe, the most important skill is this one which is a part of being able to listen. I will facilitate a couple in their session to experience this method and the success of connecting with honesty and goodwill. I ask them for an example of a topic they find difficult. It may be something that is so sensitive that they can’t yet talk about it without arguing, raising their voices or being defensive. We slow way down and focus on each step of the way. No interruptions. Taking turns. And not moving on until there is full understanding on the part of the Listener. This may require some time and patience but it often reveals new information and more possibilities. Something has changed. This invites innovation and partnership.
DIALOGUE…NOT TELLING: Then you can have a conversation where both people fully participate rather than having two monologues of telling, you can experience “dialogue.”
You can find my one-hour talk about The Three “Y’s” on my You Tube Channel if you want more details for yourself.