I imagine you want to be able to enjoy a relaxed easy fun relationship with your partner.
And sometimes, despite the best intentions, your behaviour or your partners' behaviour deteriorates to levels that can shock and surprise even you. Words can come out of your mouths that you would never ordinarily want to say…and the damage is done.
Don’t we just need to learn to communicate better?
Learning better communication skills can be very helpful, but perhaps you already know how to listen, how to use words respectfully, and not to interrupt. Yet despite the best communication skills, you and your partner may still be distressed and stuck with how to shift the dynamic.
Why might your relationship dynamic get stuck?
Because in the heat of the moment, your capacity to think rationally goes offline, and your (child-like) emotional brain (the limbic system) kicks in trying to protect you. When this happens, well-developed communication skills can evaporate into thin air.
It can be extraordinarily painful to be emotionally disconnected from those who matter to you. If you don’t have a way of processing the embodied hurts from childhood, you will carry the protective strategies into your adult relationships.
How do you protect yourself?
Protection might look like, walking away, going silent, shutting down, or provoking your partner with blame or criticism to try to get a response.
I use a process called Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) that has been very well-researched globally. The findings are that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery, and 90% experience an improvement in their relationship. The goal is to transform your relationship into one of deep connection. When you do have a fight (and ALL couples do) you can come together to repair the connection. You can enjoy loving together.
If you’d like to have a free 30-minute chat with me to see if this feels like a fit for you, click here.
If you want to know more about how EFCT works, click here.