The fundamental principle
We will not look for the right and the guilty. The problem is not one of you, but the Dance of Relationship" that has developed between you.
This dance is your main enemy, against whom we have to rally declaring a truce. That’s what you are going to fight, not each other.
This dance is affected by many things. Your beliefs, experience drawn from the past, from the parental family, traumas and habits.
We have to identify and change this dance. To do such a difficult job, you need powerful motivation.
Before we dive into work, I'll ask would you like to have happened. What is your biggest hope? What should be a result?
Perhaps this question will put you at a standstill. It would seem that if a couple came to a family coach, so they want to solve problems in the relationship, don’t they? Far from it!
Maybe you want to bring back the warmth into your relationship. Or maybe your plan is to brake up with minimal losses. And these are two different ways.
I need to know where you want to go, or I'll be dragging you somewhere at my discretion.
If we focus on what is "wrong" between you, it will "turn" you away from each other. We will look for fleas, solve specific problems, but you will be tuned to see only shortcomings. It's like winning a battle, but losing a war.
This approach does not give you an approach to each other. You will carry every problem to me, not negotiate yourself.
However, finding what separates you will bring clarity and facilitate braking up. It will still hurt, but doubts will disappear, they will stop throwing you back, stop forcing you to walk around the circles of hell.
Path 2: Reunion
If we want to return intimacy, warmth, joy between you, then we will go in a completely different way.
We will look for what is"right", what works in your relationship. And if something does not work, what would you like to replace it with?
We'll recall what you two ended up together for. What warmed you at the beginning of the journey. Love and the good things that stopped being notable.
This is the path of desires, not claims. The path of intimacy and feeling.
This path is much more difficult, you have to make a lot of effort, it requires self-discipline. But the reward is high.
What if one partner wants to break up and the other one does not?
We can return intimacy only when both partners intend to maintain a relationship. Otherwise, it will be a one-way street. One spouse will please the other, and the other will suffer from lack of freedom and sabotage everything.
If one of the partners doubts, we need to first explore the desires and help him make a decision.
Since you came to me, can this not mean that you kept some hope? Will you decide to give your relationship another chance?
I have to warn you: to give a chance is to take responsibility, to get into work. Perhaps for some period that is acceptable for you - determine it yourself and let it be our setting. Staying away and waiting for the partner to "correct" himself will not help. The more you are involved, the more results you will get.
Intimacy occurs when you share emotions with each other.
For physical intimacy you need to expose the body. You can’t have coitus through jeans. And for soul intimacy you will have to expose the soul.
In a quarrel, people are estranged. It is unsafe for them to stay naked and vulnerable. What a psycho will jump into nettle without pants on?
Therefore, first we need to exclude violence (both physical and emotional) to become gentle with each other. And then slowly start to explore the emotions, recognize them and find names for them.
Summing up, we will not be able to work on intimacy if:
- You practice violence - physical or emotional
- At least one of the partners decided to break up
Is your love still alive?
When you return the intimacy, you will be able to feel what was left of your love.
Does your spouse male you happier?
If you only feel pain when he/she is away, it’s addiction. If you are only jealous, it’s just a sense of ownership, it says nothing about love.
If not Love, what will motivate you to work further, to pratice communication techniques, change habits, keep self-discipline? What will help you to take care of your partner's feelings, rather than fighting for justice and taking revenge?
When we fight for justice, we want to balance the pain we have experienced and hit back. But the balance does not come. We can't measure another person's feelings. Especially when we are angry at him and have lost contact. Therefore, our blow is always more powerful than the one we received ourselves.
The partner receives our revenge, feels pain and a sense of injustice. And also fights back with a reserve.
So the conflict escalates into a quarrel.
Along this path, we go when we stop listening to the feelings of a partner and to share our own. You can say "I'm angry at you," or you can say "you bastard." Do you feel the difference?
Why is it so difficult to share feelings?
Here is the starting list of fears, continue it yourself:
- Anything I say will be used against me to hurt me and manipulate me
- My pain and needs will be devaluated
- Justice will not prevail
- I will not prove my righteousness
- I'll look weak
- I will experience shame (exposing emotions is like exposing genitals)
- Emotions will seize power over me
- I can be rejected
- I will loose hope
- I will not find words, I will look silly
- I will not be understood
- I will be unattractive, unwanted, non-masculine/non-feminine
- I will do something meaningless, stupid
- I already feel fear, and I will have to talk about it
- My feelings are wrong
- I will be criticized
- I will feel guilty
What spoils the dance?
Ineffective communication habits, role models that you have taken out of your parental family.
New communication techniques will help.
False beliefs and attitudes.
You can disassemble them and assemble them in a new way, according to your taste.
Here you can not do without individual work with your therapist. It should be another person not me.
Values and the picture of the world.
There's nothing to do about it. Some differences you will be able to accept, as is, in the name of love. Some - not.
Why is it coaching and not therapy?
We do not get into traumas, childhood, etc. You stay in the adult position. You take responsibility, make decisions. Together we analyse, set goals and go to them consciously.
I give you tools that you can use deliberately, consciously, at your own choice. They are invented not by me, not by Instagurs, but by the shine of practical psychology.
Sometimes we will step aside and look together at your relationship, as if it were talking about other people. Through the eyes of a mechanic who got the device to repair.
Sometimes we will dive into emotions. Not to drown in them, but to learn to swim and safely return to shore.
At our disposal there is another important therapeutic tool - symbolic space.
It allows you to separate your dance from you, ur work from your everyday life, armistice territory from the theater of operations.
We will be able to consider what is happening between you from the outside, use metaphors, play, try something that seems dangerous, take greater risks than in real life.
Here you set the rules of the game. Here we’ve got space free of shame. I welcome you with all your parts, properties, features, needs, emotions.
It can be fun, sad, scary, outrageous, but fascinating for sure. Treat our journey like an amazing adventure.
Methods and tools that I use
EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy),
NVC (Nonviolent Communication), Transactional Analysis,
Assertive Behaviour techniques,
Systemic Family therapy,
SFBT (Solution Focused Brief Therapy),
The 5 Love Languages®