TheConfidante In the Media
It saddens me every time when uniquely fabulous individuals arrive in the counselling room with their partner, describing their pain, isolation and loneliness as a result of being ill-equipped to approach their differences in a respectful, kind and healthy manner. They present zapped of energy, depressed, anxious, even traumatized. After years of this as their “norm”, they arrive at the end of their tether.
In the last decade, I’m fairly sure I’ve seen every type of conflict dance on the circuit. From where I sit, I recognise kind-hearted, gifted and beautiful people using their very best attempts to cope with differences with their partner. They try all different manoeuvres to make it better and feel safe again but they fall flat.
If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, here’s what you need to know:
Conflict is normal. You haven’t partnered with your clone so you’re allowed to have varied preferences! It is concerning when couples don’t ever disagree as they are possibly “glossing over” the important issues. Even worse, “shoving them under the carpet” results in a very large mound that will result in a catastrophic trip down the track.
When you live with someone, you’ll usually need to provide each other feedback about the dishcloth, shower screen or lawns at some time. You will be unintentionally hurt by your spouse and need to let them know.
With this in mind, when a high conflict couple like Sam* and Max* arrived at my Counselling room, I discussed their family history and who taught them how to do conflict? We noted that Sam* was repeating the legacy of her past in drinking too heavily to cope with stress at work, resulting in a quick temper and aggression when conflict arose. Max* would immediately shut down and avoid Sam* making her even madder. Max* became fearful, had trouble putting his thoughts into words and *Sam relentlessly tried to get her point across in all the wrong ways. The cycle continued from there.
My role is to make it extremely obvious what “conflict dance” the couple is using so they can step out of it into a new style with time, persistence and coaching!
Amongst many things, Sam* and Max* were required to:
We discussed hurts from the past including before their relationship and afterwards. Together they journeyed toward a respectful and kind approach to conflict with confidence!
You can too!
Join me in my next 7-day Challenge to commence re-engineering your approach to communication and conflict. It doesn’t require two people - so watch this space!
In the meantime, you can jump onto my “Communicate For Love” mini-course NOW that teaches this process indepth from the comfort of your own home. No trips to the Counselling room, no parking – just you at your own pace, navigating a new healthy approach to conflict!
Don’t forget to diarise my Facebook Lives each Therapeutic Thursday morning for Thriving Relationships to inject some relational inspirations into your weekend!
Joanne Wilson is the Relationship Rejuvenator and author of Renovate Your Relationship – All The DIY Tools For Your Most Important Project ($29.99). She is a neuropsychotherapist inspiring the community for thriving and dynamic relationships that impact generations for mental well-being. Find out more at www.relationshiprejuvenator.com
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised. Approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focussed Therapy and Emotionally Focussed Therapy may be incorporated.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples online around the world and servicing areas for face to face sessions including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.