When Relationships Change!

Ron & I

Many people I work with are looking for a new beginning in their relationship. It almost seems like an oxymoron to think of having a new beginning in a relationship with someone that perhaps you’ve been with for 5, 10 or even 20 years. How can that happen?

It happens because you have decided you are ready for a new beginning. That’s right. That’s all you have to do is make that decision that you’re READY, and it will happen!
It is not unusual for me to get a call or email asking if I can do couple counseling with only one person. Whoever is calling knows that something different needs to change in their relationship to meet their needs more and to increase levels of wholeness or joy. But, their partner has no interest in coming with them. What should they do?

Well my answer is yes, you can do couples counseling with only one person! Interesting, isn’t it? But the truth of it is, when one person makes a change in the relationship, the other person will automatically begin to create change as well. It’s usually done on an unconscious basis, and they’re not even aware that that is what they’re doing. But they can’t keep doing the same behavior if YOU DON’T!

Let me give you an example from my practice.
I have a couple where the person coming into to see me is very upset over her husband’s authoritarian style with their children. He is very controlling, rigid and harsh with how he treats them. She was raised to communicate about what is bothering her, so she speaks with the children about their behavior, asking them what consequences they feel they deserve if they break the rules, etc. Her husband is outraged at this approach and wants to spank or yell at them instead. Their different parenting styles is causing distance, anger and is making her go behind his back when dealing with the children.

Different parenting styles can cause problems.

As she started talking to me about these differences, I asked her what would happen if she could be authentic in her approach. What would happen if she used her style of parenting with the children that was effective in front of her husband, and then used the good communication style I spoke about last week in her conversations with him?
“When you want to spank and yell at the kids for leaving their bikes lying on the driveway, it makes me very upset and uncomfortable and makes me not want to talk to you about anything and keep my distance. I want to be close to you and tell you everything, so if we can come to a compromise it would be so easy to want to be with you.”

When she changed her style of communication EVERY single time, the difference finally allowed him to hear her. He didn’t want her to be distant with him and hide things, so he eventually decided to come to a session. He realized he was actually emulating his parents style of parenting which he hated growing up!

One person and one change can create a new beginning no matter how long you’ve been in the relationship!

Is there a relationship where you would like to make a new beginning?



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