If you've read anything I've written you may already know I didn't come from a perfect family. People ask me if I have one now because I'm a therapist. I always laugh and say, "Well I guess it depends on your definition of perfect."
If to you perfection means never yelling or getting pissed off....then no, I don't have the perfect marriage. But I just think that's too high of an expectation. Anger, frustration, and irritation in your closest relationships [...]
is inevitable. The people we love the most have all our buttons.
Never engaging in conflict can also be one of the most worrisome things couples therapists see in a relationship; it can mean one or both people are severely emotionally unplugged and don't care.
To me, having really GREAT relationships isn't about NEVER having negative feelings, but about how we deal with them. While anger, frustration, and irritation are inevitable; emotions like rage, resentment, and repulsion we invite in to our relationships....they're sort of like vampires.
The invitation to these emotional vampires is based in fear. I believe fear is at the very core of the ways we dismiss, disregard, and deny our feelings of anger, frustration, and irritation. But within these feelings are great messages about what you need, and are opportunities for deep emotional connection when communication is ninja-like and done REALLY well (wait...this could be a movie...Ninjas vs. Vampires!....my son and husband would love it!).
But for fear of making things worse, or not doing it right, or a belief that something's wrong with you for even having these feelings, wants, or needs you shove them down. If you're having the thought that "maybe it will all go away if I just ignore it" or "it's just circumstantial and when these circumstances go away this will too" you might be right. Or is you wanting to avoid this about you not being great at honoring and valuing you?
When dismissed, disregarded, or denied (I also call these things sweeping it under the rug) over time these feelings sink into your core and can deepen into rage, resentment, and repulsion and these emotional vampires can suck your relationship's will to live. They take up an incredible amount of energy and bleed into all other aspects of your relationship. Suddenly you're fighting about, or getting irritated by, the most ridiculous things. I've had clients say they can't even stand the way their partner BREATHES anymore!
The thing about vampires is they're sneaky. No one really intends to let them in!!
My whole goal in my relationship and in sessions with my clients is to deal with feelings of anger, frustration, and irritation ASAP in a way that EVERYONE feels better in the end. I've got all the tools in my backpack and years of practice to do this. But I swear this stuff isn't ROCKET SCIENCE!
I have had to learn all of this as an adult and I swear sometimes it felt like I was learning another language, but old dogs can learn new tricks. And I don't know how people live without this stuff. I understand why the divorce rate is so high.
I teach ALL OF THE SKILLS, give away ALL OF THE TOOLS, and give away tons of strategies and ways to practice everything I teach the couples in my practice and what I do in my own relationship to keep under the relationship rug clean in the LOVE, SEX, KIDS - O N L I N E course. EVERY time I teach this stuff I always hear, "UGH!! I do that ALL THE TIME! I had no idea I was doing it wrong!"
I want you to think about conflict differently!
Vampires become a whole lot less scary when you have a wooden stake (the tools) or you're a freakin' NINJA! I honestly can't remember worrying about my marriage or feeling resentment in my relationship. I want this for EVERYONE. My husband and I are not unique people! We have CRAZY schedules and 3 kids. My husband also came from a divorced family....we're doubly screwed! And according to statistics should have been divorced by now 8-p
You deserve to have happy relationships too...and it's TOTALLY possible.
BUT...here's the thing. My practice is nearly full and I'm very close to not accepting new clients. I'm limiting space in this online program so that I can give a higher level of support to each participant. I MIGHT NEVER OFFER IT AGAIN. And if I do offer it again it will NEVER be priced so low (I was reminded of how valuable it was by a past participant recently..."We are RAVING about the course. When will there be a part 2? Let us know!" For more information or to enroll simply click here.
XOXO...You got this!!
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ARTICLES by Mika Ross