BEST. GIFT. EVAH!
BEST. GIFT. EVAH...Like, I need no more gifts. Don't worry about sending that package; I'm good.
I started working with a couple a few months ago. At that time neither person was certain they wanted to stay in the marriage.
Lots of resentment. Both were quick to defend and the attack/defend cycle, if I didn't interrupt, would quickly land them in the toilet...kitchen-sinking each other in arguments that started about 1 minor infraction or misperception.
What's kitchen-sinking? Oh...that's when you start arguing about who left the garage light on and in the end you're throwing every unresolved issue from the last 6+ years at the person you're arguing with: everything but the kitchen sink.
Man, does it feel good to really kitchen-sink somebody....but it doesn't get you anything you want in the long-run.
Sometimes I sit back and watch people's styles of arguing to figure out, "Hmmm, where do they get off track?" And they could get off track about .35 seconds in. Every time.
They signed up for my six-month couples program: a mix of sessions and a 8-week online course I've created over many years.
There were times in session that they both wanted to quit.
There were times when 1 person walked out.
There were times they left sessions feeling worse than when they walked in...blaming the other person for the whole thing.
But they stayed consistent....really consistent...like they finished the 6-month program in 3 months. And they stayed committed even when it was really rough.
When they walked in that first session not sure if they wanted to stay married, I could see the healthy marriage that was underneath a whole lot of unresolved issues: many they had inherited. <--those are the ones that piss me off the most
When they wanted to quit, I could see the unnecessary path of the conversation that had gotten them to this dead end.
When we were treading new territory in the second half of a session and they would leave feeling worse (getting sucked into the attack/defend attack/defend cycle and ultimately stuck) I would shut the door behind them knowing they had the skills to figure it out....They just had to relax to remember them.
There was never any part of me that thought they couldn't do it.
Tonight was our last session of the program. They've been, "...getting through BIG arguments....even about money."
"Even the sessions we left really tense we got to a resolution super-quickly."
"I don't even remember what those fights were about, do you?"
They even got into a "BIG FIGHT" on the way to our session and it escalated even more in my office. By mid-session they were both teary-eyed and clearly, and energetically, exclaiming that they were "100% in" and admitting what they were fighting about was "stupid", but totally fueled by unresolved issues and a reluctance to choose vulnerability.
They were able to get to the deeper issues FAST.
They now have some x-ray vision, too. They can see what's getting in the way of their happy marriage...and it's not the other person.
They still have arguments that escalate, but they know it's totally possible to get through them in a way that feels good for everyone. They know they don't have to settle for sweeping the unresolved issue under the rug, growing resentment, and declining emotional and physical intimacy.
WHAT'S AWESOME ABOUT THIS!? Sometimes the biggest part of my job is just convincing people it's possible. That it's SO POSSIBLE to have the relationship you really want with the person you're already with.
And they're convinced. AND they're committed to continuing to do the work...and *maybe* talking about babies :)
He said over the next 8 weeks he wants to re-work the online course TOGETHER (they did it separately the first time on their own time). She agreed. Like...they came up with this on their own. Totally their idea!
I think *Mika* is a GREAT baby name, don't you? ;-)
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MEEEEEEE!!!!! I got to be a part of all that!! It's just awesome. #getyourhappyback #bestjob #bestgiftevah #marriage
P.S. It's the very best time of year to join online program for busy couples, the Your Marriage, but Better program. It includes full access to the 8-week Love, Sex, Kids Course for busy couples (no kids required) and is now $700 off and you can try it for a week for $2!!
This means you can "stock up" now, enjoy the training at your leisure, and you don't have to start until 2017.
Your program sign up is available for only a few more hours. I explain all the details regarding this comprehensive program for busy couples HERE.
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ARTICLES by Mika Ross