When was the last time you were physically intimate with your partner? If you say a long time, you are not alone! A lot of couples share their sexual life is in the toilet. They struggle getting along, among other things, to the point that being physically intimate is the furthest thing from their mind. Getting along is a big priority for these couples. They experience a lot of fighting, a lot of distance or a rollercoaster of both.
The fighting can range from bickering, disagreeing, passive-aggressiveness to full blown screaming, degrading and even aggressive matches. Regardless of the intensity, these couples are in constant turmoil in their attempt to be seen, acknowledged, accepted and cherished. They feel as if walking on barbedwire. One client shared he felt as if his stomach was full of broken glass.
For some couples conflict is so intolerable that they just prefer to avoid each other… These partners experience a gripping black whole in their chest and a sense of dread when in disconnection with their partner. The partner that usually prefers to be in connection feels as if they are falling off a cliff, but both partners struggle with the gloominess and stagnation.
Part of the reason couples end up in this place is because they tend to focus on the negative. They assign negative motives to their partner. They insist on pointing fingers and being the expert in their relationship as opposed to being accountable for their own contribution to the situation. And, they love to point out their partner’s shortcomings. Being the recipient of this treatment just plain sucks.
When partners treat each other this way, they touch the other’s vulnerable, already hurt and tender parts. It’s like adding salt to injury… What they invite as a result is the other’s usual way of coping with hurt, their defense mechanism. As defense mechanisms get activated, partners revert to less resourceful, appropriate and honoring ways of interacting leading to additional injury. Partners live in this state of affairs.
Over time the damage is so compounded that it is difficult for them to make sense of what is happening and to see the possibility of being able to have the relationship they want. They feel stuck, hopeless and believe the only way to have a happier existence is to get the heck out. But I see couples come back from this hopeless state and create beautiful relationships. I know it’s possible, and with targeted investment I know it’s possible for you as well.
So, here is to getting started on making this possible for you!
I am CHALLENGING you to stop the usual running script in your head, the dirty thinking about how much your partner stinks. Stop the incessant negative internal, and external, observations and chatter about your partner’s faults. I want you to STOP IT NOW. Catch yourself having your negative assumptions and assigning of motives. Catch yourself nitpicking and looking for the imperfections. Catch yourself examining how your partner didn’t keep their word, follow up, finish a task, nagged you, etc. Catch yourself thinking how your partner should be different. Just plain STOP IT! I want you to go cold turkey, detox, and eradicate this cancer that is ruining your relationship, and your life.
Instead I want you to do the exact opposite. I want you to scour every interaction, behavior, conversation, gift, etc. for how awesome and fabulous your partner actually is. I want you to SEE your partner. I want you to stop futzing around and take investing in your relationship seriously. It’s time to make the changes you want and to make a full on commitment to making this happen. No more excuses. No just trying. Not making it work and not having the relationship you want are no longer options. Say yes to this different focus, and get to it!
I can imagine you just got to that last sentence and you were ready to go, and then doubt and fear crept back in. And, then you did your usual, “but why should I if my partner…” STOP IT! Challenge the part of your self that can’t take in the possibility of something different. Stop making it about how your partner needs to change and about how much they stink. Start being accountable for what you contribute to your situation and how you invite what you get… Start inviting something different…
Start focusing on what’s awesome about your partner and how they do try… Clean your thinking. Give your partner a break. Envision the possibilities. Open the door to them. Refocus your investment and enjoy your partner! Complete the MetroRelationship (sm) Assignment below to help you effortlessly implement this, make changes and immediately start experiencing the relationship you want.
~ Your MetroRelationship ™ Assignment
Every night this week before going to bed, tell your partner 3 things you appreciate or like about them – be descriptive and detailed, authentic, and generous in your observation and sharing.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.