Is THIS what's causing distance between you and your partner?
My client *Rob turned to his wife *Danielle and said:
“You feel needy to me when you cry. I can’t handle the pressure you put on me when you insist we talk things out. Those conversations feel so heavy and I just want to crawl up into a ball.”
To which Danielle replied: “You abandon me just when I need you most. I feel I don’t matter to you, even when I’m clearly suffering. How can you be so indifferent and cold?”
Can you relate?
Just like my couple Rob & Danielle, you and your partner each developed unique coping strategies to navigate your relationship dilemmas. To a large extent - these adaptations were shaped by the families you grew up in. Your coping strategies may even be opposite but underneath it’s very possible that the struggle is the same.
Odds are that your partner’s ‘solution’ or way of being in the world was magnetizing to you at first because it felt different or expansive and probably opened you up to ways of being or expressing yourself that you’ve had to shut off long ago.
The same is true for the promise and possibility your partner recognized in you. You opened your partner’s eyes to a world of possibilities that may have been unimaginable or unacceptable in your partner’s family.
The trouble is, the same qualities we adore and idealize in our partners at first become the most frustrating to deal with because they represent the shadow parts of ourselves we don’t allow ourselves to be or feel (which leads us to reject them in our partners too).
You probably recognize by now that your partner’s solutions are just as human and imperfect as your own. For many couples, this painful realization leads to a phase of disappointment or relationship distress.
Conscious couples who are willing to learn how to transform inevitable disappointments into opportunities for shared growth, understanding and connection are the couples who can truly work with the unconscious purpose of their relationship, rather than against it.
This is what separates the couples who get stuck in destructive cycles of blame and resentment, from the couples who learn how to cultivate and enjoy a lasting bond that supports them in being even more of themselves.
Are you ready to stop the cycle of blame so you can unlock the potential of your marriage to be a powerful force for healing and growth?