Shame is a powerful issue in many people’s lives. It is often powerful and one doesn’t even realize that it is banging hard on the door. Shame can get in the way of couples doing their own work because the partners don’t realize that shame is flying around inside oneself and being tossed at the partner. One answer lies in looking to ones own feelings, and to look for when ones feelings are engorged by shame.
There is something that I watch in the work of couples therapy that I believe is crucial for me to take home as well, that is, opening up softly. “Opening up softly” is the opposite of “harsh startups,” a term I learned from John Gottman, the “country’s foremost relationship expert,” as he calls himself. Dr. Gottman is very renowned, has gathered a great deal of research, and devoted his life’s work to understanding and helping treat couples that are in trouble. Harsh startups occur when one (or both) partners jump right in loudly and accusingly towards the partner. Really, this is something to work at getting better about. Truly, if you are a person using harsh startups, it is time to work on approaching your partner in another way.
I saw a Gold Star couple today. By “Gold Star,” I mean they were magnificent in how they had worked on what we talked about over the first and only couple of sessions. Since the previous session (which was the second session), they had each worked on the sexual relationship, and how they talked to each other about sex, and were able to have a nice time together. They had each worked on how they are about finances. Also, thought they had started the conversation by not having a discussion that was going well. They ended it, and then tried again a bit later and did better, and worked though some pieces of how they handle their finances.
Do you have an interest in a very alternate form of couples therapy? If so, you might want to catch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (Netflix). In watching the first two episodes, it was evident that in showing the results of Marie helping each couple to tidy up their home, she also helped the relationship. In the first one, she even commented that there is some stress in the relationship, and in the second couple, though they seem to have a very good relationship in the beginning, one can see some stress come out as they get into the process of tidying up.
Like is the case with any relationship, partners looking for couples counseling in Omaha often have problems with getting into fights. These can escalate into name-calling, dragging up old grievances, getting defensive and a slew of other ways of keeping each other from resolving issues. Lingering anger and resentment, illnesses, communication problems, sexual and monetary issues can all make relationships hard to stick with. Couples often both end up being right (or thinking they are both right) but most couples don’t know how to move beyond the impasse of both being right.
Calling a prospective couples therapist can cause bit of anxiety—it is someone you don’t know, you are asking for their time, and you are going to be trusting that person with something that is very important and you are not doing well with. People often ask a friend or confidant or a professional for the name of someone to call. You are putting your relationship between you and your partner into their hands.
The answer is “it depends.” It depends on if your partner is working too, and if the two of you want to make the relationship work. If both of you work on:
The theme for my sessions today seems to be, “this is hard,” but not just the couples therapy, but also the part about working out being a couple outside of couples therapy. Multiple couples have come to that conclusion today, and I have agreed with them. But that doesn’t mean that it is easy to not do the hard work. Oh, in some ways it is easier to not work on something, but what is the cost?
There are many times in Couples Therapy in Omaha, the male is described as insensitive. It isn’t always the male that gets called this name, but it is more often the male. Usually the term “Insensitive Man” ends up to mean that the offending partner pulls back and stops talking.