This meme couldn't be more real.
Well, maybe it's a little exaggerated. I hope you don't actually want to kill your partner.
That's a whole separate blog post in the making.
Seriously though, couples fight.
What I hear most when working with couples is that they have the same fight over and over.
What my training in Emotion Focused Therapy tells me is that you get caught in a negative cycle.
That negative cycle goes a little something like this...
Don't get scared... Bare with me for a minute.
I know that picture looks confusing and overwhelming... but stay with me.
I want to teach you something.
Remember when you asked your significant other to do the dishes... and they didn't... for the millionth time?
What were some of the thoughts you had?
I'm guessing it was something along the lines of... "They just don't care".
Now, clearly, that's after you've already gotten angry and thought, "Seriously? That a**hole didn't do the dishes again."
(Let's be honest... that's exactly what you thought)
Once we process through the anger, I find that most people just feel downright hurt.
Most people start to think that they aren't important to their partner, or they don't matter.
Or worse, that their partner simply doesn't care about them.
People respond to these types of thoughts and emotions by either getting angry with their partner or shutting down and not talking to their partner.
Let me take you through the cycle to help you understand how you and you partner get stuck.
Sasha comes home to find that her partner hasn't done the dishes.
She immediately gets angry (secondary emotion) and pursues Amil in an angry tone (behavior).
All the while she is thinking his lack of doing the dishes means he simply didn't care enough about her and what she wants and needs (perception).
It scares her because she feels she is in this alone and will always have to take care of things (secondary emotion).
She needs to feel the things that are important to her matter to Amil and that he cares (Unmet need).
Now... here's where the cycle really gets going.
Amil immediately hears her angry tone and starts to get defensive.
All the while Amil is thinking something a long the lines of, "Here we go again... I just can't win." (perception).
He begins to think that no matter what he does for Sasha, it won't ever be enough (perception).
This makes him very scared and hopeless (primary emotion).
Amil needs to know that he won't always fail Sasha and that what he does is enough (unmet need).
He begins to get angry (secondary emotion) and tries to defend himself in a loud tone of voice (behavior).
Still with me?
It cycles over and over because Sasha and Amil don't talk about their primary emotions or perceptions.
They simply get angry with one another and either yell or shut down and walk away.
(Totally normal by the way.)
This only feeds into their perceptions and primary emotions and validates them which leads to more anger.
And round and round they go!
Can you relate to Sasha and Amil?
What is the cycle you and your partner get stuck in?
I know it's awful and it leaves you feeling frustrated and hopeless.
But it doesn't have to be that way!
I'm here to help you work through it!
I'll help you turn to each other in the anger and begin to share all the other hard emotions and perceptions.
You deserve to have an amazing relationship with all your needs met.
It is possible!
Click on the "Contact Me" page and call or email me!