Need Help Talking to Each Other?
Do you avoid certain topics because they are just too hot to discuss?
To maintain relationship peace we often don’t talk about money, or sex, or politics, or in-laws, or the affair, or feeling taken advantage of, or the lack of support we feel, or any number of other things. We grit our teeth, shove them under the rug where they fester until they squirt out sideways in the form of passive-aggressive behaviors or rage. Or maybe we try and try to talk about them but don’t feel heard—so we talk louder, faster, more adamantly and until we throw up our hands and give up.
People divorce because of these unresolved conversations all the time. Sometimes we just need help talking to each other.
Through this coaching we were able to … clean out old wounds from when we’d significantly hurt each other early in our relationship. ~ Debbie
Unresolved emotional issues will influence future conversations
A post-divorce couple I worked with lived 75 miles apart. They had a young son who would be starting school in 2 years and they couldn’t decide which parent the child should live with for school. Usual negotiations were going nowhere but in the process of discussing, it became clear that the standoff was rooted in something deeper, in their case it was infidelity. “You had the affair, so he gets to come to school by me.” “Well you didn’t show me love and forced me to the affair, so he gets to come to school where I live.” (They didn’t actually say these things. This is what I was eventually able to read between the lines.) In essence they didn’t feel heard over the initial transgression. Instead it was being lived out with regard to the child’s schooling. It was only after we took the time for each to really hear the emotional experience of the other that any progress was made toward their initial issue.
Without having your Difficult Conversation your post-divorce/breakup interactions will most likely be rooted in ill-will. You will each hold to your position because it is your way of holding out for that “thing” you never got—support, appreciation, whatever it is.
I’ve facilitated conversations concerning multiple affairs, respect issues, pornography issues, financial withholding and more. These clients are brave. It takes courage to go to these hard places but it changes their future.
Here is one clients expression of gratitude…
“I wanted to thank you both for today. I feel like that was a really powerful session. Jeannine found and went right to the core issue of respect and I feel better in touch with my respect for [spouse] and his for me. I’m feeling like a very lucky person.”