The Dance Of Connection in a Relationship, by Dr. Marty (licensed Marriage Counselor) Part 2 of 2
Here is how to glide across the “dance floor” in your relationship. In this blog I have a separate message for both “The Pursuer” and “The Withdrawer”.
During couples counseling
I make it a point not to favor one person or the other, or one negative behavior over another, so in this blog I will give guidance to both the “Withdrawer” and the “Pursuer”.
To The Pursuer: You have got to give your partner space. Your partner will withdraw because they feel overwhelmed. You also need to be mindful of your tone and volume. During couples counseling, I constantly help folks to be sensitive not only to what they are saying, but how they say it. The softer and quieter your approach is, the more likely your partner is to respond to you in a good way.
Pursuers are often impulsive. Pursuers may tend to get anxious when they can’t get resolution to an issue. The anxiety pushes the pursuer to press on. Before giving in to their anxiety they should ask themselves: “What will happen if I/we calm down, and wait for a time when we are both in a better place emotionally? What the pursuer might do is to figure out with their partner when a good time to talk about an issue will be, a time that works both in your schedules, and when your “heads” are in the right place.
Insight about good marriage counseling: A good marriage counselor will not let a couple, during the couples counseling session, spend time arguing with each other. Instead, the counselor should be teaching the couple ways to get past the argument in a healthy way.
To The Withdrawer: When you withdraw, give your partner reassurance that you are not avoiding them, but want things to cool down. Reassure them that as soon as you can, you will set a time to discuss the issue, and find a way to resolve whatever the conflict is. Make a point that you do want to talk, and figure things out, and that you are not going to leave the relationship. Pursuers need reinforcement.
During Couples Counseling
I stress to a “Withdrawer” that it will be very helpful if they make a special effort to offer a time and place for discussions. Having a specific time will be reassuring to the other person (the pursuer).
If talks turn into fights that never get resolved and they are important, then it’s time to look for a good Marriage Counselor to help keep things calm, to teach techniques to deal with the issue specifically and any other conflicts that you both are facing.
If you let me know your response to this blog, I will share with you two more techniques that I use during couples counseling.
What if the issue can’t be resolved ? I mean what if both parties feel very strongly in their own beliefs. How to agree to disagree.
In my book Negotiation for couples I’ve developed a process for “win””win” If you try the process and it doesn’t work, that’s where therapy comes in.
Ask yourself 2 questions: How important is the issue; How important is the relationship to me. If the relationship is important than try “the process” and then if that
doesn’t work give therapy a shot.