Solving Relationship Problems – Yet Another Post
This has to be the biggest struggle that relationships encounter. When lovers are young or young in their relationship, it seems as if the relationship is not with effort. In fact, I recall being in the early part of a relationship and I literally had the conviction that there would be no effort required. When infatuation hormones are running high, it seems counter-intuitive for effort to be required. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking doesn’t last nor is it the reality of the situation.
In my Relationship and Emotional Mastery program, I guide the individual through a process of self-development, ensuring that they are capable of pursuing change in their relationship. This person tends to be the most dissatisfied in the relationship, making it difficult to be left with the feeling of having to cope or deal with the status quo. Much of what I do boils down to acceptance and not taking things personally, not to limit the positive change, but to enhance its efficacy.
By the time an individual has come to me, they have already begged, pleaded, and screamed for something to change in their relationship, yet nothing has. What most fail to realize is that their efforts were maladaptive, ensuring that no change would come because their tactics hurt the underlying connection in the relationship. That said, the point of this article isn’t to promote changing yourself first. This article is to point out the reality of how you cross the battlefield, in the war of roses.
One might know that if they approach their partner that they will be neglected and rejected. In the face of that reaction, we have to adapt and change the strategy. To facilitate change, I created the 3-phase approach, which culminates into voicing the dissolution of the relationship. I have been writing a lot about the plan lately, so I won’t go further into it now. What I wanted to focus on is the philosophy behind improving the relationship.
Early on in my coaching career I was asked how to create the catalyst for change in a relationship, but without having to resort to cheating. You’ve asked your spouse so many times for a better relationship, only to be denied. How do you inspire your partner to change? The answer to that question is actually very simple. To get positive change, you have to put the relationship on the line. This is why it usually requires professional guidance along the way. We have to make sure that your efforts have the right scope and impact. We have to prepare you for the victimhood that your partner will display and the concomitant attempts to manipulate you into backing down. Your partner doesn’t like to “be wrong”, so it is no surprise that you WILL encounter some push back.
You might be asking for more physical intimacy and all your partner sees is a promise of an emotionless 2 minutes of pleasure-less (for her) grunting. You might be asking for more “us time”, and all he hears is how he has to give up his sports and hanging out with friends time. As you might see, the partner on the receiving end of the request sees that they are not giving love but are giving up something. As such, the idea of improving the relationship is presented to them in the form of a bill.
This requires presenting the problem as a solution. We can’t expect positive change if we promise to punish them for having not met your needs until this point or if it is presented as something for you. To facilitate this, we begin with a soft approach and determine the reaction. If you are rejected, you make the exact same prompt at some future point in time. In weeks or months (your choice), you escalate it to being a problem that your concern isn’t being addressed. Again, in a determined amount of time, it is escalated again. At the final point, you inform your partner that you are leaving the relationship. This is not a threat, as threats tend to backfire and they are based on manipulation. After the announcement has been made, they might agree. What often happens is that they eventually re-approach you to discuss things. You then have the choice to consider the new information and decide to get back together or not. This is still a risk. You might ask them what their plan is to address your concern, only for them to not follow through with it. This happens, and we have to prepare for it as well. To reduce the chances of this happening, we ensure that we put the responsibility squarely on their shoulders to address the concern and approach you with their remediation plan. Failing to come back to you in the stated time frame is a breach of their agreement.
They might get comfortable in the relationship again, feeling that it is safe to risk the relationship ending over not addressing your concern. So you see how you have to risk the relationship ending to change it for the better and they might risk it ending to keep things from changing. For the most stubborn lovers, it does end up taking a dissolution to spark a catalyst for them. But what is the alternative, suffering in silence? You might also fear that they will go on to treating their next partner better than you, driving feelings of jealousy. Rest assured, they will stop being good romantic partners as soon as the hormones stop doing the work for them.
This isn’t a plan based on threats. It is a plan based on showing your stubborn partner that there are positive rewards for taking your hand on this better path. Even if it requires dissolution, the opportunity may come sooner or later to re-ignite the romance. To ensure a healthy re-kindling, there has to be the promise of requited love, driven by unconditional love.
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