love Posts

Be an Exception Detective

Be an Exception Detective:

When you are not doing well in your relationship, the focus is on what is not working. It is human nature, when focussing on the negative, to feel as if what is going wrong is a long string of events that is a never ending pattern. When I ask couples in this state if there is anything going right in their relationship, they have a difficult time trying to come up with anything. In one of the theories in psychology, Narrative Therapy, one looks for exceptions when there are problems. It doesn’t matter how bad things are, there are always exceptions. There are times when the two of you are working well together in your roles or at your parenting or teaming up together against a problem. It is just that your focus is not there – you are not noticing these times.
One of the ways to make changes in a relationship is to begin to look for the positive exceptions that occur in your relationship. Focus on how well you do at certain times. What is it that you do that makes those times work? What is it that you are saying to yourself? What is it that you are actually doing? What is your attitude? What is your level of hopefulness that you can both do whatever it is? Notice what was happening before this event occurred. What was your stress level that day?
Compare that to the times when you are not doing well. Notice what you are saying to yourself then. What has occurred in your day that perhaps is getting dumped into the problem? What particular worries might have impacted your negative events and caused your stress level to be up when negotiating your life with your partner? What were you doing or not doing at that time? What was your attitude and your level of hopefulness that you could work together? Had you given up?
Take this bit of detective work into the exceptions in your relationship to the next level and use the principles in what works in your relationship to improve it. It sounds simple. We need to have behaviour patterns that do more of what works and less of what does not work. Unfortunately, what we often do is to do the same thing over, just trying harder at it, in the hopes that we will get a different result. Do what works and remember, again, what you focus on, gets amplified. Make sure that what you are focussing on in your relationship is what you want to have amplified. Go forth and be wonderful!

Summer Fun

Take advantage of summer fun and let it restore your marriage. Plan for relaxing the usual routine in the house and let yourself relax into the warmth and play of summer days. If you are working through the summer, come home and change into play clothes immediately. Changing clothes helps to transition into a different space psychologically. Eat out on your patio or grass, spend time in nature. Being present to what you are doing is so important to your restoration. Leave your stress and worries, leave the past and focus on the present beauty of today. Focus on being together, the love you share and find gratitude for each other and your relationship life together. Go forth and be wonderful today.

Posted by Lynda in Healthier Marriages and tagged with , ,

Life Changes in Couple Relationships

I have been doing some changing of my business and while I have been doing that – I have been thinking about the challenges of change. If you are like me, change is a lovely challenge. I embrace it with excitement, interest and intrigue. The difficulty for me is that my mind goes so quickly to that terrific place in my where there are so many great possibilities and ideas that I can get stalled there. Deciding on a definitive change and then following through would be more of my challenge. I usually have to make a mind map and then I have found that I really need to limit myself to 3 goals for the week in order to get out of the dreaming stage and into the doing stage.

I know from our relationship together in the counselling room that change is not at all like that for all of you. For some of you, change is threatening and something to be resisted. All kinds of fears come up. What if I can’t do what I have proposed for myself or my partner?  I have tried to change before and did not follow through, disappointing myself and others. Or perhaps the comfort of your current dysfunction, painful as it is, is better then the unknown of change. Or you are stuck in not wanting to change unless your partner changes. And so the time rolls by, the suffering continues and the isolation in the relationship continues with the ideal of a healthy marriage becoming a distant dream.

If this is where you are at, I invite you to consider that change is actually for your benefit personally. Your relationship is the gift that you get to bump up against yourself and your need to change, where your interactions together surfaces some grit in your oyster. Whether your partner changes or does not, is irrelevant to our own need for change. Consider embracing the changes you are being invited to, turn that grit into a very fine pearl. As usual, go forth and be wonderful and love like you actually mean it!

Lynda Chalmers

The Deeper Aspects of a Loving Partnership

When you think of couples in a deeply committed, loving partnership, there is something very profound about being in their presence. Respect is something that is at the core of their coupleship. They seem to draw from one another in a wonderful seemless way. In many ways, they unite together and you see them as a kind of ‘two shall be one’ way. When in their company, you notice their acts of kindness and giving to one another. You notice their automatic gratitude to one another. I love to be in the presence of these couples – it gives me hope for people and for families. If this is not where you are and you are attracted to this depth of love in relationships – consider some growth counselling to help yourself to get there!

God can only be fully revealed as these two halves respect, draw from, unite, and give to one another.  The two being one are “it”!

Posted by Lynda in Healthier Marriages and tagged with , , ,