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Be the one to take action

Many of the people who come to me for help believe that they are doing ‘everything right’ and it’s their partner who has to change.  I am even told – rather too frequently – that they are prepared to change and take action,  but only if their partner changes first!

So now they have put a condition on making their relationship work.

Don’t get me wrong – in some cases this may well need to happen.  However, and it is a big However, by putting conditions on your own behaviour you are not taking full responsibility for the situation you are in.  By not taking full responsibility you won’t have fully bought into the process of understanding them or listening to their concerns – which are, by the way, as valid to them as yours are to you.

I get told a variety of reasons for this refusal to take action – the list below gives some of the more common ones I hear:

  • Why should I do all the changing
  • I feel stupid being the one to give if I get nothing back
  • It’s their fault we’re in this mess – I’ve done all I can to make it work
  • I blame my partner…..

This list is not an exhaustive one and each of you will have your own list.

The big step-change, that produces results, is to become the one to take action and take action now.  With no caveats on your partner.  This doesn’t mean you do this in isolation. Why?  Well you need to find out what your partner’s needs are – and they may not actually know. They may think they know but that could also be based on a belief that is not designed for success.

So now you are faced with a challenge. What to do to make it work.

Going over old ground and trying to relive past issues will only reignite the feelings you both had at the time.  Add to this subsequent instances which have caused pain and these feelings will have been exacerbated and the resentments stacked.

Traditional Marriage Counselling

This is why some forms of traditional marriage counselling don’t give the couple what they need.

How to move forward

I coach.  By this I mean I help the couple or individual understand each other and themselves by giving them practical skills which will not only get them through their current crisis but give them the tools to deal with future issues as and when they arise.

We can all train our minds and become master of our thoughts and emotions and learn how strengthen our own ‘brain’ muscle.  It can seem scary to take those steps.  The moment you decide to is the start point.  The alternative has to feel the one you no longer desire.