How many times have you thought that if your husband, or wife, or partner would just stop doing the same irritating things over and over, everything would be fine?
Couples often come to see me, or another therapist, because they’re tired of the constant fighting! When we first meet, I always ask each person how they see the problem. We talk about what’s working, and what isn’t working in their relationship.
Invariably, it becomes clear that they each have come in with the hope that I can “fix” what’s wrong with the other person!
I can sure understand that! It’s so much easier, and more satisfying, to see what someone else is doing wrong, than it is to see how we’re contributing to the problem.
I can understand it, but it doesn’t help to change anything. We only have power over ourselves. That can be a lot of power, though! We have the power to make new choices in how we think, and how we behave. We can change the dynamics of how we relate and interact with those closest to us!
No matter what anyone else is doing, there is no way that we can force them to change! They only change if they decide they want to change!
If we want things to get better in our relationships, we need to figure out what we’re doing that is creating at least some of the strife. That isn’t fun, but it is productive! It’s empowering to see what we have control of, and how we can make choices that will contribute to our increased satisfaction, peace, and happiness.
So the next time that it feels like, “Here we go again,” take a minute and really see your part in the problem. What can you do differently to bring about a different outcome?
If you are both willing to do this, you can create a major shift in your relationship. Give it a try!
* (If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, give me a call (805 569-0264), and I’ll be glad to help you get started.)
Until next time,