Welcome to DAY 2 of Couples with Kids! If you haven’t seen it, start with day one here: https://www.eldoradocountytherapy.com/couples-with-kids-start-here/
Ready for more? Let’s talk about laying some groundwork and the importance of U-Turns.
More often than not, when couples walk through my door things have been tough for a really long time. In fact according to Dr. John Gottman of the Gottman Institute, couples wait on average 7 years too late until they finally go to counseling.
That’s a lot of fights, anger, resentment, sadness and loneliness over a long period of time.
Unfortunately, by that time many people are wanting big results in a not very long span of time. So we talk a lot about expectations and the process of change. Why is this important for you to know? Well, understanding that change doesn’t happen overnight, sets you up for a more realistic view of improving your relationship. When things take a bit more time, you won’t automatically assume you’ve failed and believe that fixing your relationship is hopeless.
Think of your relationship as a road. Whether you’ve been together 1 year or 10, you’ve already established a path for the way your relationship functions. Over the years little things have happened to change the course of the road (for bad or good). Now whether you’re looking to make a slight detour or do a complete U-turn, they both involve small shifts in the way we think and behave towards each other.
In the beginning of the relationship, our brain is so wired on the chemicals produced by being in love we tend to diminish any flaws we see about our partner and really elevate the positive traits. As some of those chemicals wear off, and we pair it with being tired, or stressed or bummed, we start noticing the negative stuff more and more. Unfortunately, we have a hard time pulling our selves out of the negative rut once we’re in it and BOOM, that’s all we start seeing.
Starting today, text your partner ONE thing that you appreciate or love about them. That’s it. Don’t add any “but’s” or “one more thing you need to pick up little Tommy from school today” or even expect a response right away. You are telling them you appreciate them in this way. Period. End of sentence.
Keep this practice up every day for the rest of the challenge (or longer if you so choose).
Bonus, let me know what things you most loved hearing from your partner.
I’ll talk to you tomorrow!
Want to know more about who I am and what my experience is working with couples? Please check my about me page at https://www.eldoradocountytherapy.com/about/