Couples Counseling Articles

Confusion

The Moment I Knew…

I had mine at 42 and have had several since.

Almost everyone has a moment. It’s when you know or understand something that was previously a source of confusion. Somehow out of reach.

This moment of clarity can be filled with relief…or terror.

Maybe it’s been germinating in the background for years. But when a ‘moment of knowing’ shows up, it feels sudden…and it’s packed with lessons that teach us how to listen and trust ourselves.

If we listen, life starts moving in a new direction.

Here are some examples of such moments……

  • I’m going to marry him/her.
  • We’re pregnant.
  • My life isn’t working anymore.
  • Something’s got to change.
  • I’m going to start a business.
  • I need to go back to school.
  • I want a new job.
  • I’m going to leave him/her.
  • S/he is going to divorce me.
  • We need an intervention.
  • I’ve been betrayed.
  • I must do that ONE thing I’m afraid to do…or at least try!

Typically, these are intimate landmark moments of knowing. They’re about ordinary things….that end up creating memorable, life-altering experiences.

These game-changing moments do not like being neglected.

When ignored, they don’t disappear.

Instead, they wait patiently…for years, sometimes decades…until the next opportunity arises.

And, when it taps you on the shoulder, that’s when you know. This is the moment.

Couples, Communication and Confusion

It can happen while sitting around sipping an extraordinary Australian cabernet….

Or between episodes of Bridgerton…..

Or even while giving simple directions to someone you love.

Things can get awkward and frustrating because communication is fundamentally flawed.

Even the best communication involves abstraction and guesswork on the part of both people.

It’s filled with errors on the part of the communicator and misunderstandings by the recipient.

Messages shared and messages received are rarely the same.

And, over time…patterns develop.

Communicating with any human being depends on putting an abstraction, or thought, into words as precisely as possible.

At first glance the recipient thinks s/he understands….but take a closer look… and you’ll see that they have to guess.

Does s/he mean exactly this? OR Does s/he mean exactly THIS?

The brain gets confused and it happens so fast that we don’t notice.

Even if we do….we rarely take time to check things out …because we’re not doing scientific research here…right? Instead, we move on.

The brain makes a quick interpretation and we make our decision from there.

Seems simple enough, right? But hold on.

We also ‘make meaning’ out of these new interpretations.

If there’s a meaning or interpretation we don’t like….well….the brain can take us on a harrowing roller coaster ride full of emotional ups and downs.

That’s when we develop a false sense of certainty….and the brain makes up even MORE stories we believe to be true.

It all happens in seconds and when the stories fit our narratives and beliefs…

…we get frustrated… rarely show mercy….and find someone to blame.

Sometimes, we even blame ourselves.

Perhaps…these self-created interpretations get in the way for all of us.

Star Stuff and Love

We dream of stability and permanence. What shows up is confusion and paradox.

Sometimes being in an intimate relationship means choosing between compromise/conformity and taking a powerful stand for uniqueness instead; two people on separate and individual journeys – together.

One is riskier and means moving from what we know to what we don’t know.

Kind of like when the ancients suspected that Earth was not the fixed center, and was moving at unimaginable speed beneath their feet. It took thousands of years to prove this theory and in 1929, Edwin Hubble, established that we live in an ever expanding Universe.

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Uh Oh! Here We Go Again

03-08-15ArticleYou know it’s coming. The dreaded argument. Not with anyone but with the person you love the most in the world.

It’s happened before and it’s happening again.

Something’s triggered your internal alarm system.

Maybe it’s the way s/he moves, a tone of voice, a facial expression.

It can be as subtle as a single word.

It’s real. It’s powerful. It feels like a trap. Sometimes it feels like quicksand and you vow not to get sucked in. Not this time.

But before you finish the thought – it touches a raw spot in you the size of Texas.

In one split second everything inside collapses or bubbles up in frustration, confusion and anger.

This moment of vulnerability is in all of us and we will do just about anything to avoid it; ignore, get busy, leave, defend, work late – build walls around our hearts.

Continue Reading Uh Oh! Here We Go Again