Distressed couples rarely seek out truths that disturb the status quo of their relationship. Blaming is so much easier. Blaming sooths us and lets us off the hook.
On some level it works.
Couples maintaining the status quo of distress get caught in a two-step dance…. and they’re skillful at it.
Usually, one person pushes and prods for closeness. The other withdraws… certain that more engagement will generate more distress…This creates distance… and other person pushes and prods for closeness again.
The dance becomes an emotional infinity loop.
Paradoxically, the loop creates a perfect tension and keeps the couple hooked….for years… sometimes decades.
It creates a kind of disconnect that has no name.
People still enjoy their lives. There are good times, happy memories and a deep longing… much of the time.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the couple seeks out truth. Truth reveals itself and eventually reality wins.
Happy couples don’t ignore the tension. They don’t let disturbing truths keep them from looking behind the façade that could trap them in the loop.
That way, when reality shows up, they’re not alarmed. They see it coming and help each other — allowing their relationship to transform and take new shape over time.
Without help, distressed couples find this process nearly impossible.
For distressed couples, facing truth changes everything.
If they’re brave enough and tenacious enough to do the work — there’s a moment when one person says:
Don’t judge me or try to fix me. I may seem broken to you… but I’m not. Something’s changing…and I’m scared. Help me… love me… anyway.
This kind of revealing takes enormous courage. It requires risk taking and moving away from what’s familiar.
And what is the cost of facing truth?
Vulnerability, of course, and exploring fear.
This can tap into shame …and… no one wants that.
Yet, everyone experiences fear and shame. And research shows…. the more we deny it …the more likely we are to have it.
It seems to be the universal human condition… and as I see it, the willingness to step out there and explore… together…
just might be the journey of a lifetime.
© 2013 Wellness Counseling Center PC