Posted by Karen Degen on 12th September 2012
In relationships we can clearly see the other person’s ‘issues’ and how they are hampering the relationship, but often cannot see our own. One client told me about his wife who was overworking, stressed and had no time, energy or patience to put into him, making him feel unsupported. Although almost ready to call off the marriage, he felt unable to discuss the issue with his wife and let her know how serious the situation was. He felt more comfortable with the thought of calling off the marriage having said nothing about what was wrong, than he did with having a serious discussion with his wife.
He had good reasons (in his view) for this reluctance, believing that she would get her defences up straight away, would back off, close down and not be open to the discussion. I sensed however that there was more to this reluctance than that and probed a little deeper. During the course of our session he was very surprised to realise that the reluctance to initiate the discussion with his wife was actually all about him. It did not feel safe to have one of ‘those talks’ because in the past honest talks with other family members had led to being cut out of their lives permanently. Without even realising it, this fear that the same thing would happen was holding him back from having serious discussions with anyone he cared about. In my work I see time and time again where relationships have broken up because one person called it off, seemingly ‘out of the blue’. The other party is often confused because they never knew there was a problem. Lack of communication is often the main cause of relationship breakups. Everyone will have their own subconscious blocks to communicating effectively with their partner and we need to address these first, before looking at the changes we believe our partner needs to make.