Why Relationship Training?
Not long ago, while lifting a heavy suitcase, I took a little fall. Because of a careless moment, my knee became temporarily unreliable. Initially, I panicked. Being prone to theatrics, I worried: Oh no, will I ever walk normally again? By the time I went to physical therapy, I was symptom-free and a little annoyed at what felt like a waste of time. Now that I felt strong again, I had better things to do.
My perky Gen-Xer physical therapist was friendly and calm as I tried to convince him I would only need one appointment. The exercises were simple. I brushed the whole experience off, thinking I’ll cancel the next sessions and be on my way.
Nonetheless, I noticed how tall I felt for the rest of the day. My body was in alignment. On some level, I knew it was due to the simple exercises I had done. As I continued physical therapy, I gradually felt stronger, more grounded and sure-footed. Over a few weeks, these seemingly minor exercises added up to a dramatic impact. Resources spent on PT were, in hindsight, an excellent investment.
Relationship Training works in the same way. While many people come in when there is a relationship crisis, the most meaningful work is done when the sun is shining and the birds are singing. If your problems are small, we can work on form, subtlety, and make tiny shifts in thinking and behavior. You can learn relationship skills before having a devastating personal crisis.
Like the moment I reached for that heavy suitcase, you may run into a vulnerable moment when you least expect it. Here’s the thing: Mistakes and failures provide our best opportunities. My fall gave me the opportunity to discover weaknesses in form. I didn’t know they were there making me vulnerable to stress.
Embrace the moment. Yes, I mean it! If you have a fight that spins out, or you’re staying silent about things that need to be addressed, take a look at that. What does this minor distress signal? What needs to be dealt with? Ask yourself: What can I learn from this moment?
For example: Let’s say you’re nursing a resentment about your husband’s long hours at work. Left alone, resentment deepens and grows. You avoid it, you decide to do your own thing. Who needs him, anyway? You’ve got your own friends. The resentment leaks out in coldness and edginess. Eventually it becomes a major shutdown and disconnection.When the matter finally gets addressed it has become a much more damaging problem that is difficult to repair.
When you make the effort to become relationally skilled, you are equipped to handle little things. By using a proactive approach in your marriage, you nurture and protect it. You cherish it as the fragile, living thing that it is. You address things as they come up.
If you’re having more conversations in your head than in reality, or every little thing becomes a fight, maybe you could use some help. If you’re afraid that therapy goes on, and on, and on… you might be surprised at how much can be accomplished in a few sessions.
A few simple skills can equip you to interrupt toxic communication patterns. Savvy couples pause at times. Give us a call and we’ll talk about what you need to get back on track. (310) 265-6644. www.DrBonniesRelationshipTraining.com