Couples Therapy – When You Feel Alone Together
Do you feel alone in your relationship? Does your relationship make you feel trapped or stuck at times?
You may be viewing your relationship in terms of us vs. them. When we feel threatened, we reach for the only tools our brains know: fighting, fleeing, or freezing.
You may think you don’t do these things, but when you insist you are right and you make other people wrong—that’s your fighting circuitry. When you walk out of a room in the middle of a conversation, or simply stop listening—that’s your fleeing circuitry. When you paralyze yourself, stop expressing your true feelings or go into confusion—that’s your freezing circuity.
Us or them. Good or bad. Right or wrong. Black or white. All of these overly simplistic distinctions stimulate the fear centers of our brains.
We have a choice.
We can slow ourselves down, and we can become more deliberate. We can see every situation is comprised of multiple perspectives—as many perspectives as there are people. We stop telling other people about them. We stop trying to control other people. We become more vulnerable and in doing so we connect more deeply with other people. We recognize our differences while feeling our similarities.
This was the choice that Nelson Mandela made. Some people have referred to Madiba’s philosophy as the philosophy of “yes.” I encourage you to bring this philosophy of “yes” into your life and your relationships. When there is tension in your relationship, ask yourself, “What can we say ‘yes’ to?”
Are we friends?
Do we love each other?
Do we want to reconnect?
When you answer these questions with a resounding “yes,” you can re-establish a loving connection.
You can learn new ways of relating and you can make sense of your past.
Together, you can learn to be have a close, connected and happy relationship again.
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