Continuing Couples in Crisis theme…
Couples have been the focus of our attention over the past weeks, particularly couples in crisis. We’ve identified three big reasons that contribute
frequently to couples finding themselves in crisis: sex, finances, and parenting. One of the early indicators that couples are in crisis can be that playfulness, humour, and laughter stop. Playfulness and humour leave long before a partner does. One reason for this is that couples in crisis spend a lot of attention and energy on defending their individual viewpoints, their personhood within the relationship, and on fighting for survival of the relationship itself. This is all very serious business!
However, it can be helpful in the middle of tough debates and conflict to pause and take a step back from the intensity of the battle. Extending this by taking a couple of steps up to view the relationship from a different vantage point can break the gridlock. Understandably, this is easier said than done, because when one is hurting one tends to be digging into a bunker, not stepping out. However, a little generosity can go a long way.
Some effort to not take ourselves too seriously and lighten up can help to change our perspective on what’s going on. It can also help us see where our partner is coming from. Research suggests that our non-verbals such as body posture and exercising facial muscles into a smile, can govern how we think of and feel about ourselves. In other words, our posture and smile can influence brain chemicals that have the power to change our mood.
Back to the idea of lightening up… I thought we could pause right here to share some lighthearted, practical advice I stumbled upon delivered in a song by Johnny and Chachi.
It’s called “The Don’t Song”, and you’ll see why.
Next week we will have a look at how Parenting can cause conflict in a relationship, and what we can do about it.