Generally, couples seeking therapy are always sceptical if they can be helped. Over the years they have gone around in circles in their marriage and are mostly exhausted. This is a normal start to the process of couple therapy. But if they bring with them a willingness to learn and grow (not forced into therapy), their marriage can be saved even from the brink of divorce.
This means the success of therapy depends on how eager they are to learn and accept that their thinking – however logical it may seem, did not help them realize the truth of their relationship. One of the fundamental factors in a successful relationship is the ability to be on the same page with one’s partner. To achieve this a person needs to expand his/her perspective to understand the partner. The biggest fallacy most people make is to focus only on their own perspective. When the focus expands to include the partner’s perspective, it creates a different world altogether.
One of my clients felt there was no good left in his marriage. When asked if there was really no good or had he simply stopped looking for the good, he realized he had translated his wife’s behaviour from his own perspective. It had made him search for bad, unconsciously yet deliberately. It had created a bias in him about her. A very common pattern which sets in distressed couples. Its something like this – when appreciating rains in monsoon, if the same rains create a deluge, one is going to see only the inundation at that point. But at other times, one cannot take away the beauty of the rains. One still looks forward to it. The shift in focus from the good to the bad is only temporary. It soon returns to the good. That applies to relationships as well.
It’s all about developing our habitual focus to see the good. The wife of my client loved him, but he didn’t understand her. Men and women are never meant to understand each other naturally. So, it’s always a struggle to be on the same page naturally. Here the husband had converted his thoughts/fear about his wife not loving him into presumptions. These presumptions intensified as time went by. He lived with this very thought for years. Finally, the reality dawned on him. Objective: get reflective to change your perspective.