“Kat and Bill” have hit a wall in their relationship and decide to reach out for professional help with a coach. Their conversations always turn into a fight. Tension is in the air even when it’s quiet. Bill discloses to their coach that they’re merely going through the motions when they are together. It is all very blah. After a few years of feeling bored, tired and empty Kat and Bill realize they want something more. Can this relationship be saved?
Yes! While I could write pages on this topic, I’ll focus on four ideas to help Kat and Bill move towards a healthy relationship.
Are they motivated to work on the relationship at 100%?
Kat and Bill show classic signs of a marriage with little investment. They have prioritized other people and activities over their relationship. Kat and Bill need to refocus on what it means to be fully engaged with each other.
Homework: To be ready, willing and able to stay 100% present and listen when they interact.
What are the assumptions revolving around their commitment?
Kat and Bill fell into the trap of believing in predictability versus stability. Over time they gave less and less of themselves because they assume their partner isn’t going anywhere. Taking a step back to see what has been accepted as true, without proof, will be useful in re-building connection.
Homework: To expose and change their mutual assumptions into clear understandings.
What are their shared goals?
Kat and Bill lost sight of what is important to them. They have traded ebb and flow for habits and complacency. Most couples fall in love and forget that commitment is a practice of goals and values. A coach helps couples replace what’s expired and explore what’s desired.
Homework: To remember why they chose each other, and together to refine/define values such as trust, respect and peace.
What language are they speaking?
Speaking a foreign tongue is confusing and distracting. It becomes challenging to grasp the full context of what someone wants to share. As super sleuths, Kat and Bill must dig deep to uncover their partner's verbal and non-verbal communication. What words do they consistently use in conversation? Tone of voice? Eye contact? Body gestures? Learn more about having a good conversation.
Homework: To use and speak the same language.