Marriage Counseling Fort Myers – Reacting Differently

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Marriage Counseling Fort Myers – Reacting Differently

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Improve Your Marriage by Reacting Differently  (Part 1 of 3)

The Futility of Blaming

The truth is, notes Marriage Counseling Fort Myers, no one has the power to change someone else.  If a person doesn’t want to change, repeated complaining and blaming won’t help.  As a general rule, venting one’s anger does little to change things.  How many prospective brides and grooms have entered into matrimony thinking that they will mold their mates only to come to the sober realization that such thinking was naïve?  Too many!  None of us has the ability to make others think, feel, or be the way we want them to be.  The same is true in reverse.  No one can make us think, feel, or be a certain way simply because that is what they want.

Consider the marriage of Jane and John says Marriage Counseling Fort Myers.  Part of their ongoing action-reaction pattern is Jane’s blaming John for her unhappiness.  But Jane’s repeated requests and complaints have little impact on John.  John doesn’t change which only makes Jane more frustrated and resentful toward John.  She begins to emotionally distance herself from him.

The Problem of Blaming

An accusing spouse’s finger-pointing needs to be considered when trying to resolve an issue.  That is blaming tends to focus only on one side of the interaction.  When Jane blames John, observes Marriage Counseling Fort Myers, her part in their interaction disappears.  She looks out.  She doesn’t look within.  She doesn’t consider how her blaming may be contributing to the maintenance of John’s behavior.  Jane’s, “this is what you need to do” approach only makes John more resistant.  The issue then quickly morphs into a personal conflict between John and Jane.  Jane complains, John fights back or withdraws, and predictably nothing else happens.

New Way Forward

Marriage Counseling Fort Myers says try a different route.  Instead of complaining, why not conclude this is who your mate is?  Why not, rather, focus on yourself?  Why not consider your contribution to the cycle?  Why not alter the interaction?  Why not ask yourself, “how can I change my moves in this circular pattern?”  If you modify how you act and react to your spouse, this will likely modify how your spouse acts and reacts toward you.

It is important to establish a greater sense of self within the “I-we” dynamic of a marriage.  In the case of Jane and John, that would be accomplished by (a) Jane’s establishing clear boundaries for the words and behavior she will accept from John, and then (b) responding differently when John violates those boundaries.  Instead of diagnosing what’s wrong with John, Jane should use being emotional upset as a signal that she needs to clarify things about herself.  She should ask herself, “What can I live with?  What can I accept?  What do I no longer want to accept?  How will I act/react differently when John says or does things I no longer want to accept?”  Jane needs to put greater emphasis on the “I” in the “I-we” dynamic instead of becoming overly immersed in the “we” of that dynamic.  In the latter case, blame became the natural response because she has been too dependent on John to change instead of acting like an equal partner and make changes on her own.  Rather than telling John he has a problem, states Marriage Counseling Fort Myers, she should recognize that she has a problem that she needs to address.

Continued in Part 2

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If you are experiencing tension in your marriage and live in SWFL, that is , Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral Estero, Bonita Springs, Fort Myer Beach, Sanibel Island, and Marco Island, Dr. Newberger offers an effective alternative to traditional marriage counseling.  Go to www.MarriageCounselingAlt.com/couples.htm to learn more.

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