Archive for communicate

Talking in tongues.

Lack of communication is a phrase I hear a lot when seeing a couple for the first time.  In many cases, this is followed by, “there is no sex in our relationship any more”.

This indicates the possibility that words, phrases and sentences are an important part of seduction.  At the onset of a relationship, words are carefully chosen, seductive, kind, caring and appreciative.  As normal life sets in, these words can slowly become critical, punitive, complaining, judgemental and even cruel.  It can hardly be believed that the same two people who set out on a couple fit have suddenly become ugly and punishing.

How does this happen and why does lack of sex follow in its wake?

Wanting to please the other, becomes wanting to change their disappointing bits and what seems to be a drive to make them the same as yourself.  Sex with self carries no mystery and gives only partial relief and satisfaction.  For sex to be shared and safe there needs to be admiration, tolerance and acceptance of each other.  An understanding which good communication can encourage rather than exacerbate feelings of dislike and low libido.

Without an invisible message flowing to and fro through loving words the desire found at the start of the couple life can become toxic and negative sowing the seed of dislike and estrangement.

How can two people retrieve the early electricity when life and its ups and downs have become part of normal couple and family life.  Often the two adults become other children in the mix to be disciplined, taught and punished as if they too were being prepared for life in the world.  This increases the disparity between them and a sense of dissatisfaction and let down becomes the aura in the atmosphere.

Where are the people who seemed so perfect to each other?  Where is the sexual satisfaction which seemed so natural and easy before?  These things are still there  but have to surface again by penetrating through the resentment and criticism .  They need praise, admiration, listening, accepting difference and celebrating it without needing to convert.  A certain mystery has to be maintained by avoiding being each other’s therapist and feeling love can only be maintained by being changed.

Some different ways to communicate can be tried:

Take some seconds to monitor your own words before they escape.  Are they reacting or responding.

Think about why you are saying them and have they helped in previous angry exchanges.  Try to rephrase them with a different tone and facial expression.  Be careful of body language.

It will be impossible to be heard if these words are spoken to punish, used as a post mortem or as an attack.

Keep ‘you’ out of the sentence and speak about yourself and how what has just happened makes you feel.

Ask for tolerance while you work out why your feelings are so painful.

Come back to the topic when both of you have used an internal camera instead of a long angle lens.


Clare Ireland.

What cats can teach couples

I was speaking to clients about their cats the other day and the more anecdotes they told about them the more it occurred to me that cats live their lives very much on their own terms. I have two Burmese cats, myself, and they do indeed navigate their lives seamlessly. I thought, how much we can learn from them.

Cats use their instincts and don’t tend to overthink things.
Their bodies tell them when they are hungry, when they are cold, when they want affection and when they don’t. There is no second-guessing, anxiety or guilt with them. When they want something they ask directly (quite loudly and forcibly, sometimes) for what they need. They can be charming with their requests and know when to back off when their needs are not forthcoming.

Couples, on the other hand, complicate their lives by not being clear what their needs are, they tend not communicate clearly and are often left feeling disappointed with the end results. This usually leads to blaming their partners and the relationship can become entangled in ways that are unconstructive.

I often watch my cats fight over space, food or attention. They can be vicious with one another but somehow they are able to let this go and recognise that their kitty friend might just be irritated and reacting badly in the moment. In other words, cats don’t create a drama or a story about who hissed first or swiped out with a paw. They don’t hold on, they let go. When it’s over, it’s over, and they get back to curling up with one another and purring.

At Coupleworks, we see couples struggling to accept that sometimes their relationships aren’t purrfect (sorry, couldn’t resist). They hold on to incidents, they don’t let go and end up forgetting all the good that they do have together.

By taking a lesson from these seemingly simple cats, we can learn to normalise the ups and downs of our own relationships. By letting go and relaxing into a more gentle way of being with one another creates the potential of finding the kitten in your partner rather than seeing the pitbull.

I appreciate that cats aren’t human and I certainly don’t mean to simplify our own human relationships or condone abusive relationships; but this tongue in cheek cat analogy, is to point out that our feline friends can give us much food for thought about our own relationships.

Cat Advice:
*Be clear about your needs.
*Communicate those needs to your partner.
*Don’t create a story when there is no story.
*Accept your partner for their flaws
*Curl up and purr with your partner.

Shirlee Kay