”I’ve done a lot of marriage counseling. What happens in a marriage once you do counseling, the TRUTH comes out. It [the truth] creates a dark moment. But for me it’s the dark before the dawn. When the truth comes out and people have to say who they are and what they think, you get to know who they are. I think that’s the cleansing before you get to the other side that is understanding and moving forward in our relationship.” Will Smith
I have learned a great deal from the couples I have had the privilege of working with over the years. The “truth” as I see it, is that moment when a couple courageously goes to the deepest parts of their pain, their need and their vulnerability. They drop down beneath the conflicts, the long silences, and their emotional defenses. They put down their sword and lay down their armor and show “who they are” regardless of how ugly, hurtful or shameful the “truth” may be. It is a very dark moment, but it us also a beginning.
In her book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, Dr. Sue Johnson, I think sums this up beautifully:
“no one can dance with a partner and not touch each other’s raw spots. We must know what these raw spots are and be able to speak about them in a way that pulls our partner closer to us.” Sue Johnson
Certainly, Marriage Counseling is a path when couples are distressed, but I think we have opportunities to show ourselves to our partners every day. This is how we build an authentic bond. When we are feeling unheard, unsupported or even unloved, we need a response and often focus on what our partner is not doing or worse, what they are doing that is triggering us to feel that way.
What could happen if we turned that focus on ourselves? What am I truly hoping my partner will see/hear? How can I slow things down and show this to my partner in a way that she/he can receive? What is my truth in this moment?
Thank you for reading. As always I share my immense gratitude for the friends, colleagues, clients, and curious strangers who stop by my page.