--Pearl S. Buck
By only working on communication skills between angry couple in conflict does not really get to the heart of the matter. The couple seems to miss the point, the bigger picture and remain at a distance and are at a stand still.
Stepping back and observing the behaviors of couples
I can clearly see their negative patterns of interactions that develop and keep them stuck.
Nothing brings partners together like a common enemy.
The pattern of behavior, which are their exchanges, keep many couples stuck in a negative spiral, the common enemy. The toxic patterns repeat and partners feel trapped, injured and polarize.
A common pattern I recently observed was how the angrier one woman became, the more silent the husband became. Pursing the underlying emotion, the husband reported he felt "defeated" and "sad." Sadness tells us to slow down and grieve, so the husband began to grieve his marriage. And the more he closed down, the more his wife demanded to let her in. Her angry complaint cued his sense of silent defeat and his silent defeat cued her angry demands. Round and around. They both remained stuck.
When we slow down the "spin" of the circular dances, softer emotions,
like sadness, fear, embarrassment, and shame always respond.
Here is the work.
Recognizing the pattern that defeats you and putting down the walls and listening to the softer emotions is to reconnect. Talking about these emotions and seeing how your pattern traps both of you as partners, your new conversations begin.
The narrow exchange of blame and silent distancing slows down. Being able to share safely with softer emotions is being able to understand the whole picture, and to see each other differently, with love and a new way of responding to one another.
Moments of these awareness and change are both amazing and dramatic.
They change everything and start a new positive spiral of love and connection.
Taken from Sue Johnson's book, Hold Me Tight