We’ve created a new and innovative way to work with marriage challenges. Stephen W. Frueh PhD is a marriage coach who works with couples in making changes now. Based on his intensive work in ‘The Marriage Conversation’ he has created an easily teachable model for understanding why couples lose their way ( the pre divorce challenge), how couples can rebirth and reimagine their relationship ( commitment and change) and create new pathways to intimacy (physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy).
The Marriage Conversation coaching model is contained in With These Rings and From Marginal to Magnificent: How to Make your Marriage Sing. A third book by Dr. Frueh, The Heart of a Wedding will be released Winter 2010.
Marriage and the Communication Dilemma.
We have a teenage daughter who is delightful, energetic and responsible. That is, she responds to a voice within her that listens to a beat I can't quite hear. I have my own (inner) voices and although I am not schizoid yet, I do hear voices from my Swiss past that create dissonance with this good daughter as we talk about chores, friendships, social media and homework. We define certain words differently - clean room is one, bedtime another. These words convey certain values and carry meaning that without a strenuous family seminar on their proper usage, we both believe we actually understood each other when in fact I was talking space alien and she was talking street.Add a comment
Many time people consider Divorce when they really ought to learn how to end (divorce) the stale and worn out agreement they have called marriage...
Many marriages end before they begin. They abort the promises made at the alter of commitment. Divorce is an attempt to solve complex problems by means of a simple yet profoundly invasive surgery.
But if you rethink what marriage is really about, you'll discover a deeper and more profound truth. Marriage is a choice to build a partnership over time. You might think of a partnership as a container meant to hold two people in relationship while they each, in their own unique way, grow. Thinking of marriage in this way opens to thinking of marriage as a fundamental piece in community building as well as community healthfulness.Add a comment
thoughts on an overcast day
The angry young stockbroker
When the angry young stockbroker told his wife of a great deal he discovered on a fix me up beach house, she replied 'we can't afford it. We aren't even putting money away for our 401k.'
In my office he practically foamed at the mouth as he told her that she 'just doesn't get him.' "Why do you always have to be so bottom line?" he fumed. "Why can't you just once look behind my words and hear my intention?"
She didn't seem to get that. Instead she said that she was just worried about their finances (they weren't getting any younger, she said) and dreams of a beach house didn't look to her to be in their future.
The angry young stock broker had tears in his eyes. He said he loved her more than anything, that he appreciated her frugality, that he understood they needed to attend to their overall financial health. Yet, he said, "sometimes I just don't get to dream." He told of how, when he drove down to the beach to look at the house, he could see them, on a weekend, cleaning it up together, making repairs, even beginning to decorate it. He said he pictured their family playing frisbee on the beach late in the day, the beach emptied of people by winter.
She looked over at me. "He's a dreamer," she sighed. "I'm the practical one. We fight all the time but I'm not sure we ever resolve anything."
Resonant Listening - Sensing your partner's inner world
We began to talk about our inner worlds. Resonant listening begins with getting a sense that your partner has an inner world and that it's not always obvious. He or she resonates to certain dreams, certain deeply held values. Resonates is the word I want because it carries the idea of motion (inner motion) and tonality. We may look calm and appear unmoved when at the very moment our inner tectonic plates are shifting.
Resonant listening bends the ear a little closer, suspends, when possible, rational and sequential thinking (we can't afford a beach house). Resonant listening tries to imagine what's behind the persona and into 'what's cooking' inside. Resonant listening is empathic. It's imaginative. It isn't diagnostic and isn't trying to be right. It wants to get a sense of who the person is that's talking as well as the emotion/ images/ passion that's driving their intensity.
The angry young stockbroker full of inner commands to perform well in the business world, wanted to dream his way into an imaginal garden shared completely with his partner. His dream sailed entirely over the actual, the practical, the possible. But his dream was a gift left unopened.Add a comment
Marriage and relationship complaints about partners not listening are offered by those who themselves often don't listen.
A husband and father I know complains of his teenage children: "they just don't listen! How do you get your children to listen?"
A second kind of listening is more often found in business but it's there everyday in marriage as well. We call it 'listening with the intention of influencing.' This kind of listening attends to the values and beliefs, the life story, the current challenges of the one speaking. These then are carefully folded into your response so that you increase your effectiveness in leading the conversation where you want it to go.
In order to influence another person you first have to know 'where they live.' Not their street address of course, I'm talking about their inner world.