Many times in our lives we experience emotional difficulties and are unsure of how to move forward. Marriage coach Karen Gosling explores a common situation and offers insight in this real life case study on how a happy passionate marriage can be achieved.
Robert felt uptight and out of control. He felt trapped and unable to escape the stress in his life. He hated his job, felt bored, restless and under utilised.
At work he was unfulfilled as his skills weren’t being acknowledged or used. Nevertheless, he worked longer hours to avoid his wife, Laura, who was always unhappy and nagging him.
At home, Laura felt she managed the children on her own. The more decisions she made, the more Robert left her to it. When they moved overseas to live and work she assumed that her strong relationship with Robert would see them through the stresses of a new environment.
Yet Robert now seemed withdrawn and quiet and wouldn’t talk to her about his work or what she was going through. She felt resentful, frustrated, unsupported and insecure.
Laura knew of many couples who had marriage problems and felt it was only a matter of time before they too were just another statistic.
Both Robert and Laura had a loud inner voice that was feeding them negative, irrational and anxious thoughts. As neither was communicating well with the other, their inner voice allowed them to believe whatever they wanted to believe.
They each felt the growing distance between them and were worried about where their marriage was headed. In the absence of effective communication, their inner voices had taken control!
WORK DONE IN COUSELLING
Karen explained that the inner voice attacks, judges or minimises. The inner voice is negative and destructive, and louder when a person is feeling vulnerable and stressed.
Both Robert and Laura saw clearly how their own respective unhappy feelings escalated into anxiety about the marriage, as their inner voice got louder.
In their counselling sessions Robert and Laura learned to reaffirm how they felt about each other and also learnt to communicate their insecurities so that a similar situation didn’t arise again.
KAREN'S ADVICE FOR MOVING FORWARD
Everyone has an inner voice – it’s the conversation you have with yourself! It accompanies you wherever you go making its presence felt, even when uninvited.
The inner voice may be a thought, or a feeling without any real thought attached to it. Often you believe this feeling to be true because it’s so apparent to you, e.g. my partner doesn’t appreciate me, he takes me for granted.
When your head is full of anxious and irrational thoughts not checked against reality they become your new truth. Thereafter, anything you observe or hear will reinforce the new truth in your head.
Tell your inner voice to check out! Seek help to overcome its negative message.