Thursday, September 28, 2006

marriage conversation

What's yelling about? Who are you yelling at? Step back. Ask yourself this: what is happening right now that has me so scared? What is in my memory bank? What does this remind me of? What am I afraid I'm losing/ is going to happen? Who is biggest in my imagination right now?

Yelling takes you away from what you need and pulls you into your fear. The trick is to 'sober up' and let go of the emotional rush that you get when you connect to your fear.

Stan and Dee feed off each other's fear. Their children are learning how to duplicate their patterns and if Stan and Dee don't soon stop their self indulgence, the children will have a lot of work to do in their own marriages.

What would be most helpful to say to Stan if you were on the phone?

Monday, September 25, 2006

What are you yelling about?

We can see/ hear/ feel the hysteria in the family. Also, it's not hard to get Stan's sense of love for his family, and that his competence is heavily challenged. What would you do? What would you say?

Friday, September 22, 2006

What are you yelling about?

I am a marriage coach which is a lot different than being a marriage counselor. Coaches can coach which means we often direct and advise - not so common among counselors. The couple I will tell you about is not fictional so I will change identifiable characteristics to protect their dignity and privacy. You will not be able to identify them from this blog even if you had a list of every couple I've worked with over the past 25 years.

Stan and Dee called to get some help. I happened to pick up the phone and got them "live." In the background I could hear children screaming and Stan was saying, no, yelling, "give me a little space!" When he got to a quieter part of the house he was crying. "We're a mess" he said. "Everyone is yelling and now it's getting physical. I don't know what to do!"

We started with basic information. What's going on. How did this begin? Tell me a little about who is in the most pain. Who is the most frightened? Stan said, "frightened? No one is frightened. Everyone is mad as hell. My son came home and changed the TV to a program he wanted to see and all hell broke loose. My daughter hit him. My wife hit my daughter and this just as I came in from work. I started yelling for everyone to calm down, but it only got worse. Dee pushed me and told me I had no business yelling, that I was always yelling and that's why nobody respected anyone in this family. Then she started yelling at all the children to go to their rooms. No TV tonight! My son threw his backpack at the TV as he went by it to go up the
stairs." He started crying again. "I think we're falling apart."