Halt The Merry-go-Round
Have you ever thought your relationship is caught in a pattern going round and round?
People marry or move in together because they love one another and have a genuine desire for the relationship to be a success. Over the years individual boundaries are damaged, fractures start to separate the initial bond. Life often results in these cracks not getting addressed. Instead, these cracks get covered with nights out with friends, children and school activities, other people and things.
The relationship is a Merry-Go-Round with music, twinkling lights, horses, and bright colors.
So how does this Merry-Go-Round get started. It’s 8 PM on a Sunday night. Carrie’s packing her bag for another week out of town. She doesn’t enjoy these weekly out of town trips. She is tired. Home feels like more work. There’s not enough time to relax.
Alan starts complaining about how things aren’t getting done around the house. One comment leads to another until Carrie is really frustrated. Neither party is happy, and Sunday evening is not fun. As Carrie is falling asleep later in the evening she is thinking it will just be nice to get out of town so she doesn’t have to listen to Alan complaining.
To Carrie it feels like she and Alan have no personal time during the work week. She looks forward to time together on the weekend, but lately everything becomes an argument. For months now, Carrie and Alan reach out for one another only to argue and push one another away. They go round and round, closer then farther apart.
The Merry-Go-Round starts up because one party or the other is “triggered”. What does that mean? One party says something, has a facial expression, tone of voice, physical movement that triggers the other party’s fight or flight/survival mechanism. When triggered if we react we respond (fight), run away (flight), or freeze (survival). When we can easily be triggered to react by our significant other, arguments repeat, maybe on a different topic, but they repeat.
Carrie and Alan are going to continue to argue until one of them identifies and addresses their contribution to the Merry-Go-Round. It is my suggestion that they step off the ride and look inside.
When you are riding on a relationship Merry-Go-Round it’s time to stop blaming your significant other. Look to yourself for answers. You can change partners, move across country, but you’ll still end up on a Merry-Go-Round that you helped create. You must first begin to understand your own patterns and reactions to change what you do to contribute to the Merry-Go-Round.
If you are ready to do the work to identify and address your contribution to the Merry-Go-Round ride, let's talk. Together we can take steps to a better life for you.