When a couple gets trapped in ongoing distress and reactivity, each partner feels a lack of ability to turn things around. Each concludes the other needs to change in order to reduce tension, upset, distancing, or discontent. As if taking a victim role, each believes they have no power to influence the situation.
A major turning point comes when partners discover the power to change their dynamic. This occurs when someone makes a new move in the dance that gets better results. In our coaching practice, we often help partners make new moves. An example is when a normally avoidant person discovers the positive impact of moving toward their upset partner. This is a dance move opposite of the self-protective distancing they normally do. They find out the power of this new dance step in that it actually calms the tension they typically attempt to dance away from. Continue reading