Bert’s therapy: Dandelions

My wife and I are fighting again.

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What about?

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The same thing.  It’s always the same thing.

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therapist (2)

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We’ve been having the same fight for years.

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therapist (3)

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I say the same stuff.  She says the same stuff.  Nobody wins.

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therapist (4)

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The same stupid fight, over and over.

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th

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Why do we do that?

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Do you have a lawn?

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Yes.

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Any dandelions on the lawn?

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Sure.

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What happens when you mow dandelions? 

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They grow back.

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And keep growing back until you kill the root. 

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Our fights have roots?

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Right.  Unconscious ones. 

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What can I do about it?

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Start digging.

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For what?

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Unfinished business you brought into the marriage.

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Such as?

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Unhealed wounds.   Unmet needs.  Unexpressed feelings.

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Oh.  Great.

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x

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How are you feeling right now?

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x

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Tell me.

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Like I have terminal athlete’s foot.

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therapist (17)therapist (18)

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Want more?

All of these people sincerely want more love and intimacy in their lives.  They have tried hard to improve their relationships. They have tried to change their behavior and they have tried to change their partners’ behavior. They may have read one of the many books on relationships that urge them to fight more fairly, or communicate their feelings more clearly. But nothing has worked for them.

A crucial piece is missing from their understanding of their relationships. They do not completely know what their fight is about, or why they are having such strong feelings. They have been looking at the “visible” aspects of their relationships–the things they say and do. But all of these problems–from always picking the wrong partner to finding yourself stuck in a pattern of chronic fighting or chronic avoidance–stem not from the visible, objective parts of the relationship, but from the subjective world of your unconscious mind. Trying to make sense of them by looking at your outer, rational behavior is like trying to look at an elephant through a microscope: you’re simply using the wrong lens.

David Shaddock, in From Impasse to Intimacy:
How Understanding Unconscious Needs Can Transform Relationships

 

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Me and my partner (2:31). 

“A fun look at how Imago Dialogue can help you create deeper connection with your partner.”

 

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6 responses to “Bert’s therapy: Dandelions

  • attachmentgirl

    HI Steve, awesome, awesome post. You could have been describing my marriage. My husband and I went around and around the same track so many times we thought we were in the Daytona 500. When we finally went to marital counseling, we started to sort through all the unconscious stuff going on. I likened it to having four people in the room but you could only see two of us. Me and my past, and my husband and his past, and everyone was interacting with each other. When we started I really wasn’t sure that we were going to make it, but we celebrated our 25th Anniversary this year and things have never been better between us. Now when we fight, we actually have the ability to figure out what it’s really about and resolve it. I really think this post will help a lot of people. It was a wonderful reminder for me (I don’t make so much progress that I can afford to miss an opportunity to recognize some! :))

    AG

  • chuck

    Thanks for a very useful Blog today. It points the way to important areas I sense but have not been able to enter with any certainty. We will explore what the entry points are as best we can.

    chuck

  • jon

    Steve and Bert this post was really one that I can relate and understand, your post have helped me for so long now and I want to say thanks, really good stuff, it describes me and my wife and how we dance, I hope one day in the future we both get tired and want to stop dancing and get down to our roots and kill the damn dandelions

  • Three keys « Monkeytraps

    […] trying to resolve conflict by talking about the wrong thing is like mowing the tops off dandelions.  Expect a new crop […]

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