Session 42: Dancing

So, I did what you suggested.

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With Felicia?

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Yes.  I stopped trying to appease her.

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therapist-2

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And I asked what she’s really angry about.

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How did she react?

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She stopped talking to me.

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Oh.  How’s that feel?

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Not sure yet.  I don’t miss the criticism.  But the silence scares me.

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Why?

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It makes me think she’s even angrier at me than she was.

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Maybe.  But probably you just confused her.

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Confused her how?

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You stopped dancing.

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Come again?

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Like most couples, you two have developed a predictable way of coping with conflict.  I call it your dance.

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And you know this how?

You described it to me last time.  Apparently it starts when she’s unhappy about something, and expresses it with a complaint or a demand.

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bert

To which you respond by trying to appease her. To which she responds with a new complaint or demand. And so on.

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That does sound familiar.

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How long does this dance usually last?

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Two, three days.  Sometimes a week.

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And how many times have you done it?

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Hundreds.  Thousands.  It never accomplishes anything.

Well, in a way it does.  It keeps things predictable.  Discharges the tension, gives you a sense of control. 

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But doesn’t solve the problem.

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True.  Dancing just maintains the status quo. 

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I’m sick of the status quo.  What do I do now?

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You already did it.  You interrupted the dance.  Now it’s her move.

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And I just wait?

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Right.

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And do nothing?

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Right.  See what happens.

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bert-18

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How do you feel about that?

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Like dancing.

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2 responses to “Session 42: Dancing

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