People often say that marriage life is trivial and ruined, and love is buried. In fact, using narratives, you can magnify the bright spots in your life, activate the story of love, and make your days as beautiful and interesting as poetry.
Over the years, I have taught counselors at the Barcai Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel how to do marriage therapy. It is often said that marriage life is trivial and ruined, and love is buried. In fact, using narrative therapy in psychology, you can enlarge the flash of life, activate the story of love, and make the day as beautiful and interesting as poetry.
To separate people and problems, the couple will have the opportunity to come together again
master of narrative Michael Wright believes that man is not a problem, the problem is the problem. Separating people from problems can bring family members who have lost their connections back together to deal with the problems they encounter.
I used to give marriage treatment to a couple of 40-year-old couples, David and Lily.
David is an electrician, Lily is a housewife, and they have three sons. Before consulting, Lily was diagnosed as a paranoid personality disorder by the hospital because she always suspected that her 70-year-old husband had an affair and kept calling him and asked: “Where are you? What are you doing? Are you following? Which woman is together?” Lily did not listen to how David explained and proved. David said to me: “She is a suspicious woman! Every time she is suspected, I am very angry!” ”
This is a relationship between “suspicion” and “anger”. I discussed with Lily: “‘suspicious’ How does it affect your relationship? How does it affect your daily life? How does it affect how you look at David?”
Lily said: “I am very painful. It is like living in a dark cloud every day. I don’t want to live with ‘skepticism’…” Through Lily’s remarks, David knew that the wife himself was very painful. “Doubt” is a The double-edged sword hurt both him and her. In fact, they are all victims.
So where did “suspicion” come from? Every story has its history and source, as does Lily’s story. Lily is a Jew and was born in the United States. At the age of 3, her parents immigrated to Israel because the process of immigration was difficult, so Lily and her grandparents were left in the United States. My grandparents loved Lily very much and didn’t allow her to go out of the house. She said to her every day: “Baby, it’s too dangerous outside, you have to be careful, you can’t go out!” So, “suspicion” entered Lily’s heart, she felt around Unsafe, so there is no trust in the world.
At the age of 16, her grandparents brought her to immigrate to Israel and reunite with her parents. However, she suddenly found out that she had five sisters and one younger brother here. These family members, she has not only never seen, she has never heard of it, which makes her feel strange and uneasy. Soon, she found out that Dad had other women outside. The mother cried and said to her: “You never believe in men!” So, “suspect” came again, she could not believe in family and men.
Fifteen years ago, a son of Lily was killed in a car accident, only 18 years old. Just like when she felt abandoned by her parents when she was 3 years old, Lily felt that she was abandoned by her son again. “Suspect” opened her arms to Lily. After David retired, he worked as an electrician. He had to work in many families. He was in a certain position. He once again brought “suspicion” to Lily: “You obviously can come back in half an hour. Why do you have two hours?”
These “suspicions” Let Lily sleep well, and start to suffer from the moment she opens her eyes in the morning.
David wants to help his wife, secretly asking his 5 sisters and two sons to call Lily every day to divert her attention. So for a while, Lily received an inexplicable phone call every day: “Hey, I am the No. 1 sister, how are you today?” Half an hour later, the second sister called again. My son also called: “Mom, how are you feeling today?”
Lily was confused and asked David: “Are you looking for them to call me?” David firmly denied. Because he was worried that once he admitted, Lily would say that she was very good and refused his help. David is kind, but his denial once again makes “suspect” come to their marriage…
After listening to these stories, we will not think that Lily is a paranoid woman, “suspicion” has its origins Historical, social and cultural backgrounds are some of the interactions between the couple. Therefore, to fight against “suspicion”, the couple must work together. Later, I explored “anger” with David in a similar way. There is also a long story behind “anger”, which makes Lily re-recognize her husband.
After this “externalization” of dialogue therapy, the couple re-established a connection and were able to sit down together and discuss the future. Next, we can continue to explore how to “rewrite” the relationship between “suspicion” and “anger” and the relationship between “trust” and “quietness” that they crave.
Lily records the beautiful and warm moments of marriage in a book every day. Gradually, she finds that there are many “exceptional stories” in life that are not affected by “suspicion” and “anger”. Later, this book was filled with her. . David also made a lot of efforts for the life they longed for. They started telling Lily in advance every time they went out and kept the phone open. This move made Lily more secure. The couple gradually recovered their strength and had more confidence in the marriage.
After breaking free from the prison of the mind, David went to the park every morning to play the guitar and sing and perform. Lily went to the hospital for volunteers two days a week, enthusiastically helping those in need. Lily will carefully bake the cake for David, sing and dance with him; David will give Lily the leaves she has picked up, and feel the beauty of autumn with her… Their days are more romantic and poetic than young people. .
Open treasure hunt, those who love story activate
my opinion, the “problem” must exist, just as there will certainly be a marriage quarrel, the relationship will be ups and downs. However, the problem is only a small part of it. Love will always be more than a problem. The “problem” cannot defeat “love.”
First, find out if the “problem” you think is a “problem.” From small to large, we are influenced by many customs, expectations and assumptions. There are many standards in the mind about “happiness” or even “normal”, such as age, appearance, height, gender, social status, money, class, race, Religion, education level, etc. If you want to live more powerfully, you need to get rid of the social stereotypes that bind us.
For example, in some places, social culture believes that men must go out to make money, women do housework at home, and everyone is shaped by this social culture, thinking that this is the real thing. I have met a couple, the wife is a lawyer, and the social status is very high; the husband loves children and lives freely, and chooses to bring children at home. They get along with each other easily, but all relatives, friends, colleagues, and neighbors feel that they are not good couples. “How can this be done? It is so strange to let a man bring a child at home!” The stereotyped discourse of the society made the couple identify themselves as having “problems.” “, so come to consult.
I said to them: “It is not that you have problems, but that society has some different views on you. This problem does not exist between your husband and wife. Therefore, you may want to focus on yourself and think about it. : Some standards and requirements of society, do I have to follow? What kind of marriage life do I want? How can we live to make each other happier?” Later, the couple decided to stick to their favorite lifestyle,” The problem has also disappeared.
Second, find a special meaning event and activate the story of love. Our lives are made up of multiple stories, but when we “arguing”, we forget other stories.
There is a young couple with two children. The questions they originally raised were: little sexual life and a lot of arguments. Her husband said: “She was bored, are not interested in adventure than my wife, she prefers to be a mother..” His wife said: “! He was never satisfied, never know how tired I work all day”
in During the consultation, the husband recalled the scene when the two first met: “In the past, my heart has always been very inferior. I met her at the party. She is so beautiful and sexy, she is all shining. But she came to me. Actively speaking to me, that feeling makes me unforgettable forever, she is my goddess…” This is a special event in their story.
Hearing the husband’s description, his wife’s eyes began to shine: “In fact, I also missed myself at that time.” In fact, she had a lot of good experiences when she was having sex with her husband. It was only the education she received from childhood that she did not dare to enjoy sex. At the same time, in order to become a standard good wife, a good mother, she did not even dare to seek support from her husband, alone to undertake heavy chores, and more sexual life, the couple were unhappy.
After that, they shared their hopes, dreams and values and discussed the new life blueprint. Later, they went to the beach for a picnic, went to the mountains to camp on tents, and looked for a variety of quirky and interesting restaurants to eat… Every day was a fun, making marriage an adventure. The husband invited a babysitter to help take care of the children, and bought a lot of beautiful clothes for his wife; his wife began to dress herself up, the beautiful and sexy goddess came back, and their sexual life was very harmonious.
In fact, finding special events can not only help couples, but also help parent-child relationships.
The narrative master Michael White once told a story: A boy tried to commit suicide many times because his father regularly violently murdered the mother and son, and he could not see the hope of life.
Under the guidance of the counselor, the mother recalled a small matter: once, the husband beat her, and the 8-year-old son smashed the window with stones in order to divert his father’s attention. My mother escaped from the clutches, but her son was beaten by her father. The stories of love one by one were activated: he once saved his classmates and helped his cousin who was also suffering from domestic violence… It turned out that he was so brave. In this way, the story of “love” replaces the “problem” story, and the boy discovers that everything he has experienced has really hurt him, but life has hope. And witnessed the son’s bravery, mother also has the courage to deal with their marriage.
Love does not come out of thin air, poetic life husband and wife need to practice with
my husband and I have been married for 38 years, and in so long years, we are concerned about each other’s daily mood and preferences, respect for each other’s work and to pay for the family. I believe that love never comes out of thin air. It takes couples to practice together and work together to shape their favorite way of life. It takes some effort to get a poetic life full of love.
Listening is important in marriage. Many times, when the husband came to my counseling room, they were very angry with their partner and complained to me loudly: “It’s all his problems! It’s his fault!” Then, the couple blamed each other, quarreling, and force Express your feelings and thoughts, but don’t listen to each other’s voices.
So, I will say: “In fact, at home, you can argue, not to consult the room to do this. If you want to solve the problem, you need to let me know what happened.” The couple gradually calmed down. . I encourage couples to listen to each other’s stories with curiosity, respect and distance, as if they were a stranger and witness the entire conversation. The party responsible for witnessing can avoid listening from the perspective of the problem and can respond with reflection.
When a couple is in conflict, no matter how angry they are, they have to sit down and listen to what is really plaguing their partner. Because the points that may plague everyone are different, if you don’t listen, you don’t know what the other person cares most. If you don’t listen, you can’t solve the problem. Only by learning to listen can you leave a space for survival.
In addition, the husband must have a time alone, or do something he likes for the other person, so that he feels that his position in your heart is very special.
For example, when the wife baked the biscuits for the child, she specially made a chocolate cake that she liked. When her husband was on a business trip, he specially bought a bottle of perfume that she liked. No matter how busy the work is, send at least two WeChat to each other one day, because you know that the other person will care. The cultivation of love is to start from the nuances of life and let the marriage have more love stories. There are more stories about love, which will naturally replace the problem story and make our hearts full of love.
You can also try to externalize the “couple relationship.” You can choose a marker at home, such as a pot of flowers to represent the “couple relationship.” This is a small secret of the couple. Others do not know that this potted flower was originally a “couple relationship.” Then find a time each week, the couple talked to the potted flower together. One person plays himself and the other plays a “couple relationship.”
Husband (wife) asked: “Hey, husband and wife relationship, how are you today? How do you feel?”
”Missing relationship” may say:
”I feel good today!”
”In fact, I felt better last week, no quarrel.
” I want to go to a restaurant for dinner, the two of you to be more to take me to the restaurant! ” ”
you did not see me recently, forget about me. you just kids, I want to think more, spend more time with me! ”
the couple take turns so Playing a dialogue not only increases the taste of life, but also understands the needs of the other party, and does not make the partner feel stressed. It is recommended to put the “couple relationship” markers in a prominent place at home, so that you can always remind yourself to manage the “couple relationship” with your heart.
Remember, our lives are made up of multiple stories that make marriages beautiful and poetic, not to focus on problem stories, but to try to find and create stories of love.
(Thanks to Professor Li Ming from Beijing Forestry University and China’s first International Narrative Psychology Conference for their support of this interview)