Anna wants Toby to do more in the household. They are discussing. Until Anna says, “You can ask Britta, Roland makes all their purchases, and she never has to beg for help cleaning up.” This concludes the meaningful part of their discussion immediately. And Toby goes with “Roland, jaaaa Roland, who also gets every month a check from Mama!” Screaming in the air. Mr. L. is offended.
He feels criticized by his wife too hard. She does not agree with him but listens carefully until he says, “You are very aggressive very quickly, of course, and that’s what the kids think they are!” That’s what they told me. ” And at least this time he is right, because Mrs. L. immediately goes through the ceiling.
Mrs. C. does not want to spend the holidays at the sea every year. Your conversation about it takes exactly ten seconds. In which says Mrs. C .: “Every year we go to the sea, which is really not normal that a man can only drive to the sea.” And already Mr. C. is defensive and petrified.
And the conversation between Evi and Arnold about spending enough time with each other is over in an instant as Arnold says, “Oh Evi, stop it! Other women would be glad if their guys were only starting to home so often would be like me. “
All these conversations fail for the same reason: the couple is no longer alone. One partner has brought others into play. Sometimes important others, like the children or good friends, sometimes anonymous others who hide invisibly behind “normal”.
We are afraid of not being heard
The person so addressed suddenly has his family or the entire normal population against him. He does not know if this majority really exists, but should bow to it. He is helplessly forced to respond. And he usually escapes this unpleasant feeling through anger. The conflict turns into a power struggle. In which no one more understanding for the view of the other applies.
In couple conversations, others are often brought into play. It is the unfortunate attempt to give more weight to one’s own position in order to reach the partner in this way. And it betrays that we are afraid of not being heard or frustrated because we do not feel understood in the relationship.
We are rarely so good that in conversation we become the “other” ourselves and look at ourselves from the outside: “I do not feel that we are even able to reach each other. Can we look at each other together as we are?” No, we rarely do that. But the urge to want to lead others is the signal that clarification would be needed. And it does not make much sense to continue talking about our topic. The imaginary “others” are a cry for help that we should hear ourselves. We feel alone with the partner. The topic that needs our attention is this loneliness. But for the way a couple finds each other, the others only ever stay: the others.