Who wants a perfect relationship, will fail – says the couple therapist
Being a good partner also means making mistakes now and then …
The couple seems to have a good time together. The two are giggling all the time. That confuses me. Because they discuss a dispute they had. Do not you take seriously what they do with each other? Above all, I’m confused that I’m watching a “master couple”. And these two are anything but masterful, rather silly. I’m watching a video released by American pair researcher John Gottman . A video about couples who have proven to be particularly stable and satisfied in research. So I’ll take a closer look. And gradually I realize. This pair is truly masterful in making amends for any failed interaction. They are artists in the pair art of repairing.
A long-term love relationship is an interpersonal obstacle course that is so difficult that many couples drop out at some point. We know this. So we do our best to keep our relationships well and properly. We are looking for insights, tricks and rules. As maybe in this text here you are reading. In the meantime, we actually know and understand a lot about love, communication and attachment. This promotes the idea that it is possible to lead a relationship correctly. And we are just incompetent. So we try harder to do it well. But that is not the solution. That’s the problem.
Who tries to lead his relationship right, makes everything wrong
The founder of attachment research, British psychiatrist John Bowlby, has coined the wonderful phrase that there is no good mother, only mothers who are good enough. This also applies to partners. We can not be a good partner. We also can not have a good partnership. If we try to do it right in love, we are doomed to fail. Because we misuse our power. And not develop the stable partnership. We do not learn to make amends. We can not always be connected, but always find each other.
Satisfied couples are not trying to do everything right. But they pay attention to the relationship. And quickly pick up on the partner’s small signals that indicate he feels misunderstood or attacked. They reassure him, they clarify. Like the master couple, who instantly reacts with a gentle joke, a smile, when the other’s expression threatens to darken. Couples who have understood that the point is to make amends also react differently in conflicts. They do not discard a dispute or seek with all their strength for the solution of how this issue should be avoided in the future. Instead, they remain in the present, in the existing conflict. And try to dissolve it by understanding the experience of the other.
Who tries to lead his relationship right, makes everything wrong. Those who are prepared to accept that something can go wrong, go wrong, are already one step ahead. Who then learns together to pay attention to the feeling of relationship and to repair the small and large fractures, which makes at least some right.