Posts Tagged ‘dialoguing’


April 13, 2010
Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

A client who recently attended a Getting the Love You Want workshop with her husband shared something enlightening with me last week. She has given me permission to write about it since I found it so fascinating.

Since they attended the workshop and started learning the Imago communication skills, she has begun talking to her husband about many things she wouldn’t have previously.

“Tell me more” I said curiously!

She told me that when she and her husband came to the workshop their relationship was, as Maureen would say, in bad, bad, shape. There was little communication between them and they weren’t even sleeping in the same bed. Because she is a very social person, with lots of friends, she tended to tell her friends her deepest thoughts, daily anxieties and general news of the day. Over the past few months her husband was the last person to hear about anything she had to say.

This is all changing now and she is finding this completely weird!

Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

She started to notice things were different when she told her friends about the weekend workshop itself. She and her husband, like most couples, found it to be completely transformative and inspiring. Her friends were anxious to hear about it, as they had been hearing about many of her marital difficulties for some time. Her biggest take away from the workshop was learning about herself and how she had been contributing to the state of her relationship. This was a new language to her friends. Up until this point they had only been hearing about the complaints she had about her husband and never about her own role.

So, she had a conversation about this with her husband. They actually dialogued and they continued to have an even better week! A new language was being practiced.

She began to have epiphanies almost daily; about dialogues and new “sender” topics; visiting her husband’s world and learning his language; stretching to meet each other’s needs; seeing frustrations as offering golden opportunities for learning and growth; healing past and present ruptures and the list kept going.

The only problem was when her friends couldn’t decipher this new lingo and had no idea what she was talking about.  The only one who did was guess who? Her beloved of over 25 years!

He was interested in what she had to say. He was even thinking about some of these things on his own. He wanted to talk to her as well. She became more aware of how her friends had become her “exit” (more lingo).

So there you have it: new language and new world and same old relationship.  How amazing is that?

Flickr / sharad 2007

By the way, just an aside, you may wonder why in last weeks post there is a beautiful shot of the North Shore Mountains…It’s because I forgot to mention that is the view from our new office. That’s amazing too!

Dare ya –

Just go to your partner, look them straight in the eye and say, ”You are amazing”… Then see what happens!

Yours truly,


Dynamic Attack!!!!!!

February 1, 2010

How’s it been going since you left the workshop?

Whether you have been dialoguing or not, keep reading…..

Let’s start with a few important reminders:

  1. Your relationship will take time and energy.
  2. Sometimes, and more than we’d like, our limbic brain’s control our behaviours and we react in ways we wished we hadn’t.
  3. Whatever you are going through, no matter where you are at, it is ALL NORMAL.
  4. We all just want to be loved.

Okay so what’s the point?

After our first workshop we left in a much better place than when we came in. Guess what? Sometime later something big or small happened and bam, we were back in an old place again.

But were we?

Yes and No.

Yes  because it is all old stuff, that never really changes. Remember, our dance is our dance. Both of us create it and we do it over and over…

That’s  the bad news.

So what’s the good news?

We really can do it differently, even if it seems the same. We do have some new skills, even if we forget to use them. Do not despair, instead have a dialogue – it will save your relationship.

But why does it keep happening? Same old fight, same old issue, same old same old…..

Talk to your brain, it’s your brain’s fault. That old limbic system keeps hijacking you to respond in old protective ways that keep circling around and getting you stuck in a negative response cycle. By now you know this has a lot to do with you and your growing-up years and less to do with your partner.

Every relationship has its own very unique response cycle. Sometimes this is referred to as a dance. Tamara and Sarah coined their own version of this tem some years ago. They call it “the dynamic attack”

Here’s how it went down….

Imagine this… Shopping at a grocery store…. in the cereal department fighting over what kind to buy…. when Sarah called it. Out of her mouth came the words  ”Dynamic attack, dynamic attack”. Tamara began laughing hysterically because it was completely stupid to be fighting about cereal and we all know it wasn’t about cereal anyway. It was about control and who would be the one; the one to pick, to be listened to and to feel important. Cereal had very little to do with it.

Years later when they start up, about anything, whoever calls it first says, ”dynamic attack”. A little humour can go a long way when the – – – – is hitting the fan!

Dare ya –

Tell your partner our idea of coming up with a code word to “call it” when it’s happening and commit to take a time out if you need to (refer to the Time Out Protocol handout we gave out at the workshop). Then use the word at least 2 times this week. Remember to calm your brain, you can do it!

Yours really truly,