RRC August 2012 eZine
Relationship Reflections Newsletter

New Offering

The Couples Intensive
 
RRC offers a unique and valuable service to couples called The Couples Intensive. Many couples love this approach! They find it very encouraging and useful to start out with an in-depth experience that is safe, respectful and nurturing. They address the pain as well as the hope they have for their relationship with a skilled and caring counselor.
 
The Couple’s Intensive is a one day (six hours) engagement with a couple that follows the structure of the popular “Getting the Love You Want/ Growing in Intimacy” workshop that we have presented for many years. In this format you work by yourselves with a counselor and the information and exercises are tailored specifically to your needs and desires. We follow up the six hour experience with an additional three hour meeting several weeks following the day long intensive. This session allows us to ensure that you are integrating the information and skills into your relationship and to address any questions or issues that you may have about the new material you have learned.
 
Our Staff has used this model with couples for many years. We find this approach to be very satisfying and effective for the couples who have the courage to do this intensive intervention. Call John Mariner at 303-321-1108 x3 to find out more about this work and/or to schedule your intensive. We look forward to hearing from you.
 
 

Upcoming Events

The Magic of Connection - Part 1:
Connecting With New Eyes and Ears

When: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Hours9:00am – 5pm
Cost: $250/couple; ($225/couple if paid in full by 2 Saturdays prior to the workshop date; repeat workshop participants may register for $125)
 

This one-day workshop teaches skills to create a healthier, more trusting, and dynRRC Couple 2amic relationship through new ways of connecting with your partner!

 
When we learn to speak and listen with compassion and curiosity, we create a context of greater safety and understanding, from which flows deepened passion and intimacy!

For more information about this workshop and to register please Click Here
 

One-Up Power in Couples

Men as well as women often see women as the 'relationship experts'.

They talk about relationships much more than most men do, they read far more many books than men do about relationships, and are often the planners and arrangers of family time and social engagements. They are usually seen, and usually rightfully so, as more skillful than men when it comes to relationships. All of which makes the following very interesting.

When a man and a woman come in for couples counseling, if the woman is willing to look at her behavior and grow and change, the woman grows and changes. If the man is willing to look at his behavior and grow and change the man obviously grows and changes and additionally his growth and change is usually the key factor in whether the relationship succeeds or not!

This is doubly interesting because men often feel powerless in a relationship where in reality, the power to change the relationship for the better often lies with them. How to explain this?

First of all, men being brought up as masculine, are more often in the one-up, power over position in the couple relationship even when they don't feel like they are. This point requires some explanation. The one-up position isn't based primarily on feelings- it's based on behavior and who actually controls what happens in the relationship- usually the person who is willing to do the least. The other person, usually the woman, can complain all she likes but she can't get her partner to change his behavior.

A man who is being constantly complained at may not feel like he has much power in the relationship. It's true that he can't stop her from complaining. He does have the power to decide to change his behavior that is eliciting her complaints. And he doesn't have to give up his manhood to do so. He just needs to realize that since her cultural position is one-down, she probably sees his behavior a lot clearer than he does and complains, usually ineffectively, to try to get him to change. Complaining is not a powerful strategy. It is one-down behavior.

Masculine acculturation trains men to be one-up and women, who are trained in the feminine, to be one-down. (If a woman is truly in the one-up position, the situation is reversed and then her changing her behavior changes the relationship. We are addressing the destructive one -up position inherent in masculine training rather than men or women. However, many men argue vehemently that, no, she is in the one-up position even when he rides there unconsciously the majority of the time.)

At this time in our society, women initiate divorce proceedings at about twice the rate that men do. Many women eventually decide that if men won't recognize and deal with their one-up and entitled behavior, they are not going to take this lying down, so to speak. What more and more women now have the power to do is to leave a relationship when a man is unwilling to change.

So here it is. A woman who changes her behavior does not usually change the power dynamics in a relationship while a man who changes his behavior moves out of a power over position and begins the movement toward power with his partner in the relationship. If it isn't too late and the woman isn't too far gone, the prognosis for a revitalized and loving relationship is good. It's useful to keep in mind that women don't usually leave us men because they don't love us. They leave us because they get fed up with our unconscious, entitled, one-up behavior patterns that are a destructive legacy of our being raised in guy school. The good news is that we guys have the power to change these patterns and often change our relationships for the better with the women who love us and mostly don't want to leave us.

John Mariner, LCSW 


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Tel: 303 321-1108
Email: staff@relationshipresourcecenter.com




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