Writings On Couples Work
by Jonathan Bartlett
Saying I'm Sorry
We ask acts of contrition from our children as though saying “I’m sorry” is as simple as saying “please” or “thank you.” We are right to teach this skill early in life. But interpersonally, among those with whom we hope to entrust our deeper selves, saying “I’m sorry” is a far more complex task.
Tired of Complaining? Make a Request
The act of making requests is an extremely straightforward process. Similar to the choice to forgive someone, offering a sincere request can immediately and radically alter the landscape of your long held grievances. Suddenly with a courageous wave of your hand, the chances of getting what you want from others can be tipped in your favor. It takes practice. But it’s not rocket science.
Why Does Every Talk About ‘Us’ Turn into a Fight?
You feel stuck in a rut with regard to how you and your partner communicate. He just doesn’t seem to get what you’re saying. She can parrot your every word but still fails to really understand. Books and friends all point to the basic differences between the sexes and advise you to accept your rut as reality. You are tempted to throw up your hands and stop trying. Still, something tells you that you are not all that different from each other.
Why Couples Therapy? Why Now?
A couple walks into an office for the first time. They take their seats at opposite ends of a couch. After a short flurry of legalisms, a small contract is passed out and the two steal an anxious look at one another, “What is it we’re getting ourselves into here?”