the power behind triggers.
By the time many couples reach out to a counselor or relationship coach, they have typically tried
for an extended period of time to find answers on their own.
Without resolution, they are frustrated and overwhelmed,
having no idea how to manage whatever stands in the way of more balanced times.
Eventually, they may even grow to believe their relationship is "broken", and cannot be "fixed".
When I have the opportunity to work with a couple whose relationship is in that place,
I do not see it as broken, but rather that the papertrail they each brought into the relationship,
has yet to be clearly exposed.
Whether it's triggers, dynamics or patterns, they can be difficult to see on our own.
No matter how clear we are, or how much instrospective work we have done in the past,
we often need someone outside of ourselves to offer a fresh perspective.
I am always fascinated how God and this grand universe bring couples together who ironically
trigger the exact thing in their partner that needs healing. When the opportunity presents itself to
shed light on those triggers, huge shifts can occur.
Triggers are almost always from the past. They have a lot of energy, and can cause us to
react versus respond in a disagreement. The issues get lost in the layers of triggering back and forth,
until suddenly the argument goes ballistic and takes the opposite direction of resolution.
It isn't ideally productive to spend time peeling away all the layers of an argument, until the triggers are identified. Triggers have the ability to consume an argument if they are allowed to continue without insight.
To see them for what they are, is to let the "air out of the balloon".
Without understanding the power behind these thoughts and experiences, they can dominate, and the relationship ultimately takes the hit. To hear from a partner where their trigger stems,
is to understand them in a way that no one else does.
And, to cross share from this place and provide a safe haven for that,
brings a couple together in a closeness that is hard to achieve any other way.
This process does not take years, or dozens of conversations. It takes humbly showing up to hold an honest convesation. Being willing to acknowledge the connection from the past, and embracing it instead of
trying to hide it is the secret.
You are not alone. We all have a past, and we all have triggers. To give them light is to disempower them. To keep them hidden until you are triggered is to give them power. And, while we may learn about them or visit them when we are single, guaranteed, they will always arise when we are in relationship to another person, especially intimately.
Looking at triggers and arguments as a broken relationship can be such a loss. They are an opportunity
that has presented itself like pieces to a puzzle, in order to heal together and better understand one another. From there, arguments are more able to stay in the present, which is always a calmer, more grounded
place to voice your opinion and therefore be heard.
In my practice, I am absolutely passionate about triggers, dynamics and patterns. By simply seeing, acknowledging, embracing and practicing, immediate shifts can occur, and partners can grow closer. Triggers normally have a deep history, so this doesn't happen overnight, but like any good new habit, it can be learned through awareness and practice.
And when we take a step backwards, the miracle words are:
"I am sorry" or "that sits on my side of the fence",
And with that, you start again.
Practice creates a new pattern of "being" in relationship to and with your loved one.