I recently listened to an interview with Jayson Gaddis, who is a relationship coach, from the Conscious Life – Healing Toxic Relationships Super Conference Nov. 2023. Jayson’s approach to coaching couples is to keep things simple. Relationship dynamics are complicated enough, so he tries to avoid too much theory.
My top take-aways:
- The key to any successful relationship is how you repair after a disagreement or argument. This can be marital, parent/child, or even with friends and co-workers. The key ingredients in the repair process are:
- Ownership of the problem
- Using empathy (standing in the shoes of the other person without judgement or sharing your opinion)
Repair is different than saying you are sorry.
- A commitment to marriage is “Standing for 3”:
- I stand for me and my successes and values
- I stand for you and your successes and values
- I stand for us; we don’t tolerate not being happy
In a healthy marriage, you do have to give up some things to successfully share a life together. As Jayson states, if you want everything in your life to stay the same as when you were a single person, then don’t get married.
- A heavy focus on choice. Often Jayson works with one partner who reports feeling unhappy or who hires Jayson in the hopes he will help change the other spouse. He asks the unhappy person to say out loud everyday their truth by leading with I choose, for example:
- I choose to stay in a marriage that is not fulfilling.
- I choose to stay in this relationship where I’m not getting my needs met.
- I choose to change my partner to get what I want.
It’s painful either way to stay or to leave a marriage. Which pain do you want? In the end, all of us are victims. The victim who recognizes “I had a part in this, and how do I move out of this pain”, is on a journey to become “unstuck.”