One of the biggest questions that come up for both coaches and couples alike is “My spouse just doesn’t want to come to counseling, no matter what I say!” Here is a video I found recently that answers this question in a very very interesting way:
Here’s the answer: Men and women lie to each other because it has been bred into us genetically!
I didn’t make this up. There’s a large body of research on the subject. While this blog post cannot obviously cover them all, here is the excerpt of an article I found on www.mycoachtraining.com that sums it up nicely:
Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, in his book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life, constructed an interesting theory: We often deceive ourselves because it then becomes easier to deceive others.
And deceiving others, according to Trivers, allows us to gain an evolutionary advantage when it comes to survival and mating. Women, for example, will often choose their mate based on status, resources, attractiveness (a sign of “good genes”), and a willingness to commit. Males who therefore have “reproductive success” over time have inherited the ability to deceive their mates – and themselves – that they have these traits. In turn, the offspring of these couples inherit this tendency. And so on and so on . . .
Trivers cites many more examples, as well as the research behind his findings. He also shows why the adaptation to self-deception in one area of life can sabotage other areas. So what does that mean for you and your coaching clients? Simply this: find a way to allow your client to get some instant feedback (such as through the Logical Soul® technique) that allows them to become aware of the hidden decisions and deceptive patterns that sabotage their success (beyond survival and mating, that is).
Here’s another thought: if you are a couples coach trying to get some kind of resolution out of their dysfunction, you may decide at some point to give it up because they don’t seem to be able to tell the truth to each other. While this may sound strange coming from a woman, I often let the proverbial chips fall where they may. Some couples will never stop lying to each other, constantly argue, and never seem to want to work together.
You can’t save every relationship, so there’s no use in creating multiple problems for yourself by trying too hard. Learn to accept each couple as an ongoing process that they themselves chose to embrace. By seeing it this way, you do both yourself and them a big favor.
Alternately, if you try to do too much, the whole coaching or counseling process can become personal – with you as the bad guy! Most couples are afraid of intimacy; that’s whey they come to you. When you add your personal mission to the mix, this fear of intimacy gets heated up. Eventually the fear will come to a head, convert to anger, and be directed at you.
As a couples coach, don’t get involved. You can show them communication and other skills they need, but leave it up to them to embrace these new approaches. If they do, great! Your job is simply to act as a facilitator. If they refuse the tools, however, its a strong indication they’ve each made an inner decision to split.
All you can do at this point is help them be honest with each other – probably for the first time in their relationship!
There’s an old joke about the therapist who was counseling a middle-aged woman who sought his help because of her ongoing marital problems. The wife complained that her husband was losing his mind: “He thinks he’s a chicken. He walks around all day clucking and strutting. He never pays any attention to me, and can’t even speak except to make chicken noises…”
The couples therapist suggested she bring him in with her for the next session, and that he could probably get to the root of the problem and cure the poor fellow.
“I don’t think I want that,” said the wife.
“But why not?” queried the therapist with a growing concern.
“Because we don’t have money for food and I need the eggs!”
If you are a marriage or relationship life coach or counselor, you have no doubt run across couples like this. The wife complains to the therapist about a problem the wife also has, or vice-versa.
The main advice to any coach or counselor is to simply listen. Couples – starting with the wife – just need to be heard to sort through the problem and get better. Even most husbands report that having someone really listen to them helps them feel the respect they often miss from their wives.
If you can listen without taking sides, you have allowed more than 80% of the problem to be resolved on its own. The remaining steps would simply be to give each partner something to do in order to clarify his and her goals for the marriage, and to give them a bit more understanding, and teach them listening skills they can use to resolve their own issues.
How to Teach Listening
the trick to teaching couples how to listen is to help them understand what brought them together in the first place. By cultivating the mutual love and respect they once felt, you have a chance to “NLP them” into a different state where they can feel that same love and respect again. Once done, the advice for them to listen to each other becomes an easy task.
If there are hidden agendas or resentments that won’t go away, however, you may need to resort to other measures. Sometimes this could be as simple as having one partner sit mute while the other unloads on him or her. Then that partner also gets a chance to do the same. The risk you run here, however, is that resentments might actually build instead of lessen. This is a judgement call you will need to make, based on how you perceive their relationship, and how deep the resentments might be.
At times, there will be couples whose resentments run so deep you won’t be able to help. In cases such as these, having the phone number of a colleague – a psychotherapist or psychologist who can help – is important. In rare cases, couples will simply need to divorce each other to get peace. At other times, they may need medication to keep them from harming themselves or each other. As a coach, you shouldn’t have to deal with these cases . . . and in many states, you would be required to refer them to another professional!
The bottom line is: to be a good relationship coach, learn how to listen . . . not with an eye towards “fixing” your clients, but mainly to allow them to vent and communicate with each other. If you can do this, you will be a great coach!
I had an argument with my husband Arnold the other day. He was heading out the door to drive off somewhere he said was “important.” I needed him to take our son Durbin to his parent’s house so they could watch him while we went on a “Christmas Shopping Date” that night.
“What do you mean ‘important’!? You said you would take the boy to Grammy’s house!” I yelled, a bit peeved that he could be so insensitive.
He refused to give me the details, so I finally figured out it had something to do with getting me a gift. But I was still angry since I was covered from top to bottom with holiday chores. I wanted nothing to do with his excuses.
Eventually I won. He stayed and took Durbin to Grammy’s.
That night we had a very nice trip to the local mall to look at Christmas lights and pick our more gifts for relatives and friends. Then he sprung the surprise on me at a local coffee shop . . . a beautiful 14 carat gold necklace to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary! I had forgotten . . . !!
I felt both ashamed and embarrassed. The look in his eyes told me everything I needed to know . . . that it didn’t matter what I said or did. He still loves me, no matter what! He had, in fact, driven Durbin over to his parents’ house, then sped to the store to pick up my necklace. It was out of his way, but he was determined to surprise me . . . and he did!
With a growing family, and holidays being so hectic, remembering our wedding date in early December has become more and more difficult. This year I forgot. He didn’t. The best anniversary gift I ever received – more than the gold necklace – was his commitment to remembering. And I love him now more than ever.
It’s not about being right or wrong. Men (at least as far as women are concerned) are ALWAYS wrong! It takes a special man to understand that, and to go with the punches . . . to love his wife or girlfriend no matter what she is feeling.
When that happens, guess what . . . the man ALSO gets to win!
Arnold found that out later
Want a spicier marriage? A happier home? Try muscle testing!
I learned of this technique from a friend of mine whose chiropractor uses it to determine all sorts of hidden problems, imbalances and, yes, even subconscious beliefs and psychological or mental blocks. Muscle testing is simple to learn, easy to use, and can be done anywhere . . . except in public while driving or banking.
As I understand it, the body and subconscious work together to either give you a “Yes” or a “No,” depending on the beliefs you bring to the table and the nature of the statements you make. This method works like a simple lie-detector test built into the body. For example, a simple “yes” test would be to say something true – or have your partner say something true – while pushing down on the outstretched arm. It the answer is “yes” the arm will stay outstretched. If the answer is “no” the arm will get a bit weaker and fail to stay strong against the small push downward.
It’s a bit more complicated than that, but not by much. The main help it can bring to your marriage or relationship is that you can both use muscle testing to get past the blame and anger that usually goes along with an argument or disagreement. Once you know how to test each other, both the man and the woman get something out of it. Men like it because it makes sense and is measurable, while women appreciate the fact that he is doing something together with her that can bring them closer together!
Below is video that will help you understand the process a bit more. Heck, if I can do it, I know you can! My husband and I actually look forward to our regular “muscle testing time” before dinner . . a time when we can get clear on the hidden blocks that keep us from being happy!
Mars and Venus: The Serpent Tries to Eat Its Own Tail
We hear this stuff all the time . . . mainly because, since the dawn of mankind, we have been trying to figure this stuff out! Why? Because each generation has to revisit the same old questions of sexual duality, and how it all works. Women think that men think like them, then are disappointed when they act stupid. Men think women have brains like theirs, and are suddenly shocked when women act crazy!
This blog is about stories from both men and women. Its about the maddening gyrations that two creatures go through when they are faced with an impossible misunderstanding mixed with a strong desire to merge. Without the desire, no merging would, in fact, take place . . . the sexes are so far apart!
At some point in each article, we will also try to provide some kind of coaching lesson or exercise you can do with your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other to assess your current head spaces. Hopefully you will walk away with some useful methods you can use to dispel fear, increase love, and get rid of the “Greeblies” . . . those terrible emotional things that stick to your aura and make you want to run away and hide!
Coaching couples is a lot like acting as a referee for a a dog-cat fight. Both you and the couple know what is happening, see it unfold, and fear the rising tide of anger, fear and wildness, but feel totally helpless to do anything about it. The main thing a coach or counselor is there for is to listen and provide a safe space for couples to hash it out on their own (with a few timed suggestions in between).
If you are a couples coach or marriage counselor, you know quite well what I’m saying. so I’m not going to preach to the choir.
I can, however, suggest certain tools and resources you may find helpful in your quest for a smoother session and faster resolution of the relationship “issues.”
Thanks for coming on board. I hope you will find it helpful . . . and be sure to share each blog post if you do!