By Chrissy Richman.
Have you ever occasionally hated the person you share your life with?
For all of us the recent enforced lockdown has blast tested our relationships, and many of us have discovered that what keeps us together is actually space apart. It’s a bewildering conundrum. Is it right? Is it healthy or a sign of imminent divorce? Basically, is it normal to want to kill your husband?
Firstly, I must just say that the title of this article is taken from a real question, by a real person, from a recent and also very real online relationship counselling session.
I never usually like to arbitrate on normality, as I fear, like many of us, I’m far from normal myself (whatever that is). What I do know is that having the urge to occasionally stave in the back of your partners head with a baseball bat and dance around their dismembered limbs singing “not so clever now are you” to the tune of Born To Be Wild, is not entirely unusual. It maybe slightly violent, but not unusual.
Luckily, for all our husbands and partners, the difference between having an urge to wreak bloody murder, and actually picking up a baseball bat in uncontrolled rage, is a little way apart. Sometimes a deep breath, counting to ten, a big glass of red wine and a walk around the block is the wafer thin difference between successful domestic stability and a baseball bat bloodbath.
So, for the next few minutes, put the bat down, take a deep breath (and a big slurp of red wine) and let me share with you a few things that often help couples during the early stages of online-counselling.
I should also say that it may not be helpful to over analyse these suggestions. There’s something to be said for just doing it and seeing if these ideas make a difference. We can all analyse away anything and everything if we choose. If you don’t want to commit mariticide (which yes, you’re right, I didn’t know was a word either until I wrote this article and looked it up; mariticide, the killing of one’s husband), try some of these ideas:
The First Six Things Exercise
It’s so very simple, but like many things which are good and work well, it’s not rocket science. When I hear someone running down their partner or husband I often wonder what they saw in them in the first place, and I therefore often ask what the first five or six things were that attracted them to this person. There must have been something right? We don’t randomly just partner up with people, there must be some choice involved, so what influenced that choice at the very beginning. What were the first six things that attracted you to your partner?
Your Worst Six Things Exercise
Hating your husband or partner is an all consuming occupation. Whilst consumed with such powerful feelings it’s often difficult to take responsibility and see your own faults. Similar to the above exercise, what are the six things that your partner may find difficult about you right now?
Can They Change
Can you help your partner change? It’s a tricky question which revolves around how much they want to change. If they don’t see any problems why would they change? We already know that the only person we know we can really change is ourselves. The starting point for many relationship counselling programmes, whether online or not, is the same; we have to increase motivation to change. If we don’t want to change, we won’t. It’s as simple as that. So the question is, how much do you and your partner want to change? If you are both ten out of ten, we’re off to a flying start. If not, that’s we’re we need to begin.
On a scale of one to ten, rate you and your partners’ motivation to change. That’s your starting point. If it’s below five for either of you, you will need help from a relationship counsellor.
What Did You Do That Made The Difference
This is a really useful thing to do. Write a letter to yourself from the future and imagine that you and your partner have made the changes that you needed to make in order to be happy and content. When you have finished the letter, identify what the exact changes are and how you made them. Write the letter as though you are writing to a really close friend, give them encouragement and the best advice that you can.
These are just a handful of useful ideas from the many interventions which we used during online relationship counselling. I hope you have found them helpful.
If you would like more information about our online relationship counselling (or how to prevent mariticide) have a look at this page: Online Counselling : https://www.thelifechangepeople.com/online-counselling/
Many thanks for reading.