Counselling and Psychotherapy for
Body, Mind and Spirit

Ina Stockhausen, MTC

Ina Stockhausen R.P.C. offers spiritual counselling and body psychotherapy or somatic counseling in Burnaby and North Vancouver.

In her Monday’s brief, Arianna Huffington wrote „For Voters to Believe Obama’s Second Term Will Bring About Change, He Needs to Acknowledge What Needs to Change in Himself”.

How is that connected to transforming your marriage and love relationship from frustrating or disappointing to the relationship of your dreams?

All relationships begin with the honeymoon phase. For most couples this stage lasts approx. 18 months. For some the experience of finding our partner fascinating and thinking we have found the love of our life can last up to three years.

When the honeymoon phase ends, it is part of normal development to move into the power struggle stage. What does that look like? For example, if before you loved his sense of humor, now it drives you crazy. And if once upon a time you liked how organized she is and how well she plans everything, now you think she’s a control freak.

Because every day we have to deal with life stress of some sort such as child rearing, money concerns, problems at work and/ or health issues, we tend to look toward our relationship as a source of comfort and joy.

We hope that our partner will see and hear us, reassure us, soothe away our anxiety and make us forget about the challenges of life. He or she will not try to fix us or change us but love us just the way we are.

When your relationship isn’t meeting your needs and you want it to change, it’s common to focus on what’s wrong with your partner and how he /she should change. You start to think that “If only he /she would be different…if only he /she would change this or that behavior then things would improve.”

President Obama’s reelection campaign focuses on change. The feedback he is receiving is clear. If he wants to win this campaign he will need to do more than focus on change. He will have to consider what changes he is willing to make. Hence his theme is “It begins with us“.

If you want to move from relationship survival to thrival you need to consider the changes you’re willing to make.

Are you willing to make your marriage a priority?
Are you willing to be authentic in your communication?
Do you want to assume ownership for how you contribute to conflicts?

Here are some tips:

  • The key factors in relationship growth are emotional safety and passion. The most powerful change that you can make to contribute to and create this safety (which automatically fosters and creates passion) is changing how you communicate.
  • Be willing to love, hear and see your partner just the way he /she is. Stay present and connected to your own boundary, get in touch with and assume ownership for your needs and feelings.
  • Stop placing the blame for your unhappiness on your partner’s shoulders. Don’t make assumptions about the other’s thoughts or motivations. Instead believe in each other’s good intentions and unpack the source of contention through talking it out.
  • Learn to communicate clearly focusing on how you feel rather than on what you think your partner is doing (to you). Make requests explaining your needs (which are based on your feelings) rather than telling your partner what he / she is doing wrong.

This way of communicating is called non-violent communication – conversing with intentional love and self-awareness. You can find more information here.

Change takes effort and practice.

Your willingness to be the change you want to see in your relationship is your first step in the right direction.





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