A 52 Week Journey in the life of a Couple (click on the “weeks” below)
Francesca and Paul are a couple whose story begins with their wedding and follows them, with weekly blogs, through the first year of their marriage. What happens week by week is like the weather pattern: at times sunny and clear, warm and breezy, at times stormy, freezing and ghastly.
Francesca and Paul are totally fictional characters, with no reference to any particular person or experience, but they reflect some of the common experiences a lot of couples go through as they adjust to life together. So, as you read their week-by-week adventures in married life, at times you may be able to identify with one, at times with the other, resonating with their feelings and learning from it.
There is no marriage 101 class one can take before making the commitment. There are a lot of books written on this subject, of course, but it is difficult to remember specifically what they say when we are all alone and in the midst of a heated argument. It is through the collective experience of being in long term relationships, the knowledge accumulated in this field, and a deep understanding of ourselves that we increase our chances of making our relationships work. And, last but not least, it is the willingness to do the hard work of understanding, getting in touch with, face and stay with our emotions and learn to communicate them in healthy ways that pays off in the end.
Most of the blogs are written in Francesca’s voice, but Paul appears from time to time to give his perspective on what is going on, offering an opportunity to see how the same situation can be seen in very different ways by two people.
As a therapist, I often say that our perception is our reality. By that I mean that often we get so stuck in our ways of seeing things and we are convinced our views are the only ones that we don’t allow for any differing opinion. So we get so entrenched in our positions that we become totally close to our partner’s viewpoint. Each party is waiting for the other to capitulate and, of course, neither is willing to yield. Under these circumstances, communication breaks down, feelings get hurt and no resolution can be reached. This is so because, without the ability to allow for a different perspective, neither party can be heard from the other. Only by listening to our partner and trying to see things from his or her viewpoint we can become more flexible and able to reach consensus.
In addition to the weekly blog written by our fictional characters, I, as therapist, also write a blog, from time to time, called Strengths and Red Flags. In it, I comment on what is going on with Francesca and Paul, and discuss and explain specific issues and conflicts, providing suggestions, information and directions. So, it is like watching a movie story developing and listening to the commentary on the movie concurrently. And, of course, not only my comments add depth and insight to the story, but yours as well. Your experiences, feedback and suggestions contribute to a discussion on what works and what doesn’t in love relationships, and what can be done to prevent getting stuck in dysfunctional patterns with our partners.
So, follow Paul and Francesca’s story and let us know your thoughts and reactions that what happens to them.
Simply Cick on the Links Below to See Each Week’s Adventures: