Resolutions and goals for 2016 abound as we look for ways to change to improve our lives in the new year.
While watching the couples move in together this week, thoughts come to mind about the numerous changes they’ve made in a short period of time. It’s enough to make even the most flexible person get bent out of shape.
As my journey to walk in their shoes continues, this week I will share my own personal thoughts on change and how it relates to the couples.
A key factor to change in a relationship is first being able to identify the problem. This takes deep self-reflection and time, as it may be buried deep. You need to get honest with yourself.
When you don’t identify the real problem, you are often reactive to other things, spin your wheels and make it impossible to move forward.
Some people adapt well to change, jump right in with both feet and view problems with a “bring it” attitude.
Other people see change as an uphill battle, too large at times, to overcome. They feel overwhelmed and can’t see the forest for the trees.
Conflict can arise when there is a lack of understanding for how others deal with change. This can present a huge challenge when you have two people just learning to communicate.
It’s important to take some time to reflect on the change you want to see happen. The next step is to think about what you personally need to do to get there.
Come up with a plan that focuses on your actions. Be willing to communicate your plan and be open to compromise. Know that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable as you work through the problem.
This week, Vanessa and Tres were the perfect example of this process.
They identified the problem, which wasn’t really Tres’ drinking, rather his lack of communication, and Vanessa’s fear that he wasn’t ready to be a husband.
Once they addressed the issues, they were able to come up with a compromise.
Vanessa realized she is more serious than Tres and agreed to work on relaxing a bit. Tres realized Vanessa equates trust with predictability and agreed to work on better communication. This exemplified a win-win situation in a marriage…and a huge sigh of relief for viewers.
Sam and Neil identified their problem as Neil being guarded and Sam shutting down. Pretty hard to communicate effectively in that situation.
Neil agreed that he is closed off from the discomfort of the process and being in front of the cameras. Kudos to him for wanting to be respectful. Your integrity and reputation are everything.
Sam doesn’t know how to deal with the pressure and whirlwind of emotions she is feeling. When you combine that with the enigma of Neil, she is left in a state of confusion.
With Dr. Pepper’s expert guidance and a little tough love, we saw Sam take steps from indifference to being open to give Neil a chance. Neil committed to let his guard down and let Sam in. They shared a laugh and a hug…but no hand holding. Baby powder steps.
David and Ashley’s difficulty in communicating clearly stems from a disconnect in their personality and communication styles. Dr. Pepper nailed it when she pointed out that David gets pumped with energy from his large group of friends, while it’s way out of Ashley’s comfort zone.
The other major disconnect, is David processes things immediately while Ashley needs time to process. Dr. Cilona admitted, “They need to learn how to meet in the middle and accommodate the differences in each other’s communication patterns.”
I totally relate to David and Ashley’s struggle, because I’ve been there with my husband. Only our struggle wasn’t in front of cameras, which adds another element of difficulty. There is no right or wrong, they’re just different. It takes time and a willingness to compromise in order to make it work.
My hope is that the experts will continue to guide these two on how to understand and respect each other’s style, so they can learn to effectively communicate. Belle hopes so too.