Welcome back to the Therapy Spot! This week, I’d like to dedicate the podcast to anyone having trouble in their intimate partnership. Often when I speak with couples, I remember the relationship from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Most of you have lived this “tale as old as time” at least once in your lives. You meet someone, you fall in love with them, and together, you become a couple. Then the fun of learning how to be together begins. Your partner might not have a house full of talking furniture, and they’re probably not under a magical enchantment. Chances are, however, that one or both of you have reverted to “Beast” form once or twice.

You probably feel very different as part of an intimate couple than you did flying solo. In particular, romantic relationships have a tendency to wake up our vulnerable parts. That’s why we might feel more angry, helpless, emotional, or just plain frustrated with our partners. Unfortunately, this means we react — think Beast — when we should respond — think calm, bookish Belle.

But wait! Just because your inner “Beast” comes out doesn’t mean you and your partner are wrong for each other. It just means you need to practice some mindfulness. So: how do we interact with each other, fairly and effectively, as a couple? We often relate to our partners just as we relate to our parts. That means we can use the IFS lens in our intimate relationship.

So join me this week, and let’s get mindful of our reactions. Remember, if you recognize you are in a strong reaction, take a “time out” to reflect. In the process, you can learn something new about your partner or yourself.

If you would like to practice interviewing your parts, my new workbook is a great place to start. Click here to check out Be the One To Heal Your Self: A Workbook For People Who Want Results Now on Amazon.com!

Image Credit

Sora(Belle) – Beauty and the Beast” by Flickr user Ricardo 清介 屋宜 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.