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  • Val's Introduction

    Thank you for the warm welcome to API.
    A little of my life journey:
    turn the clock back to the mid-nineties, at this stage I don’t know API , Imago or authentic relationships exist!
    My husband’s keen to attend a Couples Workshop.
    I don’t mind - ‘Maybe he’ll learn something about what a good husband should do and make me happier”, I’m thinking.
    I’m just turning forty, we have two fast-growing sons, and I frequently suffer from PMS (Poor Me Syndrome).
    My life’s identity at this stage is wrapped up in being a ‘good mother’ and a ‘nice wife’
    - so why do I often feel miserable on the inside?

    Anybody else been there?

    Val
    Last edited by Val Mullally; 04-06-2009, 01:43 AM. Reason: repost as new thread

  • #2
    Seeing a 180 degree turn around for one couple

    So it's more than fifteen years since that first Imago Couples weekend.
    What was one of the strongest memories of that ?
    It’s the couple sitting on the edge of the group, who are so antagonistic that they are almost sitting with their backs to each other. Group members share only if they choose to - so I’m left with my curiosity about why this couple are spitting fire at each other, without even saying a word.
    I noticed them sort-of-softening - but them sitting holding hands in the final hours of the workshop, was something I couldn’t have imagined! They shared their story: this was their last-ditch attempt at saving their marriage - the meeting with the divorce lawyer had been booked for the following day. Now they were planning a second honeymoon instead.
    This is only one of the amazing turn-around-experiences that I’ve seen over the years that has ‘sold’ me on Imago.

    My own relationship story wasn’t so neat and clean - more about that tomorrow!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Val Mullally View Post
      So it's more than fifteen years since that first Imago Couples weekend.
      What was one of the strongest memories of that ?
      It’s the couple sitting on the edge of the group, who are so antagonistic that they are almost sitting with their backs to each other. Group members share only if they choose to - so I’m left with my curiosity about why this couple are spitting fire at each other, without even saying a word.
      I noticed them sort-of-softening - but them sitting holding hands in the final hours of the workshop, was something I couldn’t have imagined! They shared their story: this was their last-ditch attempt at saving their marriage - the meeting with the divorce lawyer had been booked for the following day. Now they were planning a second honeymoon instead.
      This is only one of the amazing turn-around-experiences that I’ve seen over the years that has ‘sold’ me on Imago.

      My own relationship story wasn’t so neat and clean - more about that tomorrow!
      Hi Val, it's very heartening to hear the story of the 180 degree turn. i look forward to hearing more
      Cathy

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Val. I also want to hear more about your experience. I hope you'll say more about Imago and the couples workshop. The idea of going to a workshop and being around other people scares me, but it sounds like it could really help people.

        Comment


        • #5
          Dear Cathy and Faith

          Hi. Thanks for sharing your interest and concern.
          It makes sense that you might feel anxious to be around other people in a couples workshop. (One might imagine that it could be a bit like hanging your lingerie on the washing line in the backyard.)
          To reassure you - Imago presenters know that couples need to feel relaxed and comfortable to benefit from the workshops. So you only share anything in the plenary group if you CHOOSE to.
          The presenters will sometimes be sharing helpful information, at other times you and your partner dialogue together by yourselves (and there is always a facilitator available should you want support).
          Best of all you can volunteer for a ‘demo’ - the personal learning is powerful!

          Please drop in again in a couple of hours to hear more of my personal experience on my first couples workshop.

          Val

          P.S. I’d love to answer more questions about the Imago Couples workshops.
          Last edited by melissa_h; 04-07-2009, 04:12 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            a mind-blowing realization

            They say the value of a course is in what you remember after you’ve forgotten what you learnt.

            What I remember re my first Imago couples weekend workshop:

            Firstly - the warm, dynamic presence of the presenter and the CONNECTION between her and her husband.

            Secondly - wait for it !!!

            When you’ve decided you're married (in intimate relationship) to the wrong person - that’s exactly who you NEED to be with.
            We’re subconsiously drawn to the very person who will cause us to GROW !!!

            (I’ll share some of my own experience regarding this tomorrow)

            Val

            Comment


            • #7
              Healed relatonships

              Hi Val,

              Wow you sure have some interesting experiences to share- I'd love to hear more about the couple who did a complete turn around in their relationship- it must be so rewarding to facilitate healing like this.

              Best wishes

              Ruth

              Comment


              • #8
                life ain't always easy

                Thanks Ruth for your interest.
                We moved cities - so I can only dream that that couple sailed off to joyforeverland!
                For me my first Imago workshop wasn’t the over-the-moon experience.
                Rather - it was a passport to a new, unknown land.
                In the interim years my husband and I have journeyed through some stormy weather, an arid desert, sweet oases and thorny jungles. What Imago did was give us practical tools and a compass - and a vision that our relationship could be rich and fruitful - but we sure took the scenic route!

                What’s great now is there is so much more support - Imago therapists, Imago DVD support and much more literature. Just google gettingtheloveyouwant - and there it is!

                Anyone willing to share experiences/questions about the workshops?
                Val

                Comment


                • #9
                  Parenting

                  Hi Val,
                  The heading of this forum is Marriage,Partners and Parenting can you say more about how marriage/partners affects Parenting. And where does this leave parents parenting alone?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Parenting alone / together affects children

                    Hi Eibhlin

                    So glad you asked.
                    Imagine your inner response if your child says, 'I want to be just like you when I grow up.'
                    Whether we're single or in a permanent relationship, our children are learning core lessons from us -
                    Is it ok to share my angry feelings / my vulnerable ones?
                    How do we handle conflict here - do we give out
                    / give in
                    / give up
                    - or dialog to create mutual understanding and bring compassionate resolution?
                    There are also Imago singles workshops - and 'Keeping the Love You Find' by Harville Hendrix (Imago founder) is a brilliant read re Personal Growth for every parent.

                    Val

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Perhaps our marriage could be described as a sort of ‘Finding Nimo’ adventure.
                      When life together felt dangerous we each had our own unique defences.
                      I’m a pretty good octopus - when I feel threatened in my relationship I can get CLINGY - (and fifteen years ago my tentacles had ultra-strength suction pads!) I’m also capable of disappearing behind a pretty confusing ink-cloud if the clinging doesn’t work!

                      The lights went on for me at our couples workshop when I realized that I’d married a turtle.

                      He criticized octopussy behavior that was smothering him and I thought that his regular retreating into his shell was unloving, unkind and selfish.
                      Imago helped us realize we learn these defences in our childhood - and that we used them to survive the best way we knew how.
                      Once Bill and I saw how these behaviours made sense we could be more compassionate towards each other and start figuring out how to make it safe enough for each other that the REAL US can show up.

                      Try figuring out who you both are in the ocean. (My friend says she’s a plaice, hiding under the sand, and her man’s a spine-fish! )
                      What do you need to feel safe enough for the REAL YOU to show up?

                      Val

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was setting up at a conference yesterday - an oldish man walks over and starts to chat. I’ve never seen him before.
                        He starts telling me about different accidents in the news.

                        I listen politely as I set up. He spies my laptop:
                        ‘I used to use them computers before I had my accident!’
                        I use my dialogue skills:
                        ‘You were in an accident?’
                        The next ten minutes I hear how he was hit by a bus and nearly killed - long time in ICU - discharged from the army with exemplary service.
                        ‘You know what exemplary means?’ he asks.
                        ‘You gave very good service, and you got a letter telling you so. I can imagine you feel very proud of that.’
                        He beamed. Somebody had listened and acknowledged his story.
                        ‘I must go to my gardening class,’ he says. And disappears.

                        I walk home that evening with a lightness in my step. I’d been there for somebody else in a small way that made a difference to his day. And it made a difference to my day.

                        Relationship theory and dialog skills have enriched not only my marriage, but my relationship with my children and my grand-daughter - and even with a stranger I may never see again.

                        Imago - Changing the world, one relationship at a time.

                        Val

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