I received a call from a friend who is a psycho therapist who had been working with a couple for a year but wasn’t making the progress he thought he should.
I met with them in their home (I typically prefer a neutral environment) but in this case it helped me establish the dynamics. They had been together for twenty years, but never married, by his refusal to commit any further than he had.
They had many arguments, but I came along after an argument that was a repetitive argument about her running her business more efficiently.
After twenty years, she had adopted an attitude of inferiority. She always acquiesced to his wishes.
I decided to work with her first to help her realize her value in the relationship. What came up as the first issue was not surprising but not as extreme as I had imagined.
When she was nine years old she had gone swimming in the lake while visiting her grandmother. She went in to change her wet clothes and when she looked up after taking her bathing suit off, two of her male cousins were peering in the window staring and laughing at her naked body.
It was devastating of course, but it controlled her relationships the rest of her life and especially the current one. She felt unworthy and inferior to anything her partner decided to impose on her.
The result of the reaction to the event was a 9. It took more than an hour to get the reaction down to a 1.
Results: She was able to stand up for herself when her partner tried to insist she sell off her store of art supplies and did it without getting emotional.