You think you’re a good person, you genuinely love your partner and you try to do the right thing …so why are you struggling in your relationship? Why do you and your partner feel unhappy, disconnected and maybe even headed for divorce?
These are the questions Matt Fray asked himself after his marriage ended. He knew he was a decent guy. He knew he had loved his wife, been faithful and done the things he thought he was “supposed” to do in a marriage – yet one day she came to him and asked for a divorce. As he walked through the grief and pain of that experience, he began a journey of self-reflection and blogging to try to understand what went wrong and how people can truly have healthy relationships.
What he uncovered was a series of small habits and dynamics that added up in his relationship and eroded trust and safety over time…and that these dynamics exist in nearly all relationships, including relationships made up of good people who really do love each other. Now, he’s on a mission to help good people become good partners by understanding the root of relationship problems and how to fix them.
In this episode, Matt reveals the invisible habits that kill relationships, how we can turn our relationships around and how to build trust, safety and lifelong love.
Listen to discover:
- Matt’s story of his marriage ending and what he did next
- The habits and blind spots that damage and even destroy our relationships
- The three ways we invalidate people unintentionally
- Why defensiveness can be so damaging
- The importance of empathy and consideration in relationships
- How to break the cycle of invalidation and build trust and safety
Nothing in life is static. Either we’re cultivating our relationships and on a trajectory of trust or we’re neglecting our relationships and on a trajectory of breakdown. Too often, we can’t see this trajectory until it all falls apart. I love Matt’s work because he’s helping us open our eyes to the invisible ways we’re either creating or damaging our relationships, even when things seem “fine,” and giving us one of the most important gifts a person can have: the power of choice to do things differently and change the trajectory we’re on.
“There’s so much power in that ‘I’m not alone’ experience.” – Matt Fray
“That’s when healing truly began — when I took ownership and responsibility for my lot in life.” – Matt Fray
“When you think you’re a good person, it’s so easy to not accept responsibility for harm that’s being experienced by someone else.”- Matt Fray
“Very good people who really, truly love each other can do this to one another.” – Matt Fray
“Once you associate invalidation with the erosion of trust, then you can make the conscious decision to validate.” – Matt Fray
“When we go through something unusual, it is our job to share, ‘You know, I really need help with this,’ and it’s our partner’s job to show up and say, ‘I’ve got you.’” – Michelle Chalfant
“It’s not about being right – it’s being there in it with that person.” – Michelle Chalfant
“The low-hanging fruit…is ‘I’m not going to invalidate.’” – Matt Fray
LINKS & RESOURCES:
Matt Fray Website
“This Is How Your Marriage Ends” (Matt Fray book)
“The Mask You Live In” Documentary
The Adult Chair® Membership (April Theme: Emotional Regulation)
MORE ADULT CHAIR
The Adult Chair® Website
The Adult Chair® Membership
The Adult Chair® Events
The Adult Chair® Coaching Certification