I first embarked on couples therapy training a good while ago. Even though it was a few years ago, I remember very clearly that the trainer a wonderfully wise and experienced therapist emphasised that my client was not the two people sat in front of me but the relationship between them.
Imago Relationship Therapy talks about the same thing: from the very moment that the two of you committed to each other, there it was; the Space Between; Your relationship.
Your Relationship: the Space Between
Harville and Helen, the creators of Imago, describe this as an energy field. Each word, tone of voice, gesture and glance every bit of our body language impacts the Space Between.
The Space Between can be filled with love, and it feels like we can breathe. There are other times when instead, it’s filled with conflict and tension. When this happens in my relationship, it feels suffocating, and my mind gives me thoughts about how I can get away as it feels unbearable.
“The state of the between determines how safe you feel in the presence of each other.”
Helen LaKelly Hunt.
In Harville and Helen’s book Making Marriage Simple, Helen writes about making the Space Between a Sacred Space. We should not violate it with anything that hurts our relationship.
“No shame, blame or criticism in our Between.”
If we can love and empathise through the good stuff and the not so good stuff, then we can make the Between safe.
What will you choose to put into the Space Between?