Monday, June 5, 2017

Relationship Coach Reveals How To Defuse Every Marital Row Without Saying ‘Sorry’

A serious argument can shake your faith in a relationship. Perhaps you’re fighting over where to go on holiday this summer, how much to spend on getting the garden done, or the way your partner behaved at last night’s dinner party.

Yet, rows aren’t always a sign of a bad marriage. In fact, disagreeing can be a healthy part of any relationship.

It’s how you quarrel that’s key. How you communicate in an argument can strengthen your marriage — or weaken it. You need to be free to express your upset, but to do so in a way that increases your love rather than pushes your partner away.

It is possible. Here are her five rules for defusing any row in a way that will leave you feeling closer than ever.


-ADMIT THAT YOU ARE HURTING AND SAY: 'OUCH'

-EXPRESS THE FEELING BEHIND YOUR ANGER

-NEVER USE THE WORD 'NEVER' AGAIN

-DON'T BE TEMPTED TO PLAY THE VICTIM

-BE HONEST - BUT NOT BRUTALLY HONEST

But just incase you want to read in details her five rules. Find them below…

ADMIT THAT YOU ARE HURTING AND SAY: 'OUCH' 

In love we make ourselves vulnerable, and that’s a double-edged sword. No one can hurt us like our partner can, because they know our weak spots: our painful childhood moments, our worst fears, our greatest hopes. They have the ammunition to wound.

And when they do, we feel foolish, defensive, and lash out. Pride stops us showing we’re hurt, so we retaliate with a comment that’s equally cutting.

In other words, we use the vulnerability that intimacy requires against each other. It seems counterintuitive to use more vulnerability to prevent the row escalating, but that’s what’s required. Resist the impulse to scream back. Instead, say one word: ‘Ouch.’

Saying it makes you more vulnerable and signals clearly — but not aggressively — that you don’t want to continue on this destructive path. Saying: ‘Ouch, that hurts’ doesn’t guarantee your partner will come out of attack mode, but it certainly increases the chances.

He or she will become more aware of being in attack mode, if you admit they hurt you. The U.S. Marines say that in a difficult situation, ‘calm is contagious’. If you show your vulnerability, it’s more likely your partner will calm down and respond accordingly.

EXPRESS THE FEELING BEHIND YOUR ANGER 

Anger is a primary emotion. It’s quick and easy to access, but it’s also a protective measure. It shields us from feeling secondary, more painful emotions such as fear or sadness. But equally, anger prevents us from acknowledging these difficult feelings.

Expressing anger tricks us into thinking we’re doing something about the problem — it’s energising, it feels like passion.

In fact, we’re not addressing the root of the problem, we’re making it worse.

In the heat of the moment, you feel your anger is justified. But by resorting to defensive anger in a row, we isolate ourselves from what we really want — a loving relationship. We show anger because we want to make our partner feel as much pain as they just made us feel. The emotion behind yelling: ‘Why did you stay out so late last night?’ for example, is a fear of not being loved.

If you can identify that and express it calmly, in a mature way, that’s both powerful and attractive: ‘It’s your prerogative whether or not you stay out late, and whether or not you call me.

‘That’s your choice. What I want you to know is, when you don’t call, when you stay out so late, it does make it harder for me to trust you. I love trusting you. But it makes it harder. And it does make me wonder whether or not you value this relationship as much as I do.’

NEVER USE THE WORD 'NEVER' AGAIN 

You never listen! Words like ‘never’ or ‘always’ I call ‘terminal language’ as they don’t allow for any exceptions. The reality is that no one is ever ‘always’ anything.

No one is always inconsiderate, or always late. They may be inconsiderate (or considerate) most of the time. If you accuse them of being ‘always inconsiderate’, then you’re saying that’s their personality and they can’t help it. There’s no motivation for them to change. And if they don’t change, eventually you’ll stop bothering to mention it, thinking: ‘Whatever, fine, you’re always going to treat me that way.’

But passive aggression in a marriage is as powerfully toxic as screaming at each other.

A change in language during a row can be very helpful. If you want to increase the chance of having a constructive conversation and defusing the argument, instead of saying ‘you are always’, say ‘you can be’. Say: ‘There are times when you are very considerate and I love that. There are times also, when you can be very inconsiderate towards me and that hurts.’

That way, you show you recognise they’re making a choice, and that they can — and often do — behave differently and better.

DON'T BE TEMPTED TO PLAY THE VICTIM  

Your tone is your message. Never whine or wheedle with phrases such as: ‘I just want you to come home, and for me to mean something to you.’

Even those who love us don’t like to be forced into behaving a certain way. And whining is another way of trying to force your spouse to change by making them pity you.

But that’s not what you want. What you want, is for your partner, on their own, to pick you. You want them to choose to be considerate. Being strong yet vulnerable invites them to be more considerate.

Even if you’re arguing about a subject that you are touchy about — perhaps because of how someone treated you in a previous relationship — it’s your job to be aware of that and work on making yourself less sensitive.

You can say: ‘This is a topic I’m sensitive about’, but if your sensitivity stops your partner saying how they really feel, that’s not fair. You don’t want the person you love to tread on eggshells around you. You want them to be themselves.

BE HONEST - BUT NOT BRUTALLY HONEST 

To feel you can’t really express yourself in a marriage is the first step towards divorce.

It’s only if you’re free to be fully you that you can be fully loved.

We call this ‘authentic self-representation’ in therapy. It means you can say what you want clearly, and honestly.

No one wants to be in a relationship where they have to compromise themselves in order to be connected to the other person.

However, being authentically you, particularly in the heat of a row, doesn’t mean you can say whatever comes into your head, unchecked.

Before we can ever confront our partner, we have to confront ourselves. Is this really what I want to convey? Think through how you represent yourself. Don’t be brutally honest and uncaring of how your words come across.

Speak about what’s painful, but filter out what’s egotistical or selfish — don’t share those thoughts. Your marriage is precious: apply a measure of grace.

8 comments:

  1. It's not that anything is new in what she has said

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Sorry but you will be limited in this life if you don't develop yourself and stop reading only short paragraphs. No beef. Just saying...- Newyorker

      Delete