Have you ever found yourself stuck, confused and frankly didn’t know what to do after a fight or misunderstanding with your partner? If the answer is yes, then here are some things to consider….
According to world-renowned couple therapists John & Julie Gottman, the couple that do well in their marriage makes on average 5+ positive remarks or gestures toward each other for every negative during a fight, and in calmer times they are making 20+ positives to every negative. So remember to practice this every day and not just during the tense periods.
Another thing to watch out for is the way you bring up an issue. Again the research shows that the first 3mins of a conversation determines how that conversation is going to end up i.e. if you start the conversation with “you never, you always, why do you, why can’t you, what’s wrong with you etc.” then don’t be surprised when your partner starts to shut down, withdrawn and/or fights back because no one likes to be criticised, blamed and judged. Remember, if you want your relationship to be safe then you need to soften your conversation by ensuring that you focus on what I call the “I” statements and an example of these could be “I’m feeling really alone right now following our fight, I don’t know what to do but I want you to know that I’m still here and I want to work on this together with you” another example that comes to mind is “I’m fearful of what this tension is doing to us and our kids, I don’t want to continue arguing with you, could we find a way to revisit this again once we’ve had time to calm down”.
“The brain is Velcro for negative experience & Teflon for positive”_ Dr. Rick Hanson (Clinical Psychiatrist)
Remember this quote if nothing else because as human beings we are wired to turn towards those whom we perceive to be our friend and ally, and we turn away or against those whom we perceive to be against us.
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