Recently, in between one of our weekly meetings, a high-conflict couple I am working with emailed me several pages of intense communications they had with one another. Ostensibly, this was to highlight how they slid back into their typical primitive, reptile-like fighting style. But, what each one really wanted me to do was to identify what was wrong with their partner.
They have been seeing me long enough to know I believe that to improve a relationship each person must be willing to closely examine their own behavior, emotions and defensive ways. (I don’t blame them for trying.)
What struck me in this couples’ warlike communications was the way they each used defensiveness to protect themselves. Defacing the other allowed them to feel morally superior and justified in their attacks, which only created emotional barriers.
However, to their credit and despite sometimes seeing one another as adversaries in a power struggle, their overriding goal is to put an end to their destructive fights and evolve toward a more loving relationship.
Simple Lessons For Effective Communication
If you have recently ended a relationship and are about to begin a new one, or if you are currently struggling with your partner, please consider the following powerful communication messages that I reminded my couple of.
How To Stop Making Things Worse
In any love relationship, safety is essential. Without a sense of safety, people are likely to attack each other. Why? Because the minute one’s sense of well-being is threatened they will need to protect themselves by attacking back.
If two people can’t trust each other to not inflict harm on their well-being, it’s impossible to work on their relationship.
IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
Learn WHY your marriage/relationship came apart, the PART you played in it, and most importantly, HOW to empower yourself to move forward to ensure that these issues don’t occur in your future romantic relationships (to virtually “divorce-proof” them).