So why is it so hard to listen to your partner or to get in his/her corner?
1) Your partner may be expressing concerns that you interpret as threatening and cause an automatic defensive response.
2) Your partner may be asking for changes in behavior that may be challenging or asking you to give up ideas or behaviors that you believe will be very difficult to accomplish.
3) Your partner's views do not make any sense.
4) If your partner is angry it may be hard to hear the message since you are reacting to the tone or attitude.
5) You may be angry at your partner and not want to extend yourself.
6) You might believe that your partner does not make any effort to listen to your concerns and you do not want to be the only one listening or stretching yourself.
7) You may hold a view that your partner or yourself cannot change.
Try to examine each of these challenges and see which apply to you and your partner.
Next week, i will describe the steps that a couple can take to begin the process of establishing a relationship of real caring.