Sunday, May 30, 2010

Relationship tip of the week #45-Solvable or Unsolvable Problems?-Part I

According to John Gottman's research there are two types of problems that all couples face-Solvable or Unsolvable. His statistics from numerous studies indicate that unfortunately 69% fall into the latter category. Today's post will focus on how to tell the difference between the two types.

Unsolvable, gridlocked or perpetual prolems are characterized by:
1) The conflict makes you feel rejected by your partner
2) You keep talking about it but make no headway
3) You become entrenched in your positons and are unwilling to budge
4) When you discuss the subject, you end up feeling more frustated and hurt
5) Your conversations about the problem are devoid of humor, amusement or affection
6) As you become more rooted in your position, you become more polarized and exteme in your view and unwilling to compromise
7) Eventaully you disengage from each other emotionally

Solvable Problems:
1) These are less painful, gut wrenching or intense than perpetual probelms
2) These usually focus on a particular dilemma or situation
3) There is no underlying conflict that is fueling the dispute

(The above material is taken from John Gottman's book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriages Work" which has an excellent and in depth discussion of these problems

Next week we will look at Solvable Probelms and how to best work with them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Relationship tip of the week #44-What is a True Compromise

What is a true compromise? Many of my clients will often say that they are the one doing all the compromising in the relationship. I tell them that there is a difference between compromising and giving in. If you are the only one doing all of the compromising than you are giving in.
A real compromise is when both parties agree to move their position towards their partner's and both partners get some of what they want and give up or do something that they did not want to. A true compromise leave both partners somewhat satisfied and somewhat dissatisfied as it is done in the service of the couple and not the individual. Of course, when the couple benefits and becomes strenthened, the individuals also gain from being a member of a unit that works together and attempts to avoid power struggles.
I will be blogging more about compromise in the next few weeks as i turn my attention to the difference between solvable and unsolvable problems and how to work with them.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Relationship tip of the week #43-Romantic songs set the mood

Just as a romantic movie can help a couple to set the mood for romance, so can romantic songs.

Here is a list of songs suggested by some of my colleagues and a couple of my own;

1) Fly me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra
2) Moondance by Van Morrison
3) Just Breathe by Pearl Jam
4) At Last by Etta James
5) You are the best thing by Ray Lamontagne
6) Have I told you Lately that I love you by Van Morrison
7) You are so beautiful-Joe Cocker
8) Just the Two of Us by Grover Washngton Jr and Bill Withers
9) Since I Fell For Yoy by Lenny Welch
10) Close to You by The Carpenters

Do you have a favorite romantic song, please e-mail me at and i
will be back next week with more songs to put you "In The Mood"