Sunday, May 29, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #73-part 3-steps to get in each other's corner

Last week i explored some of the reasons it is so difficult to truly listen and be there for your partner. This week, i will list some of the steps that will help you overcome these challenges and form a relationship of trust and safety.

1) The first step is to understand that if you want a partner who is in your corner, you have to be in his/ or hers.
2) Approach your partner and ask if she/he experiences that you are there for her/him and have her/his back.
3) If yes, keep doing what ever you are doing. If not, ask why she/he believes and feels this way and of course listen without commenting-even take the time to write down the answer.
4) While this may very hard to do and the answer may not make any sense to you or hurt your feelings and your view of yourself, it is essential that you take the time to try to understand how your partner thinks and views the relationship and what his/her needs are.
5) If your partner asks whether you believe she/he has your back, this would be a good time to answer honestly. Take the time to explain how you have come to this view and try not to attack her/his character but focus on your needs and what it would take for you to feel safe and secure with her/him. If your partner does not ask at this time, approach her/him the next day and share your view at that time and ask her/him to listen and try to not comment but take time to process what you are saying.
6) Suggest that you each think about what one another has shared and agree to meet in a week and revisit this discussion. Talk about what you each can do to make at least one change that would demosnstrate a desire to create the relationship that you each want.
7) Meet weekly to review the efforts each are making and what further changes need to be done.
8) This is not an easy process and there are often slips and steps backwards but if you stick to the stucture of meeting once a week to focus on your efforts and stay open to one another's experience of each other, you will be taking a stand for a "loving relationship" that will be the foundation of a lasting partnership and friendship.

Next week-Gender issues

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #72-The Most Important Skill Needed To Create A Successful Relationship-part 2

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.

relationship tip of the week #71-The Most Important Skill Needed To Create A Successful Relationship-part 2

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tip of the Week #71-The Most Important Skill Needed To Create A Successful relationship

For the next several weeks i will be blogging about the most important skill that i believe a couple needs for a happy and successful relationship.

This is the ability to be in one another's corner; to give one another the feeling that you want him/her to feel free to come to you with any of her/his concerns about life and your relationship and that you will make the time to listen and to attempt to understand her/his point of view and to follow through with behavior to support each other if at all possible.

This seems pretty obvious and isn't that what marriage vows are all about? Where do we get off track? Why is it so hard to be there for one another?

Do you and your partner have this type of connection in your relationship? I encourage you to take a week thinking about your part. Does your partner believe that you are there for him/her? Would you be willing to ask and find out what he/she really thinks? Do you believe your partner is there for you?

In the coming weeks i will write about the challenges to accomplish this "feeling state" in your relationship and the steps you can take to begin to work towards achieving this goal.