Sunday, September 25, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #79- The Conversation-Part 3

So when should you hold the conversation? This is a double edged sword, as there never seems to be a "right time". If you are getting along and enjoying each other, why ruin the day. If you are bickering or arguing, a talk will only make it worse. On top of that many men have the belief; "If ain't broke don't fix it". Thus, if their wife is not complaining, they will rarely start a conversation to explore how their partner is feeling about the relationship.

Obviously, like going to the gym or doing anything which is difficult, you must make a commitment to follow through on a regualr basis despite your feelings at the moment. Set a day and time that works for both partners. Right before bed is rarely a good time as a challenging topic can cause a sleepless night. Early in the morning only works if both are early risers. Negotiate a time and then agree to try it for a month and evaluate if it is working after 4 talks. If it is not, try a new time for a month.

While it is important to be flexible if something comes up to prevent the conversation from being held at the agreed upon time, a substitute time should be agreed upon at that point, otherwise, another week may easily pass without talking about one another's concerns.

If one partner appears to be resistant to holding the conversation, it is important that the other partner be encouraging and supportive to moving forward rather than critical, angry or pointing out that this means there is no love or caring.

Next Week: Attitude Is Everything

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #78-The Conversation-Part 2

It is my belief that the one skill a couple has to master to promote intimacy as well as protect the partners from divorce is "The Conversation". What does this actually look like?

At an agreed upon set time each week the couple holds a conversation(should not last longer than a half hour and if done regularly will most likely take only10-20 minutes). Each member has the opportunity to share concerns about the relationship, information about events or experiences that she/he may not have shared during the past week, and positive feelings and appreciation about which he/she may not have had time to let his/her partner know.

In theory,this sounds very simple;however, as you most likely know this is very difficult to actually do on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. Each week i will address a different aspect of holding a successful conversation and offer tips to help you become skilled in this form of communication which is one of the most loving acts that partners can offer to one another.

Next week-When to hold "The Conversation

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #77-The Couple's Dialogue-Shift in Expectations-Part 1

In the 1950's the roles of men and women were very well defined and expectations were clear-men went to work and were providers; women took care of the children and were homemakers. In the 1970's, the women's movement advocated for equal job opportunities, pay and recognition of their economic contribution as homemakers. Men were not so eager to be liberated as they had always had the upper hand in terms of power and position in work and decision making in the family

As women became a larger part of the workforce, they began to expect men to do more around the house, play a greater role in caring for the children and to share decision making in the home equally. With a decrease in emotional support from family (people were living further and further away from their families of origin) community and religious institutions, women looked to men for a deeper emotional connection and a deeper level of contact and support.

Unfortunately, there has not been the necessary development of new skills and attitudes to achieve this new level of couple cooperation and caring. Over the next 12 weeks, I will be writing about the most important skill needed to promote stability and understanding in today's relationships as well as the challenges that must be met in order to change the ways men and women express their love and acceptance of one another.

Next Week-The Conversation

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Relationship Tip of the Week #76-The Couple's Dialogue

Over the next three months i will be writing about the one skill i believe is necessary for a successful relationship-The Couple's Dialogue. This is a weekly conversation between two partners in which each has the opportunity to express concerns about the relationship as well as sharing aspect's of one's life or experiences which help the partners to stay connected and know each other in an intimate way.
I will be addressing the following elements:

1) The evolution of couple's relationships since the 1950's and why we must make changes if we are to be succesful in maintaining a connection with our partner
2) When to hold the conversation
3) Attitude is everything
4) The challenge of consistency
5) The challenge of gender differences to this process
6) Listening and Understanding one's partner
7) The impact of our past on this process
8) The threat of differences
9) Individuation
10) Interdependence

Your comments are welcome