Why is it so hard to maintain an attitude of caring when you are speaking with or listening to your partner about concerns in your relationship?
You start out with good intentions but as your partner speaks, you can't help but get angry and interrupt or talk over him/her to point out the error of what he/she is saying.
Let's take a look at the factors which make it so challenging to listen or speak with love.
1) The very nature of the conversation, no matter how well it is stated, will be experienced as a criticism of your behavior or the way you think. This will in turn stir up the reptilian part of your brain which will send adrenaline into your system to help protect you from what is now being perceived as a significant threat.
2) What your partner expresses makes no sense to you and it is hard to see it from her/his perspective.
3) You are already stressed out from work, the children or finances and this is pushing you over the edge.
4) You haven't felt very connected or loved lately by your spouse, so why should you stretch yourself to act caringly and listen to him/her.
5) Your partner does the same thing of which you are being accused.
6) You recently pointed out some of your concerns and they were ignored or the changes you requested weren't made.
7) You have raised this issue 100 times before and you are already annoyed that you have to bring it up again.
8) Your partner's body image is already indicating an unwillingness to take you seriously.
If you have any additional factors which impact upon you and would like to add, please e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will try to address them in my next post
Next week: How to meet these challenges and overcome them