Tag Archive | Anger

Nine Indicators That Your Relationship Is In Deep Trouble

relationship in troubleWhy Do My Parents Hate Each Other So Much?

I was speaking to a young boy this week, let’s call him Mat (not his real name), who asked me a question about his divorcing parents – “Why do my parents hate each other so much?”

I found myself searching for an answer and finally said: “I don’t believe your parents really ‘hate’ each other but maybe are just so angry with each other, and with the situation they are in, that it looks like they really hate each other.”

I went on further to explain my belief that in order for a couple to actually go through the process of divorcing from each other they also must go through what seems like ‘hate’ before they can really do it.

Mat then asked me: “So how did they get into that position in the first place?” The only way I know how to answer this is to believe that one or more of a set of factors became evident and ultimately became more stressful than the good that existed between the couple. When this reaches that point of being unbearable then the relationship blows out and separation and/or divorce become thereby inevitable.

John Gottman, an eminent Couples Researcher discovered after studying the incident of divorce for more than thirty years came up with a set of predictors that measure whether a couple is potentially at risk of divorce. Here they are:

  1. Did you marry at an early age?
  2. Did you not graduate from high school?
  3. Are you in a low-income bracket?
  4. Are you in an interfaith marriage?
  5. Did your parents divorce?
  6. Do you criticize one another?
  7. Is there a lot of defensiveness in your marriage?
  8. Do you tend to withdraw from one another?
  9. Do you feel contempt for one another?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then you are statistically at a higher risk for divorce than couples who have reasonable expectations of one another and their marriage, communicate well, use conflict resolution skills, and are compatible with one another.

So this is not to say that if you answered “yes” to any one of these question you are going to divorce. What it does mean is that you have got some working out to do to ensure that you do not go that route.

And here’s the really good news: knowing the areas that leaves you in risk of divorcing means that you know what areas you most need to work with. The time is now to find a well qualified therapist to help you resolve these issues before they destroy your relationship.

And as for Mat’s parents? The issues that I suspect are current for them are more to do with how they have related to each other rather than anything to do with cultural, education or financial issues. They are very critical of each other, withdraw regularly, and I think the ‘hate’ that Mat is observing has actually now become contempt for each other as they continue to separate themselves further and further. It’s like they are on a downward spiral and are unable to stop what is happening.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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The 5 Secrets To Fair Fighting And Getting What You Want

In any relationship worth having conflicts and fights are bound to arise.  The true test of the relationship is whether or not you feel that it is worthwhile to resolve these conflicts and if you are able to do so in a fair and objective way.

The 5 secrets to fighting fairly include sticking to the issue at hand, being open to listening to the other person, not involving others in the fight, not bringing up old issues and finally being willing to accept responsibility for your part in the issue and being able to let it go when the fight is over even if no resolution has been immediately found.

It’s important to know what you are fighting over and to stick to that issue in the argument.  If you allow things to build up over time and then explode neither you nor your partner will have a clear understanding of what the issue is or why you are fighting.

If there are many issues it is important to address each of them separately as they arise to alleviate resentment and fighting that does not have a clear focus.

Sometimes all you need to do is just listen.

Listening is also a very important component of fighting fairly.  It is imperative to allow your partner to offer his side of the argument.  Fighting without listening will not be effective because it does not allow you to be open to the other person’s opinions and beliefs.

Your partner may have a very valid reason for their actions, thoughts and feelings but if you are only interested in what you have to say and are unwilling to listen you will not understand their point of view.

Another aspect of listening is to really try to understand what the other person is saying.  It’s very easy to not hear the intent of a person’s message.  In a fight you want to actively clarify your partner’s statements and give them the opportunity to affirm or deny your interpretation of their argument.

Bringing others into a fight, other than your counsellor, is also not a fair way to fight.  It is important that the fight take place between those directly involved and that neither party elicits the help of friends or family members to validate their position.

It doesn’t matter how many other people agree with you, that does not necessarily make you right, so don’t involve others in your fight.  This is not only unfair to your partner but it is also unfair to those who are dragged into the argument.

In a fair fight it is also important to not bring up old issues.  A fair fight will remain focused only on the issue at hand and bringing up the past will only distract and send the message that the past has not been forgotten.  If your partner feels that you are bringing up old issues, he may feel as if the current fight is not worth fighting because it will not be forgotten.

And if you convey the message that you are not willing to forgive and forget there is also the possibility that your partner will withdraw with a belief that there is no point in resolving this issue anyway.  Also, bringing up old issues is simply not relevant to the current fight.  A fair fight must simply be focused on a current conflict only.

Another secret for fighting fairly is to be willing to accept responsibility for your own actions and be willing to reach a resolution so you can both move on from the argument.  Those who fight fairly are prepared to concede the fact that they may even lose the argument.  Losing the argument means either that you admit that you were to blame for a situation or that you have come to understand and accept the others perspective.

Leave the fight in the past

What is most important in a fair fight is not who is right or who is wrong but that you are able to reach an amicable agreement and that you are both able to progress and leave the fight in the past.

Fighting fairly is crucial in a healthy relationship.  Disagreements are natural and resolving them in a fair way is imperative to a thriving relationship.  Not fighting fairly is indicative of a relationship that is not healthy.  A fair fight incorporates the key elements of focus, listening and resolution without involving third parties in the fight.  A fair fight is also left in the past after resolution.  Fair fighting leads to some kind of resolution even if that means you may have to agree to disagree.

So until next time – Relate with Love