I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book: Date Night Conversations: Recapture the Magic with Great Couples Communication Tools. The following is an excerpt from chapter one.
What is the story you tell yourself about your relationship and your partner? When couples have difficulties they often create a story to explain what is going on. Most often, in that story the other person is responsible for the problems. You know how it goes:
- If only she would stop doing that everything would be fine
- If only he would do more of this then I would be happy
- I would – fill in the blank- if he would – fill in the blank
This is called projection and you fail to recognize your own issues being reflected back to you in your partner. You are being triggered by your partner, but what is being triggered are areas of sensitivity within yourself, areas that you do not yet see clearly and have not resolved. In order to break through your roadblocks each person must assume responsibility for his or her own growth and be willing to look in the mirror. These conversations, starting with conversations with yourself will help you do just that.
You see, the stories you have told yourself about your marriage and about your partner have colored your perception of reality. What is even more seductive is that whenever you hold something to be true, you will naturally find evidence to support your point of view. So step one in resolving problems in your relationship is to suspend judgment and be open to seeing what is really going on.
To help couples understand these dynamics more clearly I created the Dynamic Marriage Map. This is a four quadrant framework which describes the interaction of two dynamic forces that determine the quality of every marriage or significant relationship. One of these forces is the level of optimism and connection you feel towards one another. This is influenced by your relationship skills or your capability to be emotionally intimate. The other force is the level of development or differentiation that each individual brings into the relationship. Your level of personal development is influenced by how well you worked through your life-conditioning and the places where you are emotionally stuck. This reflects your own capacity to be a mature and loving person.
I have found it to be critical for couples to understand how these dynamics work and what is driving the conflicts in their particular situation. Insight is the beginning of knowing what to change and how to change it. To read more please claim your copy of the book.
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