How To Repair The Little Things In Your Relationship (Before They Become Big Things)

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By John Gray, Ph.D

All couples argue. Happy couples argue well. They have strategies for dealing with their inevitable disagreements, and they process their feelings so they don’t bottle up.

We know from Dr. Gottman’s research that both partners in a relationship are emotionally available only nine percent of the time. This leaves 91 percent of our relationship ripe for miscommunication.

The difference between happy couples and unhappy couples is not that happy couples don’t make mistakes. We all hurt our partner’s feelings. The difference is that happy couples know how to repair the little things in a relationship, and they do so early and often.

RELATED: All Happy Couples In Healthy Relationships Have These 11 Things In Common

As certified Gottman therapist Zach Brittle explains, “Unresolved conflict often lingers like a stone in your shoe. The pain of being wounded, whether by benign misunderstanding or intentional antagonism, will fester and grow unless and until the wound is effectively treated.

No matter what your role in the argument, you must be able to hear and appreciate your partner’s point of view. There is an exercise in the Gottman Method called the Aftermath of a Fight to help couples do this.

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