Charlie: There is a reason why we use the phrase "doing your own work" so often. It's because of how strong the tendency is for all of us to be much more aware and reactive to what our partner is doing wrong rather than our contributions to the breakdown and what we can do to improve things. This work takes intentionality, discipline, and PRACTICE! Don't worry, there are and will be many opportunities to practice that will present themselves. Believe it or not, you may at some point get to the place where you actually SEE them as opportunities rather than 'problems'. Until you begin to see the breakdowns are opportunities, they will probably show up to you as AFGO's (another frigging growth opportunity).
These are things to keep in mind and work on that will serve you both in enhancing the quality of your relationship. Most of these recommendations apply to both of you while some may be more relevant to one or the other. A breakdown is an incident or circumstance that activates an emotional response in one of you that triggers a reaction in the other and creates an interactive defensive and/or controlling pattern that quickly spins out of control. The work is not to avoid the activation of these reactive patterns, since at this point at least, that is an unrealistic expectation. That will come later. In the meantime, work to interrupt the pattern when it occurs as quickly as possible. Here's what that requires:
This is (obviously) a very basic, bare bones starter kit.
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“Love experts Linda and Charlie shine a bright light, busting the most common myths about relationships. Using real-life examples, they skillfully, provide effective strategies and tools to create and grow a deeply loving and fulfilling long-term connection.” —Arielle Ford, author of Turn You Mate into Your Soulmate
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