I read about undertaking an MOT for a relationship with a professional or non-involved third party. It sounded like an idea many of us could benefit from. We don’t need a problem to learn or become more aware, although we often wait till we’re deeply in a problem to seek a solution.
I’ve heard a description of the problem patterns in a relationship as the ‘4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse’: Contempt, Criticism, Defensiveness and Stonewalling.
Yes I can picture these 4 horsemen galloping forward with their baggage flapping in the wind.
How often do we truly listen and imagine that everything your partner says is true? Have we ever seen it from their perspective? They don’t think they are wrong. You probably do.
It is probably true that at a time of crisis things spiral into a vicious circle where one bad thing provokes another. Probably what we would truly like is to invert that spiral where one good thing encouraged another good thing in return. But that can seem too difficult to do. So sometimes we give up trying.
Do you know your partner’s ‘love language’? Do you know what s/he chooses to do to show s/he cares? They are probably using it to show you they care. But perhaps that isn’t your own language of choice. (This will normally be whichever of our kinaesthetic senses is dominant.) Do you know your own? Maybe we need physical contact, closeness of bodies, touch. Maybe we hear language that someone uses and need to hear words. Maybe we need to see acts of service, and be able to see how the other offers to help us. Understanding the way you choose to show appreciation to your partner makes for harmonious relationships. Maybe there is more love to be had.
What is it that doesn’t work for you in your relationship? But do you continue to do it? Perhaps you can’t see a way out. Is this the sort of conversation you would have at home? Or could it be easier when facilitated by a third party?
Suggestion: Seven Steps To Achieving Better Cooperation And Communication. Written by Andrew G Marshall and published by Bloomsbury these books cost £6.99 each