Managing Miscommunication - Asking The Agreement Question?
A man and woman were trying to move a couch in their home one fine morning, and were not meeting with much success. With mounting frustration in her voice, the woman said "Honey, I don't think we are ever going to get this couch out of the living room." To which he responded, "Out of the living room? I thought we were trying to get it into the living room!"
Many people, myself included, have written and talked about how to handle and resolve conflicts in a relationship. While that is all well and good, what about preventing them in the first place?
I've worked with many couples who have had a discussion about what to do about something and thought they were in agreement. Then one of them acted on those thoughts, only to find out that the other person thought just the opposite was agreed upon. This can create a nice breeding ground for a big fight.
This is where what I have come call the AWIA Approach comes in handy. AWIA stands for Are We In Agreement?
The idea is to end conversations with the question "Are We In Agreement?" As I have had couples practice this one, and as I've used it in my own little laboratory at home, I've found that many times couples think they are in agreement when they are not. Asking the AWIA question cuts through any miscommunication and can cut off any future misunderstanding and conflict.
So give it a try. End the next few conversations with "Are We In Agreement" and see if you like the results.
Jeff Herrring, MS, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist, relationship coach, speaker and nationally syndicated relationship columnist, and founder and CEO of http://www.SecretsofGreatrelationships.com.
How to Survive an Affair - Take Care!
Surviving an affair can be a very traumatic experience. Partners tend to know which strings to pull to antagonise the situation especially if there are children involved. This can often make you feel bitter and resentful and although you are the one that has been betrayed, you are also the one that will be continually hurt, this may seem unfair but as the old saying goes that's the way the cookie crumbles.
A Heat-scar Named Desire
Where on earth is my "play on words" taking me with this one?
Jinxed Relationships -- Are Yours?
Do you consider yourself unlucky in love? Have your relationships all been ending on a sad note lately? Perhaps you've come to the conclusion that you are jinxed! Before you give up on love, or decide that it never existed in the first place, please join me; let's take a look at loving from a different perspective.
Did Casanova Really Need the Oysters?
Scientists are rubbing their hands together with glee. A recent study of underwater creatures proves conclusively that oysters have certain properties that could very well enhance performance in the bedroom. Thus it follows, say the scientists in great satisfaction, that Casanova's reputation as the world's greatest lover can now be put down definitely to his voracious appetite for oysters.
What Keeps Couples Together
There are several things you can do, especially when your relationship is loving and happy, to ensure that it remains this way for the long term. The first principle of a lasting relationship is your clear intention to preserve your mutual affection, respect and friendship. Dr. John Gottman, a towering figure in couples counseling, achieved this insight after more than thirty years in the research and study of couples. In his bestselling book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, he discusses why most marriage therapy fails, concluding that resolving conflicts and improving communication is important but not, of itself, what keeps couples together. Rather, he finds that "friendship fuels the flames of romance." However intense or frequent their battles, the couples that last have never lost their fondness and respect for one anther. After describing the kinds of behavior that undermine mutual regard, Gottman describes seven things that happy marriages have in common, then he shows you how to introduce those seven principles into your own relationship. If ever you feel that the ties that bind are weakening, this would be a good place to start looking for things you can do to rekindle affection. This material is also available in audio or video format. Other factors that contribute to relationship success include learning to express your feelings, both positive and negative; learning to disagree in ways that are not destructive; and learning to accept things you can't change. Beyond self-help Beyond information in books, tapes and videos, there are couple workshops. Some might find it more effective to go directly to a good couples counselor. If one of you is allergic to the idea of counseling or therapy, look for a couples coach, which might be more acceptable. Enter "couples coach" into Google and see what comes up, or ask a recommended therapist to serve as a coach. Many religious organizations have trained conciliators who work with couples and many clergy are trained in couples counseling. In any case, you should only work with someone who is trained, experienced and certified to do the job. The important thing is that you not sit on your hands if one of you begins to feel that your mutual regard is fading. If you are committed to your relationship, you need to make it a priority, meaning there will be times when you have to put extra effort into it--get information, go to a workshop, get help. Above all, try to discuss things you can do to increase mutual regard and affection and decide together what steps to take. Relationship Resources The companion CD that's included in my book Legal Essentials for California Couples has a fine article, How to Get the Most From Couples Therapy. Appendix B in the book lists relationship resources that professionals have told us they recommend to their clients. One we like is The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, who points out that people have different ways of expressing and receiving love, so that one person might be expressing it in a way that the other does not get, as where a man works hard to earn material things for his loved one and buys her gifts, but she craves touching and nice words. It's a matter of getting your signals straight. Other resources include the highly regarded Couple Communication workshops, which have trained over 600,000 people and are conducted across the U.S. by thousands of certified instructors. To find an instructor near you, visit www.couplecommunication.com. Then there's the respected Marriage Encounter with nation-wide programs for troubled couples that are based on Judeo-Christian concepts, though you need not be religious to participate. You can find more information about them at www.marriage-encounter.org. There's a mountain of good books, tapes, videos and workshops out there that you can use besides the examples I've given. Time spent on this subject will be richly rewarded. That's the whole point--to make the effort. The most innovative parts of the Couples Contract, featured in Legal Essentials for California Couples, are the agreements you make to take these kinds of actions when your relationship needs some help. The Couples Contract can be used by couples in any state with some minor revisions. To learn more about how the Couples Contract can protect and preserve your relationship, visit www.nolocouples.com. Copyright 2005 Ed Sherman
Is There Romance In The Zodiac?
Many people know that the zodiac is a circle in the sky which is charged with twelve distinct energy fields. Astrologers have called these energies "signs." But few people understand that each one of us is a miniature zodiac filled with these dynamic energies. These unique energies, which each of one us has inherited from birth, is either in harmony or in discord with the energies of other people.
Thick Slice, Or Thin?
Malcolm Gladwell's book "Blink" is a fascinating read. The subtitle "The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" gives some clue to its thesis. It's a book that Gladwell describes as being about 'the thoughts and decisions that bubble up from our unconscious.'
Ladies, Is Your Valentine The Cheating Kind?
According to statistics, 50% to 70% of men cheat on their mates. What type of man is most likely to cheat? Ruth Houston, infidelity expert and author of "Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs" says, "Some men are more likely to cheat than others. You can tell by looking at certain things in their background, their past history, or certain character traits."
5 Ways to Tell Your Man You Love Him
Telling your man that you love him is part of assuring him that he is special to you. But it is not enough to verbalize how you feel about your man. To keep your love fire burning, you must find creative and thoughtful ways to express your feelings.
The greatest asset we have in human existence is our soul growth, but somehow we have that confused with becoming powerful. Power does not bring growth unless we understand the essence of sharing that power.
Relationship Advice: 9 More Must-Know Tips for Couples
The Law of Two Questions
Cheating Wives and Cheating Husbands Give Different Reasons for Having Extramarital Affairs
Infidelity studies indicate that the percentage of cheating wives is fast approaching the percentage of cheating husbands wives. But the studies also reveal that men and women who are cheating on their spouses give different reasons to justify their extramarital affairs.
Relationship Advice: Warning Signs of an Emotional Affair
"But we're just friends" are four of the most dangerous words for your marriage.
Frugal Ways To Show Your Love
At one time, I would have never wanted to share my frugal ideas for showing love to those around you. My reason for keeping it to myself? At one time I thought that no one would be interested. After all, we were the only couple not buying each other expensive gifts, jewelry, roses, and more, right? Reality check! I have grown up a lot over these last 10 years and I have learned that I am not the only one clipping coupons and cutting my children's hair myself. There are lots of other families out there just like my husband and I, who have to watch our spending.
Russian Brides - Who Are They?
In recent years, thousands of young Russian and Ukrainian women have come to the USA and European countries by means of marriage and were unkindly labeled "Russian mail-order brides". But who are these women, really? Why are they prepared to leave everything behind, to go to an unknown country and live with an unknown man? Can a Russian bride really be a good solution for a Western man? We will attempt to demystify the phenomenon of mail-order-brides.
Extramarital Affairs: When Sexual Addiction and Infidelity Meet
One kind of extramarital affair revolves around sexual addiction. The partner involved in the affair, plain and simple, has a difficult time saying "NO." He/she may want to, but feels compelled to say "yes."
How Often do you Think About What you are Going to Say?
How often do you think about what you are going to say prior to actually saying it? As a counselor, I have been trained to understand that working with Native Americans, there may be a quite a long pause before my client makes a response to something we are discussing.
How to Get a Woman to Treat You the Way You Deserve
You know the scenario. You start dating a woman. After the first date, all you get is a peck on the cheek.
Soul Mate Myths
But the cold truth is that most people have never known the inner radiance of their own soul. Instead, they cling to the many myths about the soul mate relationship that are simply not true. These false beliefs need to be understood. Here are just a few.
Do You Love Reading The Daily Horoscopes Part II
How many time have you felt an instant attraction to someone you've just met? Well, the explanation is simple?you have encountered the powerful forces of the Zodiac. It is all revealed in your daily horoscopes. The intensity of the love you feel in your relationship is influenced by the twelve Zodiac signs.
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