Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Are you caught in a criticize/defend pattern?

Is your relationship distressed? If it is, would you really want to know? Or is relationship trouble like the common cold, if you wait long enough the distress will pass?

Relationships are NOT like the common cold. In fact, untended distress typically gets worse.

Most men believe if they ignore hot emotions things will cool down. Well, that is sort of true. It's true in the short run, and untrue in the long run.

It really does help to protect the relationship from the immediate argument to pull out of it. But, if after the conflict the problem isn't address then it's more likely for a attack/defend pattern to get going.

The most common words that come out of men's mouths when they are distressed in the relationship are along these lines:

"you're too emotional"

"why does it have to be like this with you?"

"if you didn't make such a big deal of things...."

"okay, okay. I hate it when you cry"

"anything you want"

"I can't talk to you when you get like this"

If this sounds like you, or like the man you love, it's time to slow down and look at the pattern in your relationship. Chances are, you're caught in the criticize/defend pattern.

There is a good way out of that pattern. Scientifically proven to work.

The first step out, is to recognize the pattern and begin to talk about the pattern itself. Don't talk about the issue that triggered the pattern. Talk about the pattern.

More to come next time.



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