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Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Secure Couple’s Guide to Conflict Resolution.

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In the final installment of the Attachment series, we will deal with the subject of conflict resolution. One misconception about marriages & great relationships is that these couples’ don’t have conflict. Quite the contrary! It’s not the that they don’t have conflict, they just have the right tools to handle it. According to Attachment researchers conflict can serve as a way for couples to get closer and deepen their bond, not drive them apart like in anxious/avoidant relationships.

Individuals have a distinct way to deal with conflict that could be helpful to individuals that have a different attachment style.

These five distinct practices can help diffuse and resolve conflict.

  1. Show basic concern for the other person’s well-being. (Our happiness is dependent on the other and vice-versa.)
  2. Maintain focus on the problem at hand. (When there’s a willingness to resolve a specific problem, people feel that they’re being heard and it brings both parties closer together.)
  3. Refrain from generalizing the conflict. (By keeping the argument restricted to the topic they avoid making disparaging remarks and blowing things out of proportion.)
  4. Be willing to engage (When you are both willing to stay and deal with the issue do you find a resolution that you can both live with and the process helps them be more in-tune with each other.)
  5. Effectively communicate feelings and needs. (Effectively expressing your emotional needs is even better than the other person magically reading your mind. By being an active agent it opens the door to a more emotional, richer dialogue.

Why can’t insecure couples adopt these practices.

Individuals who are anxious, or avoidants have several aspects that make it difficult for them to adopt these conflict resolution principles.

An anxious partner will have their basic concerns about their partners responsiveness to their needs about being rejected or abandoned. When a conflict arises, they experience many negative thoughts and react by using any behavior to get their partner’s attention. Their response is often dramatic, but ineffective.

An avoidant person is also concerned about their partner not really being their for them, but they will deal with concerns in a totally different way. They will suppress their need for closeness by shutting down emotionally and adopting a sense of independence. The more personal the conflict becomes, the stronger their urge grows to distance themselves from the situation.

Secure Principles can work for any relationship.

If you or your partner has an anxious/avoidant attachment style, you will have to work harder to make the relationship work especially when conflicts arise. Being centered on your own needs and hurts can cause a lot of trouble. You must keep these truths in mind when dealing with conflict.

  • A single fight is not a relationship breaker.
  • Express your fears! Don’t let them dictate your actions. If you’re afraid that s/he wants to reject you,say so.
  • Don’t assume you are to blame for your partner’s  bad mood. It is most likely not because of you.
  • Trust that your partner will be caring and responsive and go ahead and express your needs.
  • Don’t expect your partner to know what you’re thinking. If you haven’t told him/her what’s on your mind, s/he doesn’t know.

I hope that this series will help you restore your faith in relationships and that they shouldn’t be left to chance. Relationships are one of the most rewarding of human experiences above and beyond other gifts that life has to offer. If couples can understand that a mismatched attachment style can lead to a great deal of unhappiness in relationships and work hard to tend to each other’s relationship well-being, you will give yourself the best shot at finding deeply, gratifying love.

Coach Keith

 

Material based on the book Attached. The New Science of Adult 
Attachment and How It Can Help YOU Find and Keep Love.
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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5 reasons why a WedLease still leaves you empty?

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Paul Rampell is a lawyer in Palm Beach who specializes in estate planning wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post about the possibility of WedLeases over marriage.

Marriage is a legal partnership that is supposed to last a lifetime — one lifetime to be exact, that of the first of the spouses to die. Rampell felt that generally speaking, that is too long time for any partnership. Our behavior dictates that people, circumstances and all sorts of other things change. The compatibility of any two people over decades may decline with these changes to the point of extinction.

So we should borrow from real estate and create a marital lease? Instead of wedlock, a “wedlease.”

Here’s how a marital lease could work: Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes. It could end up lasting a lifetime if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorces is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.

So like In real estate, why don’t we have the option for shorter term marriages. For example, since we have become accustomed to prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements, why not a marital lease to help minimize the high divorce rate.

Here are 5 reasons why a WedLease will still leave you empty.

  1. WEdLease contract won’t stop the pain. – If there are two people involved in marriage, there is bound to be some pain at some point, whether it be the first year of marriage or in 20 years. The benefit of marriage, is to hunker down and work through it.
  2. Limits on time and increase the distance.  If you aren’t really vested in the marriage, you will bide your time until the WedLease ends. How will you do that by putting as much distance between your lease spouse as possible. In a marriage, it is your responsibility to work hard every day to keep it fresh.
  3. No opportunity to repair the damage.  Even after the WedLease has ended due to a bad 5 years, you will still pay for the damage to the other partner. It’s always great to hear when couples continue to thrive in a marriage even after they had a serious setback.
  4. You are constantly keeping score. When you enter into a WedLease agreement, you will continuously be keeping score. So if you decide to renew for another 5 years, you, or your partner will make sure you get what you deserve as a result of each and every misstep by the other. Marriage is supposed to be about partnership. Teamwork!  When you win, your partner wins.
  5. You are constantly accommodating and not growing! When you enter into a marriage, it’s with another human being. With any team, you have to work together awhile before you start to kick in on all cylinders. It’s very empowering when you see your partner grow for the better and you feel you had a part in that.  In a WedLease, you would have to constantly accomodate the other partner until you feel comfortable.

Would you support a WedLease? What terms would be crucial for its success?

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in iLoveStrong QoTD, Uncategorized

 

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