Keys To A Successful Partnership

The Keys To A Successful Partnership - Cheryl Woolstone Counselling Blog

What does it take to have a dynamic partnership?

There are certain habits that differentiate couples that will succeed from couples that are destined to fail.

If you want to be successful you will have to have these interpersonal skills.

The Emotional Bond

  • Be Curious About Your Partner’s World – ask questions and share your world
  • Keep Sight of the Positive – express appreciation on a daily basis
  • Respond to Attempts to Connect – initiate small connecting moves throughout the day – attention is the most basic form of love
  • Pursue “Shared Meaning” – a common mission – sense of loyalty to shared values

When You feel Misunderstood or Mistreated

  • Avoid a Judgemental Attitude – if you assume the worst of your partner you will likely get the worst, move away from right or wrong
  • Stand up For Yourself Without Putting Your Partner Down – hold your ground and insist that your opinion be given equal weight, without criticism
  • Validate – find the part that makes sense, you can validate the other perspective even if you do not agree and without giving up your opinion
  • Equal Regard – be willing to work towards mutually agreeable solutions, find the other position as compelling as your own
  • Offer Reassurance – acknowledge the disagreement and assure your partner of your commitment to the relationship, this means no threats
  • Figure Out the Underlying Reason You are Upset – there are fears, dreams and needs at stake, communicate on that level

How you react when you feel hurt and misunderstood and the way that you act to promote the bond and attachment are the two key areas for prediction of success.

Can You Predict Relationship Failure?

Dr. John Gottman, a Seattle based researcher, believes that by measuring the presence or absence of these habits that he can predict with 90% accuracy whether couples will divorce within a 5 year time period.

Gottman, isolated the presence of Contempt, as the main predictor that a relationship was doomed to failure. My clinical experience backs up his finding.

Contempt is a corrosive attitude that sends the message to your partner that they are of no value to you. The degree of repair and re-building that is necessary once a relationship gets to this point requires incredible commitment and hard work.

So, pay attention to moments when you behave contemptuously towards another person. Notice that all contempt is really self abuse. The old brain does not recognize that you are sending it out to another person. This is internal self-infliction as well as an attempt to devalue another.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 8:00 PM and is filed under IMAGO and Relationships. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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