Here is the typical pattern that I see:
- A Couple engages in conflict and poor behavior and communication
- Individuals ruminate about the conflict and about their hurt feelings
- Individuals have catastrophic negative thoughts about their spouse/partner and the relationship
- Couples distance themselves physically and emotionally from one another.
- Physical and emotional distance leads to reinforcement of the catastrophic thoughts (start over with number 3) and conflict and poor communication increase (start back over with number 1). There are multiple ways to break this pattern. Since you and your spouse/partner are both imperfect people, you will need to work on all of the strategies below in order to break the pattern described above:
There are multiple ways to break this pattern. Since you and your spouse/partner are both imperfect people, you will need to work on all of the strategies below in order to break the pattern described above:
- Learn better conflict management and communication skills.
- Try not to take your spouse/partner’s poor communication skills or poor conflict management skills personal. Assume the positive.
- Be quick to take personal responsibility for your part in the poor communicaiton and conflict and apologize as soon as possible.
- Be forgiving of your spouse/partner’s imperfections.
- Engage in activities that help you feel emotionally and physically connected to one another.