Relationships Work: KiCK’N Relationship Tips
With Lori and Bob Hollander
Secrets to Creating Extraordinary Relationships
Conflicts can be resolved when couples move beyond blame and uncover fear and pain.
Who’s in Charge of Your Relationship?
If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication. -Stephen Covey
In Couple to Couple Coaching with Lori & Bob:
Alison: “He’s so controlling. He thinks he should be the one who makes all the financial decisions since he makes more money than I do.”
Mike: “I’m so controlling?! You always decide when we have or don’t have sex. I’ve never turned you down when you ask, but when I ask, that’s another story.”
All relationships have a balance (or imbalance) of power and control. The power struggle between these spouses is obvious; with some couples it is subtler. Either way the result of mutual blame and finger pointing is anger and defensiveness. And the escalation is off and running! Sometimes zero to sixty in less than a few seconds.
Once this happens there is no hope for positive dialogue or resolution and there is a good chance one or both partners will lose control, say things they don’t mean and damage the relationship. Once temperatures cool down, if they don’t apologize and forgive and then go back to the conflict in a calm way to process what happened, resentment will insidiously grow, and eat away at their connection. That’s exactly what happened to Alison and Mike. Not unlike most couples with chronic conflict they had been living like this for over five years.