Bend Marriage Counseling Says Happy Couples Become Good At Repair

March 31, 2015 by

It doesn’t take long once you commit and move in together to discover your partner is different than you. During the romantic phase you feel like you’ve found your twin. Then you discover your partner thinks and feels differently—news flash, you didn’t marry yourself! Misunderstandings, arguments and disconnection are the result. It’s crucial to realize that you are not with the wrong person. Happy couples have differences and at times trigger each others defenses. The difference is they have learned to repair quickly.

At Bend Marriage Counseling we want to give you some tools to repair a disconnection:

Breathe—become aware of tension arising within you when you are thinking differently than your partner. Take a deep cleansing breath and focus on your partner’s message and listen to understand. Learning to reconnect is not about agreement or rebuttal. When you feel safe and connected you can collaborate to find what works for both of you.

Take a Timeout—If an argument or fight escalates to a level that is beyond regulating your emotion then Nothing you say beyond this will lead to reconnection until you calm down and can listen to fully understand your partner. When you or your partner are being defensive you listen to react and not to understand. To reconnect you will need to take a timeout (aka breather) until you have calmed down and can listen to each other and speak respectfully.

Let your partner know when you will return to discuss the misunderstanding. Fold the laundry, take a walk or wash the car. When you are using the time to calm down be aware of when you start to build a case and stop. Think about your part of the disagreement and take ownership for your part. When you are calm enough ask your partner if you can talk about your part of the misunderstanding and listen to your partners view.

Use “I” messages and talk about your own experience without criticism or blame. Listen to your partner’s viewpoint and demonstrate understanding by validating your partner’s view. This does not mean you agree, it means you can understand their thoughts and feelings. Let your partner know you want to reconnect and thank them for being willing to understand you.

This may be difficult if you have experienced lots of conflict or misunderstandings already. Consider contacting Bend Marriage Counseling to assist you in learning how to use the Intentional Dialogue to repair your disconnections.