As relationships grow deeper and we get too comfortable with our spouse the best people in the world can make some pretty poor decisions. Relationships are difficult to maintain because every one is an individual with their own preferences. When you have both members of a disagreement that feel that they are always in the right it may make you wonder how to save a relationship.
When you are around anyone for a significant amount of time tensions can become high. Especially when you live together it could seem that you are always at each others throats about something. We often vent our frustrations on the ones we live with. We may form higher expectations of our partner than we might be of family and friends. This is where words should be thought out more carefully.
It is this self righteous anger that spawns 3 statements that are detrimental to any relationship. These are “You”, “always” and “never”.
You statements become a form of pointing the finger of blame. “You need to start doing this” and “You really tick me off with that” are examples of you statements.
These statements are designed to express anger onto your partner about something. The problem with this is that when you say a you statement the other person instinctively puts up
communication barriers as self defense to what they view as a verbal assault.
This will only lead to them saying “well you…” or “oh yeah, how about when you…” As you can see this is a vicious circle where no one wins.
Express your point of view instead of simply expressing anger at them. Something like “I feel that … ” or “It bothers me when…” is making a statement rather than putting them on guard. This approach yields far better results.
This is another way of misplacing anger. They are often in conjunction with the you statement to boot. “You always hang out with your friends” or ” you always weasel out of seeing my parents” is a form of labeling some one.
This implies that this person is incapable of change. Much in the same way that falsely accusing someone of cheating can push them to do it, the always phrase works the same way. If you say they always do something they may do it more simply to spite you.
The polar opposite of Always. “You never do this anymore” or “you never take out the trash”. How about “I was wondering why you have not done this in a while” or “Could you pay closer attention to the trash”.
These are open ended examples of course. Its obvious at first glance which sounds confrontational and which sounds proactive. People often have unrealistic expectations of what a spouse should be. Perfect is not realistic and expecting someone to constantly put up with being berated with confrontational phrases is not realistic either. These and other issues cause break ups if not confronted head on.
Above all else make sure your spouse is your friend. How would your friends feel if you expected the world out of them. The answer to how to save a relationship is to be considerate of one another and even when angry, talk things out in a fair way. Don’t fall into
the blame game trap.
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