Last issue covered Boundaries… A hugely important concept that we address in Element1-Context & Mindset, in our Successful Couple Strategy™… Boundary bridges show up everywhere in our life if we are attentive in making sure we lovingly hold our ground and take care of ourselves…
Boundary setting is about taking care of ourselves, our loved ones and creating the life and relationship(s) we want. It’s about setting a structure, a plan, a design that we love and flexibly sticking to it to make it a reality… You can learn more here: Mastering the Art of Setting Powerful Effective Boundaries & Getting Your Needs Met Every Time
Sometimes this is challenging to do when there aren’t clear preferences, expectations, definitions, understanding within and for ourselves, and with others… This is an issue for partners when they don’t explore and share how they want their joint life to be. When they don’t set clear roles, rules, responsibilities and the like. They might not have clear routines, habits, chores, workflow, budget, accounts, access, tools and resources, etc.
Also, partners might struggle getting on the same page due to different gender characteristics, personality, history, skills, culture and a host of other variables inherent in a romantic relationship. These impact communication style and tendencies which in turn impact how well the relationship operates and meets the partners’ needs…
Partners usually have different, and very commonly opposite communication styles. In a very crude nutshell, usually one prefers to talk and the other one doesn’t… The opposite styles can trigger the partners when their preferences are pursued against the other’s wishes…
If one wants to talk and the other doesn’t, the first partner might feel neglected, abandoned, rejected, unappreciated and the like. And, the second partner might feel suffocated, micromanaged, criticized, controlled and the like.
This can escalate into fights where the first becomes more aggressive and the second shuts down more and more, even leaves…
There are 4 characteristics to these styles that make them deadly for relationships (Why Marriages Succeed or Fail):
Where Contempt is a strong predictor of future breakup/divorce! This is because it doesn’t just pick at the other and stops the flow of communication and connection like the others do. It degrades and feels so degrading that the damage is practically irrevocable…
It is paramount that we mind how we show up to interactions with our partner and don’t take for granted how we express ourselves… Become a strong monitor of your communication habits and proactively and swiftly address these today. Your relationship’s success literally depends on it!
Assignment: Become a detective and be on the lookout for any signs of Contempt in how you communicate and relate with your partner.
- Clean up any of these habits immediately
- Address any messages (impact) you might have inadvertently bestowed upon your partner…
- Address the underlying need not being met that is driving this characteristic…
This Assignment is not for the faint of heart, and a lot is riding on this one. Be persistent in eradicating Contempt, and yet gentle with yourself so you can properly stay the course… Make this one really count!
Complete the Assignment, and share your takeaway, insights, and results with a note in the Comments box at the end! I’d love to hear how you are using this content.
~ Some Related Issues
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.