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CJBAGGINS's Photo CJBAGGINS Posts: 33,368
12/31/13 4:38 P

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Thanks, Sharon. Some good suggestions as always.

I find it incredible that most couples take 6 years to seek help.


What if we woke up tomorrow with only those things that we thanked God for today?

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LAKENDAL's Photo LAKENDAL Posts: 7,950
12/30/13 9:15 A

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More great advice thanks Sharon!

Laura. Mio, Michigan

Lord help me remember that nothing is going to happen today that you and I can't handle together.

If ignorance is bliss why aren't more people happy

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12/30/13 8:58 A

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Glad you found it helpful.

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12/29/13 10:08 P

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I will practice this, thanks. It is very true.

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12/29/13 4:12 P

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How To Spot And Defeat The Four Marriage Killers

The first destructive horseman in a relationship is criticism. Understanding the difference between criticizing and complaining is more than semantics, because criticism is the slippery slope that slides into contempt.

Criticisms creep in when complaints are ignored. Criticisms are global attacks on character and worth that target the shortcomings of the other. Complaints are objective statements of unmet needs. An effective complaint is one that
1.Starts softly, with a request for help
- I need your help.
2.Observes an action or behavior
- When there are stacks of mail on the kitchen table and counters,
3. States the impact of that action or behavior
- I react badly to the clutter.
4. Defines the desired change in behavior
- Iíd like to keep the kitchen table and counters clear.
5. Asks for input as to how to achieve the outcome
- What are you willing to do to help have a less cluttered kitchen and a calmer me?

The second horseman is contempt. Contempt is intentionally abusing your spouse Ė verbally, emotionally, and psychologically. Contempt expresses the complete absence of any admiration and is delivered with insults, name-calling, hostile humor, mockery, and body language. Contempt is toxic and its presence is an indication of a disintegrating marriage. It must be eliminated.

If criticism and contempt are a regular part of your relational style, think about counseling to help you take a different shape. These two horsemen grew up in childhood wounds such as parental criticism, shaming, belittling or excessive demands.

The third horseman is defensiveness. Itís a natural reaction to being criticized or treated contemptuously. Itís also a way of sidestepping responsibility. If we are ignoring complaints, failing to contribute creative solutions, those complaints are likely to become criticisms which we naturally want to defend against. Remember the mantra:

Donít attack. Donít defend. Donít Withdraw.

Marriage is supposed to be for better or worse. Stay present, especially when the going gets rough.

The fourth horseman is stonewalling. When we stonewall, we avoid the hard work of growing up, either because we are unaware of our own feelings or because we are afraid of conflict. Rather than dealing directly with the issue or with our partner, we check out by tuning out, turning away, engaging in busyness or obsessive behaviors. We simply stop relating to the most important people in our lives.

Dr. Gottmanís research clearly demonstrates that conflict is not the cause of unhappy marriages Ė happy and unhappy couples fight about the same things. Itís how conflict is handled that makes the difference between a disaster or master marriage.

Most couples wait for six years Ė SIX YEARS!!!!! - after they know their relationship is in serious trouble before they seek counseling. Evidence continues to mount that both individual and family therapy save money by cutting health expenditures, reducing employee absenteeism and boosting productivity.

Start where you are in your relationship. Use the tools you have Ė blogs, books, therapists, coaches. Do what you can to take responsibility for your part by becoming the best YOU you can be.

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