Relationship-Enhancing Idea # 2: Frustrations are normal!
Conflict, frustrations and differences in your relationship are normal! You are in stage two. Stay with them, listen, validate and feel more connected through them.
Following the ‘honeymoon phase’ (phase 1) all couples will encounter the ‘power struggle’ (phase 2). This is normal and not a sign that anything is wrong.
There is no escaping phase two so better to be prepared for it and find a helpful way to manage rather than ‘exiting’ through avoidance, blame, shame, criticism or any other strategy that does not directly and respectfully deal with the frustration.
Realise you are not alone. Conflict and frustration happen in all our relationships.
Try the following and let see what happens: Take turns to listen to each other. When you listen, really listen by putting your frustration on hold and fully focus on your partner’s experience. Get curious, listen and validate their experience which is likely to be very different to your own. Then when you share your frustration make sure it is a good time for your partner or spouse. Share your frustration and make it about yourself…”I felt upset when I did not hear from you today.” Say it calmly, staying away from any blame, shame or criticism.
Try that and let me know how it goes. I’m curious.
Relationship-Enhancing quote:” “Conflict is growth trying to happen” Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt
Relationship-Enhancing practice: When you feel frustrated or see things differently than your partner or spouse, try replace judgement with curiosity.
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Call me on 07931721637 for a free 10 minute chat to see how Imago relationship therapy can not only help you manage frustrations better but significantly improve your relationship.
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