Relationship Counseling Tip: Be amused about your relationship differences!

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Relationship Counseling Tip: Be amused about the differences you and your partner have instead of being annoyed. Remember: It’s always a choice!

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”
~ Virginia Satir

You like things one way and your partner likes them a different way. In the beginning of the relationship, you were both able to overlook these differences. But now, for some strange reason, these exact same differences have become a major annoyance. And maybe even bordering on deal-breaker material.

Why?

Most likely there are two primary culprits: First, you’ve lost some of your humor and your ability to be flexible. Just like a muscle, if you don’t exercise your humor and flexibility regularly, they’ll atrophy and lose their strength. This leaves you responding in a boring, rigid and not fun way.

Second, you’re probably really upset about a number of other things that have NOT been expressed. When this happens,  your mind gets confused and issues are getting displaced. In other words, you’re upset or bothered by one issue, but it comes out at another issue.

This is classic displacement and without conscious awareness, this can, and does, happen easily and frequently. Left untreated, it can eat away at relationships like termites in a wooden frame house.

What to do?

As absurd as it may sound, practicing your humor and flexibility are great exercises. For example, when couples both wear clown noses during a disagreement, the entire energy of the conversation changes…dramatically! This is a deliberate disruption of an undesired habit or reaction. Although it may sound a bit weird (which is usually good when you’re attempting to create new patterns), it is very effective at adding both humor and flexibility at the same time.

When it comes to displacement, there is only one solution and it’s called The H.O.W. Factor: Honest, Open and Willing. Healthy and lasting relationships are built on a solid foundation of communication, trust and fidelity. The cornerstones are honesty, openness and willingness.

Relationship Tip: When you commit to have regular check-ins, say twice a week, for the distinct purpose of staying current with each other, you proactively invite, and almost force, an honest, open and willing relationship.

These check-ins also allow and invite an opportunity to negotiate any differences, with the goal always being to create a win-win. What can you both be flexible about and give to create harmony and peace?

Yes…these are all choices. The biggest choice, however, is the choice to choose. Many couples go into an “autopilot” mode and become complacent and semi-conscious about their relationship. The result is always the same: A rude awakening consisting of distance, aloofness, resentment and oftentimes, an infidelity.

When you consciously choose to be in a relationship and you choose to have a conscious relationship, you’re also choosing to be proactive in your relationship. Be proactive and set-up regularly scheduled check-in times and use your clown nose (or whatever other humor prompting mechanism you have) to keep it all flexible and fluid.

Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful.”~Lao Tzu

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