8 Tips for Relationships

Consider

· Accepting compromise and tolerating the persistent differences. Most happy couples learn to live with significant differences about money, in-laws, vacations, household chores, etc.  Acknowledging the differences between the two of you does not have to mean you agree with them.

Things to Do

· Catch your partner doing something right .  Look for partner behaviors that are pleasing, and compliment your partner when he or she does them.

· Surprise your partner with thoughtfulness. Use your knowledge of your partner to please them unexpectedly.  Allow your partner to discover your thoughtfulness themselves.  Curb your disappointment if your partner misses your effort.  Try something else.

· Carve out “couple time” your partner will enjoy. Our hectic lives often fill up with tasks.  Take “fun” time to spend together.

Manage Tense Moment

· Notice what your body is telling you & before reacting take a moment (s) & step away. Upon returning, s peak your point, but skip the anger/sarcasm.  Every expression of negative emotion obliges five expressions of positive emotion to regain a neutral feeling.  Count 5 to 1.

· Negotiate an unconventional place to discuss contentious issues. Moving from your usual location of arguments to another room can shift your disagreements enough to reduce negative feelings and introduce new ideas.

· When you know you have made a mistake, apologize. No one is immune to making some mistakes.  Admit your fault, say you’re sorry, and explore ways of avoid the mistake next time.

Listen & Talk with Heart

· Provide support, solutions are tributary. Feeling attached is a strong binding force in a relationship.  Really listening & reflecting back fosters togetherness. If you are formalizing a response- you are not listening. Listen first. When your partner is ready, they will be more open to your idea. Keep this up and when your partner is finished, ask, “Is there more?”  Continue listening until your partner can answer “No” to this question. Prove you are listening.

· Speak the language of attachment. Dig under the critical comment & figure out what they are trying to say. Speak your needs in ways that move your partner.

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Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term and structured approach to couples therapy developed by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg.  It is grounded in attachment theory while focusing on love as an attachment bond . "Attachment" between people typically provides a safe haven: a retreat from the world and a way to obtain comfort, security and a buffer against stress.

EFT provides a language for healthy dependency between partners and looks at ways to reorganize and expand emotional responses in an adult love relationship. The goal is to replace old, dysfunctional patterns of interactions with new positive series that become self-reinforcing, create permanent change and becomes a place of safety for both partners.

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