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Repairing Relationship Problems
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
All emotionally intimate relationships include times when the partners don't connect or are at odds with each other. So, repairing the connection at those times is essential for the relationship to continue to be safe; and it even strengthens the relationship.

The best way to do this is to focus on your feelings, such as hurt, angry, or sad. Identify as many emotions as you can. The idea here is to make you (not your partner) the center of your awareness. You want to be able to say to your partner, "When you did ______, it made me feel _______." But, be mindful of focusing on your feelings and keeping your comments about your partner's actions brief.

How you tend to approach your partner when problems arise between you is based on a way of relating that you learn as early as when you are an infant. To learn more about this, see my most recent blog entry for The Art of Relationships .

Have you tried to do this in your relationships? How has it worked for you? What difficulties did you find in doing it?

Dr. Becker-Phelps's discussions and her responses in those discussions are for general educational purposes only. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

dfromspencer responded:
Hi, Dr. Becker-Phelps

I have used this sort of thing in my past relationships, and it works most of the time. When it didn't, I found that it was hard to keep emotions in check, both sides. Someone would get upset, and say something uncalled for, and then a new argument would erupt.

Like I said, for the most part, this works. Try to not come on too strong, tho!!

Thank you!

Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to dfromspencer's response:
Your suggestion to not come on too strong is most definitely essential in this, so thanks for adding it.
urfaveflower responded:
I agree completely. I had hit a rough patch recently with my significant other, and we've done just this very thing you suggested and its made our bond stronger, if not "bullet-proof." Thank you for letting others know that sometimes all it takes to work it out is complete disclosure (in a delicate way, as Dennis so appropriately stated).

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