How to Repair Upsets & Stay Happy

What’s the difference between couples who share long term happiness and those who don’t? In a word, they know how to repair. All partners go in and out of synch and can occasionally be at odds. How this gets handled makes all the difference.

Couples who keep love alive are good at quickly repairing the riffs and glitches every relationship encounters. Knowing how to repair is a vital skill to keep love alive and thriving. Continue reading

The Importance of Quick Repair

How do couples who share ongoing happiness differ from those who don’t? One key difference is that they know how to quickly repair. Partners who keep love alive resolve small riffs or ruptures before they escalate into big ones. All couples go in and out of synch and can occasionally be at odds. Knowing how to repair such distress is central to staying happily connected.

Here’s an example of repair. Say your partner forgets to do something they agreed to do. You react by criticizing them. They react back defensively. You now notice you are in a familiar reactive pattern. What can you do? Below are some simple steps that couples who engage in quick repair would do. Continue reading

Ending the Vicious Cycle

When many of us try to “work” on our relationship, how we communicate does not work at all! Instead of resolving issues, we fall into a vicious cycle, which creates even bigger problems and more upset feelings. Talking can go around in circles for hours, and never get anywhere that feels positive. Couples get stuck in a vicious cycle.

How you talk makes a difference. How you communicate is like choosing the road you take. Sadly, the road that many couples take when faced with challenges or issues leads them into a familiar downward spiral. Despite their best intentions (at least to begin with) things only accelerate downhill. Continue reading

Stopping Poor Communication

Let’s say you find that you are involved in a situation where you and/or your partner are getting upset. Not having tools for stopping poor communication, you fall into in a destructive pattern of reactivity. Different people react in different ways, of course. One person might get more visibly angry or critical. Another might try to avoid and withdraw. Regardless of the form, these are all some form of reacting.

Someone has just said or done something, and the other person is getting upset and showing this through some form of reactivity. The best thing you can do as soon as you recognize this is to put on the brakes, so to speak, and then try to reverse out of the situation as quickly as possible — to repair it in some way. Continue reading

Agree to Stop the Damage

When you are in the midst of a reactive pattern, the only result you can get is further reactivity. You will never resolve the issue if your reactive brain has taken control of the conversation. Continuing to talk more is like trying to put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it. Good things will never come of further communication. It’s time to agree to stop the damage.

Making an agreement to pause at such times with your partner is crucial. It can literally save your relationship. If you cannot pause, it is as if you have a car that only has an accelerator and no brakes. That will never turn out well for you, as you will just go faster and faster, speeding up until you crash. Empowering your relationship with a pause agreement is like installing a vital factor — brakes — in your vehicle. Continue reading