I often ask couples, when they are seeing me for a session, What do you think is the No. 1 Cause of a Breakup or Divorce? Sometimes they get close but this is not the obvious source of difficulties…wondering if it’s money, sex, affairs, violence, parenting, in-laws, addiction, etc.?
Nope. Yes it has to do with fighting, communication, listening, tantrums, refusal to talk, defensiveness, blame, criticism.
What breaks down your friendship, romance and intimacy is conflict avoidance.
That means that you haven’t learned how to stop when there’s a problem and calmly look at it together and figure out how to resolve the issue intelligently. I think of it as staying clean with each other: no withholds, no half-truths, no drama, just honestly thinking and talking it through.
DEFENSIVENESS AND TANTRUMS
We avoid conflict or problems when we believe there is no way to a solution.
IF we can’t listen, pay attention and be genuinely interested in knowing the other person’s view, we will usually be defensive of ourselves, our views and make the other person the enemy. And, if we don’t get our way, we throw emotional ‘tantrums’ to manipulate it so we get our way.
FIVE TANTRUM TYPES: ask for my models on Emotional Intelligence.
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