Jeff Lutes

If a Miracle Happened Tonight

Filed By Jeff Lutes | November 08, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: communication tips, relationship problems, same-sex couples

Most of us in relationship are keenly aware of when our partner "gets it wrong." We've developed a mental list of behaviors and traits about the other which we allow to become a source of irritation and frustration. Unfortunately, when they "get it right" we may not notice at all. We seem to be wired to catch and magnify the foibles, while simultaneously overlooking their demonstrations of thoughtfulness, kindness, and concern.

A related issue is that one or both partners can become overly "problem focused" when dealing with a persistent set of ongoing relational dilemmas. dead-end-miracle.jpgWe are so tuned in to the problem(s) that we are unable to notice possible solutions, or even to be curious about what is different during the times when, for whatever reason, the problem is not a problem. When describing what we view as our partner's negative attributes we tend to use absolute language, such as "You always" or "You never." Such language is rarely accurate.

I started posting a series of questions for couples in early October that can be helpful in improving relationship satisfaction. The next two questions encourage you and your partner to work through these kinds of challenges by imagining and describing the solution. Set aside about 15 minutes to think about your answers and write them down. Then schedule another 15 minutes to have a conversation with each other about your answers. My hope is that this conversation will unveil some new possibilities that had not previously been considered. Good luck!

3. From your perspective, what is the main challenge or struggle in your relationship? If a video camera inside your home caught this in action, what would a viewer see when they played back the tape?

4. Now - imagine that camera is on while a miracle happens in the middle of the night and the problem you described in Question # 3 simply disappears. What new behaviors between you and your partner would the camera capture if the problem had vanished?

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