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Holding on to Yourself

Posted on: Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

How do I maintain a clear sense of who I am in the presence of my partner and his stuborness? How do I change the course of my relationship when my partner is not willing to come to counselling? I find myself ‘losing it’ every time the issue of $pending comes up!

This seems to be the challenge many of my clients present to me when they have a gridlocked issue in a relationship: “me and my partner do not seem to agree, in fact when we try to ‘discuss’ the issue we both end up further entrenched in our positions!” No movement! Stuck!

You are like millions of couples out there!

Dr. David Schnarch in his bestselling book, Passionate Marriage outlines the steps you need to take to break out of your gridlocked issue with your partner, steps you can take by yourself. Several are summarized below:

1) Look at your own issues. Take some time to think about what your partner often says about you that you so adamantly dispute. Could part of it be true?

2) Stop taking your partners reaction to the gridlocked issue personally! Ask yourself, ‘why do I need to react to my partners position so personally?’

3) Don’t count on your partner to confront himself or herself in return.

4) Focus on yourself, not on what your partner is or isn’t doing!

5) Stop trying to pressure your partner! Pressuring your partner reduces the pressure on both of you to change.

6) Relate to your partner from the best part of you. The part that is able to acknowledge your own faults.

7) Discover your own unresolved issues: by looking into the gridlocked issue. Could you approach it as a personal problem to be solved? And if so, how could ‘going through’ the issues you see, help you develop as a person? How could you develop enough so that you resolve this issue in a permanent way?

8) For solutions to your issues look in places you have not looked to in the past. What unthinkable/unacceptable options could you reconsider? What about you would have to change, what would you have to give up?

9) As you confront yourself, soothe your own anxieties and fears. Dont expect your partner to listen and validate you or your feelings.

10) Your personal growth will be a gift to yourself and also to your partner. You will be living with more personal integrity, will be better able to handle the differences between you and you will be moving forward. It will be the best trigger for your partner to confront themselves, as they try to catch up!

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