Dealing with a Difficult Partner by
being our “Adult Self”
During marriage counseling sessions I am asked “How do I deal with husband /wife they are so difficult to deal with; this is what I say to them:
Often times our first response to a difficult partner who is negative or harsh with us is from our “child self”, we want to strike back or withdraw. We want to counter attack or brood. First, we have to be aware that the afore mentioned responses are normal and typical of what difficult partners bring out in their more “reasonable” partner.
The next, thing to do is once we recognize that we are getting up set and going into our “child self” we make a conscious decision, to work at holding back our “child” and “ relate from our “adult” self; an example of this is, instead of getting angry and yelling to stop and figure out what we want to accomplish when we feel provoked, to re and respond thoughtfully rather than react impulsively.
In couples counseling folks learn that being a good partner is not easy to do.
Coming from our adult self is a good example of that, but it will be far more effective than starting a war with your partner.
With practice we can learn to respond from our “adult self” most of the time and think before we react. When the difficult partner pushes us toward our “Child” it is important to first tell our self (we all have conversations in our heads) take a deep breath and then to come from a centered/ calm place rather than being angry or agitated state of mind. Figure out what response you want from your partner and have your “adult self” think about what you could say or do that would be most likely to get that response
In the next blog, I will share what teach in relationship counseling and will give an example of how to respond not react when our difficult partner is being difficult.
If you would like to learn how relationship counseling can be save your relationship please take a look at Dr. Marty’s Relationship Rescue Manual