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What makes a successful or failed relationship? How can people get closer to each other, and more committed to each other, over time? What really causes strife between two people?
We're going to look at these questions, and others, now, to see if we can really get underneath what's going on in our relationships. The first thing to understand is that people speak in code all the time. They don't just come out and tell you what's bothering them - instead, we get a whole bunch of clues and hints, some of which aren't even verbal.
Let's take an example: There's a businessman who's having a hard time. The recession has hit, and he's overstocked on merchandise. All of a sudden, the business that he's been building up for years starts sinking. In the meantime, he promised his wife a certain standard of living when they got married, and now he can't deliver on what he promised.
The problem didn't start with the business sinking. The problem started right back at the beginning of the marriage, when the man made a lot of mistakes and failed to treat his wife like an adult, and a real partner in his life. He didn't share what's really going on in his life, in his head, and make her feel important and significant and valued as a person in her own right.
He figured he'd let his money do the talking for him - which kind of worked when he had the money to give her. But now? Now she's feeling left out and resentful and angry. As a result, she's continuing to spend the money that they don't have - and that she doesn't even really want to be spending!
Why is this happening?
It's happening because the husband is failing to meet the wife's deeper needs. It looks like they are fighting over the money, but really, that's a minor detail. When he's telling his wife that they don't have the money, and he's rebuking her for overspending, what he's really saying is that he feels his wife is somehow sabotaging him, and that she doesn't want his efforts to turn things around economically to succeed. He's telling her that she's making him feel as though he's a failure.
In return, the wife feels even less loved and even more punished by her husband, and we have a classic circular pattern which just keeps going round and round, making both sides crazier and crazier.
No one can stand the pain and discomfort and reinforced negativity of being in a circular pattern for long. Let's remember: they aren't really fighting about the money. Once the husband realizes that his wife has some deeper needs that he hasn't been fulfilling since way back when they first got married, he'll start trying to fulfill them. And when he does, the money issue all but disappears. It's practically gone. Why? Because now, the wife is receiving much more...Continue reading here...