A group of University of Houston psychologists have coined a new phrase, relationship-contingent-self-esteem. People affected by relationship-contingent-self-esteem base all their self-worth on their romantic relationships. People who have RSCE can't separate themselves from the negative occurrences in their relationships and their own self-worth.
Unexpected Facebook message the other night: an old friend from middle school delivered a thumpin' to her husband and was arrested for assault and battery. I don't know the circumstances at all -- not that that really matters. It's domestic violence and it's wrong and it's not the way for a couple to solve a conflict. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit I am fascinated.
Poll: What Do You And Your Guy Fight About Most?: Housework. One of us never does any! Money. Our views on spending and saving are not perfectly synced. Sex. We have different personalities and needs in the bedroom. Scheduling. We have different definitions of what it means to spend quality time together. All of the above—we fight about everything! None of the above. To tell you the truth, we really don't fight that much.
Fighting sucks, but it happens in almost every relationship, so for healthy coupledom you have to know how to deal with arguments and anger. According to a study at U Mich, the best solution for processing negative feelings is to step back from the emotions and try to evaluate what happened from a distance. It sounds like common sense—you've probably heard, or said, "I need a second to calm down," or "let's think about this rationally"—but there are subtle differences in the way you think about the experience and your emotions that can help or hinder your ability to effectively deal with adversity.
Coming in second only to the cell phone, a recent survey of 1,000 DVR owners revealed that the television recording device is an item people increasingly can't live without. The survey suggests DVRs are becoming to households what the microwave once was: a source of liberation and harmony. DVR not only gets you to work on time (by recording morning Saved by the Bell reruns you might otherwise be tempted to watch, duh), it's also saving relationships. Men's website Asylum reports that nearly 80 percent of survey respondents said the technology has "improved relations with their significant other." While the company collecting this data is a DVR manufacturer, thereby knocking off a touch of legitimacy, there is true logic behind the results.
Marriage is the union of two different people with vastly divergent personalities, beliefs, background and culture. So how do two truly become one? Couples can overcome their differences in marriage by communicating, getting perspective, reconciling the differences, understanding and accepting. Communicating our differences to one another in a calm, rational way helps defuse possible fights long before they start.
Communicating with your spouse is often a tricky business that seems more like voodoo than having and honest-to-goodness chat. But really, it’s not that hard. It’s about respect, not being critical or making assumptions, and holding your tongue, says SavvyMiss.com. "That grunting, mumbling, heap of man slumped on your couch may not be Shakespeare, but he’s perfectly capable of carrying on adult conversations."It’s true; we put one of the rules—. 4: Don’t Talk Too Much—to the test and found that they actually work.
One woman describes her partner's downward spiral of negativity. What started out as normal everyday complaining became a routine of self-destruction that eventually the ended the relationship. Negativity and neediness can cloud a good relationship and turn all that whining and worrying into a self fulfilling prophecy: "As we got more settled, the negativity grew. It became complicated, involving me and her belief that I could not possibly love her. But I did, I knew I did, and I told her so, but it never seemed to make any long-term difference. The instances began piling on top of each other until they became a frustrating routine."
When is a fight worth it and when is it time to let go? Parenthood.com explains that it is sometimes better for your relationship with your spouse to just it go: "I want my relationship to work more than I want to be right. This time around, the big picture is clear. I love my husband. I don't want to hurt him. We're compatible, and it feels awful when we don't get along. I want our marriage to thrive, and I want to grow - which means learning how to lose on occasion. At this precipice, I'm learning to take a deep breath and peer at things from my partner's perspective. I know he's as sure of being right as I am, which makes me curious about where he's coming from. I trust him and our relationship enough to accept that the truth probably lies somewhere in the unfamiliar middle."
I’ve been on a bit of a blog-writing-hiatus. Switching jobs, training my replacement, and helping my dad promote the book he just wrote (see www.beyondfossilfools.com to hear the podcast we made, and search Beyond Fossil Fools at YouTube to see the video) has kept my brain too occupied and full to write. Then, on the 5th we left for a road-trip to Canada’s mountains-majesty to attend a destination wedding. We just got home a few days ago. Much more on this later. Today, I want to write about something I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks. A relationship-revelation sort of deal.
I've always felt a little aloof, a little apathetic. It's as if I missed the chapter on how to deal with others' emotions. Turns out, it's a disorder. Well, psychotherapist Douglas LaBier thinks so, at least. He was quoted in this CNN article on the subject. The writer detailed personal interactions, and LaBier diagnosed her. Ok, so you're a little cold. Big deal, right? Well, LaBier says EDD causes everything from war to divorce. Ack!
Raucous, dramatic fights—me yelling, threatening to end things, and disappearing while he waited for me to simmer down—raged weekly in our early relationship. But as guests in sport coats and tea length dresses cheered our first kiss as man and wife, I realized our fights would have to change. How could I threaten to leave him when I had promised to stay with him forever? By the end of our wedding day, I had already shushed my inner drama queen once—the first step toward learning how to fight like a wife.