These are the most frequent mistakes that couples make, often so quickly that they don't fully recognize them as mistakes, so please take time to see which apply to you and your lover:
1. Arbitrary inferences: Conclusions made without supporting evidence. Example: "He's late from work. He must be visiting one of his ex-girlfriends.
2. Selective abstractions: Information taken out of context. Highlighting certain details and ignoring others. Example: "He always focuses on minor stuff and never gets to the important issues when we're having a serious discussion"
3. Over-generalization: An isolated action or remark becomes representative of everything else. Example: "She disagrees with what I did and I'll always be in deep shit whenever I do anything she disagrees with.
4. Magnification: Something gets blown up beyond proportion. Example: "He has a lot of ex-girfriends and it's just a matter of time before I'm next on the list."
5. Minimization: Something gets ignored when it's really important. Example: "He'll bring me flowers or treat me really good to distract me from what's really bothering me. But it never works for long."
6. Dichotomous thinking: It's either black or white, all good or all bad. Example: "She noticed I missed a spot after I painted the wall. I can't do anything right for her."
7. Mind reading: Believing you know what your lover's thinking without asking. Example: "I know she's just waiting for the right moment to tell me I fucked up."
8. Biased explanations: Assuming your lover has the worst of intentions. Example: "She's acting real hot and sexy because later she'll ask me to do something she knows I hate to do.
When we meet with couples the first time, we take a full 2 hours to develop a deeper understanding of how couples can lapse into the above errors, often without fully realizing it.
Andre Moore, M.A., Director of Marriage Couples Counseling and Life Coaching in New York City http://www.marriage-couples-counseling-new-york.com/