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Non-Reactivity: A Major Key To Relationship Health

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Non-Reactivity: A Major Key To Relationship Health
Do you find that minor conflicts often escalate into major conflicts? Discover an easy way to change

How much of your behavior is in reaction to your partner? What do you do when your partner:

  • Gets angry or irritated with you?
  • Withdraws from you?
  • Is blaming or criticizing you?
  • Misunderstands you or is not seeing you accurately?
  • Is always busy?
  • Is complaining, needy, or pouty?
  • Threatens you physically, financially, emotionally, or sexually?
  • Threatens the relationship, or behaves in ways that feel rejecting to you?

Take a moment to think about how you respond to any of the above behaviors. Do you react in any of the above ways? Do you get defensive? Do you try to explain yourself? Do you become compliant, giving yourself up?

More from YourTango: How Far Am I In The Narcissism World?

Personal responsibility means having response ability—the ability to respond in a way that takes loving care of yourself. None of these reactions are personally responsible. All of them will cause problems in your relationship. These reactions either escalate the conflict or create a tense distance between partners. All of these reactions stem from a desire to have control over getting love or avoiding pain, but they tend to create the very situations that you are trying to avoid.

Tabitha consulted with me because her yearlong relationship with her boyfriend, Douglas, was in trouble. Both Tabitha and Douglas were in their 40s and both had been married before. In her first phone session with me, Tabitha stated:

"I can't believe this is happening to me again. Every relationship I've had, including my marriage, has reached this point of seemingly irresolvable conflict. What am I doing wrong?"

Tabitha went on to describe what was happening between her and Douglas.

"A lot of things I do seem to really irritate him. We have wonderful times and then suddenly he is very angry and threatening to end the relationship."

More from YourTango: Using Your Inner Strengths To Become More Intimate

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

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"Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers, and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself." -Thomas Moore Do you try to create intimacy with your partner without first checking inside to see if you are connected with yourself? Do you believe that if you found ... Read more

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