"We Need to Talk..."
Updated: Jul 4
The Five Losing Strategies for getting what you want in your relationship arise from our default responses to conflict, stress, or disconnection from our partners. But we don’t need to rely on our default responses, our emotional reactions, or the patterns we learned growing up. Instead, we can take a breath, stay centered and have a more connected, more grounded, and more relationally focused response with the Five Winning Strategies for getting what you want in your relationship, from Relational Life Therapy Founder Terry Real's bestseller: "The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work".
These deliberate alternatives to the default responses are what Terry Real calls The Five Winning Strategies for getting what you want in your relationship. Unlike The Five Losing Strategies, which will never help us to close the gap and heal “the crunch” with our partners, these savvy alternatives will help us to get closer to our partners, understand each other’s feelings, see things from each others’ point of view, and validate each other’s experience. In short, these strategies will help us move into connected, cherishing, and authentic intimacy.
Shift from Complaint to Request
Instead of complaining about what your partner did wrong, ask them for what you want. Let your partner know what you would like them to do, now or in the future that would give you more of what you want. You have no right to complain about what you never asked for.
Speak Out with Love & Savvy
In the midst of conflict and disappointment it’s often difficult to behave constructively. But if you take the time to think about your true goal, connecting and repairing with the person you love, you have a much better chance of getting what you want from your partner.
Respond with Generosity
When your partner comes to you seeking repair a natural response is to counter their position, defend your actions, or to tell them the ways you also feel dissatisfied. None of this will help move you back into connection. Instead, listen to truly understand, acknowledge your own behavior, and give your partner as much as you can.
Empower Each Other
The final steps in the repair process are to express appreciation for everything that your partner has agreed to do for you and, to offer to help your partner deliver on what they have agreed to do. Ask your partner: "How can I help you to give me what I want?"
Cherish what You Have
Cultivate joy and pleasure in your relationship. Express appreciation for your partner. Demonstrate your love, passion, and affection for your partner. Rediscover romance, fun, and new experiences together. Find time to be fully available and in tune with one another. Focus on the good in your relationship and in your life together.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share a deeper exploration of each of these Winning Strategies and how each of us can move from our knee jerk, triggered, responses into these centered alternatives - even in times of stress, frustration, anxiety, uncertainty, doubt, and fear.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll explore each of these Winning Strategies. In the meantime, you can check out my Five Winning Strategies For Getting What You Want In Your Relationship infographic, which provides a brief overview of all five of them. And if you’re looking for a review of Five Losing Strategies For Getting What You Want in Your Relationship check out that infographic and my previous blog posts as well.
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The relationship you wish for is possible, but sometimes skills and tools aren’t enough to get you there. Most of us have times in our lives when we need help to rebuild the passion and connection in our relationships. If this is where you are - reach out. I can help.