by Georgette Pauls
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are often not a result of a couple not being simpatico. They are
often due to the stress and strain caused by outside non-relationship
factors. There are however, some basic relationship techniques you
must work at. Yes, you work at a relationship just like you work
at customer relations. You must actively work at having good relationships
and NOT take them for granted.
I will therefore
break this discussion into these two areas,
1) Outside factors
creating stress in relationships and
2) Internal Relationship techniques.
one is often the biggest factor, many people need to work on both
simultaneously, particularly if the relationship has been strained
are severely strained by outside factors or what I call influencers.
No matter how hard you work at improving your relationship with
someone, this kind stress between you will eventually creep back
in. This is why you must first address the root cause of the strain.
It can be:
a. your job,
(or lack thereof)
b. an aging or difficult parent
c. diminishing libido
e. conflicts with children
is almost endless. So what can you do?
1. First, you
must get together and discuss the problem so as to agree on the
fact that an outside factor is the root cause. This is a lot easier
than playing the blame game. This is best done in a quiet setting
without the usual interruptions - no kids, TV, phone, etc.
2. Next, agree
on a game plan for solving the problem. Create a detailed (written)
plan involving both of you. Your plan should be realistic, have
short-term goals, tasks for each goal and who will be responsible.
3. Then go out
and work your plan and make it happen. You might even have to involve
the whole family. Work as a team. Think about it, there are countless
examples of teams (sports, business and military) where some individuals
don't get along but when they passionately work toward a common
goal, it changes everything.
and simultaneously, you need to work at having a good relationship.
It may not be WHAT you say, as much as HOW you say it. Here are
a few keys to use.
with the other person. Screaming at them is not constructive communication.
Discuss things that bother you in a positive way. Say, "It would
be wonderful if you did X rather than Y", as opposed to 'I hate
the way you do X." Before you make a comment or "recommendation",
think about issues your loved ones may have in fulfilling your request.
Use the word "we" a lot. If your significant other needs to shed
some pounds, the chances are you both do. You can say, "What would
you think if we changed our daily eating habits so we can feel and
look more like we did when we were younger?"
* Think before
you open your mouth. It's a bit difficult to suck those stupid words
back in, kind of like throwing up on someone. It's hard to undo
* Spend more
time together doing things you each like to do. It may be necessary
to eliminate some things that your spending too much time doing.
Your kids may not really need to do soccer, karate, scouts, sports,
piano AND tennis. Explain to them that you need more time with the
other parent so you fight less and you all have more fun together.
Maybe your volunteer obligations are getting too onerous. Think
* Never blurt
out a hard criticism. Think about what to say and just as importantly,
when to say it. Timing can be everything. Statements like "You look
like _____ in that outfit," will get you nowhere. But, "You know
that dress or suit doesn't show off your best asset," could be lots
of fun and positive reinforcement of a desired behavior.
remember two keys to significantly less stress in your relationships.
First find and
address the root cause of problems and difficulties together.
Then, Work at
Your Relationship! I've known people who wanted to have relationships,
but were so focused on their career that they were unwilling to
take time to find and maintain relationships. What happens to them
if they lose their jobs? Your identity should be more than your
professional title. Your life should be about fulfillment in all
We need relationships,
with their give and take, to sustain us through life.
Go for it and
Georgette Pauls' secrets on how she and her husband have had a happy,
successful relationship for over 25 years at www.the-relationship-site.com
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