When you think about it, every couple in every relationship is set up for failure. It is impossible to be emotionally available to your partner 100% of the time. In fact, you will miss most of your partner’s offers for an emotional connection for lack of consciousness. But failure is not the problem. Even a mother who has not been receptive and available 50% of the time can raise a child to become a healthy adult with healthy relationships. According to the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, the difference between “good mothers and bad mothers is not the omission of errors but what they make of them”. The way a child copes with failures and fluctuations in daily life is directly related to the degree to which his parent creates an environment for a secure bond and how this parent fixes his mistakes.

Repairs are the key to healthy relationships

No matter how careful you are, you will inevitably break the bond in your relationship. Even in a good marriage, couples:   

  1.   Have ugly screaming matches   
  2.   Tell you nasty things    
  3.  Be critical and defensive    
  4.  Stone wall

The difference between Masters and Disasters of relationships is that Masters effectively repair their interactions. These couples are ready to accept responsibility for their part in the conflict so that they can begin the healing process of their bond. They realize that their relationship is more important than the problem. The goal of the repair is to understand what didn’t work and how to make your next conversation more constructive.

The real difference between couples who repaired successfully and those who did not was the emotional climate between the partners. In other words, your repair attempt will only work well if you have really been a good friend of your partner, especially recently. It happens by doing nice things and being nice to your partner. If you understand each other, your relationship will be better suited to withstand the inevitable storms that will come. If you are disrespectful, rude and distant from each other, your attempts at redress will fail. It is the quality of friendship that matters most to repair the relationship when things go wrong. Repairs do not have to be well spoken or even complicated to be effective. Any authentic technique can work if a couple has the right foundations.

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