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Q & A with Dr. Boorstein

November 20, 2012

Dear Dr. Boorstein,

Is seems as though fixing your relationship can take a lot of time. Is there anything I can do right now to ease the tension?

Thank you, Need Help Today.

 

Dear Need Help Today,

In your struggling relationship, if you recall that you once loved each other, there is hope that you can revive those feelings.

  • During any conflict, in order to calm down recognize in yourself your negative feelings, including, anger, irritation and annoyance. This is important because it can help you to better control your emotionsonce you see and feel and become aware.
    • Take a time out.Get some distance from the problem.
      • Go to different rooms for a bit to get some “Space”
      • Go for a non-talking walk or other activity together or separately.
      • Watch a “light” movie together.
      • Go for a quiet dinner.
  • Once you have calmed the situation,first use some of the following techniques from my book.
    • Even if it sounds silly or contrived, say something positive and complementary to your partner. This will help to further defuse the situation. Even something as simple as, “You look nice today” or “ I would like to make  our relationship better” can be effective.
    • Now, in the ensuing conversation avoid the word “YOU” which mostly is used and heard as implying blame.
    • Try to focus the conversation on your personal distress, for instance, “I feel worried that I am not good enough.”
  • Gently ask your partner to help you with your fear or worry.
  • If in your calmness you can be aware of your hurtful actions in the situation, you should apologizefor those actions. It will be extraordinarily helpful in healing your damaged relationship.
    • Something as simple as, “Please forgive me for yelling at you earlier.”

 

It is my experience that if couples can begin to successfully use the techniques which I have described, and are further elaborated on in my book; the healing processes can begin and lead to a long and positive relationship.

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