Resources for Relationships
Articles, Reports, and Other Resources
Ten Steps For Resolving Couple Conflicts
- Set a time and place for discussion.
- Define the problem or issue of disagreement.
- How do you contribute to the problem?
- List things you have done in the past which have not been successful.
- Brainstorm and list all possible solutions.
- Discuss every one of these solutions.
- Agree on one solution to try.
- Agree how each person will work toward the solution.
- Set a time for another meeting to review your progress.
- Reward each other as you contribute toward the solution.
Every couple has differences and disagreements, but healthy couples find ways to resolve marital disputes without turning them into marital wars. These couples accept and appreciate the fact that each person has independent opinions. They encourage open expression and work together to reach a settlement.
If you have difficulty resolving differences without serious arguments, try the following exercise. It will boost your problem-solving success rate.
This is not a game. As simple as the exercise looks, it may be hard for you to complete. If you cannot finish it, try again at a future date.
- Schedule a specific date, time and place for a couple meeting within the next week. Allow at least 30 minutes.
- Meeting Date:
Sixteen Essentials For Building Loving Relationships
1. STRIVE TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO THREE (3) CRITICAL HUMAN NEEDS:
- To be Understood
- To be Accepted
- To be Affirmed
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:36-39
2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE MORE VULNERABLE:
- Freedom from past relational pain - Don't let your past "rule" or 'dictate" your present and future
- Relational Risks - a willingness to reinvest
- Utilizing discernment "good Boundary sense" - Apply what you've learned asking God for Wisdom in all things
"One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3: 13-14)
3. FREE YOURSELF AND OTHERS TO EXPRESS FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS WITHOUT ATTACHING NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES:
- Doesn't come naturally if from a "dysfunctional family" background
- Overcome fear of other's responses
- Learn to share without creating a "personal attack" or "spirit of blame"
- Personal awareness of levels of Anger, Fear and Guilt
- Giving the "Blessing" to others - The value of communicating positive messages in your relationships
- Experience the rewards of a "deepening of relationships"
4. PRACTICE BEING A HEALTHY PROBLEM SOLVER:
- Be Honest and Be Polite
- Speak the Truth in Love
- Attend to conflict immediately, yet without force or rudeness - avoid "avoiding"
- Take the time to see things from the other persons viewpoint
- Listen carefully to the intended communication vs. taking every word literally, listen to the "heart" of the matter
- Giving up the need to be right or "get even" = forgiveness
'When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others." (Philippians 2: l-4)
5. MAKING A PRACTICE (LIFESTYLE) OF LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND FORGIVENESS:
- Love: "No greater love has a man than this, that he would give up his life for his friend"
- Acceptance: "Jesus came to save the world, not condemn the world." John 3: 17. Who are we to judge others?
- Forgiveness: Giving up the right to "get even".
- Recognize the first signs of resentment. Constructively address concerns.
"Love patiently accepts all things, always hopes and always remains strong." (I Corinthians 13:7)
6. BUILDING MUTUAL RESPECT AND ESTEEMING EACH OTHER:
- "Believing in one another"
- Details matter
- Consistency in thought, word and deed:
1. Encouraging each other
2. Honoring each other
3. Beholding each other
4. Serving each other
5. Greeting each other in Love
"The whole body depends on Christ and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love." (Ephesians 4: 15)
7.CREATING AND RESPECTING "INTELLIGENT BOUNDARIES":
- Boundary Confusion: What Boundaries Really are, Hedges of Protection
- Setting and respecting each others personal Boundaries
8. COMMITMENT TO LISTENING TO EACH OTHER:
- With your 'Heart'
- With your 'Mind'
- Being 'Fully Present'
9. CREATE ONGOING BONDING EXPERIENCES:
- Honor traditions that create positive memories and bring people together for a common purpose
- Plan for future traditions to create new memories, draw in those on the "fringe" if possible
- Play together; be free to have fun!
- Provide for surprises
- Provide for spiritual support - Prayer
10. WILLINGNESS TO EXERCISE MUTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY:
- Willingness to take responsibility for your own words and actions
- Allow others to "own" their own words and actions, don't rescue them or try to "make them feel better"
- Submit to one another in love
- Listen to what others are saying to you, also taking into account who is speaking:
"He who walks with the wise will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20)
11. PRACTICE MUTUAL SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT:
- Building special times to be together
- Developing new interests, Challenging each other positively
- "Growing People" are happy people!
12. CARRY AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE AND CONTENTMENT:
- To remain humble creates an openness to learning
- Grateful people are like magnets
- Gratefulness vs. comparisons
" . . .comparing themselves among themselves, they are not wise." (II Corinthians 10: 12)
13. PRACTICING AND ENCOURAGING SELF-CARE
- Personal activities for renewal
- Giving each other space
14. CULTIVATE/ALLOW INTIMACY TO DEVELOP VS. DEMANDING/FORCING IT:
- Not just a problem for romantic relationships
- Happens in friendships too
15. LIVE WITHOUT REGRET IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WHEREVER IT IS UP TO YOU:
- Desire Healthy Relationships (Mark 11:24)
- Develop the Drive for Healthy Relationships (Philippians 3:14)
- Practice Discipline in Healthy Relationships (I Corinthians 9:27)
- Practice Diligence (Proverbs 10:4)
- Practice Determination (I Corinthians 2:2)
16. CELEBRATE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:
"I thank God everyday for you... " the Apostle Paul
|Distorted view of God, others, self, and authority||Distorted view of God, others, self, and authority|
|Closed system.||Closed system.|
|Rigid, unspoken rules with serious penalties which guarantee control.||Rigid, unspoken rules with serious penalties which guarantee control.|
|Restriction/control of all choices by members.||Restriction/control of all choices by members.|
|Undue influence, thought control, manipulation.||Undue influence, thought control, manipulation.|
|Cult important; individual unimportant.||Family important; individual unimportant.|
|Uncertain boundaries.||Uncertain boundaries.|
|Control by physical abuse.||Control by physical abuse.|
|Control by verbal abuse.||Control by verbal abuse.|
|Control by sexual abuse.||Control by sexual abuse.|
|Control by ritualistic practices, fear.||Control by ritualistic practices, fear.|
|Dependency on group; independent functioning discouraged/sabotaged.||Dependency on family; independent functioning discouraged/sabotaged.|
|Rigidity; security by stable sameness.||Rigidity; security by stable sameness.|
|Exploitation of individual industry/resources||Exploitation of individual industry/resources|
|Relentless shaming, guilting.||Relentless shaming, guilting.|
|Rules about emotions.||Rules about emotions.|
Common Characteristics Of The Co-Dependent
- We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. This, in turn, has enabled us not to look too closely at our faults.
- We "stuff" our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts too much.
- We are isolated from and afraid of people and authority figures.
- We have become approval-seekers and have lost our identity in the process.
- We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
- We live from the viewpoint of -victims and are attracted by that. Weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
- We judge ourselves harshly and have a low sense of self-esteem.
- We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment. We will do anything, to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings which we received from living with people who were never there emotionally for us.
- We experience guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
- We confuse love and pity and tend to "love" people we can pity and rescue.
- We have either become chemically dependent, married one or both, or found another compulsive personality, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our own compulsive needs.
- We have become addicted to excitement.
- We are reactors in life rather than actors.
WHEN SOMEONE HAS HURT YOU
Ways of being "Hurt"
- Overt Rejection (in childhood)- "I don't want to have anything to do with you."
- Emotional/Verbal Abuse - ,including affliction of false guilt, demeaning verbalization, demands, and general consistent, inexcusable rudeness.
- Physical and/or Sexual Abuse.
The Ten Action Steps
- Recognize what the offense was:
- Listen with your "heart".
- Write out verbatim what was said.
- Write out what you are feeling- (anger)?
- Resist the tendency to defend your position.
- Offer only your point of view.
- Give up the need to be right.
- Apologize for anything harmful you may have done.
- Respond versus React. Responding allows you to pause and take an opportunity to think before you act.
- Build a bridge versus Attack back or Retreat
- Realize you may be the target of another's anger, but not the source.
- Create your personal limits and boundaries.
- Realize if someone has hurt you - the hurt does not need to take away your personal happiness.
- Practice Forgiveness - resist the tendency to harbor resentment or bitterness.
- Release expectations you may have for the person, knowing they could hurt you again.
Four Bonus Steps
- Pray for those who have hurt you. It can be a short, simple prayer.
- Move on! It happened. It happened and it hurt and may even haunt you but see yourself as getting past it.
- Watch to see if the other person "hurts" others. If so,
- Share your experience
- Collectively work together.
- Release FEAR - Respond by risking.
Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse
In this helpful guide, Christian therapist Gregory Jantz examines why emotional abuse is so common and damaging. He reveals how those who have been abused by a spouse, parent, employer, or minister can overcome the past and rebuild their self-image. Also good for those who have been emotionally abusive. There is hope! Click Here to read more.
Descriptions Of Boundaries
OTHER SIGNS OF UNHEALTHY BOUNDARIES
- What kind of boundary do I have?
- Where in my life is it the hardest to have a healthy boundary?
- What changes would I like to make in my boundary?
- What do I need to do to make these changes
As a person I have a right to:
- Be treated with respect
- Have and express my own feelings and options. “When you _________, I feel ___________. I prefer that you (do) ___________.
- Be listened to and taken seriously
- Set my own priorities
- Say no without feeling guilty
- Ask for what I want
- Make mistakes and be responsible for them
- Be uncertain or uncommitted as to what I want, and need time to make decisions
- Ask for information and/or support from professional, family, and friends when I feel I want it (even though I may be turned down)
- Say “I don’t have the answer”
- Say “I need some time to think that over”
- Say "I don't understand"
- Say "I don't agree"
- Have my needs as important as others
- Change my mind
- Grow, learn, and change
- Feel and express anger
- Be competent and be proud of my accomplishments
- Be myself
- Choose not to assert myself
Assertive behavior meets standing up for what I think and feel while respecting the rights of others.
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