Finding Relationship Help
Through counseling, Ernest discovered his unresolved anger towards his father and he spent several months working through his pent-up resentment. “Since the counseling and self-help work, all of my relationships have improved,” he explains. “I’m a better co-worker, a better father and a better friend.”
Once Ernest dove into a period of self-reflection, he created a vision for marriage—and is still married to wife number four.
After soul searching, the next step is to examine what you’d like to receive from this relationship, as well as what isn’t working. What do you love about this relationship? How does it affirm you? What do you want to improve, and what do you need?
Discovering what you need can provide you with a general road map for relationship recovery. When he turned 18, Norm began to ask questions about his relationship with his father. “Where is this relationships going? Where do I want it to go? What things need to happen for it to end up where I want it?” Once he answered those questions for himself, he scheduled a time to meet with his father to develop a plan to improve their relationship.
During their conversation, Norm and his father discovered they didn’t want a traditional parent-child relationship. They decided to foster a man-to-man relationship. By communicating and defining the type of relationship they desired, Norm and his father experienced positive changes in their everyday interaction.
Connecting Through Communication
Practicing positive communication techniques during the first 30 days can help you see your “adversary” in a different light. When it comes to scheduling talk time, choose a time upon which you both can agree. “Often one person may be in the mood to clear the air, but the other may need some preparation or down time,” explains Brigitte Sumner, relationship expert, coach and author. Choosing a mutually agreeable time sets the mood for positive interaction.
During discussions, it’s important to resist the urge to object when the other person says something disagreeable or points out our flaws. “Stop before you object, take a deep breath and smile instead,” Sumner suggests. “Listen, listen, listen. And when you think you’ve listened enough, listen some more.”