The greatest help any relationship, especially the one with your partner, can have is willingness.
When there is willingness present, most relationship trouble can be addressed, worked on, and healed. Willingness allows the doors of communication to be and remain open as well as for positive changes to occur.
If this is not currently present in your relationship, the easiest way to develop it is through gaining understanding. When we understand the wounded areas and inabilities of the other person, mountains of hurt, pain, anger and resentment can melt away.
For example, if your husband is blaming you for your child’s acting out behaviors, it would be very easy to get angry and attack your husband back. However, if you are able to take the time to gain the understanding of why your husband is acting this way, you could actually bring a positive healing to the relationship.
Perhaps you would discover that your husband actually feels a great deal of guilt about causing your son’s behavior and is unable to face that in himself, so he projects it onto you.
Having willingness, you could step back and ask in a calm and neutral manner, without anger or defense, “Why do you feel it is my fault Timmy is acting this way?”
By simply asking the question, you are providing the willingness to hear what your husband is really saying. He tells you, "You spoil him all of the time!"
You could then reply by saying, “I hear that you feel I spoil him and that is why he is acting this way, I am sure I have a role in Timmy’s behavior, do you think it is possible for us to not blame each other, to take responsibility for how we each contribute to his behavior and work together to find the solution for Timmy? I would really like to work with you to find the right solution for our son.”
When you have this type of open willingness it leads to solutions and resolution instead of continual conflict and problems.
That is not to say that this will be easy. It takes a great strength of character to not get angry and proceed to attack the other person while defending yourself and your position.
In fact, that is the more common interaction when people start arguing. It becomes a continuum of attack-defend, defend-attack, attack-defend with a negative downward spiral into further anger and hurt. This then creates a shutting down of any type of possibilities of effective communication and potential solutions.
The good news is that the choice is yours. You can choose to gain understanding and provide willingness or you can choose not to. The choice is absolutely yours, which means you are empowered to choose the way you would like to interact in your relationship.
By empowering yourself, you are set free from blaming your partner for; “Making you act in certain ways, making you angry, or being the one who is causing all the problems.” Instead, you have the choice in every moment to decide how you will interact with your partner.
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