Marriage Minute: Nobody likes a traffic jam

Imagine the gridlocked streets of Manhattan at rush hour. Or the snaking, unmoving line of cars going onto I-5 in Seattle. Who wants to be stuck in that?

The same kind of situation—gridlock—happens in relationships, and usually around perpetual, unsolvable problems. Which all relationships have.

The good news is that there’s a way out of that traffic jam. Unrealized life dreams are at the core of every gridlocked conflict, so you’ll need to find out what those dreams are. If you’re stuck in an argument, ask something like this:

What does this really mean to you? What do you need from me? Tell me more.

The key to breaking free of gridlock is to express fondness and admiration to your partner, to accept their faults, to understand yours, and to find ways to work around them and make both of your life dreams come true.

You’ll still have some bumps in the road, but that traffic will clear up for you and your partner to move forward.

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 26 July 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

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