We’ve all been defensive. Defensiveness is self-protection in an attempt to ward off a perceived attack, and it’s one of the Four Horsemen that predicts divorce.
The antidote to defensiveness is to accept responsibility for your role in the issue.
Think about the word responsibility.
You have the ability to respond with patience and kindness. The key is to be aware of your triggers. And to understand the difference between a perceived attack and an actual one.
Let that awareness inform your response ability.
The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 20 July 2017. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
Research has shown that spending just one hour per week discussing areas of concern in your relationship can transform the way you and your partner manage conflict. We call this the weekly “State of the Union” meeting.
Here’s how to do it. Begin by talking about what went right since your last meeting. Then give each other five appreciations you haven’t yet expressed. Try to be specific.
Next, discuss any issues that may have arisen. Use gentle start-up and listen non-defensively. Take turns being the speaker and the listener. Only after each other feels heard and understood do you move on to problem solving.
End by asking each other, “What can I do to make you feel loved this week?”
The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 3 August 2017. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
It is suggested that couples create shared meaning by exploring roles together.
Our sense of place in the world is based to a great extent on the various roles we play — we are spouses, perhaps children and/or parents, and workers of one kind or another.
Start by having a conversation about the meanings of the words “husband” and “wife.”
What do these roles mean?
What did they mean in your house growing up?
What assumptions do you have about each of those roles?
What is similar?
What is different?
You won’t see eye to eye on every philosophical or spiritual aspect of life, but the more you understand each other, the more connected you’ll feel.
The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 27 July 2017. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
As a military member, you experience frequent change. Whether that is in the form of relocating to a new assignment, multiple deployments, or transitioning out of the service, these changes can be difficult on even the strongest member. If you have a family, it is important to remember that they too are affected by these changes.
In times of stress it is important to maintain everyday routines, keeping lines of communication open and reaching out for help if needed. These strategies will not only help the individual, your partner, but also your young family members.
Sesame Street has been committed to meet the needs of American military families for 11 years now. Recently they announced the release of Sesame Street for Military Families: Transitions. The Department of Defense (DoD) assisted the Sesame Workshop in conducting research on this effort by organizing focus groups with transitioning families in 2015 at installations across the nation. They were also informed by extensive research and recommendations from parents and caregivers plus child development and military advisers.
The Sesame Street for Military Families website offers materials to help parents and kids cope with the unique military lifestyle. Below are a small list of some resources that Sesame Street has made available, for FREE, featuring the characters your kids have come to love and materials for parents to help them cope.