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.
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.