The Moment of Greatest Stress Is
When You Want To Take Care Of The Other Person.
It's an amazingly simple concept, yet most people are shocked to learn that their relationship problems happen at a certain SPECIFIC MOMENT!
They are also amazed when they learn that WHAT HAPPENS IN THAT SPECIFIC MOMENT usually determines how bad the whole problem is gong to get!
WHAT TO DO ABOUT YOUR MOMENT OF GREATEST STRESS
The next MOMENT that you have the IMPULSE to take care of your partner
NOTICE THINGS LIKE THIS:
- What YOU actually DO when you feel this urge. (Do you go ahead with your urge and touch your partner caringly, do you hold back, ...What?)
- What your partner actually did the split-second BEFORE you had the urge. (Was your urge to take care of them "triggered" by something they did?)
- What YOU do next.
- What THEY do next.
- Where you are. (Are the physical surroundings "fitting" for this impulse? Do they "trigger" it?)
- How you feel when you act on the impulse (or when you don't).
- How your action (or lack of action) effects your partner.
- How good were you at COMMUNICATING the message to them that you wanted to take care of them?
- How good were they at RECEIVING your message?
- How else could you have tried to communicate this message to your partner?
If you don't learn much from noticing these ten things the first time, do it again and again until you think you have a pretty good idea why things go wrong.
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Remember, we are talking about THE worst problem in your relationship here. It's got to be WORTH the time it takes to figure it out!
This is the "data gathering" phase. The only thing left after the data gathering is take action. Here's what I suggest....
If your theory ONLY has to do with YOU, it's time for some "self-therapy."
Ask yourself questions like this:
"Why do I stop myself from taking action when I want to take care of my partner?"
"Why do I keep doing the same old things over and over again when I have this impulse?"
"Why do I keep hoping these things will work despite so much evidence to the contrary?"
Then make a lengthy list of all of the OTHER things you could do when you act on this impulse (besides the things you do that don't work). All you need to do then is EXPERIMENT with your list of these other things to do. Most of them WILL AUTOMATICALLY WORK BETTER than what you've been doing! Some of them may even work wonderfully for both of you!
If your theory is that YOUR PARTNER causes the problem or that somehow it takes BOTH of you to create the problem, it's time for a discussion with your partner.
If you are excited about your theory and almost sure that it is true: JUST TELL THEM WHAT YOU'VE FIGURED OUT! But be ready for them to disagree. There are two reasons your partner might disagree:
- They may know more about the situation than you do and need to explain some things to you.
- They might be shocked that you were even thinking about it and that you came up with such a good solution! (It's only human nature to disbelieve someone else's claim that they have figured out an answer to something that seemed "unsolvable" just a few seconds before!)
If you aren't so sure about your theory:
JUST TELL THEM WHAT YOU'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT AND WHAT YOU'VE COME UP WITH SO FAR.
THEN ASK THEM TO DO THEIR BEST THINKING SO YOU CAN FIGURE OUT MORE TOGETHER.
EVENTUALLY, THE TWO OF YOU WILL COME UP WITH A PLAN. TRY IT OUT!
If it works, great! If it doesn't, talk again and come up with your next plan. Keep referring back to the ten things I suggested for you to notice (top of the page).
back to: Relationship Quiz Table of Contents
Staff, H. (2008, November 16). The Moment of Greatest Stress Is, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, August 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/inter-dependence/the-moment-of-greatest-stress-is