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When Your Partner Wants To Take Care Of You

The Moment of Greatest Stress Is: When Your Partner Wants To Take Care Of You

CRUCIAL MOMENTS

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 notice that your partner has the IMPULSE to take care of you

NOTICE THINGS LIKE THIS:

  1. What THE OTHER PERSON actually DOES when they feel this urge. (Do they go ahead with the urge and touch you caringly, do they hold back... What?)
  2. What YOU actually did the split-second BEFORE they had the urge. (Was their urge to take care of you "triggered" by something you did?)
  3. What THE OTHER PERSON does next.
  4. What YOU do next.
  5. Where you are. (Are the physical surroundings "fitting" for this impulse? Do they "trigger" it?)
  6. How your partner seems to feel when they act on the impulse (or when they don't).
  7. How their action (or lack of action) effects you.
  8. How good was your partner at COMMUNICATING the message to you that they wanted to take care of you?
  9. How good were you at RECEIVING their message?
  10. How else could they have tried to communicate this message to you?

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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.

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 don't I notice when my partner wants to take care of me?" "How did I get this way? Why am I uncomfortable when they want to take care of me? When and where did I learn to be uncomfortable about such a good thing? Is my discomfort related to past experiences with them or with someone else?"

"Why do I keep responding in this same way over and over even though it doesn't work well for us?"

"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 they have this impulse (besides the things you keep trying 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 THEY cause 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 YOUR PARTNER WHAT YOU'VE FIGURED OUT!

But be ready for them to disagree.

There are two reasons they might disagree:

  1. They may know more about the situation than you do and need to explain some things to you.
  2. 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 YOUR PARTNER 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

back to: Relationship Quiz Table of Contents

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2009, July 17). When Your Partner Wants To Take Care Of You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/inter-dependence/when-your-partner-wants-to-take-care-of-you

Last Updated: August 14, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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