Dr. Barbara Grossman and Dr. Michael Grossman share tips and techniques for solving conflicts in marriage.

There’s also a new study that shows that couples who have sex after 65 on a regular basis at least once a week, are healthier and happier and live longer so there’s all good reasons. 

My excitement about relationships and keeping romantic relations happy and growing is that it develops each of you in your partnership. It develops your ability to think and express yourself calmly. It develops your emotional life so that you can understand yourself and share yourself, and it helps you learn to solve problems in partnership. 

These are essential skills in life to live a quality life where you could fill your dreams. And these skills are transferable to your individual interests and efforts in work and in entrepreneurial life. So there’s so much to gain from relationships.

Today, we would like to talk to you about what to do and how to solve conflicts, because conflicts are inevitable. In fact, I know, I believe that the first years of your relationship, when you get together, you are accentuating your affinities, your similarities, and eventually, over time and the responsibilities in life, you will catch up to your differences. 

If you don’t catch that early and you don’t start talking, talking about your differences early and what you need and what you want from your partner, what happens is that those conflicts, those differences, those tension points add up. 

I’m thinking about a couple I saw this week where I needed to really solve their problem for them, which – and I’ll talk about this with them when I see them next – it really cheated them of the opportunity to develop their skills.

We will take apart that session and reverse engineer it when I see them next. But what happens is if you have so many issues that have accumulated, it becomes so overwhelming and you get into tension and contention with your partner that it’s hard to solve those things. 

And so I want to give you some ideas about what is important when you have differences with your partner. You want to, sort yourself out and look to see what you want and what you need underneath the anger underneath the resentment so that you can express yourself clearly. 

Maybe you’re disappointed. Maybe you’re hurt and you want certain behavioral changes in your relationship to accommodate what it is that works for you. And then you want to be ready and willing to listen to your partner’s point of view, their feelings and thoughts.

And then you want to negotiate what can work for both of you. And there are so many responsibilities that come with couple life between the years of 30 and 50. There’s just the business of life is overwhelming, so there are so many things that need to be taken on and solved. 

And so you want to be able to resolve those challenges together in a smooth way where your relationship does not get injured in the process of living your lives and accomplishing your goals. And that way you manage to hold the respect between the two of you and hold the chemistry because those are two parts of your relationship that are crucial to enjoying your relationship 

And feeling like your teammates on the same team and winning together as well as enjoying the friendship and romance of your relationship. So I want you to start practicing sharing your feelings in a calm way and underneath the anger, and asking for the behaviors that you think will work for you and then looking to negotiate your differences.

So what that means on an on a practical level, is that when you have a conflict, each of you have to, create a situation where you can actually make an appointment and talk to each other – so rather than to have a discussion when you’re each upset and angry, just say, Let’s make up a time where we could talk about this.

You set up an appointment where it’s convenient for both of you to talk. And then once you have that appointment, when you make the appointment, you want to be able to listen to each other and to hear the other person’s point of view. 

And it’s important when you’re telling your point of view. You’re not talking in such a way that you’re blaming the other person for something. Each of you, you have to assume, has your point of view, and it’s based upon certain positions and feelings and past experiences. But you don’t want to talk about – “in the past, you’ve been upset because they did this, and now they’re doing that…and now they’re doing this and you’ve had enough of it…”

Rather, you want to be able to say to them that the upsets that are going on now, you would like to have a different way of dealing with it. And you make a specific request. So Dr Barbara says, make a specific request. 

So you talk about what doesn’t work, and it’s a good thing to talk about how you felt in the past way before this relationship began. What upset you had in the past before you ever met your partner so that your partner doesn’t have a reaction that says that. Oh, well, you’re just bringing up all this past stuff about what we did. And now I’m gonna bring up more past up…. 

That doesn’t work. But when you bring up the way past, then your partner could understand that it’s just not about them. It’s about that you’ve had this hurt. When you were five and 10 and 15 years old, this happened, that happened, and then you make a specific request for what would work for you, and then your partner does the same thing.

So I want you to know that when you explore your feelings like that, you will discover yourself. You will understand the connection between your sensitivities. Now and your upbringing, what’s important to you and what didn’t work for you when you were a child. 

You will connect the dots and then you’ll have learned a lot about yourself and you’ll learn about your partner, and your Idiosyncrasies is is something to really understand and have compassion for and learn to weave your lives together so that you’re respecting each set of different feelings and values that have been in the making for a lifetime. 

And it doesn’t have to be an upset if you understand where it’s coming from, and we’re encouraging you to reflect and talk about where it’s coming from so that you can really understand that it’s not really an attack on each other.

It’s really how do we make our lives work better And given what we now understand about each other and it will build your sense of self-respect that will build your appreciation for your partner and in learning to work together, you will feel like you can solve things. It will empower you, and it will keep you connected, which is so important for your own relationship and for your family.

We want you to know that we’re happy to support you in learning these skills. You’re welcome to contact us for our Falling in Love Forever classes that start in September and are ongoing.

We do these classes every couple of months, and we do them online as well as in person. And we’re happy to coach you skills in our classes and have you learning with us so that you can take these skills home and make them yours forever. It will change your life.

And so we look forward to speaking to you again. Thanks so much.

We wishing you great love

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