Peter’s couple therapy blog

Relationship repair part 4 of 10

This is an edited extract of a longer article, which can be found here

4. Think of problems as bad solutions.

Whatever you see as a problem or an issue – the socks on the floor, the lack of sex, your partner’s anger or withdrawal – ask yourself how it may be a poor solution to some other problem underneath and not expressed. You want to be curious about the driving impulse. You don’t have to have the answer but you need to raise the question: “Help me understand why you leave your socks on the floor;” “We haven’t made love in a long time – how come?” And because anger is often driven by worry and fear – ask “What are you worried about?” rather than “Why are you so pissed off?”. What is important that you sound calm when you ask the questions – like Mr. Rogers. If you sound angry or irritated, expect shut down or anger back.

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