Conflict

   Anger and Disappointment
   Anger Quiz
   Audio Tips
   Blame Games
   Client Stories
   Conflict Quiz
   Envy
   Fighting and Making Up
   Power Struggles
   Revenge and Punishment


Latest Articles

    Conflict Recovery Style Determines Whether Couples Stay Together
   *(How to Avoid Conflict With A Dose of Curiosity)*
   *(How To communicate that you really care)*
   *(How to deal with complaining loved ones)*
   *(How to deal with negative reactions you didn't intend to cause!)*
   *(How to deal with the regret of the "I wish I had said...." feeling.)*
   *(How to get through to loved ones without repeating yourself!)*
   *(How to get your own way, avoid guilt and still feel lovable!)*
   *(How to get your partner to love you the way you want!)*
   *(How to manage when your partner loses interest in you!)*
   *(How to Speak Your Mind Without Feeling Monstrous!)*
   *(How to tell if loved ones mean what they say!)*
   *(How to turn nagging into loving connections)*
   A Proven Way To Stop The Stress Of Conflict And Reconnect With Your Loved One
   Are You And Your Partner Together On What ‘Togetherness’ Means?
   Are you ashamed of your relationship and hide it from family and friends?
   Are you dying for affection but cringe when it comes?
   Are you motivated by the stick or the carrot?
   Are you motivated by the stick or the carrot?- part 2
   Are You Ready For Couples Therapy?
   Are your personal goals likely to save your marriage or break it up?
   Breaking Up Doesn't Have To Be so Hard To Do!
   Complimenting Your Partner Can Cause Relationship Problems!
   Conflicting Secret Wishes And Motives Threaten Your Marriage Big Time!
   Continual Separating and reuniting doesn't have to threaten your relationship!
   Dealing With a Loved One Who Refuses To Talk When You Want To
   Dealing With a Partner Who Cannot Trust You and Insists You Are a Cheater
   Dealing with someone who won't own hurting you!
   Develop Good Communication Skills and Solve Marriage Problems
   Do You Feel Abandoned When Your Partner Is With Family And Friends?
   Do you fit the four point profile of a cheater?
   Do You Have To Choose between Romance and a Good Mate?
   Don't Ruin Your Marriage With Thorny Relationship Rules - part 3
   End Those Dreaded Fights And Enjoy Peaceful Relationships
   Expressing Hurt Saves Relationships While Anger Causes Relationship Breakups
   Fear Based Rules About Feeling Secure in Your Relationship Can End It! Part 6
   Fear of Intimacy - Five Tell Tale Signs
   Five ways to breach a misunderstanding with your partner
   Four LOVE steps for singles to turn dates into long term relationships
   Four Ways To Deal With A Hostile And Aggressive Partner
   Four ways to make sure your partner values your help
   Four ways to manage the excitement and dread of family reunions
   Four ways to reconnect when your partner snubs you
   Four Ways to Share Feelings and be Empathic -part1
   How a bladder infection can save intimacy in your marriage!
   How being unselfish is really selfish!
   How bitterness and self-blame makes you sick and depressed
   How Do You Build Trust in a Relationship When You are Repeatedly Let Down?
   How gender differences in handling stress affects intimacy
   How perfectionism turns you into a liar to yourself and your loved ones
   How To Avoid Feeling Attacked When Your Partner Is Venting!
   How to avoid the same mistakes after a break up
   How To Avoid The Stress When Your Spouse Nags At You For Being Unresponsive
   How to bargain successfully with your loved ones!
   How to be happy in a relationship by tuning into your partner's needs
   How to be independent and still be loved!
   How to deal when you want commitment but your partner is hesitant!
   How to deal with a loved one who texts others while in your company!
   How to deal with a partner who is down when you are up!
   How To Deal With a Partner Who Lies And Cheats
   How to deal with being blamed for everything!
   How to deal with controlling people in your relationships
   How to deal with people who want your advice but don't take it!
   How to deal with the "damned if I do, and damned if I don't situation!
   How to deal with the “ if you really loved me you would……..” syndrome!
   How to deal with verbal attacks from your loved ones.
   How to do your thing without risking rejection from loved ones
   How to enjoy a relationship and protect yourself at the same time!
   How to get more by working less at relationships
   How to Get Your Boyfriend Back After Throwing Him Out
   How to get your partner to talk when you want!
   How to handle the loss of hope that you will be loved the way you want
   How To Join In The Conversation Without Fearing Being Shut Down
   How to make peace without eating humble pie!
   How to make that decision you have been putting off!
   How to Make up After a Fight and Find Intimacy
   How to make up after a fight without giving up!
   How to make your partner want to be physically intimate with you!
   How to manage conflict in a relationship so you don't feel prejudged
   How to manage rejection sensitivity and be more open to love!
   How to manage the frustrating urge to prove you are right!
   How to Manage The Guilt Of Saying 'No' To Your Partner!
   How to manage the pain of jealousy
   How to manage two parts of you that want different things!
   How to prevent bitterness and blame from making you sick!
   How To Prove That You Are Not The Same As Your Partner's Exes!
   How to regain control and self-respect when you feel betrayed
   How to relieve stress in a marriage by sharing jobs
   How to Repair Family Relationships That Get Broken With Repeated Hurts
   How to rescue your marriage from roommate status!
   How to share what's going on with you so it gets through to your loved ones!
   How to stop a conversation turning into a fight!
   How to Stop Anger From Ruining Good Times
   How to stop explosive bursts of anger
   How to stop feeling used in relationships
   How to stop others from making your stuff all about them!
   How to survive a betrayal by a loved one
   How to trust loved ones so you don’t have to do everything yourself!
   How to turn a volatile conflictual marriage into a happy validating union.
   How to use lies in relationships as catalysts to improve communication
   How Your Dating Rules Make Sure You Never Find The Partner You Want - part 2
   Is Co-Dependency the Currency of Your Family Relationships?
   Is Family Conflict Making a Friend Out of One Loved One and an Enemy of Another?
   Is fear of being impactful depriving you of intimacy?
   Is relationship stress making your skin dry out?
   Managing co-dependency in a marriage - the second five steps in learning to support rather than rescue
   Managing family co-dependency - the first five steps in learning to support rather than rescue
   Passover troubles and resurrect good times during the holidays
   Positive affirmations can damage your relationships!
   Procrastinating About an Ambition May Be the Key To Authentic Success!
   Rules About How You Should Express Your Needs Can Rupture Your Marriage- part 4
   Rules About Being Your Partner's Savior Harm Your Relationship - part 7
   Rules About What Makes Relationships Last Stop Them From Ever Starting -part 8
   Save Your Marriage By Avoiding Relationship Rules About Your Partner's Behaviour - part 5
   Save Your Marriage By Letting In Your Partner's Support
   Self-Compassion Makes You the Partner You Want to be Toward Your Loved One
   Self-help For Couples That Actually Works!
   Should you apologize after an explosion of anger?
   Should You Leave Your Partner or Stay Hoping They Will Love You One Day!
   Sibling Rivalries in Adulthood May be Due to Invisible Childhood Trauma
   Solving The Hurt Of Family Problems
   Ten Ways to Manage Holiday Family Stress
   The Main Barrier to Communication in Marriage is Fear of Listening Empathically
   The second secret to being empathic and boosting your relationship
   The Third Magnet That Attracts You Towards The Wrong Life Partner
   The Two Most Serious Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
   Three ways to manage the anxiety about pleasing your loved ones
   Three ways to share your stuff without fear of upsetting loved ones.
   Three Ways To Stop Being Invisible To Your Partner
   Two ways to get your partner to accept that they need therapy to deal with their problems
   Understanding Your Panic Attacks - part 1- Facing your dilemmas
   Understanding Your Panic Attacks- Part 2 - Getting Past Shame
   What makes an exciting relationship turn into a heavy burden?
   What makes you happy - people or accomplishments?
   What Makes You Push Your Partner Away and Choose Depression and Loneliness?
   What makes your partner break promises?
   What type of self-sacrifice benefits intimate relationships?
   What’s the right combination of commitment for harmonious relationships?
   Where Is Your Spouse When There Is No Response To Your Texts And Calls?
   Where to Find a Boyfriend When the Current One is No Good?
   Who controls your energy levels, you or your loved one?
   Why 9 out of 10 Apologies Fail to Improve Relationships
   Why does your loved one believe a stranger and not you?
   Why men shut down and women ramp up in conflicts!
   Why protecting your partner may be the worst move you ever make!
   Why Women Take Longer Than Men To Cheer Up After Getting In A Fight or Bad Mood.
   Why you don't feel understood when your loved ones say "I understand."
   Why Your Ideal Of A Perfect Marriage Causes Your Finance To Break Off The Engagement
   Why your partner falls short of your ideal partner characteristics!
   Why your Sex Life Goes from Fantastic to Boring in the blink of an eye!
   Why your sex life is non-existant part 2- and how to get it going again.

How To Avoid The Stress When Your Spouse Nags At You For Being Unresponsive

August 14th, 2013 No Comments
Posted by

 

Relationship Advice Tips from Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles couples counseling

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Are you bothered when your partner blames you for being unresponsive to something they said or did, yet shuts you down the minute you try to share your feelings? You must be intensely frustrated caught in this catch twenty-two trap.

That’s exactly how thirty-two-year-old sales director Ian felt when his twenty-nine-year-old partner Chantal, an office manager, poked and prodded him about whether he enjoyed the elaborate celebration dinner she had thrown for him when he got his recent job promotion. He had been surprised and touched and thanked her during the party. But she kept on fishing for more, wanting to know every detail of his experience after all the guests had gone and well into the next week. She would bring it up out of nowhere irrespective of what they were doing or talking about. If he didn’t jump up and down with joy and praise her for her thoughtfulness she accused him of not liking the party and just pretending to enjoy himself. If he reassured her that it made him happy she countered with the suggestion that he was just saying it to be polite.

Ian felt hopeless about ever coming from a genuine place and being believed.

The harder Chantal poked him and doubted his answers, the more robotic he became, trying to deflect the irritation that may turn into a fight it he didn’t squash it. But when Chantal seemed interested and curious about his feelings he softened and felt like maybe this time she would really listen and accept his feelings without talking all over them. He built up hope, and when he was really stressed and upset he told her how he was feeling only to find that she didn’t want to hear it. That’s when she usually dumped all her stress on him, wiping out the experience of sharing. With his hopes killed, he retreated to a more solitary position, which then prompted Chantal to start poking him again.

Ian is in a no-win situation but he doesn’t have to stay there and live in this tense and unfulfilling relationship. If he understands Chantal’s needs and motives then he can eliminate a lot of relationship stress and save his relationship and his own health.

west los angeles marriage counseling

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

So what is Chantal up to?

Basically she wants to know if she is having an impact on Ian in a way that is positive so that she can feel worthy of being loved and included in the relationship. So she engineers situations where she goes out of her way to make him happy. She expects that he will feel good, attribute the good feelings as a result of her positive actions, and then love her to death. But when he doesn’t react in quite the way she wanted she starts to panic and pokes even harder to find that nugget of gold that shows he recognizes her as his source of happiness.

She is attempting to control how he feels about her.

She only wants him to have positive feelings about her and that means that she cannot allow him to just share whatever he wants, whenever he wants. That would be too unpredictable, and chances are he wouldn’t be having good feelings. He would probably want to express his bad feelings and that would be devastating, so she shuts him down completely. Better to hear nothing than bad stuff – better the robot than a fully human person who has a bunch of feelings that she can’t control. Until of course she gets hungry for feedback that she is loved and valued, at which point she starts doing and saying things to get him to see her in a positive light so she can relax and feel safe in the knowledge that he won’t leave her.

 

west los Angeles couples psychotherapy

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Armed with this crucial insight into Chantal’s mode of operating, Ian can now deal directly with her need to control his feelings according to her agenda. Whenever he feels that he is being manipulated, poked or shut down he can call her out. Then he is in charge and no longer in a battle that he can’t win. He needs to make her aware of her strategies, because she is blind and acting out of fear, trying to protect her place in the relationship.

Next Ian and Chantal have to openly talk about how insecure Chantal is and her unproductive ways of managing her fears. Ian can share how precarious he feels in the relationship when she strives to micro-manage his emotions. He can tell her that her tactics are turning him into a robot and discuss the implications for what started off as a dream of a warm and emotionally intimate partnership.

One of the nicest and easiest ways of making each other feel safe enough to show emotions without being provoked is to do a check in every two or three hours – just a pure and honest exchange of feelings can help Ian feel heard and Chantal get the feedback she needs so that she doesn’t have to live in fear of hearing bad things.

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

You might also like:

The secret to getting a loved one to accept and believe your facts

Save your marriage with impactful communications

How to manage conflict in a relationship so that you don't feel prejudged.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: this article is for educational and informational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have when reading the material or following the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply