How to destructive-conflict proof your relationship.
Looking back over my 20 years as a couples therapist, and considering the many other couples I’ve encountered in my personal life, I realize that the happiest and most satisfied of them exhibited three specific relationship skills. Don’t be disheartened if you and/or your partner are not great at these skills. They rarely come pre-installed; they need to be learned and practiced:
These three relationship skills go hand in hand. Together they form a foundation of caring, trust, and connection to which couples can more easily return when they find themselves in times of stress, tension, or emotional distance. Of course, for couples to benefit from these skills, they should make an effort to practice them, get better at them, and integrate them into their daily thinking and communication.
It’s simple, straight-forward and absolutely correct. And, he’s right — they seem to naturally occur in only about 10-15% of marriages and almost always need to be taught.