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Unrealistic Expectations: Failure to deal with relevant issues

It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”

Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations 

While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic relationship expectations.

    Failure to deal with relevant issues: if you have a tendency to deny and minimise issues or believe that with time issues will be resolved, focus on this area is important. The sum total of these items is avoidance and reluctance to deal with issues. Being proactive, however is more effective than avoidance or waiting until small issues become major problems.
  • A risk for those who believe they’ve found their one true “soul mate” is equating that with the assumption that things will be easy. When they hit the inevitable challenges of marriage, are they tempted to believe that they made a mistake and “the one” must still be out there somewhere? The truth is there are likely several people on this earth with whom one could have a successful relationship.
  • Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 

    References:

    • Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    • Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and Mediator, President, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Unrealistic Expectations: Set up to take a fall, the distance between one’s expectations and reality

    It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”

    Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

    The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations 
    While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.

      Set up to take a fall. It has been said that the distance between one’s expectations and the reality experienced is equal to the hurt and disappointment one will feel. It is not a matter of “if” but “when” reality will set in for couples. Passionate romance always fades or at least changes to something less intense, and all couples face challenges and problems at some point in their marriage.

    Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical.

    The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D.

    References:

    • Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    • Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and Mediator, President, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Unrealistic Expectations: Some couples move too quickly towards engagement and marriage, not allowing themselves time to really get to know one another

    It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”

    Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

    The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations 

    While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.

      Moving too quickly: If You believe that nothing could cause you to question your love and you already know everything there is to know, why wait? Some couples move too quickly towards engagement and marriage, not allowing themselves time to really get to know one another.

    Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical.

    The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 

    References:

    • Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    • Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Unrealistic Expectations: Healthy, open dialogue is required to discuss and wrestle with marriage expectations

    It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”

    Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

    The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations

    Anticipate a Surprise: when reviewing marriage expectations couples are often caught off guard. Asked if “I can share my true feelings with my partner”, sounds good on the surface but often there are underlying issues that interrupt this premise.

    Whilst it is the norm for engaged couples to be love-struck, embracing romanticised notions regarding love and marriage it may even be how humans are designed to function at a physiological level. Healthy, open dialogue is required to discuss and wrestle with marriage expectations.

    One couple, deeply committed to their faith tradition, each spent years praying for the “right person” to enter their life. They met and dated for over a year, and got engaged only after a great deal of counsel and consideration. Believing that God had brought one another into their life, they felt deeply committed to one another. Both families felt very positive about their marriage plans. As a counselor, it would be productive to explore the commitment this couple is feeling.

    A second couple was matched by an online dating service, engaged within a month of meeting one another, and felt they had found their one true “soul mate”. While their families disapproved, they were planning to be married as soon as possible and believed they already knew everything there was to know about one another. As a counselor, you would want to challenge this couple to consider their motivation and expectations.

    Exploring Relationship Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 

    References:

    • Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    • Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times.

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Unrealistic Expectations: Failure to deal with relevant issues

    It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”

    Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

    While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.

    Failure to deal with relevant issues: Several of the items in this category reveal a tendency to deny and minimize issues. One item hints at the notion of time alone resolving issues. Another suggests difficulties experienced prior to marriage will somehow fade after the wedding. A third states it may be easier to change things I don’t like about my partner after marriage. The sum total of these items is avoidance and reluctance to deal with issues. Being proactive, however, is more effective than avoidance or waiting until small issues become major problems.

    It may be the norm for engaged couples to be love-struck, embracing romanticised notions regarding love and marriage or perhaps it may just be that humans are designed to function at a physiological level. Don’t sound the alarms or be overly critical but understand that couples may need to be more realistic about what they should expect from their relationship.

    Relationship Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    by Peter Larson, Ph.D.

    References:

    • Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    • Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge

    International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

    The International Women’s Day 2021 campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge

    At MAREAA we have a rich heritage of supporting couples in all their diversity, across the life span, considering the various differences couples face including roles and gender, helping couples strengthen and enrich their relationships.

    As a facilitator, today we ask you to consider your #ChooseToChallenge and choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and challenge bias and inequality by:

    • Encouraging couples to talk and listening to each other’s opinions and feelings;
    • Enabling conflict to play out without insult or abuse;
    • Questioning assumptions about women with couples;
    • Challenging statements that limit women;
    • Ensuring the use of inclusive language; and 
    • Calling out controlling or manipulative behaviours.

     Individually, we’re one drop but together we’re an ocean. Commit to a “gender parity mindset” via progressive action. Let’s all collaborate to accelerate gender parity, so our collective action powers equality worldwide.

    For more help, referrals, and information on abuse, please visit or refer the following: 

    1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732

    24 hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

    Call toll-free 1800 737 732.
    Visit website

    #strongerrelationships

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    Unrealistic expectations: Set up to take a fall

    It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”

    While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.

    Set up to take a fall: It has been said that the distance between one’s expectations and the reality experienced is equal to the hurt and disappointment one will feel. It is not a matter of “if” but “when” reality will set in for couples. Passionate romance always fades or at least changes to something less intense, and all couples face challenges and problems at some point in their marriage.

    It may be the norm for engaged couples to be love-struck, embracing romanticised notions regarding love and marriage or perhaps it may just be that humans are designed to function at a physiological level. Don’t sound the alarms or be overly critical but understand that couples may need to be more realistic about what they should expect from their relationship.

    Relationship Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    by Peter Larson, Ph.D.

    Tune in next week for part 3.

    References: Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 
    References: Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 

    References:

    Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.

    Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Some couples move too quickly towards engagement and marriage, not allowing themselves time to really get to know one another: Exploring relationship expectations

    It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”

    Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

    The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations

    While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.

    Moving too quickly: If I believe that nothing could cause me to question my love and I already know everything there is to know, why wait? Some couples move too quickly towards engagement and marriage, not allowing themselves time to really get to know one another.

    It may be the norm for engaged couples to be love-struck, embracing romanticised notions regarding love and marriage or perhaps it may just be that humans are designed to function at a physiological level. Don’t sound the alarms or be overly critical but understand that couples may need to be more realistic about what they should expect from their relationship.

    Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 

    References:

    • Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
    • Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and Mediator, President Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage…

    Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

    Addicted & Obsessed?

    Science can explain the phenomenon of being love struck. One article (Slater, 2006) summarised several intriguing findings on the topic. Helen Fisher, a professor from Rutgers University, has used MRI technology to study couples who report they are “madly in love”. While in the MRI machine, subjects were shown two photographs, one neutral and the other of their lover. The results showed that the pictures of the loved ones evoked a powerful chemical reaction in the pleasure centres of the brain, lighting up the neuronal receptors for a neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Dopamine is associated with intense energy, focused attention, exhilaration and motivation. Certain addictive drugs, such as cocaine, can activate the same regions and chemicals in the brain. In other words, brain physiology suggests couples can feel “addicted to love”.

    It may not be unusual for such couples to feel like they have found their one true soul mate, the only person on earth with whom they could have a happy marriage.

    Italian researcher, Donatella Marazziti, explored the similarities between being passionately in love and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The neurotransmitter, serotonin, seems to be the culprit in OCD. Marazziti looked at three groups of subjects, one group of “lovers”, one group suffering from OCD, and another group free from mental illness and passionate love. Results showed that the levels of serotonin in both the OCD group and the lovers were 40 percent lower than in the normal subjects. In other words, there were similar chemical markers in OCD and being madly in love.

    We’ve all seen young couples who seem to be obsessed with one another, spending every moment possible together. Perhaps this is why premarital couples taking PREPARE/ENRICH expect all of their needs for companionship, even after marriage, to be met by their partner.

    Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 

    References:

    Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.

    Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy relationship: Exploring Unrealistic Expectations

    It may be no surprise that seriously dating and engaged couples are more prone to “agree” or “strongly agree” with statements such as “We are as happy as any couple could possibly be!”. Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

    Unrealistic Expectations: Findings and Couple Types 

    In reviewing data from a sample of 15,000 couples who have taken PREPARE-ENRICH, scoring revealed that marital couples often have lower scores in the Marriage Expectations, with an average score on Marriage Expectations at 35%. In other words, the average couple expresses healthy agreement on just 3 or 4 items out of 10. In the case of Marriage Expectations, healthy agreement often means both partners need to disagree with a naïve or unrealistic notion. The data demonstrates that it is common and perhaps even normal to be oblivious to the natural challenges and difficulties that accompany marriage.

    It may be the norm for engaged couples to be love-struck, embracing romanticised notions regarding love and marriage or perhaps it may just be that humans are designed to function at a physiological level. Don’t sound the alarms or be overly critical but understand that couples may need to be more realistic about what they should expect from their relationship.

    Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

    • “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

    Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 

    References: Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.

    Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

    Source: The Couple Checkup: Find Your Relationship Strengths. By David Olson Ph.D

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Avoid passive or aggressive communication: Seek win-win and your relationship will grow (Part 4: The Assertive Style)

    No one is perfect, and there will likely be times when you or your partner succumb to using passive or aggressive communication. Notice when this happens, make amends and vow to make this the exception rather than the norm, and your relationship will grow!

    tin_can_telephone communication styles

    What is your communication style? Generally, there are four common styles:

    • Passive
    • Aggressive
    • Passive aggressive
    • Assertive

    Following on from last weeks post, it is important to recognise your primary communication style and that any combination of passive and aggressive communication styles can be detrimental to your relationship over time, as they result in lower levels of intimacy.

    4. Assertive

    Assertive communicators are able to express themselves in a healthy, non-defensive, and non-insistent way. They can ask for what they want while remaining positive and respectful. Exercising assertive communication encourages the other person to respond assertively as well, creating a positive cycle in relationships.

    If only one person is assertive and the other is passive or aggressive, the relationship may still suffer. The chart below shows that there is really only one “win-win” combination:
    communication_styles_graph

    No one is perfect, and there will likely be times when you or your partner succumb to using passive or aggressive communication. Notice when this happens, make amends and vow to make this the exception rather than the norm, and your will relationship grow!

    Source: The Couple Checkup: Find Your Relationship Strengths. By David Olson Ph.D

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Avoid passive or aggressive communication: Seek win-win and your relationship will grow (Part 3: The Passive-Aggressive Style)

    No one is perfect, and there will likely be times when you or your partner succumb to using passive or aggressive communication. Notice when this happens, make amends and vow to make this the exception rather than the norm, and your relationship will grow!

    tin_can_telephone Communication styles

    What is your communication style? Generally, there are four common styles:

    1. Passive
    2. Aggressive
    3. Passive aggressive
    4. Assertive

    Following on from last weeks post, it is important to recognise your primary communication style and that any combination of passive and aggressive communication styles can be detrimental to your relationship over time, as they result in lower levels of intimacy. 

    3. Passive-Aggressive

    Passive-aggressive communicators will often behave passively to a person’s face, but display aggression when that person is not around. On the surface the communicator’s goal is to avoid conflict (like passive communicators), but they will often convey anger or seek vengeance later.

    An example of this would be a stay-at-home-dad who feels resentful of his spouse for always working late and not helping out with any of the housework. Instead of actually talking to his partner about his feelings, he complains to his parents and brothers that she is underachieving as a wife and mother; meanwhile, his wife has no idea that there is any issue at all!

    Any combination of the passive and aggressive communication styles can be detrimental to a relationship over time, as they result in lower levels of intimacy. If only one person is assertive and the other is passive or aggressive, the relationship may still suffer. 

    The chart below shows that there is really only one “win-win” combination:

    communication_styles_graph

    Consider your communication style and notice when you slip into dysfunctional patterns and turn your relationship towards win-win!

    Always consider your limitations in terms of time, experience, and professional expertise when working with abusive couples. Consult or refer to other mental health professionals including marriage and family therapists and psychologists trained to work with abusive couples. Create connections with local domestic violence counsellors and agencies and utilise their expertise and support groups or contact us.

    Source: The Couple Checkup: Find Your Relationship Strengths. By David Olson Ph.D

    By Shane Smith, Director PREPARE-ENRICH, Relationship Educator and MediatorPresident, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia
    Email president@mareaa.asn.au

    Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you are going in these challenging times. 

    For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM.

    Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

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