Loving and Compassionate? Not Right Now!
Steven Stosny gets it. His take on resolving marriage battles changes everything, whether your marriage is abusive or just stressed out.
In Dr. Stosny's November 30th blog post, he looked at our two options for dealing with this pair of competing thoughts (cognitive dissonance), so common for us married folks:
"I am a loving and compassionate person.
Yet I am not loving and compassionate to you at this moment."
Option 1 (likely to lead to an authentic sense of self and a better relationship):
"Therefore, I must try harder to understand your perspective and sympathize with any discomfort or pain that underlies it."
Option 2 (likely to lead to self-righteousness or a victim identity and failure at any attempts at an intimate relationship):
"Therefore, there must be something wrong with you - you are selfish, irrational, ignorant, unworthy, crazy, personality-disordered, abusive, damaged by childhood, etc."
How do you understand your mate's perspective? Assume Love. It's a powerful tool.