Ever wonder if your relationship problems are solvable? Or what to do if your relationship problems aren't solvable?
In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky discusses which relationship problems are solvable, which one’s aren’t, and what to do about unsolvable relationship problems.
IN THIS PODCAST
1. A Personal Story:
I remember a time when I went to a party with an ex-boyfriend. He was a night owl and I tend to have an early bedtime. I wanted to leave the party and he wanted to stay. This led to a fight, and we actually broke up a couple of months later.
According to the Gottman Institute, 69% of relationship problems are unsolvable due to personality differences or life style preferences." -- Elizabeth Polinsky
2. Unsolvable Relationship Problems
According to the Gottman Institute, 69% of relationship problems are unsolvable due to personality differences or life style preferences. This is the case in both "good" and "babd" marriages.
According to the Gottmans, good marriages use appreciation, acceptance, and a sense of humor when there are unsolvable problems.
4. Is your relationship problem solvable or unsolvable?
One way to know that a problem is an unsolvable personality or lifestyle preference problem is when it is a perpetual stuck conversation.
In these cases, it is more important to get to the heart of the matter and the underlying meaning you are making from the problem. For example, one of you is a vegetarian and the other is a meat eater, and whenever your partner eats meat your feelings are hurt because you think they don't respect your preferences. The problem of being vegetarian versus a meat eater is unlikely to be solved. But the problem of feeling disrespected and hurt can be.
When this is the case, you want to be vulnerable and share with your partner that your feelings are hurt and that you are worried they don't respect you. This allows you as a couple to address the underlying emotional hurts in order to have greater connection.
Connection = sharing vulnerability + partner responsiveness" Elizabeth Polinsky
If you are mad, it might actually be because you feel hurt. The problem then is about the hurt emotions and that is what needs to be fixed not the content problem. People tend to feel stressed or neutral when there is an actual content problem that needs to be addressed. So tell your partner about the hurt feelings.
Liz's Useful Links:
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Thanks for Listening!
Elizabeth Polinsky, MSW, LCSW, is a marriage and couple therapist specializing in working with military members, veterans, and their families. Liz is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and provides online counseling services throughout Virginia, South Carolina, and Arkansas. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia (#0904011022), South Carolina (#11302), and Arkansas (#7735-C). She is also licensed as a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy in Virginia (#0730000567) under the supervision of Marianne Coad, LPC, LMFT.
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The Communicate & Connect Podcast
In Communicate & Connect For Military Relationships, I provide educational tips for relationships, communication, and navigating military family life.