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Dr. Zee's Loveline
Love Hate Anger Longing Relationship
Outer Shells    Inner Spells

relationship problem help * solve relationship problem *
rekindle relationship * happy love relationships *
how to make a relationship work for a love revival *
happy love relationships * love revival * love and anger *
anger managed * fighting anger * rekindle relationship *
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dr zee - loveline  

Keeping the Love Light Burning -
by Lessening the Stockpile of Anger

At the start, it's so easy to be deliriously happy. it seems we could never get angry.
Sunshine everywhere. Joy. Contentment. We know this could never end, this feeling.
It feels unlimited, never-ending.

But for most of us, things do change. Things go sour, from time to time.
Instead of boundless good feeling, love, there are irritations.

How do we keep the love light burning? How do we not end up with a messed up
relationship that needs major repair, like a car after a series of fender benders
and one or two bigger smash-ups?

Part of that first in-love feeling may just have to ebb away. That's what the studies show.

But what about being left with at least some good solid loving?
That's often easier to get with a pet. It shouldn't be that way. I know that.

So if we know it's time to send out an SOS -
Relationship Problem Help, SOS, Relationship Problem Help -
what could we do to

Maybe a good starting point -
in terms of how to make a relationship work,
in terms of how to have happy love relationships -
is doing our best to keep the baddies out,
and to get rid of the baddies
that have crept in.

One of the biggest baddies is:
a storehouse of anger on both sides.
That's great for getting quite some fire going -
but the opposite of a love light.

****

It's all very well and good to say, don't be angry. Or to say, express your anger constructively.
Or, concentrate on the good stuff.

But there's often something we'd like to have a little different - and that's putting it mildly. Sometimes we need something to change, and are awful at getting it to happen. We want something (reasonable or not), are not getting it. The other wants something (reasonable or not), is not getting it.

Staying silent just makes us fume. It may help for a while to sound off to friends, but it doesn't do much in the long run. As for speaking to our partner, we may know that is likely to lead to fights. So we may not speak until we're angry, and then of course when we do speak, there it is,... the next fight.

That's a fabulous recipe for putting out the love light.

****

So one thing many of us could use is some help figuring out how to ask for what we want in a way that increases the likelihood that we get it without alienating our partners.

A friend, Dominique Simon, has started a treatment center for people connected to addicts (alcoholics and drug addicts). The people want to get their partners, children, siblings into treatment.

Few methods have had much success. Al-Anon, for family members of alcoholics, has about a 10% annual success rate. But the goal of Al-Anon isn't about continuing to try to change the addict; the goal is to have the people close to addicts start taking care of themselves, instead of continually focusing on the addicts. A belief is that addicts need to be "ready" before they go for treatment. They need to bottom.

This isn't the case, according to some studies. The intervention method used by Dominique has a success rate of up to 80% with adolescents, and between 60 and 70% with partners of addicts.

Why am I going on about a method for getting people to deal with their addictions, when all we may want is to get someone to make the bed, go out to dinner, listen when we're talking?

The answer: if something is powerful enough to get an addict into treatment, it could well be enough to get us much smaller things.

Dominique's recipe can be found in Robert Meyer's How to Get Our Loved One Sober - an alternative to nagging, begging, threatening, and other nasties. It basically boils down to asking for small things one may be able to get, getting small successes, giving praise, and building from there - in other words, building a stockpile of good feelings instead of adding to the stockpile of frustration, resentment, rage, bitterness.

"I really like it, spending the evening with you when you're sober. How about, on Tuesday, we go bowling and there's no drinking." And then, "Tuesday was wonderful. How about doing it again next week."

****

In a nutshell, it's positive reinforcement. We ask in a positive way ("I love it when you listen to me," and not, "I hate it when you hog the conversation." Then there's praise and good stuff when something good happens.

If the good stuff doesn't happen, it's important to have alternate plans that are good for us, rather than moving to rage at our partners, arguing, nagging, or anything other negative pattern that it might be easy to get caught up in. We go to a friend's; we read a book; we take the dog for a long walk; we do something that gives us pleasure.

And then, from the position of having gotten good stuff for ourselves, which should lessen the stockpile of anger and increase the stockpile of happiness, we go back, over and over, to asking for small bits of good stuff, and to building on whatever good does happen. So we work on our own satisfaction (when that's the best we can get), and on good times with our partner.

Note: we don't have to do this. At any point, if we feel like giving up, we can. It's just a recipe for trying to reach our partners for as long as we feel like doing this, a recipe that lessens our anger, and increases our well-being, whatever the outcome.

****

Does the method work?

It often isn't easy. It often goes by the wayside. But along with all kinds of other stuff, things may very well get better.

That's it for now. With lots of further thoughts, and an invitation for you to add your own experiences.

To be continued.

signed,

Dr Zee
September 30, 2006

copyright © Elsa Schieder 2006, 2008 - all rights reserved
publishing house - FlufferDuff Impressions 2006, 2010

****

AN INVITATION:
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YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH
KEEPING THE LOVE LIGHT BURNING

Dr Zees LoveLine
"In love you could shine like a brilliant star."
Fortune Cookie

From Problem Anger to Relationship Problem Help,
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Get Happy Love Relationships. How To Make a Relationship Work.

 

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