In The Radio Show

February 9, 2017

Interview with Harville Hendrix, author of the book Making Marriage Simple

Mike Carruthers:
Negativity it’s the key problem in any troubled relationship and negativity is often expressed when couples talk.

Harville Hendrix:
The most dangerous thing in the world is having a conversation. The thing that men especially dread is when their partner says can we talk?

Harville Hendrix, author of the book Making Marriage Simple

But most couples don’t know how to talk so they talk in destructive ways or critical ways. And then the talking becomes more of the problem than the need they were trying to address.

The way couples structure their conversations can make all the difference in the world.

Every conversation should begin with an appointment like; is now a good time to talk about something? So you make an appointment – most partners just lob themselves into each other’s ecosystem without permission.

For the conversation to go well the person listening has to really hear what’s being said and mirror it back.

“Let me see if I got that, you feel frustrated that…” whatever it was, I was late last night or whatever. Did I get that? And then they ask a magic question “Is there more about that?” Instead of, “Are you done with that now?”

Dr. Hendrix says when you have that kind of conversation you feel connected.

The only thing that ruptures that is criticism. Because criticism produces anxiety and anxiety produces a defense. So what we have to ultimately do is make all transactions such that our partner feels safe with us, connection is sustained, joy is felt.

Harville Hendrix
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