In The Radio Show

February 8, 2017

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

Mike Carruthers:
Keeping your love relationship happy and joyful can be difficult, why?

Harville Hendrix:
Most people live in their defenses and most relationships are defensive relationships – people seldom ever get to know each other.

Harville Hendrix, author of the book Making Marriage Simplesays one of the most important ingredients to a successful relationship is…

Safety so that I can feel connected with my partner so that we can feel connected with each other and feel joyful – that’s a great relationship. So then we’ve been observing what prevents that from happening. And we discovered that there’s 1 thing that prevents it from happening and that’s negativity. And by negativity we mean any reaction that devalues one of the partners.

Because negativity causes defensiveness in the other person.

So if I roll my eyes, or grunt, or grown, or say, “WHAT?” and I put in this negative intensity I’m putting you down. Your brain is not going to do anything but protect itself. And the first protection is to defend itself back by saying back, “I don’t like your tone of voice or it’s left not right” – so you go into mutual fighting.

While there is no simple fix to this Dr. Hendrix says…

Just the awareness that negativity is the enemy of joy and connection and safety helps couples regulate their transactions more.

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Harville Hendrix
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