Combating the Four Horsemen in a Relationship
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. We all struggle with love from time to time, you are not alone. Do you find yourself withdrawing from your partner? Do you resent them or their lack of something? Do you wish you could discuss an issue and it go away? We have all felt this at one time or another.
Let’s explore something we refer to as the Four Horseman of a relationship, this will be a five part series. We all picture a fairy-tale romance with a lot of love and respect and never prepare for the inevitable conflicts. Sometimes in life when things are frustrating or harder than we were prepared for, we slide into a less than ideal version of ourselves. Communication is key to all relationships whether they are love interests or not.
The Four horseman in a relationship, are communication techniques we use when we feel attacked or are experiencing pain and are used as a form of self-projection and self-protection. We know that withdrawing into ourselves as a form of protection creates even more issues that will need to be resolves.
Let’s take a deep dive into the four horsemen, and ways to avoid allowing them into your relationships. Ultimately, replacing them with healthier communication habits.
Horseman 2 – Defensiveness
This horseman is usually on the scene right after Criticism shows up. Often, we are attacking our partners without even realizing it. When someone communicates with you using “You” statements instead of “I” and “we,” it is easy to feel attacked and need to defend ourselves and protection mode kicks in.
Defensiveness can take on several forms,
– overexplaining the reasons why something didn’t happen – such as I would have done the dishes, but we had no soap, so I was going to go to the store, but it was too late, I was just going to stop and deal with it tomorrow.
– taking on a victim mentality – nothing I do is ever good enough for you.
– counter criticism – I will start doing the dishes when you start doing the laundry
– Use of the word “but” – I know I left the kitchen a mess but is it really the end of the world
The best alternative to defensiveness is accountability and responsibility. The next time you feel the urge to get defensive try validating what your spouse is saying and then taking responsibility for your part. Something like I know I left the kitchen a mess, I should have had it cleaned up. I will get it done.
Everyone has their shortcomings both you and your partner can do better together. Join us at our next Save my Marriage & Relationship in 2 days WORKSHOP and you will come out a stronger couple.
The relationship is not a walk in the park, but if you love your partner and work together at the end you will reap the fruits of your labour.