I was wrong: It is OK to Scream!

Couples, Homepage 6 Comments

The quality of the daily friendship determines the success of the couple handling conflict

(part of the Couples’ Program) by Michael Grinder

Perhaps because I naturally avoid conflict, I always sought conflict resolution techniques. Especially in my marriage.

Then I read, studied and attended Dr. John Gottman’s book and program, Seven Principles to Making Marriage Work. Gottman, as leading researcher on marital satisfaction and longevity, set me straight. Conflict resolution is not necessarily essential for a long-lasting and deeply satisfying relationship. Screaming is OK!

The quality of the daily friendship determines the success of the couple handling conflict. Simply put, positive sentiment overrides negative feelings. The following three ingredients build the friendship:

  1. Love Map: How well do you know your partner’s map of their world?
    Asking open-ended questions and being an interested listener lets the spouse know their partner’s map of the world. Once you know your partner’s map, instead of saying, “How was your day?” you can be more specific, “You had a big meeting today with HR- how did it go?” The more specific you are in asking about your partner’s day, the closer they feel towards you.
  2. Fondness & Admiration: Do you give love the way they want to receive love?
    Say a lot of “I appreciate….” Affection, respect and honor. Use the concept of Language of Love – give love the way your mate wants it (not the way you would want it).
  3. Bids: How often do you invite communication?
    Bids are an invitation to communicate/respond. Bids can be verbal (“Did you hear the news that…”) and non-verbal (extending out a hand might invite the person to hold hands). Daily responding to bids for attention, affection, humor or support are important. Emotional connection is the basis for romance, passion and a good sex life. It is critical for the husband to be influenced by his wife. Intercourse has two definitions: dialogue and being amorous. They are directly connected: one precedes the other.

As a male, sometimes I am not personally interested in what Gail wants to share about her day, but I am interested, very interested in my marriage – that is why I listen. I constantly work on having Gail influence me.

Which of these three ingredients do you want to work on?

These three ingredients are like deposits in your matrimonial bank account. The more friendship the relationship has the more negative times are handled with GRACE. It is OK to scream when the friendship has had deposits.

Want more – attend “To Love, to Honor, and to Negotiate” our workshop for couples.

The Couples Workshop is hosted by Michael & Gail Grinder (pictured)

Comments 6

  1. Thank you! I love that you give example of how to do best – and the outcome! Such as “… you can be more specific, “You had a big meeting today with HR- how did it go?” The more specific you are in asking about your partner’s day, the closer they feel towards you.”
    And the photo of you Michael and Gail is just wonderful… n’ makes me want to do the course, although I don’t have any partner! :-))

    1. We are so glad that this blog was helpful for you, Malin. Sometimes it is just a small adjustment in how you interact with each other that can make a big difference in communication. We welcome you to attend, with or without a partner! The tools offered in this course are applicable to any relationship. Bring a friend along and learn some great communication skills!

      Hope to see you in February!
      MGA Staff

  2. Hi Michael,
    that sounds fascinating. Living in the Germany I will not be able to attend your workshop but I will buy the book to have a look – and recommend it to our younger son who has many conflicts in his partnership. Beeing afraid of conflict myself I might be encouraged…
    And what I just want to let you know:
    Your trainings have deeply inspired me and my own trainings have been based for the last nearly 20 years on what you taught me. And people always say: that were the best parts of the training. I just want to say you: Thank you so much – and I love the picture of you and Gail.
    Dorothea

    1. Hi Dorthea,
      We really appreciate your kind words directed towards Michael. It is always so encouraging to hear how much of an impact he has made on others. We are inspired by your words! We definitely encourage you to obtain Gottman’s book. It is a huge part of Michael’s training and a great tool for relationships. We have offered this training in Germany in the past, so hopefully we will have the opportunity to do this program there again in the future!

      Kind regards,
      MGA Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *