Mona Barbera
Problem / Solution

Solution #2

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You can follow these three steps to solve your moments, and have a happy marriage.

1. Notice when YOU have lost connection with your spouse. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do I care about my partner's feelings?
Am I agitated rather than calm?
Do I feel disconnected from my partner?
Am I reacting in an extreme manner?
Am I blaming or shaming my partner?
Am I trying to force my partner to do something?
Am I thinking of my favorite addiciton (shopping, eating, drinking, gambling, over-working, etc.)?
(adapted from Chapter 3, "Bring Yourself to Love: How Couples Can Turn Disconnection into Intimacy." )

If you answer yes, you have lost connection. Now do step 2:

2. Take 100% percent responsibility for your own loss of connection. Leave your partner out of the picture for the moment, and focus on yourself. You're the only one you have control over, anyway! When you do this, you may find that you have lost your connection because you have begun to protect yourself. What are you protecting yourself from? Listen inside, and see what you get. You may find that some old baggage car from the past latched onto this moment, and that you are confusing your mate with someone else. Maybe you don't even feel like an adult anymore. Just listen inside. Read more on how to get to know yourself and your parts.

3. Give better back than you feel you are getting. If you are being criticized, be curious. If your mate is agitated, be calm. If you are being judged, be compassionate. If your mate is worried, be confident. If your mate is distant or dismissive, be connected. This attitude will leave you feeling more peaceful and clear, and most likely your mate will rise to the occasion. Read an excerpt from Chapter 6, "Giving Better Back" in "Bring Yourself to Love." Or watch the video.

Now watch for those surprising moments of connection and intimacy.

Mona Barbara Photo Mona Barbera
Dr. Mona is a psychologist, couples therapist, couples workshop leader, speaker, and the author of Bring Yourself to Love: How Couples Can Turn Disconnection into Intimacy.
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Bring Yourself To Love Relationship Advice Book
This readable and engaging book uses vivid examples and exercises to help couples move from blaming, shaming, and distancing to staying calm, connected and curious.
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