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5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

What really causes you to fight with your partner?  Although the triggers are often superficial, the underlying answers are deeper – which is why most couples are stuck in endless loops where they keep fighting about the same things over and over again.

If you want to really understand the answer to this question, it’s paramount to take some time to understand the real reasons that ultimately cause our repeating patterns of conflict.

These 5 books will teach you new ways to understand both yourself and your partner, and what drives the patterns of behavior you both subconsciously follow every day.  They can shed light on many of your questions, backed by countless success stories from readers who have made breakthroughs in their relationships.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married By Gary D. Chapman

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    To most of us, getting married is just another “official” step forward from our current relationship. No one would think being prepared is necessary since going through a normal relationship already seems to be a prerequisite. However, there’s a huge gap between being in a relationship to actually building a life together. Gary Chapman has put together this practical book to teach readers how to build a healthy and loving marriage.

    “I’m a 30 year old male about to propose to my girlfriend. I picked up this book on a whim. I cannot overstate how much I have learned from this book. I started highlighting things that I thought were important to me or that really hit home or made sense. I wrote notes in the margin. I ordered a copy for my soon to be fiance and she is going to do the same thing with her copy. Then we’ll switch so we can both learn from each other. Anyone that wants to be a better partner, regardless of weather or not that includes marriage, should pick this book up and read it front to back. I really can’t say enough good things about this book.”- Ryan on Amazon Review

    Get Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married from Amazon at $ 8.69.

    The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts By Gary D. Chapman & Jocelyn Green

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      Joined with Joycelyn Green, Gary Chapman has published this book that decodes the secret of love. It’s one of the top selling relationship books on Amazon. Gary talks about what signals us as “love”, how partners can see the same action differently and brings out the importance of understanding your partner’s love language in order to aid better communication. The love language doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, it’s also equally applicable to building sustainable friendships and family relationships as well.

      Get The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts from Amazon at $ 10.99.

      Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs By Emerson Eggerichs

        Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides advice from a psychological perspective on how to maintain a healthy and loving marriage. In his book, he cracks the relationship secret by teaching readers how to shift their focus from only their relationship to the whole family perspective. He also addresses some commonly experienced marriage problems such as dealing with affairs, how to regain the romantic spark, and how to protect and nurture mutual respect.

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        Get Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs from Amazon at $13.89.

        Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love By Sue Johnson

          Hold Me Tight is one of the most insightful books about human relationships that you’ll ever read, backed by solid empirical scientific proof and a ton of success cases.  In an engaging and easy-to-read style, Dr. Sue Johnson introduces psychological concepts that any lay person can instantly understand.  You’ll gain deep insights into every relationship that you’ve ever had, and understand the underlying forces behind how and why we communicate the way we do.  Filled with simple exercises for practicing better communication and understanding, this book is useful for anyone, whether you’re in a relationship or not.

          Get Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love from Amazon at $17.48.

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          Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love By Amir Levine & Rachel Heller

            Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller (a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, respectively) explain love through the latest scientific theories on attachment.  This book describes the three basic types of attachment that all people have.  These basic types affect relationships at all levels, from how you see intimacy, to communication style, to the types of things that satisfy you within a relationships.  The premise is that understanding the attachment type of you and your partner will help you navigate your relationship with more awareness, avoiding common pitfalls and being able to focus on the right things to nurture a relationship.

            Get Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love from Amazon at $10.84.

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            Last Updated on May 21, 2019

            How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

            How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

            For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

            If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

            Example 1

            You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

            You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

            In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

            Example 2

            You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

            People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

            You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

            Example 3

            You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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            The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

            Example 4

            You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

            Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

            If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

            Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

            • Understand your own communication style
            • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
            • Communicate with precision and care
            • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

            1. Understand Your Communication Style

            To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

            In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

            Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

            2. Learn Others Communication Styles

            Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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            If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

            “How do you prefer to receive information?”

            This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

            To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

            3. Exercise Precision and Care

            A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

            On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

            Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

            I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

            I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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            In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

            The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

            Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

            4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

            Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

            In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

            “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

            Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

            Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

            It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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            It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

            It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

            Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

            Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

            The Bottom Line

            When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

            I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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            Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

            Reference

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