Use Comfortable Terminology in Stopping the Crazy Cycle
Many couples use this simple exchange successfully when there is a sharp disagreement, and one spouse has stepped on the other spouse’s air hose. They have bought into the need for unconditional Love and Respect to the point where they are comfortable with this terminology.
Here are two typical reports:
Report #1: Before Love and Respect, we were more prone to use “fighting” words like “you always” and “you never” or “I can’t believe you did/said that.” After Love and Respect, we are more prone to use healing words (loving for Catherine, respectful for Charles) such as “Was I disrespectful? That felt unloving” and “Was I unloving? That felt disrespectful.” Catherine and I were reflecting during one of our weekly dates not too long ago on how we rarely get into the nit-picky “discussions” that plagued us for so many years.
Report #2: Jim and I are doing AWESOME. [This approach to communication] has changed our marriage. We now listen and stop and say, “Have I done something to disrespect you? Because I am feeling unloved” or “I’m feeling disrespected. Did I do something unloving? ” It has changed how we treat each other. Since the conference we have not had even one cold silent war.