conflict tagged posts

What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 6)

Games Couples Play 6

Vanessa and Mark’s Games

Most often on the surface, things can look really good or really bad, depending on what exactly we’re looking at as well as the angle of our perspective. Some couples are envied for the way their love looks on the surface and for the happiness they seem to have.  Vanessa and Mark seemed to have had it all in the beginning and they believed that they had the best marriage going until one day it just all went wrong.

Of course, when something goes wrong with a marriage, there must be an issue with both people and the way their characters combine in creating the games they play. Usually, the issues revolve around consequences of communication styles, games that the individuals play or just incompatible personalities.

The problem started with Vanessa and the way s...

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What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 5)

The Gotcha Game

The “Gotcha” Game

When a game is being played, there are two sides, so while Alex was playing his game, Tamara was “feeding” her own game too. Her needs match his needs in the meaning that for her he is somebody that makes sure she is not responsible for the quality or success of their marriage.

They both blame it on the other – he blames every little thing on her and she blames it on his affairs. This “blaming” is both exposing and defending and specifically, Tamara’s game may be called “Gotcha”.

As in “If it weren’t for you”, this game also belongs to the Aggressor’s list of games. Even though there were many heated arguments, mostly Tamara’s game was even more manipulative than his game and dangerous because it was hidden and passive aggressive.

The role o...

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Responding Assertively to Game Playing

Responding Assertively to Game Playing

I will illustrate the topic with an example from the story of “Lyn” and “James”.

At one time Lyn decides to take her children on vacation with a girlfriend and her children for a few days. But when Lyn tells James of the plan, he is not OK with it. When she asks why, he just says, “Because I said so.” When she says she is definitely going but would like his consent, he again refuses to give it.

Earlier in their relationship, Lyn would have backed down, but this time she decides to go anyway. James remains angry and revengeful. On Lyn’s return, James refuses to speak to her, and they go to bed in silence. The next morning, Lyn wakes to discover that James is not there. She finds him in the living room with her wallet and a pair of scissors cutting up her credit cards.

She ask...

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Insignificant Games and Serious Games

Insignificant Games and Serious GamesWe need to spice up our life every now and then and, as my husband and I so often do, we play teasing games with each other. But when do games that are played in jest become something more serious game with a negative consequence for the relationship? And how do we tell them apart?

In the Survivor’s triangle each of the “game-players” play and respond differently and express themselves differently as their emotional state dictates from time to time.

There are three degrees of games though all games can be placed somewhere on a continuum according to how each person experiences it. In addition the outcome for the relationship will also be affected depending on the perspective of each “player”.

First Degree Games

First Degree Games are generally pretty harmless and people might eve...

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Effective Communication in Action

Effective Communication in Action

When you look at the solution to a problem from a different perspective then everything gets easier. Child’s play really.

If you imagine two adults who are playing tic-tac-toe and are competing for the win you are going to see the big picture as if from a bird’s eye view.

Let’s accept for a moment that the game is a dispute. I put an “x”, my partner puts an “o” and we continue like this one after another. The tension is getting stronger. Who is going to win? At some point my partner puts his “o” and draws a smile. I smile back, I accept the dispute from its amusing angle and I understand that my partner’s intentions towards me are positive.

I quickly grasp the wink. A game or a dispute, call it whatever you want...

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Relationship Rules for Effective Communication (Part 1)

Relationship Rules for Effective Communication

Do you know this feeling? You are angry. You want to throw yourself at your partner both physically and verbally. You want to show them how much they are wrong and how right you are with all your strength.

There is no need to answer me because everyone who has contemplated fighting fair knows what I am talking about. If we behave that way there will be no relationship left. Right?

We will be like some primitive people who cannot converse but also have never heard of communication, conversation and rules. I will share with you what I do in such situations and in this way I will present to you:

Relationship Rules for Effective Communication

First, when I feel stressed, I take whatever time I need to compose myself while looking for the most effective way to share what I want to say with the...

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Fighting Fair

Fighting Fair

There is an old children’s game known all around the world called “hide-and-seek”. No matter where you are geographically you might find differences in the name but not in the rules of the game. They are very simple: one kid counts to 10 while standing still, and without looking, while the rest of the kids run around to hide. Then the kid that has been counting so far must find the others. The last one to remain hidden and reach the starting point while saying “not found” wins.

This game looks a lot like the relationships of couples in conflict except instead of one staying and counting they both run away in order to hide from the other.

What do we notice then? We notice the lack of a dialogue of the point in dispute. This is far from playing, or “fighting”, fair.

But what is ...

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How to Deal With Conflicts

How to Deal With Conflicts

Do you remember the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”? It was a battle of characters, personalities and one upmanship. Do you remember Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in this amazing battle of wills filled with lies, deception, lots of bullets and fast cars, and the scent of a roasted meat, red wine and a few candles?

At some moments the couple were very pleasant to each other while at others they were vicious. Does the theme of this movie sound familiar? Is this a theme that is evident in your relationships? If so read on as I address how to deal with these conflicts.

By the way it is so important that you do deal with these conflicts and the sooner the better.

Why? Simply because if you don’t they can damage you and your relationship and leave a lasting scar that may never be fully recovera...

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