A Surprising (and Magical) Perspective on Your Marriage

Every couple has some aggravations with their relationship that seem to defy understanding. “Why in the heck does he/she keep doing that when it is guaranteed to start an argument?” Sometimes these puzzles are hard to figure out. But if you ask different questions or ask them in a different way, you might get a new insight about why these things happen. This takes some detective work but the effort is worthwhile to increase understanding and perhaps avoid some of those common relationship annoyances. Here's a different and fun way to sharpen your sleuthing skills. Click on the following website.  It is an entertaining, magical mind reading trick that stumped me. I am embarrassed to admit that Ellyn and Molly, my wife and daughter, figured it out before I did. Way before. So I had to show it to some of my friends and hope they were as stumped as I was. This paid off quite handsomely as some really bright people were fooled. Visit Magic Tricks and prepare to be amazed or puzzled. What does this have to do with you relationship? My point is that there are usually some reasons for your partner's puzzling behavior. Here's something I have noticed: when I ask someone in my office why they do something that seems to be counter productive to their well being or the relationship, it is common for them to reply, “I don't know.” Basically that means they don't want to make the mental effort to think about it or they are embarrassed to tell me. But if I ask them to take a guess, and if I have an accepting tone and attitude, they will almost always give at least a plausible explanation. It provides a foundation to build on and we are off to a better understanding. Sometimes the simplest way is the easiest. Have a curious, accepting tone of voice and facial expression when you ask your partner why they do XY or Z and you might be able to crack a few “Da Vinci Codes” on your home front. And please, never ever criticize a response you get when you ask these questions. Ever. You will be killing the golden goose. I teach a practical method for communicating effectively with your partner about puzzling or annoying behavior – and other challenges –  in an audio program called “Beyond ‘I Messages:' Safe and Sane Couples Communication.” Using a unique structure to guide you through your toughest topics, you can start discussing difficulties without triggering defensive reflexes in each other. To find out more, visit Safe and Sane Couples Communication. 

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Peter Pearson, Ph.D.

Dr. Peter Pearson, Ph.D., Relationship & Teamwork Expert for Entrepreneur Couples Pete has been training and coaching couples to become a strong team since 1984 when he co-founded The Couples Institute with his psychologist wife, Dr. Ellyn Bader. Their popular book, “Tell Me No Lies,” is about being honest with compassion and growing stronger as a couple. Pete has been featured on over 50 radio and television programs including “The Today Show,” "Good Morning America,” and "CBS Early Morning News,” and quoted in major publications including “The New York Times,” “Oprah Magazine,” “Redbook,” “Cosmopolitan,” and “Business Insider.”

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