When I was in my early twenties, I entered into my first serious long term romantic relationship, and it lasted about eight years total. The relationship seemed good in the beginning – like most new relationships in the infatuation stage! However, the relationship interactions became more painful as time went on. Now, when I look back I can see that the struggles I had with my significant other actually planted seeds for my later ideas teaching people how to have a “Relationship Repair Counter” for your partner. Keep in mind that I entered this relationship before I started graduate school to become a couples therapist, and by the time I finished my studies I knew I had to end it.
The man I was with was so defensive and so prideful that I like to say he did not have a Relationship Repair Counter. I am not going to share the details with you, but let’s just say I kept trying to file complaints at the relationship repair desk about how he was mistreating me, but I could never find the RRC! So I kept wandering around looking for it, but it was very difficult to find! Eventually, I would get so frustrated that I would start saying my complaint out loud, and before I knew it… he would he would sneak up behind me and metaphorically kick me right in the tail behind. Every doggone time, I was filing my valid complaints and I would end up having the wind knocked right out of me. How many of you have ever tried filing a complaint with a prideful person who somehow turns the complaint back on you. Pretty soon, you are feeling far more beat up about your partner’s reaction than you were about whatever had originally made you upset enough to file a complaint in the first place!
At this time in my life, I had not figured out that my passion was to teach people how to have a Relationship Repair Counter for their romantic relationships, I just knew that I was really sore and that I did not like getting mentally beat up whenever I wanted to resolve a complaint! Eventually, I ditched the guy with the nonexistent Relationship Repair Counter and moved on. But sometimes I think about, if I had not had that painful relationship, if I had not experienced how helpless and devalued you feel when your complaints never get repaired, would I truly know how to help couples in this really deep way? Would I know how to guide single people in their dating life, in choosing a life partner? Even this relationship early in my life – which really knocked me – has been transformed into a positive resource for others!
To learn more about having an effective Relationship Repair Counter for Your Significant Other, please check out my book Relationship Repair For Couples or Schedule an Appointment with me for Couples Therapy.