In this ebook, I start out with a discussion of the Four Stages of Relationships. Intimate relationships do not just happen. They evolve. Their progress and path is well understood. I go over this because without knowing the stages, it is hard to figure out "where" in the continuum you might be, and it is hard to recognize some of the issues that relate to each stage. I walk you through each stage, highlighting the issues that are characteristic of each.
Next, I delve into the "Deep Stuff." This ties what we learned early in life to what is happening in our relationships. This section covers Basic Assumptions and Transference. Don't worry. I define and give plenty of examples of each. You need this to get to the bottom of communication problems, especially in long-term liasons. One specific version of this is what I call Negative Loops. This is when one partner does something negative to the other, who in return does something back. Only, what the second partner does in return is the very thing that made the first partner upset in the first place. This unconsciously escalates with very bad consequences if each partner is not aware of the deep stuff. I describe eight categories of Negative Loops, which covers ninety percent of the relationship cases I've seen in the office.
How do we avoid such traps? The next section covers Structured Communication. This is my technique that all by itself fixes about forty percent of relationship problems. It's about communicating in a way that reduces tensions and increases insights. There's the basic version and the enriched version, which happens when we get good. Both involve just a couple of extra steps that most partners do not currently utilize. I outline the process and give examples. The enriched part builds upon the success of the basic part. This ties the whole process together and helps partners move beyond Loops.
This clears the air and paves the way for the good stuff. This is where I introduce another set of ideas, some attitudinal, some philosophical. This section clears up another forty percent of problems. In this section I talk about the 51/49 Rule, The Four-To-One Rule, Ego States, The Seven Deadly Words or Phrases and The Anatomy of Guilt. Using these makes your relationships "sing." I call this the cherished experience, which is how good relationships should be.