Interpersonal-Relationships: You Either Own it or It Will Own You!

“A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt everyday.” André Maurais


1.My interpersonal-relationship is the result of my personal experience

In our last encounter we discovered that men and women react in opposite ways to everyday life-stress their brain is high-wired differently for the purpose of fulfilling opposite roles in a relationship. Couples must learn to cope with their differences.

You know the saying: “Opposites attract each other!” Nowhere else like matrimonial-relationships will you find as much oppositions! This is your first challenging step in instigating renewal into your matrimonial relationships.

2.Introspection (αφτο κνοςη – afto knossi greek phrase meaning self-knowledge)

Anyone with experience having undergone psychotherapy is familiar with introspection or inner core-evaluation of your life journey. As a matter of fact, in many of our journey together, many of our encounters will invite you to travel inside and question your core values, behaviours, attitudes...

This little voyage in our personal life history is what we identify as introspection for the purpose of enlightenment - in other words, you want to understand the past for the purpose of better understanding where you come from and instigate healing - not to beat you up or to toot your horn!

As you reach this understanding and learned from your past experiences: you evaluate life-incidents - like trying to position pieces of a puzzle to complete the big picture. Once you understand where you're coming from, you can now mourn and turn the page and journey on. The past is dead and gone. You don't come back again, afterwards.

Introspection of your personal life can be enlightening answers in your interpersonal relationships issues. Ex.: Your relationship with your parents, can reveal many attitudes you may have towards your spouse, towards your children... If you're sincere and humble, you might see the patterns and identify where you may need some healing.

Introspection can be a painful might feel stuck in past situations, for example: strong emotions: anger, bitterness, depression, feeling aggressive, refusal to acknowledge or forgiving is too painful...

You might feel you just cannot find any signification to your past experiences...Chances are these incidents are still repressed and try to come out indirectly in your attitude with your partner, children or anyone you love...

The impact of your ulterior life experiences are such that you experiment difficulty functioning on an everyday basis or you develop a dependency of some kind - it affects your relationships - go for professional assistance.

With all this in mind, you can now begin to understand Dr. Phil McGraw:

“Some of the choices that I make are not always willing decisions – but many times the result of “choices of design” – or tradition in the family, insecurity or because we don’t know anything else. Life Strategies, by Dr. Phil McGraw PH.D.

Learning from your life experience does not excuse you from your responsibility to work your difficulties; remember,you carry your problems everywhere you go so you must decide in favour of a renewal. You must be the first to set the example and show your partner what you want in this relationship. Don’t wait for your partner to change first - you will wait for ever.

Behavioural triggers in matrimonial relationships:

Enlightened by a better understanding of yourself, you can recognize the source of certain relationships behavioural triggers that might have caused trauma in your relationship with your partner.

In his book Life Strategies, Dr. Phil McGraw Ph.D. educates us about some characteristics (bad spirit) couples may struggle with in periods of stress. You might recognize some of those characteristics in your own matrimonial relationship or in the relationships of people you love. These examples are taken from his book.

(1)Competition (Fighting for leverage) You treat the one you love as your enemy. You need to recognize that in all relationships there is a share of sacrifice that you must accept in a caring and loving spirit or no understanding can be possible. Your cooperation and your coalition is needed. In other words, you need to stop insisting on having the last word all the time.

(2)Fault finder – the relational impact of perfectionism upon the partner. You need to stop being obsessed about the flaws of imperfections No matter the effort the partner makes, it’s never good enough...You never have something good to say to your partner... “Instead of building his own self-worth, you attempt to level your partner to your own perceived level of functioning.” You need to remember that perfectionism is a low-self esteem related illness.

(3)Complaining “Rain drops keep falling on my head...I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining...!” Is life really as unfair as you state it to be? You are transferring all that negativity on to your partner. You need to look at the bright side of life and stop being depressing.

(4)Counterback – Instead of listening to what your partner would like to say, you insist your partner on admitting to wrongdoing. You need to be more open-minded.

(5)My way or the highway!” You are very self-righteous and rigid; many can, at times, become intolerant. This is the workout of the inflated ego. You cannot recognize what contribution your partner has to offer. You intimidate your partner sharing the following message: “I’m better than you are...” you will not easily admit being wrong. If you loved me...If you cared for me...I told you so...You should have listened to me...are frequent expressions on your lips...This has a hurting impact on your relationship. You’re putting your own ego above the relationship. You refuse to be honest with yourself; you want your partner to acknowledge that you’re right. (Acting like a martyr) You assume to others what you have to put up with, and how living with your partner is impossible.

communication related issues and its impact on interpersonal relationships. Some verbal and non verbal triggers can really hurt. Here are some examples:

In a discussion:

1. Confrontation that turns out into personal attacks (particularly vulnerable areas)

2.Body language (pointing finger in the face, killer stare, exaggerated eye rolling, curling upper lip)

3.Comments full of insults and name calling (you statements

4.Intimidations and withholding from partner that which you know they want and need to have peace in their life.

5.Bitterness gets involved and the need to pull away physically is needed.


It’s an unfair attack...a sneaky attack...on a partner unsuspecting it. It’s an indirect attack to escape accountability in a confrontation. Ex.: Perfectionists They will develop vicious behaviour (and deny by playing the role of victim)...


If you don’t agree with a partner’s desire, you will not say no directly but you will sabotage by trying to get your partner to submit to your wishes without verbally expressing it. You use yeah but...and you come up with a competing event to interfere with your partner’s plan!

You don’t like to talk about issues that directly, concern you but you become defensive when your partner questions you about anything that might concern you. You present your concern in a mirror...for example, sharing passively about the problems of the persons that mirror your concern. (It’s the guessing game)

A third impact on relationships is the refusal to forgive. I will present a whole encounter on this concern.


I recognize that the content of this encounter is a large piece of steak to swallow. It’s no fun to point out our weaknesses, but this exercise is also part of the journey - as mentioned in my introduction to interpersonal relationship concerns but the payout is worth it, as you learn to confront your behavioural triggers, you get to discover your self-value as an individual participating in a relationship. All hostility, fear, distrust, guilt/shame turns into peace, trust and mutual intimacy and mutual acceptance. The more you concentrate on blaming your partner, the more harm you do to yourself and even more so to your relationship. Remember, what you dislike in your partner is very much likely what you often dislike in yourself – your partner being the mirror of yourself. Pay attention to it; see for yourself!

Love is more than just a feeling or a passion. Love is a commitment. The medias have created mirages around love. So many ironic and erotic illusions, I chose to dedicate a whole encounter on this subject.

Is your relationship on the border line? Do you sense you’re getting closer to a divorce? Don’t know if you should or not? Is infidelity a concern? Are you a child of divorced parents and still hurt by this?

Before your plan to put an end to your relationship... before you make any decision...wait...promise me not to make any decisions before you have read the next following might find some enlightening answers. My heart and prayers goes out to you all.


Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Mattersby Philip C. McGraw, PH.D, Copyright 1999, New York, N.Y. 10011

Relationship Rescue - by Dr Philip C. McGraw, PH.D, Strategy for Reconnecting With Your Partner, Copyright 2000,Hyperion 77W, 66th Street New York, N.Y. 10023 - 629

Getting Real - Lessons in Life Marriage and Family by Dr. Phil McGraw, PH.D, Live Workshop - (four CD's) Copyright 2001 Hay House Inc.