Fight or flight: maybe neither for these couples
Up to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end up in divorce court. Couples argue about all kinds of issues: from money to sex. So is it possible for these conflicts to not only save a relationship, but actually make it better?
Does the way Lori and Barry Blum communicate sound familiar?
“If you just don’t talk about it, it will go away,” Barry Blum, married to his wife Lori for 32 years, told Ivanhoe.
But Lori wasn’t convinced so she decided to give international relationship expert Hedy Schleifer’s workshop a try. Married to her husband Yumi for 52 years, Hedy says we all tend to harp on issues.
“In-laws, sex, money, children, affairs…” said Hedy Schleifer, Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Specialist.
But after working with couples in more than 30 countries she says it all comes down to a power struggle.
“Now you’re trying to get what you want by force, you’re not in a connection anymore,” explained Schleifer. Instead, Hedy teaches what she calls the three invisible connectors. The first is the relational space.
“If we’re going to have a good relationship, we’ve got to know how to take charge fully of the quality of the space,” Schleifer told Ivanhoe.
The second connector is called a bridge. Hedy says nature brings incompatible people together so we can learn from each other.
“There needs to be a bridge so I can visit you and I can learn you because you’re a different culture, you’re a different language, you’re a different ribbon, you’re different music,” she explained.
The third connector is the encounter. She says it’s like getting lost in your favorite music.
“And then suddenly, you are in an encounter with the music, and it’s not you and the music anymore it’s all one,” said Schleifer.
She says if you honor the space and cross the bridge, you will create the conditions where an encounter will occur.
“So if we could use that as a way to sort of be on this journey together, I don’t think it gets better than that,” Lori told Ivanhoe.
Turning conflict into connection!
Hedy says a good relationship is bilingual. You have to learn the other person’s language. Hedy has workshops all over the world, but if you can’t get to her you can learn more about the three invisible connectors in her Ted Talk on YouTube or through her videos for couples on her website at www.hedyyumi.com.
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Producer; Katie Campbell, Assistant Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer; Bob Walko, Editor.