web analytics
September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



WE vs. ME Couples

Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

My father-in-law spent over thirty-five years as a circuit court judge. He noticed that some clients paid teams of lawyers only to be poorly represented. He noted in these cases that, “the lawyers are so busy arguing with each other that nobody’s arguing the case.” There was an absence of cohesiveness and the ego driven fighting rendered the team ineffective.

I’ve noticed a similar dynamic in relationships, one I call the “me” couple vs. the “we” couple. The me couple operates as two distinct people who happen to be in a relationship. This can be true of a couple that got together last week or one that was formed more then fifty years ago. It’s all in the attitude. The “me” couple is not really a partnership. Each may love the other and be happy enough. But they don’t operate as effectively in love or work as the “we” couple. The “we” couples are unquestionably teams. You see it in their body language and especially in their speech. And when they have successes or problems they view it as something happening to both of them.

A University of California study showed that couples who use pronouns like “we,” “our” and “us” had less stress and acted more positively towards each other. Those found to be less satisfied in their marriages used pronouns like “me,” “I” and “you.” Happy couples often speak in a “we.” As in, “We had a nice time at the party” and “We had a major plumbing problem at the house last week.” Unconsciously, they’ve formed a team and life is happening to both of them. These couples will fight; they may even not fight nicely. They don’t have fewer problems than anyone else, but they cope better. Rather than waste energy blaming each other, they focus on problem solving. So they divide tasks, brainstorm, resolve and move forward. Life is better when the blame is minimized and the challenge (whatever it may be) is addressed by both people.

The “we” couples take themselves less seriously. They don’t imagine they can be perfect and are unsurprised when things don’t go swimmingly. Rather than a “here we go again, the universe hates me,” when the car is stolen, a “we” couple will quickly bemoan the fact that this happened to “us” and move on. Of course cars get stolen, it happens every day. He files the police report, she arranges a rental. They get to work on time and the flow of life continues. “Me” couples blame each other (I told you we shouldn’t have parked here. Why did you open an account in a bank here? It’s a crummy neighborhood). They storm off, they don’t resolve the issue quickly, they don’t get to work and they have more problems as the newest spiral downward commences.

Becoming a “we” couple can be as simple as starting to use the word more. Think of things that brought you together and keep you together. Is it being parents, charitable work, common hobbies, a love for sports or the environment… these things may be simple or profound. The next time you’re together talk about the “we” things. Reminisce about them. When problems come up, resist the urge to blame, take a deep breath and try to move immediately to problem solving. This movement and restraint is the work of change. It’s worthwhile to make the effort.

Also, be kind to each other and think of your significant other as a partner. Ask for his or her opinion and input so that decisions begin to be made together in an atmosphere that doesn’t blame and judge. Judgement causes the team to argue and worse, the partners stop even suggesting ideas for fear that anything they say can and will be used against them. Build an atmosphere of cooperation by understanding each other and inviting your partner’s thoughts.

Finally, avoid “me” couples for a while. Be aware that other people’s expressions and attitudes can influence even the best relationships. For a while, insulate yourselves while you’re building up your “we” approach. It’s a quick turn around and a minimum of effort to put in for very worthwhile benefits.

Research cited: http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2010/01/27/couple_we_ness/

To receive discounts on Gary’s Creating Your Best Marriage 11 DVD set program, go to NeumanMethod.com and use coupon code Jewishpress.

About the Author: Check out Gary’s web program where he interviews couples who share their struggles and innermost thoughts and feelings at mgaryneuman.com. Facebook or Twitter Gary at mgaryneuman. M. Gary Neuman is a NY Times best selling author and a frequent guest on the Oprah show. He lives in Miami with his wife and five children.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “WE vs. ME Couples”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A Jew, a soldier and a Druze watch - very carefully - the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
IDF Stands By as Al Qaeda Offensive Threatens Golan Farmers
Latest Sections Stories
Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

Schonfeld-logo1

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Teens-091214-Octopus

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

The new group will also deliver kosher food to Jewish residents in non-kosher facilities, as well as to kosher facilities where the food is not up to par.

The Honey Bee workshop delighted the children and all others who attended the event.

Many former baseball players who left us with happy memories also passed away in the past year.

More Articles from Rabbi M. Gary Neuman
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Sacrifice is the backbone of our souls. It indicates self-regulation for a higher purpose.

Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Spoiler Alert: Going to see the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”, starring Tom Hanks is not like going to Disney World. Well, it is like going to Disney World if you go mid-August with your triplet toddlers, feed them all cotton candy, and lose your car because you forgot you parked in Pluto 7.394. It’s not a happy Disney movie.

Stacy and George walked out of the marriage counselor’s office angrier than when they arrived. It was their third session and this last fight over his ex-wife wasn’t going away. The fifty minutes spent embroiled in a detailed account of their battle only fired up their anger – and the counselor’s request to remember how much they love each other wasn’t helping. It would be a week before the next session and both of them were already talking about not coming back.

The therapeutic alliance has always been about a firm connection between patient and counselor. There has always been one primary standard – physically meeting in an office setting. There might be some phone calls in between sessions or to bridge some vacation gap. But therapy has always been about a feeling of connectivity and there is no better way to do this than face-to-face.

Cindy is 43, successful, attractive, a dedicated mom, extremely caring… and she hates herself. She doesn’t readily admit this, but spend a minute inside her head and you’ll discover the resounding messages revolving around negative rants – everything from “I failed” to “I should’ve done better.” You wouldn’t know it from her behavior. She’s a high functioning, regular member of society.

As adults who were children of divorce know, healing does not occur through time alone. In fact, my research found that only 46% said they had a positive relationship with their fathers as adults.

Stacy and Michael walked out of the marriage counselor’s office angrier than when they arrived. It was their third session and this last fight over his ex wife wasn’t going away. The fifty minutes embroiled in a detailed outline of the battle only fired up their anger and the counselor’s request to remember how much they love each other wasn’t helping. It would be a week before the next session and both of them were already talking about not returning for therapy.

From the moment they stand under the chuppah, newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers. 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years were followed. The research shows that after two years the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/we-vs-me-couples/2013/03/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: