The Secrets of a Great Relationship

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great relationship

Dr. Mary J. Giuffra shares the five secrets to a great relationship on this episode of Last First Date Radio.

Dr. Mary J. Guiffra has been counseling couples and families for over 40 years. As a teacher to hundreds of couple therapists in training, she is widely published. She has presented at international conferences, has been featured on TV and radio and has served on the boards of professional journals, hospitals and community health agencies. As a family consultant to schools, colleges and universities, she served as vice president to her local school board. She believes that any interaction in any relationship is an opportunity for change and a chance to make the world a better place.

In this episode of Last First Date Radio:

  • Why we should never pursue a person who is distancing themselves from us 
  • The relationship killers and how to avoid them
  • The importance of identifying your personal triggers
  • The 5 keys to a successful relationship
  • How to apologize and make repairs 

EP 572: Dr. Mary J. Giuffra – The Secrets of a Great Relationship

What makes a relationship successful?

In the book 2×2 on the Ark, I explored how couples are together and need to learn how to communicate. The acronym for success is LOVER.

  1. Leave space for love, space for the other person, and space for your emotions
  2. Operate your brains to love – survival, thinking, and feeling
  3. View your conditioning with love. We’re all conditioned. We go to school to learn skills. The school we go to learn to be a partner is home, society, community, birth order, conditioning, etc.
  4. Emerge free to love.
  5. Route and navigate your stormy seas.

What are relationship killers, and how can we repair the relationship if they’re present? 

Contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling are relationship killers. To repair, allow space for yourself and who you are, and let the other person have space to be who they are. Give each other space to process. 

What’s the best way to make repairs when the four horsemen show up in arguments?

  1. Contempt: Says you’re less than me. Not acceptable. Say time-out. When you said that, it didn’t feel good/that’s not okay. If it’s a pattern, get therapy or leave the relationship.
  2. Criticism: Rather than sharing what I’m feeling or thinking, I’m focusing on you and invading your space. Ask what happened that triggered that reaction? Explore that.
  3. Stonewalling: Controlling the other person. It’s like a two-year old. NO! Ask, what just happened that you just shut me down? Did I say something? Let’s talk about that.
  4. Defensiveness: It’s a power thing. I don’t want to discuss it, and I made that decision. We were having a nice discussion. I’m curious what’s going on for you. Never pursue a distancer. If you back off, they have a choice to come closer or keep running.

What are your final words of advice for anyone who wants to go on their last first date? 

The most important thing is to allow space for yourself to be who you are and for them to be who they are. Lower your expectations. Be curious instead. Try to stay present. If you start getting stressed, scan the room and rest your eyes on something. It comes you down and gets you into your body, which is home.

Watch this episode on YouTube

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