Dr. Molly Barrow

The Official Dr. Molly Barrow Blog offers educational self help advice about relationships, business, dating, marriage, parenting, teenagers and children, self-esteem, love and romance. Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D in psychology and is the author of Matchlines for Singles and the self-esteem adventure series, Malia and Teacup Awesome African Adventure and Malia and Teacup Out on a Limb. Dr. Molly is a relationship and psychology expert host on progressiveradionnetwork.com and television guest.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Communication in a Relationship by Relationship Expert Author and Television Radio Guest Dr. Molly Barrow author of Matchlines

Lines of Communication

To find harmony in your relationship it is important to know the emotional buttons that lie within your partner silently waiting for you to press. If you have already committed
to someone then use the following techniques that can help you know each
other better. If you are not already in a committed relationship, and your goal is to find a healthy long-term love relationship, then you must politely investigate a potential
partner. Despite your initial feelings of thrill and excitement, and your own willingness to overlook the “little things” during the budding of a new relationship, your future depends on
you. You must examine and compare the emotional heritage of your potential partner’s family, with the way you remember your own life experiences. You must be willing to analyze
family histories in order to benefit from Lovelines and to avoid potential future heartbreak.

Asking the right questions is essential (an entire chapter in Matchlines is dedicated to this.) Take the time to hold intimate and honest conversations early in the relationship. Full disclosure
need not happen in one sitting. Conduct your information gathering conversationally, never like an inquisition. Simply ask your partner about their mom and dad and be curious
about their life when they were ten years old and younger. Learn about their history, behavior patterns and past before you ever consider sleeping with them, marrying them, or
trusting them with your heart. Do not deceive yourself by thinking that a potential partner
has spontaneously healed from early trauma or bad parents. You will pay with tears and a broken heart if you choose someone with a poor capacity to love.

Your investigation need not be a detective-styled interrogation. If you are too heavy-handed about learning about your potential partner, you may scare them away. Early in a
new relationship, people often portray themselves as they want others to see them, putting their best foot forward, not as they truly are. After you hear the first version of a statement, ask a second time, “Is that really what is bothering you?” or “Is that really how it happened?” This gives a person a second chance to tell the truth and is a most effective technique when you
suspect you just heard a little lie. Some partners may react in a hostile and defensive manner and accuse you of prying. Nevertheless, your future, your physical health (think HIV),
or your finances could be trashed by choosing the wrong partner. Therefore, stand your ground and ask all the questions that you want over time as you get to know them better.

Watch out for defensive reactions. If your questions trigger any sort of violent reaction, that is a big red flag. In Matchlines you will find a complete Lovelines Analysis Test that you can fill out first about yourself and then note what you know thus far about your partner. Then if you and your partner feel comfortable enough with each other and are ready to do so, it is your partner’s turn to answer the questions. You will need a lot of information to complete the test, even if you are just doing it by yourself. It might be the culmination of many casual conversations,
in-person, online, or on the phone. As noted previously, your partner may not give this information to you with out an effort. You will need to be considerate and gentle
with your poking into someone’s tender past. You are probably wondering what questions you might ask—questions that will not make your potential partner think they are undergoing an FBI background check and run away from you rather rapidly. Suppose you were to ask the
following questions:
• “Tell me about yourself? Where did you grow up?”
• “What does the word ‘love’ mean to you?”
• “What is your favorite childhood memory? Why?”
• “What do you remember most about your grandparents?”
• “What scared you most when you were a child?”
• “What did you get in trouble for as a kid?”
• “Did you like school?”

These are only a sampling of the endless questions you could ask a new friend, neighbor or lover in order to get to know them better. While some answers may end at a brick wall, others may open up important new areas of discussion. However, be careful. Some questions, asked with the most sincere of intentions can often convey the wrong message. An extreme Shorterline may get angry.

When you begin this search for truth about someone else, you will undoubtedly face the dilemma that whatever someone tells you about their childhood, it is only their version—or
perception—of the truth. As they say, “history” is never the simple facts, rather it is “stories” told by historians from their perspective—most often, the winners of wars, who get to decide
how they want history to remember them. So keep in mind that any initial confessions you hear from a potential partner can, indeed, be deeply sincere or completely untrustworthy
as your potential mate tries to impress you, or perhaps lie to themselves. It may only be what they have chosen to believe.

Nevertheless, getting to the truth is still the goal, even if you have to “read between the lines” of what someone told you, or compare information with your prospective partner’s
friends and relatives in the normal course of conversations. When coping with emotional trauma, people tend to block out painful memories of their childhood. Layers of defenses and distorted memory bury the truth beneath them. Sometimes, other people in your partner’s life when they were young, who had their own self-protective agenda, may have altered stories to cover an abused person’s vivid childhood memories. Family members, who filtered the truth by denying incest, alcoholism or cruelty, may base these fabricated stories on lies, jealousy or distortions. Intimacy inadequacies are often imperceptible to the one who has them, just like a
diagnosis of depression or mental illness is first observed by others, rather than by the individual who feels perfectly normal. The truth is not easy to find but persevere for your
relationship’s sake.

(Excerpt from Matchlines by Dr. Molly Barrow)

Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, “Matchlines: A Revolutionary New Way of Looking at Relationships and Making the Right Choices in Love,” ISBN 159507158X. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert in the film, My Suicide, documentaries Ready to Explode and KTLA Impact, NBC news, PBS In Focus, WBZT talk radio and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday, The Nest, MSN.com, Yahoo, Match.com, N Magazine, Women’s Health and Women’s World. Please visit: http://www.askdrmolly.com
To read articles by Dr. Molly please visit: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Molly_Barrow


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