Pursuer Distancer Relationships and Other Relationship Habits

usfactorWe just watched the first actual training DVD for The Us Factor and we found it both interesting and helpful. First, here’s a little bit about what we learned about the program itself, then we’ll share our take on the actual content.

It appears that in the DVD’s, Dr. Melnick alternates between showing several different couples interacting in his office, and his review of what they talked about with an interviewer. This is a good format, because it allows the watchers to relate to what the couple on the DVD are saying, then hear what Dr. Melnick has to say about their problem. It appears to me that these are real couples, not just actors, though I can’t be sure of that. They are very believable.

First Things First

The way the course is set up is to watch the Day One DVD because it gives you an overview of the program and helps you learn some key concepts that will help you as you use the Us Factor and interact with your partner.

Or, if you’re having a particular problem in your relationship, such as conflicts about sexuality, money, or parenting, you can watch the DVD that addresses that issue. Otherwise, start from the beginning, which is what we did.

So here goes with highlights from DVD lesson 1A – Becoming Aware of the Habits in Your Relationship – Part 1.

This DVD addresses various habits in a relationship, and why it’s important to become aware of those habits. These are a few that are mentioned, and a little bit about them. I think he goes into more detail in later DVD’s about the individual habits, and gives you skills to better your relationship.

  • Pursuer Distancer Relationship. This is the idea that one person pursues, and the other retreats, especially in the case of communicating. This is bad if it always goes one way, but good if it reverses sometimes.
  • Me vs. We Relationship. There needs to be balance. It’s OK to put yourself first sometimes, just not all the time. Too much “we” on both sides equals no differentiation, which results in boredom. Dr. Melnick says an interesting thing that I’ve also heard in counseling. You have to fight or disagree sometimes. That’s all right, and working through the disagreements helps you to become closer to your partner. Our counselor said his hope for us was that we’d have 10,000 more fights! Because that’s how we get closer and feel safe, working through the arguments. It’s a trust thing – you will not hurt me in our disagreements.
  • Projection. This means guessing what’s going on in your partner’s head. No good. Projection causes curiosity to dwindle. Also  known as assumption.
  • Lawyer’s questions. This is an interesting one that can be quite deadly for intimacy. It’s asking a question that you already know the answer to, or that can only be answered in one way – the way you want it to be. He recommends you stay on your side of the line (or my counselor says your side of the street). Only say things that you feel or know, ask feeling questions, and if it’s a difficult subject, negotiate the conversation – when, how, etc. – so you don’t just spring it on the other person. Julie used to believe that planning was boring, love and all that comes with it should be spontaneous to be romantic. She now sees how that is faulty thinking or what she refers to as “soap opera” mentality. Spontaneous  has its place for sure, but so does planning in a healthy relationship.

This is just a small sample of what’s on DVD 1A. One phrase that really resonated with me was this: Relationships grow out of managing the hurt. I think that said a lot, and I’m looking forward to forging on through the Us Factor.

About the author: By

Matt is the parent (along with his wife Julie) to five wonderful kids. He has been self-employed for 25+ years and is the owner of the How To Fix My Marriage website.

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are a married couple that has had their share of challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this site have worked for us on our journey.

Affiliate links may be used within this post for products we recommend. They in no way affect our judgment of said products, nor do they affect the price of the product.