How are unhappy relationships created when things started off so well? In his book Love Busters, author Willard Harley Ph.D. cites six broad categories of behavior that serve to drain the love out of relationships. As a practicing counselor for the past forty years, I have learned the truths gathered by Dr. Harley the hard way. The six areas he defines I believe are an accurate description of the kinds of thought and behavior problems that plague many marriages and significant relationships that function like a marriage.
HARLEY’S SIX CATEGORIES
- Selfish Demands
- Disrespectful Judgements
- Angry Outbursts
- Annoying behavior
- Independent behavior
It is impossible to fully explain these behavior patterns or do justice to them in a brief blog post. When all six of them are present in a relationship, it spells HUGE problems for those involved. And, it doesn’t take all six to be present. Just one of them can be enough to destroy the love your partner feels for you or the love you felt for your partner in the beginning of your time together.
THERE IS HOPE
I highly recommend Dr. Harley’s book if you are in a relationship that is deteriorating due to the presence of .one or more of these wrecking ball behavior patterns. The book does not simply define the dysfunctional action patterns. It also provides solutions. There is a part one and a part two explanation for each category. Part one defines the problem itself with its effects. Part two for each problem defines the practical process for resolving it..
All of the solutions proposed in the book are based on a “win-win” orientation. They are designed to enable both parties in the relationship to gain benefit out of the conflict resolution. This fosters gratitude for both sides of the equation promoting positive feelings about the change process and enhancing the likelihood that the change will stick.
In addition to the book Love Busters, I would like to recommend the workbook that Dr. Harley created for identifying the love busters in your relationships and solutions for each of the categories identified. They work for both partners in the relationship. The workbook is Five Steps to Romantic Love: A Workbook for Readers of Love Busters and His Needs, Her Needs. Here is the link to purchase it if you want to do more to improve a failing relationship with the partner you fell in love with.