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Excerpted from What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know by John Gray. Copyright 1994 by John Gray. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"The most important relationship skill of all is anticipating temporary setbacks and acknowledging the necessity of relearning a lesson until it becomes second nature."

John Gray, What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know, Part 4

An Overview of New Relationship Skills

Throughout this book, I will discuss in great detail the relationship skills necessary to support our partners' new emotional needs while getting exactly what we need to be happy and enjoy lasting intimacy and passion. Even if some of the ideas laid out here seem familiar or old-fashioned, they are being presented in dramatically fresh and different ways.

For example, instead of simply advocating that a woman be pleasing to her man, I suggest that she please him by letting him please her. Instead of passively waiting on him, she learns ways in which to get the support she needs.

In a sense, she is still required to help him, but with a new twist: she learns how to help him help her, how to support him in supporting her more, and how to accommodate him so that he will in turn accommodate her needs and wishes.

New relationship skills for a woman require traditional abilities, but with a new twist to ensure that she'll get back what she needs.

I suggest that men continue to be providers but with a new twist. By actually "doing less," a man can learn to provide the emotional support a woman needs. For example, instead of trying to provide solutions to a woman's problems, I suggest that he "do less" and learn to listen with empathy. While "listening with increasing empathy," it actually builds upon his ancient warrior skill of silently waiting and watching.

With the correct understanding, men can become adept in this new skill by using abilities that have taken centuries to develop. Using his warrior skills, he will learn to protect himself constructively when a woman speaks. The new twist is that he learns to defend himself without attacking his partner.

Relationships become increasingly difficult when we expect too much of ourselves or our partners. In education theory, to learn something new, you must hear it (and/or apply it) two hundred times. If you are a genius, maybe a hundred and fifty times will do. Mastering new relationship skills is not immediate.

Occasionally forgetting what you have learned is perfectly normal; old patterns and reactions do come back to haunt us. Now, you will understand your part of the problem instead of hopelessly blaming your partner or solely yourself. Changing for the better is sometimes hard work, but at each progressive step it will also become easier, more rewarding, and more fun. And, once learned, these skills will enrich all aspects of your life and your relationships.

Anticipating Setbacks

The most important relationship skill of all is anticipating temporary setbacks and acknowledging the necessity of relearning a lesson until it becomes second nature. This understanding gives us the hope to be patient and the forgiveness to be loving.

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