top of page
  • Writer's pictureJenn

5 Losing Strategies in Relationships

Have you found yourself going back to the same, old arguments

And having the same, old outcome?

The brain creates neuropathways designed to make decisions quickly and with the least amount of information as possible.

When in stress it will also default to "safe mode" where it loses the ability to be creative

When you are in a situation with your spouse that often ends in a silent stalemate or a loud argument

The brain moves into a state of "fight, flight, or freeze".

It perceives emotional danger :

  • I may be wrong

  • I may be forced into something

  • I may be hurt

  • I may be left alone

It bags the higher goal

Growth, connection, love

And goes for another goal

Like being right

Or changing his mind for

Self-preservation, survival

There is a reason we keep doing the same, old things.

We just usually don't know WHY we keep doing the same, old things.

This is what we address when coaching.

Terrence Real, a fabulous author of some excellent marriage books like "Us" and "The New Rules of Marriage"

talks about five losing strategies that are basic coping strategies that people often adopt from a young age

That kill connection.

All of these are based on thought errors that feel true

And create more of the "dangers" you actually, originally feared the most for you and your partner

The 5 Losing Strategies are

  1. Needing to be right: "If he sees that my thought is more correct then the disagreement will stop" (resulting in making him wrong)

  2. Controlling your partner: "If he stops doing that we won't have a problem" (resulting in trying to take his freedom to be how he is)

  3. Unbridled self-expression: "He needs to know how I feel so he can change it" (resulting in giving him responsibility to fix something that only you have the power to change)

  4. Reacting with retaliation: "If he could feel how badly this hurts he would stop doing that" (resulting in increased pain)

  5. Withdrawal: "Connection hurts. If I disconnect I am safer" (resulting in emotionally leaving him alone and cutting yourself off from the love of your life)

If you recognize any of these habits in your repertoire


Be a safe place to look at these

The answer is not to turn these habits back on yourself by

  • Making yourself wrong for thinking and feeling things

  • Controlling you without connecting to you first

  • Unbridled self-judgement

  • Retaliating against yourself with blame or shame

  • Withdrawing from yourself or refusing to allow part of your human-ness

How about you just decide that there is a part of the primal brain that tries to protect you from harm and it has just been confused.

"Thank you, Brain, for trying to protect me. We are going to start doing things differently now."

The skills that are required to start doing things differently are ones you can develop on your own.

  • Recognizing and allowing your fear without trying to escape from it

  • Identifying and changing the thoughts that are driving these habits

  • Developing self-compassion and unconditional love for you being human and carrying that over to him

  • Communicating feelings and boundaries with full ownership of your agency

  • Staying open to connection by calming your brain and having confidence in your ability to experience emotions and have your own back

But please, if you want help developing these quicker and in a focused way, reach out for coaching. You can move past these losing strategies to become a master at the winning ones. You can reprogram your brain.

Click the button below to schedule a strategy call to learn how to change your habits for more peace and connection.

48 views0 comments


bottom of page