The greatest thing you can do for your marriage is to learn to focus more on yourself.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “

The greatest thing you can do for your marriage is to learn to focus more on yourself. Yes, I believe you actually need to become more self-centered. Now, before you call this crazy talk, hear me out. Every great marriage is a self-centered marriage because every great marriage requires two centered selves. Every great marriage is a bond between two whole, centered people. These two strong individuals actively work on improving themselves for the other’s benefit, without necessarily depending on the other to do the same. These two are afraid of neither separation nor togetherness, and work to seek a balance of both. These two pay more attention to their own behavior, which they can control, than their spouse’s, which they, thankfully, cannot. Only with such an approach can anyone experience what we all crave—true connection with another separate and mysterious soul, one who consciously chooses to share with us his/her life, choices, hopes, and dreams.

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/5WXsobW

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Learning to stay calm … is the first and best step you can take to revolutionize your relationship.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “

What’s the logical conclusion of the story? Why, of course, your husband is less attracted to you, he’s angry at you, and he’s now much more likely to seek out time at work, time with the new coworker. In your reactivity, you’ve just shown your husband the worst side of yourself, in hopes that doing so would somehow bring him back, closer to you. And that, of course, just backfires. He now doesn’t want to be closer to you, except maybe out of pity or resentment-filled obligation. Now, ironically, he wants to be closer to her. Your screaming made the outcome you feared that much more likely to occur. That’s the incredible power of emotional reactivity; that’s the incredible power of screaming. And that’s why calming yourself down is the most important step you can take to introduce positive change in your marriage. Whatever you take from this book, take this: Learning to stay calm, when everything in and around you compels you to scream, is the first and best step you can take to revolutionize your relationship. Staying calm will always end a reactive pattern and start something positive. Always. And that’s why Calming Down is the first step in the revolutionary formula you’re about to encounter in chapter 3. But it’s not just about calming down. It’s about learning to stay calm and connected at the same time. Some of us can easily stay calm by simply running away from the situation, avoiding any possible conflict that might arise. But that’s not being ScreamFree; such running away is just another form of screaming. Staying calm and connected means remaining in the conflict and authentically representing your position. Staying calm and connected means saying no to the screaming inside you and saying yes to calmly pursuing the honesty and intimacy you want most. And, most important, staying calm and connected requires you to stop focusing on your spouse and start focusing on yourself.

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/duLYzbu

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Whenever we give in to the natural anxieties of marriage, we make it harder for our brains to function clearly.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “

First of all, allowing ourselves to become flooded with relationship anxiety actually prevents us from any kind of productive interaction. Ever heard it said, “I was so angry, I couldn’t see straight?” Well there’s some physiological truth to that statement. In his book People Skills, Dr. Robert Bolton points out that emotional arousal actually makes us different people than who we are in moments of greater calmness. When we are angry or fearful, our adrenaline flows faster and our strength increases by about 20 percent. The blood supply to the problem-solving part of the brain is severely decreased because, under stress, a greater portion of blood is diverted to the body’s extremities. [Also, an increase in] adrenaline suppresses activity in areas at the front of the brain concerned with short-term memory, concentration, inhibition, and rational thought. This sequence of mental events allows a person to react quickly to [conflict], either to fight or to flee from it. But it also hinders the ability to handle rational problem solving. Whenever we give in to the natural anxieties of marriage (“Is it always going to be like this?”; “Does she even care about me anymore?”; “Is he cheating?”), we make it harder for our brains to function clearly. And when our brains stop working, we start to scream in one way or another. And you know what? In a cruel, but poetic twist, our screaming actually makes it easier for those original anxieties to become reality.

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/3Y8WSxr

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… we all get anxiously reactive.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “

That’s the power of emotional reactivity; that’s the power of screaming. It just leads to more reactivity from our spouse, which creates the very outcome we were hoping to avoid in the first place.

The Power of Screaming

The truth is, we all “scream” in our marriages, because we all get anxiously reactive. And this reactivity can take several aggressive forms, like yelling, raging, or even hitting. It can also manifest itself through passive-aggressive behavior, like shutting yourself down and shutting your partner out. All are different, yet equally powerful, examples of getting reactive. There are, in fact, many ways to scream.*

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/8y4DEkH

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Emotional reactivity is our greatest enemy when it comes to creating great relationships.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – ““

I don’t know if I can handle this!” I confessed. “I don’t know if I can handle being together, all the time, forever! I feel like I’m about to lose my mind!” I was really losing it, right there on Oahu. “I mean, geez, I try to get away just now, and here you are, right behind me!” It was at that point I became aware that in my hasty exit, and all during my grand speech, I was still wearing the silly plastic lobster bib from the restaurant. It was actually perfectly appropriate that I was wearing a bib, because I was definitely acting like a baby. I was doing what so many of us do in our relationships: I was allowing myself to become immaturely, emotionally reactive. And emotional reactivity is our greatest enemy when it comes to creating great relationships. Let me say that again. Emotional reactivity is our greatest enemy when it comes to creating great relationships. See, emotional reactivity, what I call “screaming,” doesn’t just make things worse; it actually creates the very outcomes we were hoping to avoid.

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/hmgoxTS

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no one can be ready for marriage before marriage because nothing prepares us for marriage except marriage.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “

She knew that she loved me, but she wasn’t sure that she could be a good spouse, capable of loving me, gulp … forever. And this gave her a need for some space. She needed to take some time alone so that she could really ask herself, “Am I at all ready to become a lifelong partner?” Well, of course she wasn’t. In the astute words of Dr. David Schnarch in Passionate Marriage, no one can be ready for marriage before marriage because nothing prepares us for marriage except marriage. But at least Jenny was asking some good questions. My questions, on the other hand, were only about the event itself, and my focus was only on making public, and official, our togetherness.

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/a0foKHz

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our growing ability to connect through technology has not lessened our anxiety about being disconnected; it’s magnified it exponentially.

Every Great Marriage Is a Self-Centered Marriage

Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it’s the time when they most need to think. –BILL CLINTON

Apparently, Facebook and all the other exploding social-networking sites know me pretty well. The same goes for my cell provider. What they all seem to know about me is that I have an intense craving. I have a deep longing for something, something that I’m not always fully aware of. But all these companies know what I want. They call it by one name. Connection. We human beings crave this thing called connection.

Connection. In so many ways, we as people and as a society are experiencing more “connection” than ever. So why is it that, despite all this connection, we still crave even more? I believe that our growing ability to connect through technology has not lessened our anxiety about being disconnected; it’s magnified it exponentially.

P. 7-8 Runkel

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Screaming is the term I use to describe the greatest enemy we all face in our marriage: emotional reactivity. That’s a big, clinical expression to describe the process of letting our anxious emotions override our clear thinking. Getting emotionally reactive means allowing our worst fears or worries to drive our choices, instead of our highest principles. And whenever we allow ourselves to be driven by our anxiety, we usually create the very outcome we were hoping to avoid in the first place.

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The answer is this: We all scream too much.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “

So, if you and I are both married, then why are we still searching for help? Family, history, and culture have told us that marriage is the ultimate answer to our longing. Is there something wrong? Is there something wrong with the nature of our particular marriages, or is there something wrong with marriage itself? Is there something that is still preventing us from experiencing and enjoying the kind of connection we all crave most?

Well, if I may be so bold, yes. There is something wrong. And that’s what this whole book is about.

The answer is this: We all scream too much. We’re either screaming at our spouses on the outside, or screaming at ourselves on the inside. We scream because we react to the anxiety of the relationship and the anxiety of the moment. We scream in marriage because we don’t know how else to handle the inherent differences between us. We want to be close to someone, so we get married. We then want to get closer to that person because we think that by doing so we’ll eliminate the anxiety brought on by our differences. The irony is, however, that when we get anxious about being distant, we scream, and screaming doesn’t make us closer; it makes us even more distant. Of course, the opposite is true as well. Demanding our space in reaction to a sense of too much closeness doesn’t work in marriage, either. In fact, it usually backfires, creating an anxious closeness that actually feels suffocating.

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/1uPSayp

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Producers and advertisers know exactly what we all desire most, and it is all about intense, romantic connection.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “

The second way we can tell that all of us still crave connection is by just watching TV. Producers and advertisers know exactly what we all desire most, and it is all about intense, romantic connection. Think about it. Why buy a particular deodorant? Why else watch a ridiculous reality show about contrived mate selections? Why take a blue pill and risk a four-hour erection? Connection.

” Start reading this book for free: https://a.co/eF4ndKB

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