Do you and your partner argue about the same things over and over again? Are you often confused about why your partner is so angry with you? Are things getting worse and worse even though you’ve tried everything you can think of to make them better?
In this breakthrough guide to repairing romantic relationships, therapist and marriage researcher Dr. Stephen Betchen presents a powerful new explanation of what leads to this kind of escalating conflict in couples and how you can repair your relationship and find a whole new level of happiness. Based on his extensive experience as a couples’ therapist, Dr. Betchen has discovered that the prevailing idea that opposites attract is wrong. Instead, one of the strongest forces that attracts people to one another is that they share a hidden, inner conflict in their lives—an unconscious struggle within themselves that each of them developed growing up—which he calls a "master conflict."
The fact that a couple shares a master conflict acts as an almost magnetic force of attraction, but, over time, master conflicts often begin to push a pair apart—many of the very things you most appreciated about each other start to grate on you, producing increasing hostility. The good news is that by identifying the master conflict that you share, you and your partner can take the steps to break the cycle of fighting and come to a new place of understanding and happiness in your relationship. Often, just the realization that you have this hidden conflict acts as a powerful cure, allowing you to appreciate each other once again and to be empathetic about the things that have been irritating you both.
From his years of work with couples, Betchen has identified the nineteen most common master conflicts—such as getting your needs met vs. caretaking; giving vs. withholding; commitment vs. freedom; power vs. passivity—and for each he provides vivid stories of couples who have struggled with them, as well as simple tests that help you to:
• Identify the core master conflict that is causing your relationship problems • Understand the origins of your conflict and how it drew you to your partner • Diagnose how the conflict is now pushing you apart • Come to new terms with the conflict to save your relationship
As Dr. Betchen writes, knowledge of a master conflict is power, and Magnetic Partners is an empowering guide that will help you not only to identify and control your master conflict, but also to bring your relationship to a new level based on deeper understanding, ultimately leading to greater fulfillment and long-term resilience. Partners
Stephen Betchen, D.S.W, is a writer, licensed Marriage and Family therapist, and a Certified Sex Therapist. He earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and had fellowships at The New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, as well as The Institute of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis.