The DNA of Relationships: A Pattern of All Relationships
The exciting concepts and methods hammered out in our marriage intensives apply to all relationships, not merely to marriage. I made this discovery for myself as I saw major improvements taking place in my own home.
After seeing the results of the patterns that Greg and Bob’s team had discovered, I started thinking, Wait a minute! If this material has so effectively helped me to handle my conflicts with Norma, maybe it can also help to explain why I lost some key friendships back in the seventies and eighties. I was closer than a brother to several men, and yet we fell out of fellowship and into terrible disharmony.
Dreadful memories flooded my mind, painful memories full of sadness and regret and grief. I thought of two men in particular, once dear and close friends, but from whom I had so totally disconnected that we no longer even spoke with one another. Here I was, a respected marriage and family “expert,” and yet I couldn’t even get along with men whom I once counted my closest friends! The thought deeply embarrassed and troubled me.
As I replayed old mental tapes and pondered what might have happened between us, eventually it dawned on me. I had followed with these friends the same pattern that had caused me so much grief with my wife! I began to see how these men and I had been involved in a destructive dance. As result we simply went our separate ways—angry, hurt, and confused. And so we lost a treasured friendship.
But maybe it didn’t have to be that way! Maybe I could employ the same principles that worked so well with Norma to strengthen my current friendships and rebuild damaged ones!
Once I started down this mental track, a number of other things started becoming clear. I looked back over my life and thought, Uh-oh, wait a minute. I had a major conflict a couple of years ago with a pastor right in my hometown. What happened? It looks as if exactly the same pattern occurred there, too!
As my mind continued to spin, I realized that something eerily similar had been taking place in my relationships with my daughter and two sons. I saw a similar pattern that fueled our worst conflicts. “Wow!” I said to myself, once these ugly patterns started coming clear to me. “I have to learn how to spot these things and put a stop to them before they can cause serious damage. I need to learn more about this relationship dance phenomenon. And I want to learn and master the five dance steps that make it possible for me to build harmonious, satisfying relationships.”
I’ve been learning ever since! And what I’ve been learning and applying in my own life, I want to teach you.