Harriet Lerner Quotes

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Image, Request an apology when you believe you deserve one, but don’t get

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Request an apology when you believe you deserve one, but don't get in a tug of war about it. Instead, be a role model and tender a genuine apology yourself when an apology is due. Your willingness to apologize can be contagious and models maturity for your partner. Also, your non-apologizing partner may use a nonverbal way to reconnect after a fight, defuse the tension, or show you he's in a new place and wants to repair a disconnection. Accept the olive branch however it's offered.

Harriet Lerner

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Image, Marriage is the lightning rod that absorbs anxiety and stress from all

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Marriage is the lightning rod that absorbs anxiety and stress from all other sources, past and present. When marriage has a firm foundation of solid friendship and mutual respect, it can tolerate a fair amount of raw emotion. A good fight can clear the air, and it's nice to know we can survive conflict and even learn from it. Many couples, however, get trapped in endless rounds of fighting and blaming that they don't know how to get out of. When fights go unchecked and unrepaired, they can eventually erode love and respect, which are the bedrock of any successful... Read more »

Harriet Lerner

Image, We’re vulnerable to repeating history, especially if we don’t know what’s driving

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We're vulnerable to repeating history, especially if we don't know what's driving us. For example, it may be a family tradition to marry someone with addiction problems, or who is an injured bird in need of caretaking. Or, you may be drawn to guys who remind you of your distant, unavailable father -- or your ill-tempered mother -- with the unconscious belief that you can take an old story, and through the power of your love, give it a new, happy ending.

Harriet Lerner