Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted June 19, 2010

Published in Lifestyle

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Nip It In The Bud: Address Problems When They Are Molehills, Not Mountains

Read More: change, communication, cooperation, crisis, relationships, tea party

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We are a nation that tends to deal with its problems when they become crises, rather than when they are first developing. This tends to be extremely costly, destructive and inefficient.

This same style of problem-solving can be seen in personal relationships as well.

If there are grievances in a relationship -- with partners feeling that their needs are not being met and that there is no effective means for communication and change -- anger and resentments will build to the point where extreme situations are generated which are usually impulsive, aggressive, and counterproductive to the  repair and well-being of the relationship.

For example, one partner may have an affair. One partner may become emotionally or physically abusive. Accidents may happen in cars when partners are screaming at each other while driving. Accidents may occur in the home when partners are distracted and imbalanced by their stress and their anger.

It is a fact that stress and anger suppress the immune system, make people more susceptible to illness, and make it harder for people to recover from illness, all of which behooves us to consider the possibility of our pent-up anger and stress generating cancers, heart disease, and strokes.

In summary, when our relationships are suffering, best not to wait for an extreme or catastrophic development before taking action. Best not to have a crisis be our wake-up call to pay attention to the relationship.

Best we recognize problems as they develop and address grievances in an effective way such that the relationship gets stronger and endures the test of time.