Dating Den Episode 136 – With Samara Fabrick: How to Overcome Your ‘Maybe I Could Do Better’ Problem
Marni welcomes licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist Samara Fabrick into the den. Samara has been in private practice in Beverly Hills for 28 years. She specializes in working with clients suffering from anxiety as well as a specialization in relationship and couples therapy. She taught Making Marriage Work, a premarital course at the American – Jewish University for 15 years.
Key takeaways from this episode:
Recognizing childhood triggers
Becoming clear about your relationship values
Normal marital hatred
Conflict resolution and repair
How to self-regulate
Why Do Women Rule Men Out Too Early or Think They Can Do Better [5:15]
When we are dating we have to be clear out our values and what we deem important to us. People tend to do best in relationships with people who have similar values. If you value ambition and drive, you will value that in a partner.
On the other hand, if spending quiet time with someone is important to you dating a C-level will only cause you frustration because they won’t be around as much. If being present is important to you don’t date someone who travels a lot. It will only cause frustration.
Perfectionism is rampant in this society, Samara says. It’s not beneficial and it only creates strife and woe in people. With social media and other forms of stimulation we always see someone richer, better, etc.. Thinking you can do better is a back door to not being fully committed to finding a true partner.
Is it Normal Marital Hatred or Perpetual Conflict? [14:21]
There is a normal amount of conflict in long-term relationships. It’s how we resolve the conflicts that define our partnerships. In her practice, Samara attempts to tease out what is normal disdain for each other and which conflicts are perpetual conflicts.
Everyone needs to understand that you can not change your partner!!
Samara recommends asking yourself these questions to identify perpetual conflict versus normal marital hatred.
1. Is this me or is this him?
2. Are we fighting about the same thing over and over?
Why is this bothering me so much or why am I being triggered?
When you understand your family of origin triggers you will recognize whether your partner perpetuates or replicates patterns from your early childhood.
Managing Conflict & Having Repair Conversations [26:49]
One of the best repair tools is communicating that you understand where the other person is at or is feeling. It can be a simple apology. Instead of rationalizing and defending our behavior, try leaning into the other person and figuring out where they are coming from.
The #1 skill to manage and repair conflict is self-regulation.
Conflict is a natural part of being in a relationship. When we get in conflict with our partner we feel out of sorts and discombobulated. Many times we are just fighting to fight. If we feel our heart rate increase or know that we are agitated, Samara recommends taking a minute to regulate yourself and get yourself back into alignment.
We can then address the issue as an adult and not as an 8-year-old kid. A good rule of thumb is that everyone can postpone a conversation as long as the person who postpones it re-engages the conversation after they have regulated themselves. If a partner continually avoids repair conversations the relationship will have perpetual conflict.
Make a Connection:
“If I could bottle curiosity I would be a gazillionaire.”
“People get in trouble in relationships when they get complacent because complacency leads to a lack of connection.”
“Self-regulation is the #1 way to work through a conflict.”