1. What are the patterns of struggling relationships that you recognize early on?
The cycle that Dr. Ferretti has observed in dysfunctional marriages begins with frustration, progresses into anger, builds to resentment, results in detachment and eventually leads to self-destructive behaviors. Many of the couples that he works with get stuck in this pattern and need guidance to get out of this cycle.
2. Why is it that successful people have more difficulties being successful in relationships?
Many success-driven individuals live with extreme tunnel vision and lose sight of all aspects of life unrelated to success. High achievers are often groomed for academic achievement or athletic performance and lack accountability or responsibility for everyday tasks. The consequence is emotional immaturity and self-absorption with difficulties in attachment and connection.
3. What are some of the personality traits that bode well for a career but destroy relationships?
Often successful people are competitive, driven, perfectionistic, controlling, and critical, which can be beneficial traits in the workplace, but destructive traits at home. The objective is to find a healthy balance between work and home allowing for a positive transition. Positive transitioning implies that oneÐs spouse is not treated like an employee.
4. What are some of the precursors to this syndrome and/or childhood experiences that might predispose one for developing these problems?
An individual who grows up in an environment that reinforces achievement, performance, and productivity at the expense of relationships and emotional development is at greater risk. Growing up in a household that is hypercritical or overly accommodating with the primary focus being on success can be at greater risk.
5. How does a person achieve balance in life with such busy and hectic schedules?
By making yourself a priority, not at the expense of others, but in concert with the ones you love. Balance is achieved through boundary setting, nurturing relationships, and taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and interpersonally.
6. What are the key ingredients to a successful marriage, family, and career?
Communicating effectively and daily, confronting and resolving conflict constructively, forgiving each other when you make a mistake, trust/respect building, being physically and emotionally intimate and taking responsibility for self.
7. What are the most common barriers to a successful marriage?
Avoiding responsibility, inability to forgive, blame, lack of emotional maturity/development and limited commitment to marriage. For many couples, the marriage gets the scraps and everything else takes a higher priority.
8. Can a person truly change their personality and rescue a marriage after years of dysfunction?
Absolutely, people have the ability to make tremendous changes when they are committed and motivated to change. The mind, like a parachute, functions only when open. People can learn and incorporate new skills and develop new patterns of relating.
9. How does therapy help a person change to better their marriage and life?
Therapy raises a personÐs self-awareness and helps the individual to understand why they behave the way they do. It also provides insight into unresolved issues. Through therapy, people learn strategies to deal with emotion and conflict more effectively and successfully achieve connectedness to people.