Sliding Door Moments: Opportunities to Be There for Your Partner
Author and researcher, John Gottman, uses the term sliding door moments to describe opportunities to connect with our partners. These are often micro moments of potential to let your partner know you care, you are there for them, and they can count on you. The term sliding door fits well because these occasions can be so fleeting they are easily missed. Mixed in with other blog posts below are real life sliding door moments that I see in relationships all around me, including my own. Some moments were embraced and perhaps created stronger bonds for the couple while others were missed. I hope highlighting these real life sliding door moments in other’s relationships will help you seek out and take advantage of the opportunity they provided to turn towards your partner and build trust in your own relationship.
Sliding Door Moments #3
Before, during, and after fights there are many opportunities for sliding door moments. I recently had a fight with my husband. Nothing major but for some reason I was particularly angry and did not go about expressing my feelings in the best way possible. After a few tries we finally talked enough that we were both satisfied and you could tell it was over. After having some time to think about what I had said and how I had said it I realized I was taking my feelings out on my husband. He was right. I was not being fair to him. Because the fight was over I could have easily let this go and never admitted I was wrong or not being as supportive as I could have been. I even thought saying anything else on the topic might reignite the flames and we would be fighting all over again. Fortunately, I saw this opportunity for what it was a sliding door moment to let him know I had thought about what he said and realized I had messed up.
Apologizing and admitting you are wrong can be fairly difficult for a lot of us. No one likes to look at themselves and recognize mistakes. This is why doing so means that much more to our partners. They know how hard it is and are usually very grateful when receiving an apology.
Learn more about John Gottman’s sliding door moments, in the article What Makes Love Last: Sliding Door Moments.
Michelle Puster M.Ed. | Licensed Professional Counselor
Helping disconnected couples grow closer
Couples & Marriage Counseling Katy, TX
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