chapter  14
Fostering Long-Term Success: Teaching Maintenance Skill
Pages 10

The immediate goal of the Maintenance skill is to maximize the likelihood that couples use the RE skills and dialogue process on a long-term basis so that they continue to address and resolve new issues that emerge in the relationship and do so in a constructive manner. The ultimate goal of the Maintenance skill is to create and preserve an environment of emotional safety, intimacy, and positive feeling in the relationship by giving couples the confidence that they can indeed be open and honest with each other because they both have confidence that each person will, to the best of his or her ability in the moment, be open to and embracing of the other’s feelings, concerns, and desires. The Maintenance skill also is designed to foster mutual nurturing of the couple’s relationship and thereby forestall the possibility of relapse into an emotionally disengaged or highly conflicted relationship pattern. This takes the form, in part, of having the couple use the RE skills and dialogue process more and more for relationship enhancement purposes. From this vantage point, the Relationship Maintenance skill (as I prefer to think of it) simultaneously represents a form of relationship enhancement and a form of relapse prevention.