Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

Couples Therapy: Can It Help?

  • Problems in your marriage?
  • Unhappy with where things are right now between you and your partner?
  • Wonder if couples therapy might make a difference?

What do you have to lose?  Facing up to the situation and owning your part in it can be a step in the right direction.

remember_when_image042Most couples wait a long time after a problem develops before they ever ask for help.  Research shows that problems may go on for 6 years before a couple either asks for help or ends the marriage.

The longer that a problem goes on, the more likely it is that positive feelings and behaviors will erode and disappear.  Couples therapy may be able to help you resolve the problems that you are experiencing.

A skilled and knowledgeable couples therapist can provide a safe haven to talk about the hardest of issues and can teach you the skills to be able to carry on those conversations at home.

Good marriage counselors do not want their couples to hang around forever.  They want them to be able to be successful on their own.

Here are some good reasons to see a couples therapist.

Click here to read the article “Couples Therapy: Can It Help?”

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May 13, 2013 Posted by | arguments, conflict, couples, Emotionally intelligent in relationships, falling back in love, keeping love alive | 1 Comment

Is It Nagging … or Is It Motivational Speaking?

Or are you just caught up in a terrible downward spiral going nowhere fast?

That awful cycle of complaining and withdrawing and both feeling controlled shows up in many marriages that we see at Couples Counseling of Louisville and couples that we talk with through Counseling Relationships Online.

Nagging, or making the same request over and over again, usually does not get the desired result.  Instead, it generally leads to a downward spiral with negative thoughts and feelings about each other and withdrawing, feeling discounted, misunderstood, controlled or unimportant.

Many people don’t realize that nagging can lead to more divorces than affairs because nagging leads to negativity throughout the relationship.
Here is the story of one couple who really started out in a good place.  Problems crept in over time as they each set different priorities for their weekends and had different ideas about common marital differences like neatness vs. messiness.

Click here to read the rest of the article, “Nagging … or Motivational Speaking?”

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

January 16, 2013 Posted by | arguments, communication, conflict, couples, Nagging | Leave a comment

A Healthy Relationship Is More Important Than Winning An Argument: Discover 6 Ways To Repair Damage During Conflict

Is it more important for you to protect your relationship than it is to win a fight?

Can you disagree without being disagreeable?

Are you able to keep the love showing while conflict is flowing?

If your answer is “yes” to all of these questions, then you may not need to read any further.  If any of these presents a strain for you; however, there may be some useful tips here for you.

All couples disagree.  According to researcher, Dr. John Gottman, it is usually about the same things over and over again.  In fact, his research points out that about 2/3rds of all disagreements are usually about the same issues.

Some couples are masters at working through conflict and keeping a good relationship as their primary focus.  They truly disagree without being disagreeable.

Couples who can find ways to repair any damage to the relationship while they are having a disagreement, or, as some might call it, a fight, have more than half of the battle won.  It makes so much more sense to compromise with or acquiesce to someone that you like and with whom you have a good relationship.

For others, repairing damage during conlict requires learning new habits and skills.

Repair Damage During Conflict.

Here are some suggestions for ways to repair damage to a relationship during conflict.

Click here to read the rest of the article: Discover 6 ways to repair damage during conflict.

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

Healing from Affairs

June 21, 2011 Posted by | arguments, Avoiding conflict, conflict | Leave a comment

Proving Your Point Can Be Hazardous for a Relationship

Some people are able to remain calm during a disagreement while others avoid conflict completely.  Still others blow up quickly and seem to enjoy the fight.  Letting go of the conflict and the need to “win” or prove your point is hard for many but crucial for the relationship.

Jill and Jim fought a lot.  Their friends referred to them as “The Bickersons” and kept their contact with them as a couple to a minimum, especially when it included drinking.

While their fights did not include throwing things or hitting each other … yet, there was still a lot of passion and volatility.

Jim and Jill liked their passion.  It went quite well in their bedroom; however, it was pretty destructive to their feelings about themselves and each other and, now that they had 2 children, they were especially concerned about their style.

Both halves of the couple agreed that they could share equally in the escalation of the fighting.  They could agree on that when they were calm, that is.  Otherwise, things quickly deteriorated to blaming and accusing the other of being the aggressor.

Both also agreed that they knew each other’s “hot spots” and even confessed to using them to gain power in fights.  They also acknowledged that they really had difficulty resisting the fight when it started.  Both felt a need to prove their point or win the argument.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

June 1, 2011 Posted by | arguments, arguments, Avoiding conflict, communication, conflict, couples | Leave a comment

Seven-Step Process to Resolve Conflict in Relationships

There is nothing that can be as destructive to a relationship, whether the relationship is a romantic, family, friend or work one, than having conflict.

There is also nothing that can be as healing and helpful to a relationship as resolving conflict and handling it well.

I would like to share with you a 7 step process for resolving conflict. This process is especially helpful when finding a solution and resolving conflict seems to be nowhere on the horizon.

Often, when locked in conflict, people are not able to see and understand any other perspective than their own.  Understanding WHY someone feels differently is also hard to do.  (Think Democrats and Republicans in highly contested races.)

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Counseling Relationships Online

Healing from Affairs

Couples Counseling of Louisville

August 4, 2010 Posted by | arguments, conflict, couples, marriage | Leave a comment

When Savers Marry Spenders

Money Conflicts Can Be Strong in Marriages

For many people, money is not just money.  Money can symbolize love, power, control, dependence or independence, security and peace of mind, freedom and so much more.

How we are reared, how our parents thought about money and how much we had as we were growing up affects our habits and thoughts about money and relationships.

Spenders + Spenders = Conflict

Spenders enjoy splurging on extravagant dinners, the newest cars, interesting experiences and stylish clothes.  Spenders live more “in the moment” and want to enjoy what is interesting and pleasurable today.

Savers sleep better at night when they know that their bank account is in the black and they have money saved for emergencies and retirement.  Savers can make do with old cars, fashions from 3 years ago and have little need for the latest technology.  Having a solid nest egg helps savers relieve their anxiety and feel more secure.

Childhood Experiences Affect Our Attitude Toward Money

Some people grow up in families that talked a lot about money while others grow up without talking about money at all.

For some talking about money is as “dirty” as talking about sex.  This is dangerous however, because often our attitudes about money are so strong that we cannot be flexible enough to think that there is any other right way to handle finances than the ones that we hold.

When couples each have their own belief about the “correctness” of their position, they often cannot entertain any openness to other possibilities and can become judgmental and disrespectful in their thinking and in the way that they approach their spouse.  Money negatively affects their relationship.

Money disagreements are one of the top reasons that couples fight and how those fights about finances go are one of the best predictors of divorce.

Check back here for Part 2 of our article on Spenders and Savers.

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

Healing from Affairs.

July 22, 2010 Posted by | arguments, conflict, money | Leave a comment

Tip Number 2 … How To Be A Better Spouse

2.  Learn how to complain softly. Even though you may pride yourself in your ability to be blunt and straight-forward, it is often not a great quality with a spouse.  This does not mean that you have to ignore things that bother you … although, heaven forbid you would have to complain about everything! … however, when you do need to complain, please do it nicely.

A nicely put complaint is much more likely to be heard than one that is harsh.

Practice, just in your own mind, three different soft ways you can make a complaint so that, when you really have something to complain about, it will come a little more easily.

Counseling Relationships Online
Couples Counseling of Louisville

January 26, 2010 Posted by | arguments, conflict, marriage | Leave a comment

Make Some Rules For A Trial Separation

Are you thinking about separating from your spouse?
Do you think that you all are so locked in a pattern that you don’t know how to change?
A trial separation may be something to try and might give you each the space to focus on changing yourself and your part of the problem.

Here are some times when a trial separation might be considered as a possible remedy.
  • When you and your partner are fighting frequently, at least daily, with little or no resolution about any problem.
  • When the ugly pattern has been going on for months and neither of you can find their way out of it.
  • When there has been physical violence … even once.
  • When the fighting has escalated to such a point that there is frequent name-calling and the use of explosive language.
  • When one person has asked for space a lot but their spouse has not been able to allow that to happen and has continued to push for more time together.

Here are some things to consider together as you talk about whether or not a separation might be something to try.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

Healing-from-Affairs

September 15, 2009 Posted by | arguments, conflict, couples, Separation | 3 Comments

Conflict and Relationships: Predictors of Success

TV or no TV in bed?

TV or no TV in bed?

What makes some people “masters” with conflict?
How do they listen attentively and keep from being pulled in to fighting during the disagreement?
How are they able to handle the stress of an argument or disagreement calmly and rationally?
What can I do to develop those skills?

We will be writing about these today and in future blogs.  Today we want to address the question of the characteristics that make people masters of conflict.

Some people are “masters” if the conflict does not affect them personally.  Many lawyers are excellent in court but put them with someone that they are in a relationship with and they display the “fight or flight” response.  So it is not just about being able to think quickly, it is also about being able to listen carefully and thoughtfully and respect the thoughts and rights of another (even if they ARE 10 years old.) while also standing up for yourself.

People who handle conflict are able to do the following:

  • Keep themselves calm, or knows how to soothe him/herself, while listening to the other person’s point of view.
  • Believe that the other person in the discussion has a right to her or his viewpoint and that, for them it feels “right” or correct.
  • Is able to listen and verbally as well as nonverbally, let the other person know that they have heard them and understand their thoughts and feelings.
  • Recognizes that, while they may hear and understand another’s side to an argument, they do not have to agree or even like what they have to say.
  • Recognize that others have rights and that their rights are just as important an any other person.
  • Is able to stand up for him/herself and present their point clearly and directly.
  • Is able to continue to share their own point of view even if they feel “bullied”.

Easier said than done?  Check back with us and we will offer you some ideas for how you can put this into practice for yourself.


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CouplesCounselingofLouisville.com

May 27, 2009 Posted by | arguments, conflict, couples, Relationship Dilemmas, relationship struggles | Leave a comment