Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

3 Quick Tips for Dealing with the Stress of the Current Political Situation

We hear it from our clients and feel it in our own lives. The stress of the current divisiveness and violence in today’s political climate is seeping in to the well-being of many relationships and the health of many others.

Here are 3 things that you can do to help yourself now …

Get involved. Pick an issue that is important and find one way to get involved. Take a stand. Be clear, not attacking or defensive. Rather than feeling victimized by the large picture. Determine one issue, situation or person where you might have an impact and invest in it.

Take a break from the news. Don’t become “uninformed”, just find ways to keep it contained to certain times of your consciousness. Enjoy your family and friends. Get outside. Watch movies or comedies. You and your life are bigger than this situation.

Meditate. Look for peace and calm in your mind and in your heart. Don’t let this affect your health or your relationships.

We have survived other horrible times. We will survive this as well.

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August 16, 2017 Posted by | anxiety, conflict, Relationship Dilemmas, stress from political climate | Leave a comment

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?”

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

Money and Marriage: How Can I Get my Spouse to Agree with Me?

The holidays often provide more concerns than usual about money and budgets.  Couples experience tension and stress, especially when funds are limited as they are for many families.  There are also a lot of emotional issues around money, presents, giving and the holidays.

In our practice, couples often come in with finances as their biggest problem.  When marriage and money is the issue, we also hear comments about trust, control, stinginess, irresponsibility, lying and dishonesty.

Everyone comes to a relationship with ideas, philosophies and feelings about money. Often, when they are similar, there is not a problem. (Unless, of course, they both want to spend a lot.)

Marriage and Money:  Tips To Help You Work It Out

Here are a few tips for couples to help them move from being opponents about the family budget to players on the same team.

Talk with each other about the meaning of money and marriage for you and your life.

  • What did money represent when you were growing up? How did your parents handle money?
  • How does that affect the way you think about money?
  • How do you envision your marriage and money?

Get a better understanding about your spouse and his or her thoughts about money so that when you hit any normal roadblocks about the family finances, you will be able to travel over them more easily.

Click here to read the rest of the article:  Marriage and Money: My Spouse and I Cannot Agree

November 18, 2011 Posted by | conflict, couples, marriage, money, tough economic times | 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

Discover Ways to Stay Calm Even in Conflict

Every couple has differences.  Some of those issues need to be discussed while others will work themselves out over time and may not involve any conflict.

While there may not need to be a reason to fight about the differences, there are certainly reasons to have discussions and figure out ways to handle problems when you disagree.

With volatile couples, those who are quickly triggered and have trouble avoiding a fight, it is important to signal ways to recognize when either partner is getting flooded and take a time out so that they can calm down before having any kind of conversation about their disagreement.  Areas of conflict are handled much more successfully this way.

With couples, or maybe just half of a couple, who are more likely to run away from conflict, it is also important to recognize that the urge to run also comes from feeling flooded.  If you give yourself or your partner the time to calm down, then it is likely that you can find a way to talk about the problem.

Learning how to identify when you are flooded and calm yourself down is a skill that can be learned.  Learning this skill can make you a master at handling conflict.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

June 8, 2011 Posted by | arguments, 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

Running Away from Conflict

  • Do you immediately want to run away when your partner disagrees with you or makes a complaint?
  • Do you feel like nothing ever gets resolved between you and your spouse?

If so, you are not alone.  Many people have problems with conflict and will avoid disagreements at all costs.

Sandy felt like she could never get Jim to sit down and talk through a problem with her.  Whenever she disagreed with him, he would run away from conversations.  Heaven forbid that she would ever want to talk about their relationship!

Ellen grew up in a home where there was a lot of fighting.  Any time that Bill raised his voice, or she thought he raised his voice, she would cry and become very upset.  Bill was really frustrated because he thought that they were never able to get through any discussions and reach decisions.

While fighting is usually not good, NEVER talking things through and resolving differences is also unhealthy for relationships.  When couples don’t resolve issues, when one or both of them have the conflict avoidant style, they are more likely to grow distant from each other as they each feel frustrated, hurt and disappointed.

Men are more likely then women to run away from conflict; however, many women also become flooded with conflict and are prone to struggle with how to remain in difficult conversations in calm and productive ways.

Some people directly refuse to discuss an issue and will use comments like “You are being unreasonable and I refuse to talk with you about this” or “We never get anywhere when we argue and I am not going to talk anymore.”

Click here to read suggestions for how to get your conflict avoiding spouse to talk with you.

May 18, 2011 Posted by | arguments, communication, conflict | 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