Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

Roles in Relationships

Pam’s mother was an attorney and a very strong woman.  Her dad traveled with his job in sales.  They were very business-like in their decision-making and handled most things jointly.

There was a lot of humor in Pam’s family but not a lot of warmth.  Caring and concern were usually shown through purchases and experiences.  Pam was very clear that her parents loved her and each other but it was shown more through gifts, money and travel rather than affection.

Jim’s family was somewhat different.  He grew up in a family that was very loving and openly affectionate.  His mother worked part-time as a nurse and still managed to do all of the cooking, laundry and child care.  His dad helped out a bit with chores inside and handled everything outside.  Jim’s dad handled the family finances and made most of the decisions about money.  They had a lot of family time together and his parents really protected their time alone.

When Jim and Pam married, they had different ideas for how a marriage should be lived and what the roles “should“ be in relationships.  Neither one was wrong.  They were just different.  They brought to the marriage what many do, their own ideas and expectations for their roles and that of their spouse in the relationship.

We all come to relationships with ideas of how we and our partner “should“ behave.  Sometimes our ideas and expectations for roles in relationships are similar.  Sometimes they are different. Problems can arise when partners have different ideas for each of their roles in relationships.

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Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

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May 30, 2013 Posted by | marriage, Relationship Dilemmas, roles in relationships, women and relationships | | Leave a comment

7 Marriage Mistakes That Loving Partners Can Make

Marriage is not as easy as it looks from the other side.  Falling in love might be fairly easy; however, being half of a good marriage is not usually so easy.  It takes work, knowledge, skills, talent and a good sense of humor … not to mention a healthy dose of emotional intelligence.
Marriage Misakes
Sometimes people try to make things better in their marriage but actually make it worse.  Here are some of those well-intentioned marriage mistakes that loving spouses can make.

Marriage Mistake 1.   Being too positive
Positivity is important in any relationship.  Looking at the goodness and what is right is so much better than dwelling on the negative and what is “missing”.   Wanting to get your spouse from a negative place by encouraging “looking on the bright side” or forgetting about upsetting things is not always helpful, however.  Sometimes you have to deal with the sad, disappointed, frustrated or angry feelings.

Click here to read the rest of the article on well-intentioned Marriage Mistakes.

If you rush to change a mood, you risk the possibility that your partner will feel that his or her needs and feelings have been discounted.  You also might risk the chance to experience intimacy and learn from your partner and the relationship.  Hear your partner out before trying to change the mood or tone.  Ask a lot of questions that get him or her to talk more with you about whatever is bothering them.

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April 9, 2013 Posted by | advice, marriage | Leave a comment

6 Myths About Love, Marriage and Relationships

  • “You shouldn’t have to work at marriage.”
  • “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”.
  • “Personal happiness is more important than staying in a ‘love-less’ marriage.”
  • “Arguing always destroys a relationship.  You should never argue in a marriage.”
  • “All problems can be solved in a marriage.”
  • “Your partner should always ‘get you’.  You should be able to finish each other’s sentences.  Your partner is your soul-mate.”

Have you heard these myths about love and marriage?

Do you believe any of these myths and worry that something may be missing in your marriage?

If so, you are not alone.  Holding on to these myths about love and marriage; however, will make living in a healthy marriage harder than it needs to be and may cause you to turn away from a marriage that could be saved and improved.

Often people have ideas about love and marriage that are unrealistic and then, when their own relationship does not match up to their ideas of what should be, they turn their attention outward, away from the marriage.

In this article, we want to share with you some of the truths and realistic thinking about love and marriage.

Click here to read about the 6 myths.

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

October 4, 2012 Posted by | advice, marriage, myths about marriage, unrealistic expectations for marriage | Leave a comment

Discover Seven Ways to Reconnect With Your Partner

I often meet with couples who complain about growing apart as the challenges of daily living lure them into routines that leave little time for focusing on the relationship.  This, coupled with the new and added stress of technology, invites people to be more involved with things other than their marriage.

Connecting with your partner is crucial to the stability of any marriage.  It doesn’t take a lot of time to fan the flames of the relationship.  In fact, research studies by John Gottman, PhD found that a simple 5 hours a week can make a difference in the quality of a couple’s relationship.

Here are 7 suggestions for ways to reconnect with your partner.

1.  Find some way to connect with each other, even if it is only briefly, before you begin your day.  Share a kiss and a bit about the plan for your day.  If possible, have breakfast together, even if the children are rushing around with you.  Spoon a few minutes before getting out of bed in the morning and make sure that you are not always the small spoon.

Click here to read the rest of the article “Discover 7 Ways to Reconnect With Your Partner”.

June 27, 2012 Posted by | advice, couples, falling back in love, happy marriages, keeping love alive, Love, marriage | Leave a comment

Bad Marriages and Affairs

“If he had just paid attention to me, I would not have had to find it somewhere else.  He spends more time on the golf course than he does at home.”

“My wife’s nagging is the main reason I became unhappy and started my affair.”

Do affairs cause bad marriages … or do bad marriages cause affairs?

All affairs can cause bad marriages but not all bad marriages cause affairs.  In fact, an affair may even happen in a good marriage.  Having an affair, cheating on your spouse, is no way to solve problems in a marriage.

While it certainly can be true that problems in a marriage can lead to loneliness, unhappiness and sadness, making a decision to have an affair is the responsibility of the person who makes the choice to cheat.

There are many reasons why people have affairs.

There are many reasons why people have affairs.  Some reasons do have to do with the relationship while others are more about the person who is having the affair.

When couples have difficulty resolving conflict or problems between them, have a  fear of intimacy or do not nurture and tend to the relationship, then feelings of loneliness and isolation grow and the ground becomes fertile for friendships to bleed over into more than a friendship with someone that you see frequently like a colleague, neighbor or friend.

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Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville

April 16, 2012 Posted by | affairs, couples, infidelity, marriage | Leave a comment

Positivity in Relationships is Contagious

Heather was past the point of being upset with Bruce.  He never helped with children or housework, was constantly pressuring her for sex and ignored all of her requests for conversations about their relationship.

When people who are “past the point of being upset” enter counseling, then I know that someone is giving serious consideration about ending a marriage.  That was indeed the case with Heather.  She was there to talk over her options before leaving Bruce.

Heather agreed to try one more thing before leaving.  She agreed to focus only on the positive.  All of her nagging, negative comments, complaints and criticisms, she agreed to write down but never say.  She would look for and comment on any efforts that Bruce made in the right direction.

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January 17, 2012 Posted by | advice, Be A Better Spouse, happy marriages, marriage, positivity | 1 Comment

Marriage and Depression

Does depression cause problems in a marriage or do problems in a marriage cause depression?  Answer:  Yes and Yes.

When half of a couple is depressed, the relationship suffers.  Sometimes the relationship suffers and then one of the partners becomes depressed.

Stress in a Marriage When One of the Partners is Depressed

Depression in one person affects those around and involved with him or her.  It touches the quality of each member‘s life, as well as their thoughts about the depressed person and their overall happiness with the relationship.

Those who are depressed are generally apathetic, sad, tired, and negative.  They have little energy for the tasks and pleasures of couple and family life.  Much of what they talk about is negative and even those experiences that might be seen as neutral or positive may become negative when seen through the lens of depression.

Normal responsibilities and relationship tasks are not handled.  Partners and older children often find themselves picking up the slack as they notice what is not happening.  Spouses do a lot of things on their own without the depressed partner.  All of these changes in the family dynamic can lead to feelings of resentment and anger.

Click here to read the rest of the article:  Marriage and Depression.

November 22, 2011 Posted by | depression, depression and marriage, loved one's depression, marriage | 1 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

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Asking for a Divorce

 

Unhappy in your marriage? Don’t move too quickly to ask for your partner for a divorce. There are several things that you should consider. Slow down and make sure that you have thought things through.

 

Here are five questions to ask yourself before you ask your partner for a divorce.

 

1. Is my brain thinking normally?

Or is my brain clouded by another person or desire for the single life?

We know that there is actually a change in brain chemistry for folks who have an affair. This change in brain chemistry brings about amazing feelings of euphoria or the belief in finally having found a soul-mate. As with all new relationships, this change does not last. Eventually calmness and normalcy return. It is only during a time of calm and normal brain processing that someone should even consider a divorce.

 

The same can hold true for a mid-life crisis. At certain stages in one’s adult life, there is often a period of wondering “what if? … “ and mentally or actually playing around with the idea of exploring a single life and new relationships. If this might be the case with you, a change in your marital status may not be the solution to the underlying angst. There are many different ways to explore change. Ending your marriage is a pretty drastic move. 

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October 27, 2011 Posted by | Divorce, marriage | 1 Comment

7 Secrets Women Should Know About Men

Men think that women are complicated … well, men can be even more complicated!  If men could just be more like women life could be so much easier, at least some of the problems would not be there.

If men were more like women, then when a woman turns to a man and says “honey, we need to talk,” he would not immediately say … “whoops, meeting Bill at the bar to watch the game in 10 minutes.  Maybe next month we can talk.”

Shopping would surely be a breeze as well.  You could also count on a real opinion when you ask for a comment on your new dress or drapes.

Yes, we would miss a few things.  Some things more than others.  Women do have to spend a little time “figuring out their guy”.  Here are a few secrets to share.

Click here to read the 7 secrets.

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Healing from Affairs

Couples Counseling of Louisville

October 29, 2010 Posted by | advice, dating advice, marriage, men, relationship advice for women, women and relationships | 1 Comment