Can We Talk

Are you giving your spouse the silent treatment? Can you have a conversation with your spouse without arguing? Do you share your day with your spouse? Do you feel emotionally safe with your spouse?  Do you feel heard in your marriage?  Do you have a voice in your relationship?

Communication is vital to any relationship so marriage is no exception.  A lack of communication is an indication that there is a deeper problem. Yelling and crying is an indication that there is hurt and anger.  Couples must be willing to communicate inorder to resolve the problem.

If you are struggling to have a healthy conversation with your spouse, you may benefit from marriage counseling.  Marriage counseling can help you to develop skills to communicate effectively. If there is no communication, there will be no resolution.  A lack of communication can cause a marriage to become disconnected. Counseling will help you to reconnect.

The Marriage Is Over

A divorce is never easy. More often than not, people lose themselves in the process, doing things that they would ordinarily never do. Helping people to get a better sense of what is happening as well as their role in it are counselors who specialize in these proceedings and providing the assistance people need to get a grasp again on life. How can a divorce counselor help you?

Help Work Through The Emotions

Divorce is emotionally complicated for both parties. More often then not, there is some time of anxiety, fear, bitterness, remorse, and loneliness, and even anger. A professional counselor can help you work through these feelings and give you a place to express what you are feeling. In having this resource, you can be more stable and prepared if and when your divorce goes to court. In addition, you can focus on you and your needs moving forward.

Perspective Is Invaluable

Along with providing insight into your own emotions, counseling can help you put your relationship and what is to come in perspective. You can better understand what you will need going forward, what you will want going forward, and where you stand in regards to your partner. A counselor is a person who is specifically designed to help you, and utilizing their abilities will give you an advantage when it comes to better understanding yourself and healing after the break up.

Clear Needs, Goals, And Points

More often then not, when a divorce gets messy ownership over assets becomes questionable. During this process, you may feel entitled to many things that your partner has claim to as well. Along with the perspective that a divorce counselor can provide, you can also have their professional help in setting clear needs, goals, and points that are important to you during this proceeding. In doing this you remain cool and collective during the process, significantly reducing the chance that you will lose your cool. In addition, you will have a far better idea of what is worth fighting over verses what is worth letting go. If nothing else, it will help you to untangle yourself from the complexities of the relationship, allowing you to more clearly see the objectives ahead of you.

The Juggling Act

Women appreciate the benefits of working, but they admit juggling work and parenting can be stressful. Women also recognize that stress can be derived from the positive benefits of a job. For example, a job promotion, can add stress due to the extra responsibility which leads to longer work hours with more time away from home. Unfortunately, the ideal job can add to a woman’s stress level due to parenting responsibility. The major conflict that women face in regards to working and parenting is juggling schedules.

A mother who works outside of the home is often faced with the stress of juggling her job and parenting responsibility. First, the work schedule can be stressful since the woman’s work schedule may not be compatible with her children’s schedule. Thus, the woman has to ensure proper child care arrangements are in place for her children, so quality time with the children may be limited due to work. Technology offer opportunities to stay connected but mothers will admit that technology cannot take the place of face to face contact when it comes to their children. Secondly, the woman may feel pressured to demonstrate that she deserves or she is suited for the position. The National Center for Education Statistics shows that women often have to work three years longer in a teaching position to be promoted to a principal than their male counterparts. Finally, the woman may be faced with trying to juggle her children’s activities. Such as, parent teacher conferences, transportation to and from school or activities, after school care, extracurricular activities, and doctor’s appointments are a few of the activities that women have to juggle in consideration of their children’s schedule.

Juggling work and parenting is just one example of the stresses that a woman may experience. A little stress is okay, but continuous stress can take a toll on a woman’s physical and mental health. Thus, it is crucial that women take the opportunity to de-stress

Here are some suggestions for de-stressing:
Get enough sleep ( 7-8 hours)
Exercise ( walking, running, biking, yoga, zumba)
Eat healthy (fruits, vegetables, protein and water)
Take time for yourself ( massage, shopping, reading, praying, movies, mediate)

Time Out

imageCommunication plays an essential role in relationships, and couples should strive for effective communication. Because you are talking, it does not mean that you are communicating effectively. Silence does not mean that a couple is not communicating because non-verbals play a major role in communication. Each partner should make a point to listen and validate their partner’s feelings. Effective communication means both partners have an opportunity to share their ideas and opinions without anger, aggression, and attitudes.

When things start to get heated, it’s time to halt the conversation. Unfortunately, it is less likely there will be a resolution to a heated discussion. A heated discussion can compound the existing problem, because couples do not think rational when emotions are high. A heated discussion can lead to using words as weapons. Thus, it is likely that one or both partners will walk away emotional wounded. Couples need to recognize when they need to take a time-out. Taking a time-out can be very essential for the health of a relationship. However It’s imperative that the couple revisit the discussion after cooling down. Hopefully, the couple can approach the discussion more rationally once they have had a cooling down period.

Relationship and Marriage Advice | The Gottman Relationship Blog: Weekend Homework Assignment: Date Night in a Jar

Spending quality time with your partner does not have to be expensive.  Most importantly, you should ensure that you are spending quality time with your partner by using tools such as date night in a jar. Date night in a jar helps the couple to remain connected and it can help strenghten the relationship.

Please read the following blog for further information about Date Night in a Jar.Relationship and Marriage Advice | The Gottman Relationship Blog: We eekend Homework Assignment: Date Night in a Jar: At The Gottman Institute in Seattle, we have been engaged in an informal research study which has consisted of sadly looking out the…

Relationship and Marriage Advice | The Gottman Relationship Blog: Manage Conflict: Moving Forward

How can we manage the conflict in our marriage?  The key to the success of a relationship is the ability to manage conflict. Read the following blog for tips on how to move forward after a conflict.

Relationship and Marriage Advice | The Gottman Relationship Blog: Manage Conflict: Moving Forward: All couples face times of conflict in their relationship. With that said, it may come as a relief to hear the following: our…

What happened to the love?

rosonja-heart-2What happened to the love? We were inseparable and we enjoyed each others’ company. It was like a fairy tale come true because I had found my prince and I was his princess. Unfortunately, my dream and love affair has come to an end.  Our love has lost the spark and I think that I married  the wrong person.  We are constantly arguing.  Each week brings a new argument and the arguments are more explosive. We are screaming  and using vulgar words. What happen to the love?   This is totally confusing because we are arguing more than we are loving. This must be a mismatch.

Arguing does not mean a marriage mismatch but it indicates a lack of skills. Often, couples  enter the marriage with poor communication skills; therefore, they do not know how to have healthy arguments without diminishing their partners self worth. Couples can argue and still love and respect each other but they must develop effective communication skills. Effective communication skills does not mean that your relationship will be problem free.  Effective communication means that the couple will be better equipped to deal with difficult situations.

There are several resources on how to improve communication. These resources are  valuable but love is the most notable. Couples must remember that they are on the same team and they are not fighting against the enemy.  Most importantly, they must remember the love during the difficult moments. Let love guide your communication. Forward Steps Counseling can assist you and your partner in rediscovering the LOVE.

Deal Breakers for Relationships

silhouette of bridge and pair of lovers on city backgroundWomen get so excited about their new relationship that they ignore or miss the obvious red flags. Some behaviors are automatic deal breakers no matter his net worth or his well built body.  Don’t fool yourself thinking that things will get better. These deal breakers can be the center of extreme grief, if you continue with the relationships.  Read the following blog titled “Deal Breakers for Relationships”  to learn what constitute a true deal breaker. Follow the link below.