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Posts Tagged ‘healthy changes’

6 Tips to Overcome Conflicts in Relationships and Grow Together.

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

 

man-couple-people-woman

 

Handling conflict is one of the biggest challenges of achieving a healthy relationship.

Balancing the power and respect for each other’s autonomy are things that will challenge us.

It’s clear that relationship conflict happens because expectations aren’t being met. Each person comes into a relationship with their own expectations which are based from past experiences, childhood or just how you think things should be.

If we haven’t seen conflict handled very well in your own parent’s relationship, then we may panic and regress into a patterns learnt in childhood.

Conflict can drive a couple apart, so unless a couple has in place some simple tools to negotiate with then, they inclined to revert to childhood ways of relating.

Instead of seeing conflict as a threat to a relationship, what if we reframed this and saw conflict as an opportunity for relationship growth.

So, this requires understanding that conflict will certainly happen in a close relationship.

How do we focus on handling conflict in a way that is more productive?

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Remember not to make every little molehill a mountain, unless it’s truly important.

 

  1. Practice Acceptance

If you find yourself in the midst of a conflict, try to remember that your partner is        coming into the situation with a different perspective due their background and past  experiences.

 

  1. Focus on the behaviour of your partner and not their personal characteristics

Personal attacks are more damaging and long lasting. Talk about what behaviour upset     you.

 

  1. Find out what you partner meant by their action, instead of what you perceived their action to mean. Nine times out of ten, your partner is not deliberately trying to hurt you, and getting hurt happened to be the result of their actions.

 

  1. Accept you partners response.

When you have shared your feeling as to what your partner’s actions meant to you,      accept their response.

 

  1. Let it go! Leave it in the past.

Once you’ve both had the opportunity to share your side, agree to let it go.

Conflict can be upsetting but seeing it as an opportunity to grow, nurture your relationship, it can help you become closer and deeply connect your relationship.

If you would like to talk about some of your relationship challenges then please-Call on 021 26 89 842 for a free 15 minute phone consultation.

10 Signs of a Overeager Relationship Pleaser…

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

young woman hiding her true emotions in the smile. concept photo

Who is a people pleaser?

An overeager people pleaser is a person who gives a lot of importance to pleasing others. And in the process, their main intention is to be liked and valued in return by the people they try to please.

A people pleaser is never a bad person.

They’re not really manipulative, nor are they cheaters. But in their keen pursuit of trying to please everyone around them.

Now everyone has a tinge of people pleasing in them.

Almost all of us try to please someone, in the hope of getting a favour back in return from them someday.

But for most of us, we know where to draw the line.

But a chronic pleaser has no gauge to where the boundaries of pleasing others should stop.

Think about these signs with an open mind, and ask yourself if you can relate to them.

  1. You always have a smile.You never get angry with your friends, colleagues or new relationship, even if they do something that’s extremely upsetting. Instead, you force all that rage within yourself in the form of implosive anger.
  2. The opinion of others.The opinion of other people matters a lot to you and your own decision making. You make your decisions based on other people’s desires. You ask all your friends to share their opinions with you, and you give more thought to what they say than what you believe is right.
  3. You crave for compliments.You’re very liberal with your compliments in the hope of getting a compliment back from your partner, friends and colleagues.
  4. You like attention all the time.You fear losing relationships, friendships and you care too much about being liked by everyone. And you can’t ever imagine being hated by others or being lonely.
  5. You hurt easily.You get hurt very easily when your partner or friends goes somewhere without involving you. You want to feel loved all the time, and you can’t stand it when someone thinks you’re not important in their life.
  6. The big sacrifices.You sacrifice your own happiness just to please someone else and win their approval, or to get a compliment from them.
  7. You can’t take criticism.A people pleaser will change their behaviour, but they will never accept that they’re flawed because it makes them lose their self-esteem even more.
  8. You’re a storyteller,even though you will never admit it. You’re not honest about who you are. You’re not honest to yourself about your own likes and dislikes. Your beliefs and values change all the time, just as long as they match that of your new relationship or friendships whom you’re trying to impress.
  9. You hate confrontation.You spend several sleepless nights over the smallest argument with a new relationship or friendship. And you do whatever it takes to make up for it, even if it’s not your fault. But you wouldn’t do the same for the people you’ve already taken for granted.
  10. You give too much too soon.And many a times, people take you for granted. You try too hard to please your new partner or friend, and you do whatever it takes to ensure that they have a good opinion about you. But almost always, these new partner or friends may end up using you and taking advantage of your niceness.

Although the intent of people-pleasing is to nurture love and connection, over the long term these behaviours can have a negative impact on friendships, loved ones and our relationship with them. Relationships become imbalanced, yet we remain powerless to change this because of a strong drive to avoid conflict.

 

 

6 Signs couples May need to see a Relationship Coach or Therapist

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

 

 

couple for blog

 

How do you know if the difficulties you have in your relationship are becoming severe enough that you need to seek out the help of a Relationship Coach or therapist?

The 6 signs are:

  1. You’re frequently arguing  without any positive resolutions.

 

  1. You’re feeling disconnected from your partner, alone or shut down.

 

  1. You’re totally uninspired about your sex life.

 

  1. You frequently feel insecure, anxious or jealous.

 

  1. You feel scared to be vulnerable.

 

  1. You feel stuck with the past wounds from a previous relationship.

3 Relationship Pitfalls When Entering Parenthood …

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

mother-baby-498786

Many couples are often surprised how much a baby can change their relationship and daily lives..

This article By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. published in  Psychcentral 2013 highlights three main relationship pitfalls when entering parenthood.

Link..  http://psychcentral.com/lib/3-relationship-pitfalls-when-entering-parenthood-pointers-to-help/

According to Joyce Marter LCPC, psychotherapist and owner of Urban Balance, L LC, which offers a Pre & Post Baby Couples Counseling Program.

Whether it’s your first or fourth child, your relationship still sees a jolt.

As Marter said, “The first child most often brings about the greatest life and relationship change, but each subsequent child affects a couple almost exponentially, widening the scope of responsibilities and compounding family and relationship dynamics.”

Having children can bring couples closer. But it also can chip away at a relationship if you’re unprepared for the potential pitfalls. Take this surprising statistic: Within three years of their child’s birth, about 70 percent of couples experience a significant slump in their relationship quality, according to the Gottman Relationship Institute.

The key in keeping a relationship happy and fulfilling is knowing  what these pitfalls are, having realistic expectations and staying committed to each other. Below are three of the most common pitfalls and pointers to help.

Pitfall 1: Sleep deprivation

Everyone knows that having kids is exhausting. But you might not fully appreciate the fatigue. According to Marter, “the chronic and cumulative nature of sleep deprivation during the newborn phase is perhaps  one of the most commonly underestimated challenges of new parenthood.”

Sleep deprivation sinks your mood, makes it harder to cope effectively with stress and exacerbates mood swings and anxiety. And that’s just what it does to each person.

Lack of sleep strains the relationship in various ways: Couples may fight about who’s doing more and sleeping less. Because couples are extra agitated and stressed, they might squabble more in general. And the primary caregiver may feel unsupported and alone and eventually resent their spouse, Marter said.

Pointers: Sleep when your baby sleeps, Marter said. “This may mean letting the laundry or scrapbooks wait and forcing yourself to nap.  It  might mean going to bed at 8 p.m., so that you can sleep during your baby’s longest stretch.”

What if your baby isn’t really sleeping? Marter suggested working with your pediatrician and reading other resources such as Healthy Sleep  Habits, Healthy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. If feedings are the reason your family isn’t getting much sleep, she also suggested  checking out the La Leche League, and figuring out a feeding schedule that works best.

Ask loved ones for support  and, if it’s financially feasible, hire help for household chores, a babysitter so you can take daytime naps or a night nanny, Marter said.

And work as a team. For instance, moms who are breastfeeding can pump so their partners or loved ones take turns doing the feedings.

Pitfall 2: Lack of intimacy

Sexual intimacy declines after having a baby, and not surprisingly, this can negatively affect your relationship. “Because sexuality is intensely personal and sexual connection is a major component of romantic relationships, sexual dysfunction or disconnection can become a significant problem for many couples,” Marter said.

The decline happens for many reasons. Physicians typically suggest that women abstain from intercourse for 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth. Even after that time, “women may experience or fear pain from intercourse due to the effects of delivery, an episiotomy, peritoneal tearing, and/or vaginal dryness due to hormone fluctuations,” Marter said. Couples also  experience a decline in desire because of busy schedules, body image issues, fatigue and other concerns.

Pointers: Expect that intimacy will decline after childbirth. This is normal considering the sleep deprivation, new responsibilities and need for the woman’s body to heal, Marter said. Avoid viewing lack of sex as rejection or a sign of trouble in your relationship.

Be close and intimate in other ways, such as kissing, touching, snuggling or spooning, Marter said. Make time to physically connect with each other. Staying home and watching a movie is one way, she said.

“Good sex requires good communication.” Marter suggested talking openly about your needs, preferences and fantasies with your partner.These are some questions she suggested raising: “What is good about [your sex life]? When was it the best and why? What do you each desire? What schedule seems to work best for you? What gets in the way of having more sex?”

Also, work on your emotional connection. For instance, “Create at least 20 minutes per day to connect and talk about things other than the responsibilities with household and baby,” Marter said.

Pitfall 3: Responsibilities

In Marter’s practice, the most prevalent problem for couples is division of labor. Resentments inevitably peak when one partner feels like they’re tackling more tasks and working harder. “They may compare and become competitive or defensive about their responsibilities, schedules or the pros and cons of their work or role,” she said.

They also might glorify each other’s positions, Marter said. A stay-at-home dad might think his wife’s day at work is filled with swanky business  lunches, interesting projects and a quiet commute, while he’s dealing with temper tantrums and dirty diapers. His wife might imagine him playing, cuddling and connecting with their child, while she deals with a difficult boss, endless deadlines and concerns over job security. “Then, when an issue like who is going to do the laundry comes up, the misunderstandings have created an environment ripe for conflict,” she said.

One of the problems is that couples usually don’t have a plan for how they’re going to divvy up responsibilities. Marter finds that many couples make assumptions about who’ll do what — often based on how their  parents did things — which typically leads to confusion and conflict.

Pointers: Map out what your routine and responsibilities will look like, Marter said. And make sure it’s fair to both partners. Again, couples get into trouble when responsibilities are vague. One of Marter’s clients wanted her husband to help out in the mornings, but the couple ended up bickering  instead. “By sitting down and reviewing the mornings tasks, the husband was able to select several items that his wife agreed would be helpful for him to manage,” she said.

When you’re figuring out fairness, remember that a relationship requires give and take. “For example, the husband of a client who is a teacher really steps it up during her grading periods and she picks up the slack when he travels for work,” Marter said.

Also, lower your standards, and let some things go. Another client of Marter’s,  who was super stressed and worn out, used to iron all her baby’s clothes. Of course,  getting enough sleep supersedes ironing. “Focus on the big things and let the small stuff go,” Marter said.

“The transition to family is simultaneously joyous, miraculous and wondrous and  one of the most challenging life experiences and opportunities for growth,” Marter said. It helps for couples to have realistic expectations about parenthood and their relationship and to remain committed to working as a team.

 

 

Source: 3 Relationship Pitfalls When Entering Parenthood & Pointers to Help | Psych Central

After Divorce: 5 tips for reinventing the new you!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Divorce wedding cake

Divorce wedding cake

It’s over. You’ve signed the divorce papers, and the relationship you entered with so much hope is officially dissolved.

Everyone’s divorce story is different:

  • Maybe you had been married for decades, maybe just a year or so.
  • Maybe you have children, maybe you don’t.
  • Maybe the divorce was your idea and maybe it was your partner’s.
  • Maybe you both agreed that separation was best.
  • Maybe you’re relieved, maybe you’re heartbroken or a bit of both.

But however you got here, the question now is where do you go from here?

And how do you figure out who you are and what you want as a newly single person?

What is your new life going to look like, and how do you start moving in that direction?

 

  1. Let yourself grieve

Nobody gets married thinking, “I sure hope we can get divorced someday!” Even if, by the time you split, the divorce was something you wanted, a divorce still represents a loss.

“You may feel sorrow for what you did or didn’t do, or wonder what you did wrong. Don’t dwell on those feelings, but make room for them, Loss is loss. There is an empty space where something once filled it up, even if that something may not have been anticipated.”

 

  1. Time to work through your feelings

Don’t carry that heavy baggage from your previous relationship into your new life. Find a way to work through the remaining emotions. That may mean talking out your feelings with a counsellor or focusing your energy in a healthy activity you enjoy. “It’s common to sweep these emotions under the carpet, but you have to work through them or they’ll get in the way of your life moving forward.

If you find yourself resisting the idea of counselling, you might want to keep in mind that counselling doesn’t mean you have a problem or that you’re in crisis. It can be a way to work towards a better life, with someone who has no agenda but YOU.

 

3.Learn to love yourself

That may sound cheesy and New Age-y. But the fact is that many people feel a lot of self-rejection after a divorce.

“You might think that there must be something wrong with you if you couldn’t make this relationship work.

You have to work on getting confidence and belief in yourself and ability to believe in your own worth.”

This is also something you could work on in counselling.

 

  1. Re-experience who you used to be:

Especially if you were married for a long time, you may have given up a lot of the things you enjoyed as a single person because they didn’t fit with your “couple hood.”

Maybe you loved to go out, but your spouse was a homebody. Maybe you always loved going to the theatre but your husband hated it.

“What were your hobbies and activities before the marriage? What did you defer in favour of the relationship?

Discover the new you!

The life-changing period of divorce, though often difficult and unwelcome, holds a silver lining: to shake things up and try on a new lifestyle.

Maybe it’s as simple as a new haircut after a lifetime of wearing long.

Maybe it’s trying a new sport or consider going back to college.

Maybe you realize that you’d like to move to a new city or even spend a year living overseas

Of course, you can’t just flit away and throw caution to the wind. Chances are, you have some very real considerations — kids (if you’re a parent), a job, and a budget (which may have been hurt by the divorce).

But chances also are that although you might not be able to do whatever your fantasy is, there may be other changes that ARE within your reach. So don’t reject the idea of any change, just because you can’t make every change.

“As long as the changes you make are healthy and constructive, these are very appropriate.