For many of us 2016 involved highs and lows. I am certainly glad to be in 2017.
What does 2017 have in store for you? Will it be an easy time or continuing pain?
I’m hoping you want change old patterns and restore harmony.
Too often couples who are stuck in vicious communication cycles feel helpless and desperate. Repeating the same arguments without resolution or relationship repair. You have to have the tools!
Well today is January 1st the day for resolution. So what will be the change you make ? Personally I am aiming for more praise of others and sharing this joy. People really thrive with positive encouragement.
Please let us know your wishes for this year in the comments below.
Want expert relationship counseling? You have found couple therapists providing psychology services for your benefit.
We are back on deck from 10 January, hurry appointments fill fast, so call today for your free 15 minute consult 0434 55 90 11
As a relationship therapist, infidelity is a common issue couples enter counseling for.
I’m glad I am able to say many people report a positive experience after processing the affair. While they wouldn’t want to repeat the distress and pain, the learning and growth in themselves and the relationship is a worthwhile reward.
Know affair recovery is possible – seek professional help, find your local relationship expert, a good psychologist or counselor that you feel can help you.
This morning I spoke to John Stanley and Garry Linnell of 2UE’s breakfast show on this very topic – the division of labour in the household. Interestingly Garry said he actually does most of the housework.
He is more enlightened than most, as around 70% of household duties in a partnership are still performed by women.
Research to the rescue, guys – Neil Chethik’s study VoiceMale: What husbands really think about their marriages, their wives, sex, housework and commitment found the more housework husbands did, the more sex they were having with their wives. De Facto couples do not despair, as I imagine similar correlations are apparent as men perform more household duties – please let me know if this is the case.
Curious to think what may be behind this? Perhaps as women are freed up from the kitchen sink it brings out their wild side. Or they may have more energy to offer up in the bedroom?
So guys the sum of this is the more chores you, do the more sex you will get!
It’s not unusual to feel a need to blame your ex-partner for a relationship that ended or your current spouse if there has been a breach in the relationship say in the case of an affair.
The problem with taking this position is it keeps you stuck and unable to move forward.
Blame is a negative, heavy emotion that will sink your happiness and block possibilities for recovery.
Blame keeps you connected to either the past marriage or the current hurt. It blocks healthy healing and learning.
Maybe this is sounding a little like where you are right now or you know of a good friend, your sister who’s only focus is on their partner’s wrongs ?
While they may have a good point you are past hearing about it and feel stuck and powerless also.
Dan Wile suggests couples typically use three choices of action when faced with relational conflict:
Attack and Defend a most hurtful way of handling things. This is where one party lashes out criticising their significant others character by finding fault and inadequacy and attacking them personally. This drives their mate away. When a person feels attacked they get defensive which also further distances and harms the relationship.
Avoid or Deny. This is when you ignore or minimise your unhappy feelings about the issue at hand. Self talk might sound like “It’s stupid to feel this way,” or “I just won’t think about it (say anything, ignore it or pretend it’s ok) and maybe it will go away.” “It’s no big deal.” This sort of downplaying really disheartens the partnership. When the issue continues it gets harder to maintain this avoidance.
Self–Disclose and Connect. You can talk about how you feel about the issue and work on common understanding – this doesn’t mean you have to agree. You may not find the perfect solution or compromise but you have allowed for emotional connection and intimacy building.
Is there a particular style you identify yourself as using from the list? Be honest now. Here is your challenge – move beyond attack and defend, avoid and deny and use the only workable option self disclose and connect.
Many couples coming to marital therapy at Marriage Works relationship practice are suffering from disappointment and resentments in their relationships. In part this is due to their inaction with dealing with the issues head on.
This holding pattern can go on for many years, simmering below the surface, fracturing the relationship. The occasional explosion will occur and some problems might be discussed resulting in a honeymoon period of closeness and intimacy before the old avoidance pattern resurfaces and the resentment cycle kicks in.
Sometimes this crisis will take the form of an extra-marital affair or it may be embedded in workaholism, chronic busy-ness, gambling, alcohol use, or other third party preferences to the relationship. It is not uncommon for a couple to be in my office two years out from the infidelity with cycles of hurt and remorse playing out for both parties but no resolution.
Often I see a fixed pattern and story of a marriage in heart failure that builds to a breach rising into conscious awareness for the pair. Even after the reconciliation phase many relationships fail due to not dealing with the deeper issues that lead to the crisis in the partnership.
The real culprit here is the Avoidance Trap not confronting or being vulnerable with each other.
My friend Matty Silver an experienced sex therapist recently wrote about the toxicity of sexual jealousy in The Beast (a magazine distributed in Bondi, Clovelly, Randwick and Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs).
If it is not dealt with immediately it will slowly poison the relationship and can harm all parties involved.
Jealousy and envy generally stem from a very fragile place where a person feels vulnerable and insecure. It is an immature emotional response more suited to a three-year-old.
You can’t let a three-year-old part dictate your life and control things, it’s not very attractive for your or your significant others. Get help to move beyond the hurt and heal what informs this.
Sex therapy in combination with marital counselling offer you the skills and ability to fully embrace life and the relationship you deserve, begin it now by making the call to a couples therapist near you today.