Many of us are all too familiar with this uncomfortable scenario: someone initially catches your eye, but for one reason or another you lose interest. After letting them know you’ve changed your mind and are no longer interested, they keep messaging you. Or perhaps you’ve never been interested in someone, but they seem to think you’re wrong about your own feelings and keep trying to persuade you otherwise. Dealing with unwanted romantic attention online can be annoying, anxiety-inducing, and harrowing in many ways. Here are some precautions you can take to do the best you can to avoid these kinds of interactions.
Whether conducted in the United States or far off lands, many surveys find the number one reason for divorce is poor communication. Beyond having different communication styles, issues often arise when both partners are not comfortable talking about their feelings.
The good news is, talking about feelings is not the only, or even necessarily the best, way for couples to maintain a happy and healthy relationship.
Here are some ideas to improve communication in your own relationship:
Small Talk Offers Big Gains
While you may assume that discussing the impending nor’ easter or last night’s season finale is far from connecting emotionally, the truth is, small talk can positively impact communication even more than discussion about feelings. Many couples find it easier to reconnect over the mundane events of life rather than during a serious discussion, most likely because they each feel safer in the mundane space.
The key is to really engage during these small talk sessions. Be interested and curious. Ask questions. By doing this you let your partner know they matter and you care. In the end, life is woven together by strings of insignificant incidents.
A recent study published in Psychological Science found that partners feel closer to each other when discussing shared experiences. For instance, many spouses can come together when discussing their children, particularly if they are remembering happy moments.
A second study published in Psychological Science uncovered something very interesting! It turns out that words are not even necessary for shared experiences to improve relationships. Silent communication from enjoying an experience can also heal. Doing something together like riding bikes, going to a movie on date night, or even shopping for new lawn chairs can help you reconnect.
Balance Asking and Offering
Good communication is a dance where the man and woman take turns leading. This means sometimes YOU need to offer up the information and share something about yourself. It could be something as simple as what happened to you in line yesterday at Starbucks.
Other times, let your partner share what they want. Be sure to ask questions and actually LISTEN to the answers. If you don’t understand something they’ve said, ask for clarification. This is a wonderful way to show them you care and are fully engaged.
These communication ideas are deceptively simple, but don’t let their simplicity fool you. If you use these techniques you will find your skills improve and your relationship deepens. And, if you feel you need more help in the communication department, seeking guidance from a therapist is a great idea.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.
When infidelity occurs in a relationship, it can be very devastating for the parties involved. Infidelity involves breaking a promise to be completely faithful to your partner, and when it happens, it erases the trust that existed in the relationship. Dealing with infidelity can be pretty challenging and it raises tough questions. Should you stay? Should you forgive? Can trust be rebuilt? Will things ever be the same? If you’ve just found out that your partner has been unfaithful and you’re not sure of what to do, this article is for you.
It’s important to note that infidelity can occur in any relationship. We often think it’s never going to happen in our relationship, but existing statistics show that infidelity occurs in about a third of relationships.
Why do people cheat?
People cheat for a variety of reasons, and it rarely has anything to do with the person that’s being cheated on. You might think your partner was unfaithful because of something you did or didn’t do, but that’s rarely true. Here are some reasons people cheat:
– To feel desirable
– Impulse/Lack of self-control
– Impaired decision making under the influence of drugs or alcohol
– Sex addiction
Remember that none of these reasons is an excuse, and the cheater made choices.
Can a relationship survive infidelity?
Yes, it’s possible for a relationship to survive infidelity, but it means that both partners have to be willing to work hard at rebuilding the trust that has been broken, healing, and making the relationship strong again.
Here are a few tips:
– Talk about the affair- It’s important for both parties to have an open and honest discussion about the affair. It also helps to talk to a relationship counselor together, and explore ways that you both can heal faster.
– Remember the good times- Cheating is painful, but it helps to reminisce about the good times and all the wonderful things your partner did for you in the past.
– Tackle old issues- Now is a great time to tackle all the underlying issues in your relationship and create a fresh start.
– Practice radical honesty– Try to be completely honest with each other about how you feel and how you want to be loved.
– Set a timetable for recovery- Both of you need to be intentional about your recovery. The cheater needs to allow the betrayed party ample time for healing, and honor the other person’s recovery process.
– Start something new- Remember how excited you both were when you just fell in love? Rekindle that magic by doing an activity you both enjoy together, and incorporating more romance into your relationship.
– Reaffirm your commitment- There needs to be an understanding that infidelity will never occur in the relationship again, and a willingness to keep that promise by both parties.
In rebuilding a relationship damaged by infidelity, patience is key. With the support of each other, family, friends and a good therapist it is possible for a couple to move past an affair and become even stronger. I offer relationship counseling services for couples who find themselves in this difficult situation, and you can contact me to book a session.
‘The spark’ is a phrase that’s used a lot when it comes to romantic relationships. In fact, you might have felt ‘the spark’ in the beginning of your relationship, and as a result, the early days were very exciting for you and your partner. However, like every other flame, ‘the spark’ needs to be kept alive by both partners. When you think of intimacy, you probably imagine physical attraction, and sexual relations, however, intimacy is so much more than that. It encompasses both the physical and the emotional.
At the beginning of your relationship, you just can’t seem to get enough of your partner. You want to see them all the time, and they are constantly on your mind. Naturally, romance blossoms and intimacy is high and effortless.
However, as time goes on, life sort of gets in the way. Routine and the stress of everyday living makes it almost impossible to sustain high levels of intimacy without effort. It takes practice, time and effort to keep intimacy levels high in any relationship.
Here are 5 ways to strengthen the intimacy in your relationship, and keep your flame burning hot.
1. Do exciting things together- As your relationship develops, you are bound to form a routine. However, routines become boring. Shake things up by making an effort to do really exciting things together, such as climbing a mountain, going on a vacation, taking a special class together or going bungee jumping! It will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air in your relationship and help you discover new things about each other.
2. Have deep meaningful conversations– Talk about your relationship, your current lives, plans for the future and your emotional state. Try as much as possible to be vulnerable with your partner and let them see the real you. Lack of communication and bottling up negative emotions can lead to resentment. Explore the things that make your relationship work, and strengthen your commitment to each other. Having a therapist facilitate these conversations can make them really fruitful and rewarding.
3. Be thoughtful – Intimacy isn’t always about the grand gestures. Something as simple as writing your partner a love letter or stocking up on their favorite snack can make them feel incredibly loved and appreciated.
4. Make couple time- It can be really hard to focus on one thing in today’s digital world, and sometimes we unconsciously pay more attention to our gadgets than to our lovers. At least once a week, turn off all electronic devices and participate in an activity you both enjoy. You could watch a movie, cook together or massage each other. This gives you time to enjoy each other and connect on a deeper level.
5. Express gratitude- Every night, before bed, express gratitude for one thing your partner did during the day, no matter how small or random.This will help them feel loved and appreciated.
If you would like to improve intimacy in your relationship and strengthen the bond between you and your partner, please book a relationship therapy session with me.