Have you ever started a conversation with your partner only to realize 30 minutes later that you are in a big-blow out fight? I bet you wonder how you got there. When did the conversation go off the rails? As couples counselors we spend a lot of time dissecting a fight to see how a couple could have handled that conversation differently. There are a number of things that can cause a conversation to get out of hand.
The terms Yin and Yang (pronounced yong, as in ‘gong’) may sound familiar. Usually they are related to something in East Asian culture. Yin and Yang are often used to describe opposites like black and white, north and south, sun and moon, male and female…you get the idea. Read more The Yin & Yang of Relationships
When we are young, we spend a lot of time thinking about our needs and how to get them met. Teachers ask us what we want to be when we grow up, and parents ask us what we want to eat for lunch and what we want to wear to school that day. As a result, we become really good at understanding our needs and getting them met. Then, one glorious day, we meet someone great who we can’t wait to share our time with. We start learning all about them and telling them all about ourselves. If we are lucky, we fall in love and create a relationship with this person. This amazing person who will meet all our needs… Read more Are you and your partner teammates or opponents?
When the new relationship glow wears off, you might be surprised to find yourself in a relationship with a person with flaws, a person who has a slightly (or sometimes completely) different view of the world from you. It can be tough to accept that your partner isn’t the perfect creature you saw when you met. But you must resist the urge to try to change all of your partner to match your expectations. Read more Focus on Changing Yourself Rather than Changing your Partner
Do you remember what it felt like when you first fell in love with your partner? You couldn’t sleep, you couldn’t eat and all you could do was think about them? Chances are you don’t feel that way anymore. Sure your love has grown deeper and more secure, but there isn’t that excitement like you felt in the beginning. Well, I have good news for you! That rush in the beginning stages is caused by hormones and neurotransmitters firing in your brain. They are responding to the excitement of something new, different and novel. So, to put spark those feelings again. we can fake it by doing exciting, new, and novel things with our partners. Here are just a few ideas to help you put that spark back into your relationship:
Boy meets girl. Boy dates girl. Boy and girl wed. They live happily ever after. This is the fantasy girls and boys alike grow up believing in. But this story is an inaccurate representation of the work that actually goes into making a successful relationship.
Read more Accept the Fact That Happily Ever After Is a Myth
There is no Goldilocks rule for fighting, the “just right” amount of fighting for a healthy relationship in between too much and not enough. Every couple is different. Some couples enjoy fighting and making up. Other couples prefer to avoid fighting at all costs. Some couples fight more frequently or more intensely than others. But all couples eventually disagree about something. Most of the time, these differences can be explored calmly. But sometimes the differences will feel bigger, and you will find yourself on the precipice of battle.