Jesse, our first born, was three years old before I was willing to leave him for a vacation with my husband, Charlie. To say that I had been an obsessed, overprotective, neurotic, overwhelmed mother was… well, just about right. My parents, who lived over four hundred miles away, were the only other people with whom I would entrust my baby. I wasn’t totally wacko, but pretty close.
Some sobering statistics:Depression has a much greater impact on marital life than rheumatoid arthritis or cardiac disease. Ninety percent of marriages where one person isbipolar ends in divorce. Persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder have three times the rate of divorce as the general public, which is about 50 percent.
These are the times when you both show your truest selves. What do you see?
1. The Parking-Lot Puke of Love
In the beginning, you go out of your way to present the best version of yourself to your potential mate. Bad moods are concealed. Weaknesses avoided. (“Bowling? Oh, no thanks!”) So when you punctuate an overly zesty dinner date with throwing up chile rellenos into a parking-lot tree pit, it might be his first chance to see the real, unvarnished, purely-you you. Assuming he doesn’t shield his eyes in embarrassed disgust.
If you are married or partnered, it is important that you and your significant other literally sit down and create a Couple’s Vision—how you both envision your life together and the expectations you have.
What is the key to lasting love? Relationships are not all created equal and some couples are happier, more passionate and more connected than others. But what is their secret?
A new survey led by a romantic social network site sought to answer those very questions. Over 1,000 committed men and women filled out their survey and gave their honest feedback regarding love, dating, and marriage.
Xiomara A. Sosa, Clinical Mental Health – Forensic Counselor (Intern)
Key elements that make a partnership strong whether it be building a friendship, starting over, or maintaining a romantic relationship:
Stay friends. Don’t just be a romantic partner or spouse, be best friends also. Be there for each other always.
Open lines of communication. Always be able to discuss how you feel, be open with each other and don’t keep things bottled up.
Make time for each other. Understand and accept that this can at times be difficult to do because of work and other obligations. However, it is vital to remember that quality is more important than quantity. You must enjoy whatever time you can get and make for each other. It can be a date night, a friendship date, anything that requires quality time spent together..
Face challenges together. Remember that setbacks are an unfortunate but inescapable part of life. Remind each other that commitment is for better or worse. It is an everyday commitment, not only when convenient.
Work together to benefit everyone. Live healthy lifestyles together, mentally and physically. Eliminate toxic people and environments. Support one another’s efforts.
Ask for help (and offer it). This can be difficult when both people are very independent. But it is important when building and sustaining trust to ask each other for help. Start by becoming familiar with each other’s signals when help is needed, but offer it and ask for it more often.
Tips for making communication effective:
Don’t replace face-to-face communication. Society revolves around Blackberries and other electronic devices to manage our lives. We must still find and make the time for each other in person and in real time.
Ask direct questions and listen to the answers. Often people assume what the other partner needs and that can lead to frustration. Instead, ask what you can do to help, and explain what you need.
Keep conflict out of the bedroom. The bedroom is for rest and connecting intimately. Avoid having charged, emotional discussions there otherwise it will associate the bed with feelings of conflict.
Consider counseling or a support group. This personal work creates some distance so that things can be seen and understood more clearly, we can hear ourselves and our partners more clearly, and work through the issues at hand.
Blog on reconciliation for couples.
If you are like me, you sometimes get antsy in sessions. I think our clients like to move around a bit too, especially kids, teens, and families. I have developed several programs where we use activities to meet therapeutic goals. But somethings, it is not always possible to get clients out sailing or hiking.
I did a series of videos for our local community college. These show how to build teams within the classroom, but these are some of the same activities that I use in my counseling private practice with my clients, families, and students.
When trust is damaged there is a powerful, sometimes overwhelming feeling of betrayal. The betrayal can come from almost any form of dishonesty or disloyalty of one partner to the other.
Obviously infidelity stacks up at the top of the list but lying and hiding important information can also cause trust to fragment.
When this occurs there is always despair, regret and hopefully remorse.
If a couple is willing to work through the mistakes there is a good possibility that trust can be restored. Trust must be earned though; it is not something one is automatically entitled to.
Coping with a breach of trust in a relationship presents as probably the most difficult challenge for couples in therapy.
Couples who lose trust in each other face a major challenge. Trust is the glue that bonds people together. It is the infrastructure of the relationship, the steel beams that make it strong.