You are probably feeling you have tried everything to get your relationship back on track. You may be feeling scared, stuck, and hopeless. Every other couple to you may look happy and normal. It seems like the harder you try, the more you walk on eggshells and the harder it gets. Trying to get your spouse to hear you or your perspective may always seem to end up in a fight. This may result in feeling distance from them and not knowing how to bridge it.
The fact is problems are inevitable for couples. It is totally normal for there to be good times and difficult times, but we can get stuck in the difficulties. Learning practical skills in which to make it through these more difficult times is key.
Even if you have been trying to make things work for a long time and are exhausted and frustrated, I believe you simply haven't yet gotten the help you need. So many things need repairing but you aren't sure where to start.
Instead of guessing, you can use my strategies and knowledge to begin making changes right away. I have the best time and clinically tested advice, solutions, strategies, and tools to bring about the change you've been seeking today.
It's time to seek couples counseling if you answer "yes" to any of the following:
- Are you continually fighting and going in circles?
- Do you repeat negative patterns or old mistakes?
- Do you feel numb?
- Are either of you reevaluating things mid-life?
- Has there been an affair, emotional infidelity (affair with no physical contact) or inappropriate online contact?
Tips and Tools for Conflict Resolution
Avoid Being Reactive: When we react emotionally in communication with our partner, we can go from "zero to sixty" when responding to them. This means we're being personally triggered by something that is being said. This is our responsibility. Know this is about you, not you're spouse, and it can be controlled by you.
Stay Curious: No matter what, stay curious about what your spouse is attempting to communicate in order to remain open and listening. It is hard for the majority of people to stay calm during heated discussions with our loved ones. For example, say "I see that you are very upset, however, I am not quite sure I understand what you are trying to tell me."
Know Your Triggers: It can be very helpful if you have learned over time what behaviors, facial expressions, words, etc. "push your buttons". When couples get angry and hurt through conflict, they may become defensive, leading to painful attacks on one another. These can be deflected by one knowing what will trigger them beforehand.
Try Using Humor: Inserting humor into an argument is a little tricky, however, often people fear if they give in to the humor and laugh then the other person has "won". Using humor can defuse the marital tension that can suddenly or slowly creep in and cause an argument.
Try Something Different: All of us are creatures of habit. People in general are on auto pilot and this is not good for relationships. Unconsciously, couples start arguing about the same subjects, near the same time of day, in the same ways. Couples often feel stuck and hopeless in their fight cycles. What is needed is a shift in actions, approach, perception, or setting of the disagreements. For example, instead of arguing face-to-face, write a letter, instead of continually try to "fix" the relationship, back off and do nothing. It gives your partner an opportunity to step up. Change the time in which you discuss your tension-filled issue or if you have been always accessible, become less accessible. Try changing your behavior and your relationship will change.