Adult, Child, Relationship, and Marital Therapy

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What men and women want... in communication

Posted on June 16, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (59)
Even the best communicators will run into trouble from time to time, and most of us could use some tweaking (to be diplomatic) on our communication skills. Of all the communication training I have done with couples, one basic tip has emerged as the most important thing to keep in mind in talking with your opposite sex partner.

It's a generalization, to be sure, but it is often the case that men and women are simply looking for different things in a conversation: Men often want to figure out a solution to a problem. Women often want to vent so they feel understood. Frustrations often result when one of the partners wants something that seems so obvious ("why can't you just listen?!!") that the other partner isn't fulfilling. The couple feels like they are both having a conversation, but on totally different wavelengths, leaving both people feeling totally discouraged and/or resentful.

So here is the tip. When you've had a long, hard day, and you want to come home and talk to your partner about it, start the conversation by stating clearly what you want. Here's an example:

"I had a rough day. I want to just talk about it and have you hear me out. I don't need to fix it, I just need you to hold my hand about it"

"I got so irritated at work today. Can we talk about it? I need help figuring out what to do about my boss."

You can even develop your own shorthand to ask for the type of conversation you want. Can we "problem-solve" and can we "discuss" can be clear way to distinguish between the two types of conversations you may be in need of.

Try it out and see if your frustrations with your partner decrease!
 

To New Parents... You are not alone!

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 2:51 PM Comments comments (54)
To all the new parents out there wondering if your relationship can survive, I just want to tell you you're not alone. Yes, having a new baby is a precious blessing, and one that should not be taken for granted. But who expected it to take such a toll? And if you're like most of us, you may have expected that a baby would bring you and your spouse together, not make you feel like strangers living in the same home.

Yes, research tells us that marital satisfaction can take a dive when a new baby enters the home. But whatever comfort can be sought from knowing you are in good company, it may still leave us thinking... now what?

Well, I can't tell you to read long books or take a long weekend away, because that isn't realistic. But what I can suggest is that you find some moments in the day to remember that before you were the mother or father of this precious baby (who spits up all day long and screams all night long-- so precious!), you were probably a wife or husband with time to devote to your marriage. And even though time is scarce these days, it is essential to give some of it (minutes or even seconds will do until that baby figures out how to sleep) to your relationship.

Here are some ideas for tired new parents whose relationships need some attention:
  • Text your partner to tell them you are thinking of them
  • Stick a love note in their lunch
  • Give your partner a hug, and hold onto it for at least a minute
  • Make an in-home date night after the baby falls asleep
  • Cuddle up while watching a television show
  • Tell your partner you appreciate them

You get the idea. It doesn't take much time or energy, just the realization that any relationship, no matter how strong, needs some nurturing to thrive.

Welcome!

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 2:37 PM Comments comments (108)
Welcome to my Blog!

My posts will focus on relationship issues, as well as strategies to enhance individual well-being. I will also try to use this blog as a forum to share information about academic research on therapies.



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