Conflict in relationships is one of those things that gets a bad reputation. Much like discomfort or pain. We sometimes mistakenly assume that relationships should not have moments of conflict, despair, frustration, discomfort, or pain. It is important that we learn what conflict really means so that we can deal with it accordingly. Typically in couples dynamics, conflict is not usually the problem we face, it is knowing how to deal with it in a way that doesn’t create calamity in our relationships. To have conflict is to be normal. But to avoid conflict, discomfort or pain is to sabotage an opportunity for growth. Conflict is really just growth trying to happen in your relationship.
Here we are, in the midst of a brand new year. The rush of the holidays have passed, we are financially recovering from our excess spending, physically recovering from too many holiday treats, and emotionally recovering from too much hustle and bustle or too much time with family members that we, uhhh, prefer to enjoy less time with. The new year marks a new start, a fresh beginning, and an opportunity to better ourselves. We often focus on resolutions like hitting up the gym, quitting smoking, saving more money, or living life to the fullest. But, how often do we make relational goals with our lovers? Why not shift our focus this year to also attending to our relationships?
Imagine you’re happily coupled up in a wonderful relationship that you find satisfying and fulfilling. Now, imagine that your partner tells you they love you, but they’re no longer in love with you, or that they’re seeing someone else, or that they want out of the relationship. How might you feel? Worried? Upset? Devastated? Betrayed? Confused? Angry? Brokenhearted? Now, imagine that you’re naturally anxious or depressed but you are in a relationship with someone who can calm you in the storm, will have your back and support you, can bring you back from the edge, and can understand you even in the midst of your emotional pain. If relationship distress can have a negative impact on our emotional and physical health, can’t it be possible that secure relationships can have a positive impact on our emotional and physical health? Research and revolutionary science of romantic love is now suggesting that secure bonds are vital when we are struggling.
Often times, couples are broken into a few different categories:
- those who are together and happy
- those who are together and unhappy but are trying to repair the relationship
- those who are together, unhappy, and are not sure what they want to do (and are "stuck")
- and then those who have made the decision to end the relationship.
As couples therapists, we usually work with clients in the first 3 categories. But, who works with those who are ending a relationship, are going through a breakup or divorce, or are trying to get back on track after a relationship has ended? A marriage therapist can still be a great type of counselor to consider.
So, you may be thinking about marriage or couples counseling and have started looking for a therapist. Finding the right fit can be confusing and sometimes a bit of a challenge, especially if you don't know what to expect. Many clients are nervous that when they finally do meet with their therapist, they will be met with some kind of fate about the relationship and that they will possibly hear something they don't want to. This is extremely normal and common for many individuals and couples pursuing therapy. If you're wondering if a therapist will tell you what to do regarding your relationship, then we have an answer for you.
Apologizing is no easy feat. I work with many couples, families, and individuals who are hurting, and want their loved ones to recognize their hurt, and expect an apology in some capacity. But, why is apologizing so hard to do? And if we don’t mean it, should we still apologize? We have conceptualized apologizing as a vehicle for admitting we are wrong, smoothing things over, or giving in, any of which signify that we may be weak. Contrary to popular belief, it takes great strength and courage to dare to apologize, and here is guide for when to do it, and how to do it well.
The majority of couples that I work with (and even individuals) tell me that communication is a struggle for them. Either they don’t feel heard or understood, or they can’t keep a simple disagreement from escalating to unhealthy levels, or they feel like what they say isn’t important. HOW you argue is more important that HOW OFTEN you argue. If you have daily spats, but are able to address them quickly and create a resolve, that can be more healthy than arguing once a month, but never resolving the issue and communicating in a way that harms the relationship. One of the first steps in learning to communicate clearly and effectively is understanding what to eliminate in your communication style.
Perhaps you’re considering working with a couples therapist to improve your relationship, but may be wondering how it works. Here’s a bit about what you can expect to learn when you work with a therapist that specializes in working with couples and relationships.
We here at Therapy & Co. are a counseling center nestled in the beautiful historic district of downtown Carrollton, Georgia that is dedicated to helping people have happier, more fulfilling relationships and lives.
Counseling for couples who want to stop having the same argument over and over again and have the relationship and love they want. Counseling is available for all relationships, including premarital counseling, marriage enrichment, marriage counseling, discernment counseling, and family counseling.
At Therapy & Co., we value integrity and make it our mission to love clients to and through our practice. We wanted to develop a different kind of counseling center: one that makes the client the cornerstone of everything we do. At the end of the day, we want our clients to have peace of mind and heart. Our job is to make your life a bit easier. Our therapists like to keep smaller caseloads so that they can be more available and accessible to you and can devote extra time to you when needed. We like to ensure our office is as private and comfortable as possible, as there is discreet parking in the back of the building, as well as a front and rear entrance. We often schedule clients so that they don't bump into each other in the waiting area. We recognize this is a small town and people value their privacy and confidentiality.
If you're looking for compassionate and expert counseling, please call us at 678-796-8255.