Get the most out of couples counseling

couples counseling

Every relationship has its ups and downs and couples counseling can help. In a long-term relationship, it’s just not realistic to believe things will always be great. We’re human. Our jobs, our responsibilities — everything piles up and sometimes we don’t make enough time for each other.

Maybe you’ve thought about couples counseling. Even if your relationship is going great, it can always be helpful to keep open the lines of communication through counseling. Go ahead and give it a go. Here are some steps you can take to get the most out of your couples counseling sessions.

Read More

Signs of a Troubled Sex Life

Sex Life

A healthy sex life isn’t determined by frequency. When it comes to a good sex life, quality is far more important than quantity. If you and your partner are only making love once a month, but you’re both satisfied, you’re doing great.

However, problems arise when you or your partner aren’t satisfied, emotionally, mentally, or physically. If you’ve noticed any of these issues in your relationship, consider scheduling a couples’ counseling session with the team at North Brooklyn Marriage & Family Therapy.

Read More

How to be a Good Listener

good listener

Sometimes it’s hard to remember to be a good listener, especially for your partner. For example, if you’ve been together for a long time, you might feel like you can anticipate what they’re going to say. After all, you’ve been finishing each other’s sentences for a long time. Or maybe you’re in the middle of an argument, and you’re more focused on getting your point across. Perhaps, you’ve had a heck of a week, and all you want is an hour by yourself to be quiet and decompress.

Whatever the reason you’re being a good listener, it’s essential to the health and intimacy of your relationship for both you and your partner to make an effort to listen to each other actively.

Read More

How to Talk About Money

money

If you and your partner are getting serious or thinking about moving in together or getting married, you need to have “The Talk’. No, not that one, the money talk.

Whether you’re drowning in student debt or have pristine credit and savings, talking about money is a strangely intimate conversation that can reveal insecurities and vulnerabilities that you may have never thought about before. Nonetheless, talking about money is an integral part of building a solid foundation for your future together.

When it comes time for you and your partner to talk about money, consider these tips to make the conversation less stressful.

Read More

Six Steps to Calming Arguments With Your Partner

argument

It’s natural for two people to disagree from time to time and for arguments to stem from those disagreements. There’s no set number of arguments that are too many per week or month how you fight. How your arguments make you feel are more important factors to consider. Regardless of the frequency of your disagreements, it’s essential to find ways to communicate your thoughts clearly and without malice and learn to compromise.

If you and your partner are arguing more often than you’re comfortable with; you’re probably not resolving the issues leading to your arguments. Try these strategies to de-escalate your arguments and find mutually satisfying resolutions.

The next time you and your partner get into a heated discussion, try these six steps to diffuse and resolve your argument.

Read More

Navigating Valentine’s Day – Keeping it Real While Managing Expectations

Navigating Valentine’s Day - Keeping it Real While Managing Expectations

Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a total cynic, Valentine’s Day evokes some kind of emotion. It’s a holiday that expands expectations like a giant shiny, heart-shaped balloon. Whether you feel like Valentine’s Day is one day of the year that you and your partner can really show each other how you feel, or that it’s an over-commercialized manipulation to spend too much money on chocolates or flowers, you’re probably feeling pressure to get it right and make your partner happy.

Many couples break up or seek couples counseling in January and February. Couples try to hold it together through the winter holidays only to have a blow out in January when the pressure to be perfect subsides. In February, Valentine’s Day has a similar effect, with couples either fighting more in the lead up to the holiday or breaking up soon after because of disappointment and hurt feelings.

Understanding the types of issues you might run into around the Valentine’s Day and how to work with your partner to navigate them can help your relationship not only survive, but thrive.

Common Valentine’s Day pitfalls

Expectations

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about expressing your love and decades of advertising campaigns would have you believe that you need to make a big, expensive gesture to show how you feel. Your or your partner may have firmly held beliefs about what the day is about and expect a certain amount of romance to be delivered.

Comparisons

Comparing your life to others is a widespread, but detrimental habit that nearly everyone engages in sometimes. Maybe you grew up in a home where your parents made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, and you believe that when someone loves you, they mastermind a thoughtful and romantic surprise. The curated lives that your friends, families, celebrities, and total strangers share on social media can also evoke comparisons, and you might feel like your reality doesn’t measure up.

Magnification

Holidays tend to magnify emotions including stress. For example, if you’re already feeling insecure or unappreciated in your relationship, the expectations and comparisons that accompany Valentine’s Day can accelerate the time bomb on an already troubled relationship.

Communication is key

Strong communication skills are essential in a healthy relationship. During relationship therapy, you learn to not only express your thoughts and feelings clearly but also to listen carefully to what your partner is saying. Too many people either don’t “hear” what the other person is saying or assume they know better than what their partner is saying.

One couple learned the hard way

For example, consider Jen and Karl. Jen hates Valentine’s Day and thinks it serves no purpose but to make people feel inadequate and alone. And she’s said as much several times. But Karl has heard this from previous partners and thinks it’s a trap, and that if he doesn’t surprise Jen, that she’ll be mad at him.

So when Karl turns up with a romantic card, a bouquet, and reservations for Jen’s favorite restaurant. Jen isn’t exactly angry, but she feels like Karl isn’t listening to her and doesn’t “get” her.

During couples therapy, Karl and Jen talked about their dud of a Valentine’s Day. Jen explained how after being consistently disappointed in early adulthood that she chose to ignore Valentine’s Day and all its trappings, whether she was single or in a relationship. Karl shared his past experiences of being told not to make a big deal of it and letting down his partner. Together, they decided that they didn’t need a special day to show each other love. Now, they don’t exactly ignore Valentine’s Day, but to spend the day together doing the most unromantic chores on their list.

While this isn’t the solution for every couple, talking honestly about your needs and expectations can help you meet your partner’s needs every day of the year. If you feel like you and your partner aren’t communicating effectively or are inadvertently letting each other down, consider couples counseling. You can work on your communication skills and discover new ways to strengthen your relationship. Contact North Brooklyn Marriage and Family Therapy today for personalized couple’s therapy.

5 ways you can resolve conflict without hurting your partner.

resolving conflict


Many marriages suffer because both sides go on the defensive when big issues get brought up.

Not being able to communicate effectively with your partner can lead to disastrous results. For example, how do you address a shopping or gambling addiction without making things worse?

In this blog post, we’ll share 5 tactics you can implement right away to resolve conflict without hurting your partner in the process.

1. Be direct and clear about what upsets you

Many people give clues about what upsets them. But keep in mind that your partner isn’t a mind reader, and if you end up getting angry over small things while hiding your true source of distress, you’ll only come off as unreasonable and moody. Instead, be direct about what bothers you.

2. Blame the actions, not the character

Instead of calling your partner a liar, you may point out that you feel you can’t trust them when certain things are hidden from you. This goes straight to the core of the problem without putting your partner on the defensive. Making your partner feel like they have a character flaw will only put gas on the fire.

3. Don’t generalize

People hate hearing from their partner’s statements such as “you never clean” or “you always overspend,” mostly because it’s unfair to assume that your partner is always repeating the same negative behaviors. This approach will only put your spouse on the defensive.

4. Don’t address several issues in one sitting

One of the mistakes many couples make is bringing all of the conflicts they have up in one discussion. This only makes the conversation more emotional and things harder to address.

Plus, when you address multiple issues at once, you end up blaming each other without making progress with your arguments.

5. Try to uncover the motivations of your spouse

Before starting a conversation with your spouse, try putting yourself in their shoes.

Is there something in their past that could have been the cause of your partner’s negative behavior? How can this piece of knowledge help you navigate the conflict more smoothly?

Wrapping up

Fights and arguments can be quite stressful for both partners, especially when they never seem to come to a resolution. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can find out more about yourself, your partner, and how to work together as a team by contacting a professional with your concerns.

5 Ways you can resolve conflict without hurting your partner.

Many marriages suffer because both sides go on the defensive when big issues get brought up.

Not being able to communicate effectively with your partner can lead to disastrous results. For example, how do you address a shopping or gambling addiction without making things worse?

In this blog post, we’ll share 5 tactics you can implement right away to resolve conflict without hurting your partner in the process.

1. Be direct and clear about what upsets you

Many people give clues about what upsets them. But keep in mind that your partner isn’t a mind reader, and if you end up getting angry over small things while hiding your true source of distress, you’ll only come off as unreasonable and moody. Instead, be direct about what bothers you.

2. Blame the actions, not the character

Instead of calling your partner a liar, you may point out that you feel you can’t trust them when certain things are hidden from you. This goes straight to the core of the problem without putting your partner on the defensive. Making your partner feel like they have a character flaw will only put gas on the fire.

3. Don’t generalize

People hate hearing from their partner’s statements such as “you never clean” or “you always overspend,” mostly because it’s unfair to assume that your partner is always repeating the same negative behaviors. This approach will only put your spouse on the defensive.

4. Don’t address several issues in one sitting

One of the mistakes many couples make is bringing all of the conflicts they have up in one discussion. This only makes the conversation more emotional and things harder to address.

Plus, when you address multiple issues at once, you end up blaming each other without making progress with your arguments.

5. Try to uncover the motivations of your spouse

Before starting a conversation with your spouse, try putting yourself in their shoes.

Is there something in their past that could have been the cause of your partner’s negative behavior? How can this piece of knowledge help you navigate the conflict more smoothly?

Wrapping up

Fights and arguments can be quite stressful for both partners, especially when they never seem to come to a resolution. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can find out more about yourself, your partner, and how to work together as a team by contacting a professional with your concerns.

What is premarital counseling?

Premarital counseling is one of the tools you can use to become a better communicator as well as understand the needs of you and your partner.

This type of counseling can decrease your chances of having conflict in your relationship, and it can also prepare you to make a smooth transition to married life.

In this blog post, we’re looking at a few ways premarital counseling can benefit you!

It can force you to discuss touchy topics that you would otherwise avoid

Touchy subjects include debt, religion, or even the desire to have children. It may seem silly to some, but there are many couples that try to hide or diminish certain aspects about themselves.

For example, your partner may have agreed to have children, but deep down he or she hates the idea of rearing them. Pre-marital counseling can help bring some of these feelings to the surface.

It gives you an outside view of how your relationship looks like

Maybe you’re idealizing your partner and overlooking differences that may put your future marriage in danger, or maybe you have trust issues. An outside view from a therapist can help you develop a more realistic image of your relationship.

It provides realistic expectations about marriage

Mass media, literature, and movies project a skewed version of what marriage looks like. This can lead to unrealistic expectations about how marriage will impact your life. Being married doesn’t automatically make you happy, and while it can increase your happiness level, it’s far from a solution to all of your problems.

Wrapping up

Divorce rates are up to 50% in the U.S, and sometimes it’s better to prevent the problem from arising than treating it after the fact.

Pre-marital counseling can reveal some of the quirks of both partners and address them before they become an issue. Plus, it can give you effective tools to deal with conflict as well as help you communicate better and build a beautiful life with your partner.

If you believe you can benefit from pre-marital counseling, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.

How to tell your spouse that you want to see a therapist.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

Starting a conversation about needing professional help isn’t easy, even when your inner turmoil doesn’t affect those around you.

Many people delay seeing a therapist due to fear of what their family members or spouse would say about it.

Will it make them feel guilty for the hardships you’re going through? Do they have a bias against seeking professional help?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can open up about getting help without making your spouse panic or feel guilty.

Explain what goals you’re trying to reach

Instead of starting the conversation by talking about your current struggles, talk to your spouse about the goals you want to reach but don’t know how.

For example, let’s say you’re aware that the people who are more likely to get promoted at work are also good communicators, but you aren’t one of them, and you’re quite shy when presenting your projects.

Mentioning something like this helps you introduce your problems to your spouse without alarming them.

Make sure you explain that your relationship isn’t to blame for this

Many partners feel threatened by the idea of having their spouse going to therapy because it makes them feel like they don’t do enough for their partner to be content with life.

But if this isn’t the case, you should have a conversation with your spouse about the real reason behind you seeking therapy. It may have to do with a traumatic childhood, bullying, or even having difficulties dealing with certain every-day obstacles, rather than issues with the relationship.

Give couple’s therapy a try

Why not grow together?

If you’re comfortable with opening up about your issues in front of your spouse, you may benefit from learning more about you two as a couple. Plus, you’ll get extra support from the person you love once he or she understands what bothers you the most.

Wrapping up

Mental health is a touchy subject, especially when we have to inform the ones we love that we need professional help. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who delay seeing a therapist because they’re afraid of what their spouse or family will say about it. As a result, a lot of potential is lost when the root of the problem isn’t addressed.

Are you one of the people who feel like they need help in certain areas of their life but are afraid of the opinions of others? Contact us today to see how we can help you figure out a way to explain to your spouse that you need therapy.

SPEAK TO US PRIVATELY

 

 

1 2 3 4 5 16