Dr. Broder will resume his weekly blog shortly. Please bear with us while our new site is under construction.
Do you feel a lack of excitement in your relationship? Perhaps a certain feeling of passion or excitement that was once there no longer exists, is much less frequent than it was or far less intense? Maybe you used to prioritize your relationship much higher, but it feels like a chore now; and that passion and excitement has been replaced by indifference.
When your involvement in a relationship is not mutual, the result can be painful for both of you, but especially for the one who is more committed to the relationship. Unrequited love —one of the most popular movie and novel themes—has indeed been known to trigger extremely painful emotions. Sometimes just the recognition that your relationship comes under this category is all that is needed to help you make some necessary choices. Sometimes it’s to stay in a relationship that most would define as “unworkable“, but more often, it means getting out. Most people I’ve seen as a psychologist over the years, start by demanding change in the other person that will—at last—make involvement in their relationship mutual. Occasionally, they do get what they want. But changing your partner’s attitude toward you without his or her consent is the only route that’s truly impossible.
Most relationships have a set of “built in” rules. These rules define your relationship “default position”; such as, what can and cannot take place between you and your partner (and others in your life) and what constitutes that which is normal. When you “break” those rules, you and your partner are likely to come into conflict. Generally the rules fit into three different categories: rules that are spoken, rules that are unspoken, and those that are automatic.
To read more, click here
Dr. Broder’s blog will resume next week
One key to avoiding the doldrums in your long-term relationship is to honor its uniqueness. The best relationships are custom jobs, which take the distinctive traits, needs, concerns and idiosyncrasies of each partner into consideration. For example, some couples need to work on ways to spend more time together, while for others spending less together time will optimize their relationship. For some couples, taking a nice vacation together will do wonders, while for others, taking separate vacations sometimes can be a relationship saver.
To read more click here
Ambivalence is a feeling that we all have experienced at one time or another in some important aspect of our lives—I know I certainly have. But if you’re ambivalent often or in a lot of areas of your life, the feeling of ambivalence itself can actually destroy your quality of life more than you know. Theoretically, if you had everything you could possibly want going for you, but were ambivalent about the decisions you make—particularly with respect to your life direction—no matter what you did have going for you, no matter what you choose to do, you could be dwelling on the fact that you should be doing something else. Thus, no matter what kind of life you have made for yourself, being chronically ambivalent could ruin the quality of it all!
To read more, click here
Divorce is never a simple matter logistically or emotionally. And when there are children involved, often the hardest part is to put your own emotional issues aside in order to do some very difficult parenting feats . Here are some ways to help your children get through this crisis as painlessly as possible:
By Lisa Sellenger
It is perfectly normal for conflict to occur in any relationship. The notion of two people agreeing on everything all of the time is unrealistic, and so a certain amount of conflict is natural and even healthy. However, regular conflict and that which provokes one or both parties to become angry can become distressing and have a very detrimental effect on the relationship. Learning to manage your anger and deal with your conflicts in a productive, rational and considerate manner will allow you to move on from your disagreements, even if ultimately you don’t agree. But a loss of anger and control can prolong the conflict, drive a wedge between you and your partner, and in severe cases even spell an end to the relationship. Here are some tips on how to keep your cool and deal with the conflicts in your relationship in a healthy way.
If you can feel that a disagreement is growing heated and there is no resolution in sight, then make your excuses and calmly walk away; that doesn’t mean flouncing or storming off. When emotions are running high it is much more difficult to rationalize our thoughts and feelings, let alone see things from another person’s perspective. Taking some time out to calm down will not only put you in a better frame of mind to deal with this conflict, but it will give you the chance to reflect on the disagreement and plan your calm, well-executed response.
Avoid cyber conflict
If you are having a disagreement with your partner then try your best to refrain from doing it via text, email or other electronic means. Discussions of a difficult or delicate nature cannot always be conveyed properly this way, and it is easy for someone’s point of view to be misinterpreted. The other negative point is that you may not receive a response for hours, giving you a long time to stew and become irritable by your partner’s careless choice of words. When you do eventually get to speak to them you may already be in a pre-conceived state of grumpiness for no reason and this will seriously hinder your chance of making peace quickly. These conversations are best had face to face where there is less chance of misunderstandings occurring.
Try to use both internal and external perspectives
When trying to resolve a conflict, it is important to look at the argument from both points of view. Clearly you know your own opinions, but sometimes it is worth taking a step back and asking yourself if you are really being reasonable. Were you in a bad mood before this discussion started? Are you maybe misinterpreting what your partner has said? Is this really something that you feel strongly about, and just how far are you willing to go to make your point known? At the same time, look at things from your partner’s perspective. Empathy is a useful tool here because if they are angry at you, trying to understand the reason why can actually help you diffuse the situation and prevent you from responding with anger. You may not agree with their points but understanding their reasoning will help you to come to a conclusion.
Be respectful, empathetic, and supportive
Even if you think a partner’s point of view is ludicrous, you should still remain respectful towards them during conflict. Using humour to try and diffuse difficult situations is fine, but dismissing their ideas, mocking them or being otherwise derogatory is not a good way to deal with a difference of opinion. If you find that either of you are resorting to name-calling or personal insults, then the disagreement has already gone too far and you should walk away until you can calm down. Being disrespectful in any way during an argument is a sure fire way to create hostility and bad feeling, which could result in angry outbursts from either side.
Remember that each of us suffer from personal insecurities and internal struggles – using this against your partner is a really terrible way to treat them. If you know that your partner struggles with a difficult issue which can be hard to understand and relate to such as an anxiety or eating disorder, for example, and then you resort to calling them ‘fat’ during a time in which you have lost your temper, then you are emotionally abusing them, beating down their self-esteem and potentially causing lasting damage not only to the relationship but to them as people. It is important to leave criticism aside and look into how you can help your partner through their difficult period, showing the right amount of compassion as well as learning how to place guidelines and a disciplined approached to recovery. Studies from Pennsylvania, a state which offers numerous resources for various struggles such as eating disorders, states that a healthy relationship through communication and mutual respect is the key to a healthy life, going as far as to suggest that those who have never been married are twice as likely to die early than those who have been in a stable relationship through adulthood.
The best way to resolve a conflict without becoming angry is to agree to disagree. Sometimes it is necessary for your partner to understand and meet your needs but other times you do need to recognize that they are entitled to their opinions too, and it is not your place to mould or change their views on the world. Try to remember that having different views, hobbies and personalities is a positive thing that will keep your relationship fresh and interesting. Having a conflict is about communication, airing your differences and coming to a positive conclusion that suits you both. It is not about winning or losing a battle, so bear this in mind and understand that sometimes a mutual respect for each others’ opinion is necessary to move forward.
For some couples, the decision to have children is something that was discussed long before marriage—in some cases; I am told, on the first or second date ! But for many couples, deciding whether or not to have children can be one of their most daunting issues. With couples getting married later and women much more likely to have career dilemmas, the choice of whether or not to have children is often more urgent, since there’s so often a smaller window of time when women can safely conceive. Because this is one of life’s few decisions that is irreversible, it’s one that cannot be taken lightly or be made with haste.