Archives for Communication
Sometimes when you're struggling in your relationship, you might jump to conclusions. That means you might assume that it's all you, or you might go straight to blaming your partner entirely. Pain can make us short-sighted, and it's hard to take in the whole picture. But creating meaningful change starts by taking stock of what's really happening. So here are some questions that can help you hold yourself and your partner accountable in a way that can lead to an improvement in your relationship.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, and this week I had the pleasure of attending Rosh Hashanah services and hearing a sermon on the value of listening. As a therapist, I listen for a living. But in my personal life, sometimes I can be a little lax. I imagine that's true for all of us: We can get used to thinking we know how our partners feel, and we don't actually check it out. Here's why that's a mistake, and how to correct it.
When your child is having trouble, it might make you feel like you need to just sit back and let the experts take over. You need to listen to everything they tell you at the school, and take all the advice from therapists. Maybe you feel like your child's issues are somehow your fault, and that you just have to turn over your power to other people. Remember, your child needs you now more than ever. So it's important to empower yourself. You are your child's best observer and greatest advocate.
I just read the fantastic book "Girls & Sex" by Peggy Orenstein. What I love is that while it paints a somewhat dire picture of the landscape for teen (and even pre-teen girls), not to mention young adults, it's not just about diagnosing the problem; there's a prescription. You can help your daughters navigate that landscape, but it involves talking to them differently than you might have considered before. It means that instead of just talking about the risks of sex, we have to talk honestly about rewards, which is probably far more uncomfortable but incredibly valuable. So here are some ideas for how to have those talks. And remember, even if you've been approaching it differently, it's never too late to try something new.
You might feel like you're tried everything to reach your teen. Or maybe you've gotten so frustrated you've given up, figured you'd wait until the hormones settle. These are key years, and you want to do what you can to influence their course. I say "influence" because the truth is, you can't control. But you can help. Here are some ideas of where to start.
The steps are easy; it's the repetition that matters. Make these habits and your relationship will be better for it.
There's been a rash of celebrity divorce in the last couple of weeks (Gwen Stefani and Reba McIntyre announced yesterday, and Will Smith is denying divorce rumors at the moment but then, so did Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.) It got me thinking. While pain is inevitable at the dissolution of a relationship you once cherished, there are definitely better and worse ways to divorce. So here are some thoughts on how to make your divorce as healthy as possible, if you find yourself at this difficult crossroads.
Couples often come in and say, "We need help with our communication," and the presumption is that they need to become better communicators--by which they mean better talkers. But the best thing you can do for your relationship is become a better listener. Here are some tips for improving your listening with everyone in your life--your partner, friends, colleagues, kids. They'll all benefit, and so will you.
The fact that you're reading this blog means your relationship is not all you want it to be. But how do you distinguish between a period of disconnection or even increased fight (which can be normal and perhaps stress-induced) and a relationship that is truly in trouble? Here are three key signs that it's time to seek some help.