Some Advice on Relationships

January 15, 2014
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And once again we decide to share those magical moments caught on camera on Facebook. So everybody can see what a real connection is when two souls find each other. We leave out the battles and secretly envy that friend who claims she never argues with her partner.

Can that be? Are the healthiest relationships 100% free of conflict? At some point, almost everyone feels trapped and possibly somehow wronged by their romantic partner. Bob Navarra, PsyD, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), says that those feelings aren’t what throw a marriage off course—it’s how couples handle them. “While it may be frustrating that the toothpaste cap was left off, happy couples talk about these small things,” he says.

relationship advice

Ignoring those emotions leads to unresolved problems and from there a more toxic variety of negativity begins to rise: resentment. Here, relationship experts have decided to share with us some of the most common reasons men resent their lady partners and how to protect our relationship. “Happy couples don’t necessarily fight less,” Dr. Navarra says; “they just fight better, by “describing their own feelings and needs rather than labeling their partner as faulty.”

And you are responsible for your own luck. Research shows that women are more passionate to bring up problems for discussion, while men prefer to get out of it at the first sign of an argument. When this happens continuously, women usually start conversations on a negative note, which doesn’t make things better. Instead of reaching the level of personal attacks—“You’re such a slob!” “We’re going to be late because of you!”—which lead to defensiveness, Dr. Navarra recommends sticking to “I-statements,” such as “When (this happens), I feel (frustrated, angry). What I needed was…”

“A big issue I see in couples is a man resenting his partner because he feels she talks down to him,” says Mary Kelleher, LMFT. This can leave him feeling “less-than.” The way pressuring him to go for a promotion so he’ll bring home more money may be perceived—suggests couples therapist Valdivia Meunier, PsyD. “No one wants to feel ‘managed’ by a spouse,” Dr. Meunier says.

You might think that harmless complaining to friends and family can actually hurt your man’s trust. Whatever happened to the “couple bubble” you to have been creating together? “Men find this humiliating and hurtful,” says Norene Gonsiewski, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a couples’ therapist at the Portland Relationship Center in Oregon.

Wow! So many rules. Easy to say but easy to do? I’m still learning. I hope I’ll remember these tips next time I’m about to turn into a ticking timebomb and explode screaming. Oh, well.  This advice might just be a lot of nonsense or maybe it could be useful. You decide.

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