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Relationship concerns

Discover strategies and counselling support for relationship concerns in Calgary or wherever you are on the map.

 

Navigating relationships can be daunting. Sometimes it may seem like there is nothing that can be done to remedy problems in a relationship.

 

A parent keeps overstepping boundaries in a relationship.

 

You find yourself isolating from people in your life without understanding why.

 

A partner doesn’t know how to respond without reacting defensively to suggestions.

 

You and your partner seem to be struggling to connect on an emotional level. 

 

Your manager keeps treating you like a child even though you are well into your thirties. 

 

If you're experiencing relationship concerns that affect you emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually, or physically, seeking help now is the best course of action.

 

What are the warning signs that a relationship is in distress

 

 

Relationships get on the rocks for various reasons. One of the largest reasons for any type of relationship breakdown and eventual dissolution, especially romantic in type, is not ongoing conflict but cold, detached indifference. I learned this while reading John Gottman’s book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert (1).

 

Indifference kills relationships for a few reasons. One, one or both people stop trying to take agency in the relationship. This could be for partners, friends, family members, or whatever relationship type. Another reason indifference slashes the tires of relationships is that there is often a lack of dialogue. Even having conflict brings communication and the chance to learn and grow with someone. Indifference does not give that opportunity. Thirdly, the mind is one foot out the door with indifference as my focus is elsewhere. Lastly, indifference lacks warmth and enough fondness to care about change, however positive. 

 

Another warning sign of relationships in disarray is a lack of intimacy. This goes into the previous point since indifference will influence a decease in intimacy. There are several different types of intimacy, such as recreational, exploratory, physical, emotional, and sexual. Intimacy means “into me I see” and “into me you see.” Without intimacy, fondness for the other person becomes difficult. Without intimacy, I lose sight of what is happening in the other person’s world. 

 

Developing and showing intimacy means I care about the relationship. Without active intimacy in different forms, a relationship will falter.

 

Toxicity damages relationships. What are some examples of this? For starters, inappropriate reactions to people’s boundaries where I don’t respect their preferences. This can also entail not respecting my boundaries. Selfish disregard for someone’s needs and values is another factor. Also, gaslighting can come into play here, which could include confusing to deflect from personal accountability, lying repeatedly, and blaming someone for what they didn’t actually do while trying to convince them they did.

One final piece here involves resentment, which will slowly corrode any relationship. Resentment is us drinking the poisonous drink, hoping for the other person to die. Frequently, when I feel resentful towards another person, I also feel resentment towards myself. We can hold mental stashes of resentment in our heads and hearts. Dealing with resentment is a major treatment theme for working on relationships gone awry. 

 

What treatments can aid with mending relationships?

 

There are several interventions for relationships (2 & 3). To determine what would be most beneficial for you, it is recommended that you speak with your therapist.

 

  1. Gottman method

  2. Emotionally Focused therapy

  3. Imago relationship therapy

  4. Psychodynamic therapy

  5. Cognitive behavioral couples therapy (CBCT)

  6. Narrative therapy

  7. Reflective listening

 

 

What are the benefits of repairing relationships?

 

  1. Healthier boundaries.

  2. Robust communication skills.

  3. Deeper insights into expressing love, fondness, admiration, and gratitude. 

  4. Understanding the needs and values of another person.

  5. Understanding a person in a more well-rounded way.

  6. Knowing how to use each other’s strengths in the relationship.

  7. Increase in emotional intelligence. 

  8. Healing old wounds.

  9. Reconciliation.

  10. Making amends. 

  11. Learning active listening skills. 

  12. Understanding and appreciating differences in personality preferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviving relationships is possible with insight, tools, consistency, and clear direction. Contact me to see how I can best support you with a personally tailored treatment plan.

 

 

References 

 

1. Gottman, J. (2015). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert. Harmony. 

 

2. https://www.verywellmind.com/couples-therapy-definition-types-techniques-and-efficacy-5191137

 

3. https://www.talkspace.com/blog/couples-therapy-techniques/

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