Everyone has different ways of doing things. No two people are alike, no matter how compatible you are. That means, when you have kids, it’s not uncommon to have different parenting styles.
Are You Moving Away from Family? 5 Ways to Cope as a Couple
Moving away from family is not typically easy. But life happens, and changes in location aren’t that uncommon for married couples.
How to Give Meaningful Gifts to Your Partner
Most people like receiving gifts, especially in a relationship. But, there’s a difference between getting someone presents and giving them meaningful gifts.
3 Tips on How to Stay Connected During Life Transitions
Life happens. It isn’t always slow and steady. Sometimes it’s unpredictable, and sometimes you have to go through significant changes and transitions.
How to Support a Partner Who Deals with Anxiety
nxiety impacts people in many different ways. When you’re in a relationship with someone who struggles with it, it’s essential to be there for them any way that you can.
More importantly, to support a partner who deals with anxiety, you have to understand more about the disorder itself.
For starters, anxiety doesn’t typically go away on its own. It takes professional help to deal with it and manage the symptoms. Throughout the treatment process, though, you can support a partner by helping them manage the impact of the disorder throughout their everyday lives.
So, what can you do to support a partner struggling with anxiety?
Understand That You Can’t “Fix” Them
It’s not easy to see someone you love struggling with fear and anxiety. However, you can’t change it for them or “fix” them. Trying to do so will only make things worse.
You can support them, listen to them, and try to understand their irrational fears. But, you won’t can’t tell them why they shouldn’t fear anything or how they should calm down. Not only are people with anxiety unable to do that, but it can make them feel guilty, especially in a relationship.
An excellent way to support a partner is to listen to what they’re going through without telling them what they need to do.
Be Open and Honest
People with anxiety are prone to worry. One way you can support your partner is to try to alleviate as many of those “what ifs” as possible.
It could be something as simple as letting them know you’re going to be late one night. If you don’t, they might start to think the worst—maybe you got in a car accident, perhaps you’re cheating on them, etc.
While those aren’t situations that might typically cross your mind, it’s normal for someone with anxiety to overthink things and let their fears take over. Something as simple as sending them a text with information about your whereabouts can alleviate some of that fear.
When you can ameliorate some of the worries of your partner, you’ll foster a more secure environment within your relationship, which brings us to our next point.
Create a Safe Place for Them
To fully support a partner with anxiety, you have to make them feel safe. It isn’t always easy, and it might feel impossible at times. Letting them know you’re there for them and you’re there with them goes a long way to warding off anxiety.
Most people with anxiety realize that they’re struggling and that their fears aren’t necessarily rational. As a result, they might start to worry about losing you or pushing you away. Let your partner know you’re not going anywhere. Just being there as a branch of support for them can make a big difference.
Not Sure How to Help? Ask.
If you’re still not sure how to support a partner who deals with anxiety, don’t be afraid to ask them what they need. In doing so, you’ll let them know that you’re there for them. That reassurance alone can offer a lot of peace and comfort.
Again, everyone deals with anxiety differently. Asking your partner what you can do for them might be a big help, and it will make it easier for you to understand what they’re going through.
If you have a partner who deals with anxiety and you’re in Oakland, CA, feel free to contact me for more help or visit [specialty page/link] to learn more. Together, we can work on different ideas to support your partner and strengthen your relationship.
Can Anxiety Interfere in Your Relationship? How EFCT Can Help
Anxiety can cause so many problems in your life. It can affect your job, social life, friendships, and even your romantic partnership.
Can anxiety interfere in your relationship? Yes.
People who struggle with anxiety often go one of two ways in relationships. Either they’re overly-dependent or avoidant.
Neither of these extremes is suitable for a healthy, balanced relationship. Anxiety can also keep you from opening up to your partner, spending time with them, doing something new together, or showing vulnerability in your relationship.
You don’t have to let anxiety interfere in your relationship. Let’s learn more about the impact it can have and how EFCT can help.
Someone with an anxiety order may be extremely dependent on others. Some of the signs that anxiety is impacting your relationship include:
- You need continual reassurance from your partner.
- You fear rejection.
- You require constant communication.
As you might imagine, expressing these things can grate on a relationship after a while. In these cases, it’s easy to let anxiety interfere in your relationship.
When you express your fears of your partner leaving all of the time, or ask them for reassurance about yourself or your relationship, they might get annoyed quickly. Even partners who want to be a reliable support system can tire of the constant attention you demand.
On the other side of the coin is avoidance. Some people with anxiety tend to become extremely dependent. As a defense mechanism against this particular tendency, they emotionally detach themselves from others.
Anxiety comes with a lot of fear and uncertainty. People who struggle with it often go to great lengths to protect themselves or to feel “safe.”
If you don’t process your feelings entirely in your relationship, anxiety could be the culprit. Or if you try to keep a distance from your partner, it could be your anxiety at work. People who respond to anxiety in this way can come across as cold and uncaring. Naturally, those aren’t characteristics you want in a healthy relationship.
Avoidance in a relationship may also cause your partner to think you aren’t happy. Or, they might even think you want to get out of the relationship, which can lead to fear on their end. It may also trigger some substantial arguments.
How Can EFCT Help?
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) can help to strengthen your relationship, even when anxiety tries to interfere. EFCT can help by breaking through some of the patterns caused by anxiety.
For instance, if you’re overly dependent and need constant reassurance from your partner, EFCT can teach you how to find a more productive and effective way to express yourself. As a result, you might start to feel less anxious. Plus, the way you talk to your partner about it will be much more pleasant for them.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy also will teach you how to communicate better with your partner. Anxiety doesn’t always make communication easy, especially when you’re in the midst of extreme fear or worry.
But, again, it’s about breaking old patterns and replacing them with new, more positive ones that you can take with you for the rest of your lives.
Anxiety can be crippling when left untreated. Getting to the bottom of the cause(s) and starting on a treatment plan will not only help you, but combined with EFCT, it can make your relationship even stronger.
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, and you want to learn more about EFCT or how it can help to remedy the anxiety that has interfered in your relationship, please feel free to contact me. Or, visit my [specialty page link] to learn more about how I can help.
How to Make the Best of Skills You Learned at Couples Counseling
People attend couples counseling for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it might feel like your marriage is on the brink of collapse. Other times, you may need more help communicating.
But the skills you learned at couples counseling need to stay with you through your everyday lives to be effective.
Keep in mind that some of the main objectives of couples counseling are to help you visualize and improve the life you want to build together. That takes more than just a few counseling sessions. It takes work at home.
Following are ways you can make the most of the skills you learned at couples counseling?
Stop Playing the Blame Game
One of the skills you learned at couples therapy should have been about being on the same side as your partner. You play for the same team, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
But, that’s an important thing to keep in mind throughout your day-to-day lives. It’s especially useful when you disagree on something. It’s easy to shift all the blame on your partner or to think they disagree with you because they’re against you.
Arguments are okay, and they can even be healthy in a relationship when you navigate them well. By looking at things from an objective standpoint, you’re less likely to see your partner as the enemy.
Be Open and Vulnerable
Communication is essential to any relationship. But, showing emotion and being vulnerable with your partner is another strong key. During couples counseling, you probably learned how to bring out some of your feelings, so you could effectively communicate them.
If you aren’t willing to be emotionally available with your partner, it can lead to a lack of trust in your relationship. It can also cause your partner to feel insecure about the relationship, as though you’re keeping things from them.
You might have amazing moments of opening up in couples counseling. But, those breakthrough moments aren’t enough to sustain your relationship. You have to put them into practice when you’re on your own.
Focus On Your Strengths
Within couples counseling, you’ll do more than focus on the weak spots in your relationship. You’ll also focus on your strengths. It’s a good idea to think about your strengths, too, and how they have a positive impact on your relationship.
Thinking about those strengths when you’re out of couples counseling isn’t always as easy.
But, if you can continue to focus on your strengths, especially in times where it feels like your relationship is falling apart, you’ll develop resilience. In essence, your relationship can become even stronger.
Do You Still Need Couples Counseling?
The skills you learned at couples counseling are meant to stick with you long after you leave your sessions. Though it’s not always that easy. To make the best of those skills, you both have to be willing to put in the effort every time you learn something new.
Attending couples counseling doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. It’s a common misconception that your relationship needs to be falling apart for couples counseling to be effective. If you feel like you’re in a rough patch or you want better communication between you and your partner, counseling can help.
If you want to learn more about how couples counseling can help you and you live in the East Bay area, feel free to contact me.
Together, we can work on the right skills to rebuild and reconnect your relationship so that you can use them every day. When you’re committed to doing that, your relationship can end up being stronger than ever.
3 Things You Need for a Successful Second Marriage
Marriages end for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they’re amicable; sometimes they’re contentious. However, you don’t have to let a previous marriage stop you from finding love again.
Having a successful second marriage is possible. Though it’s essential to avoid the issues that may have caused problems in your first marriage.
Understand that you and your new spouse both will likely come with emotional layers. Even if they weren’t married before, they’ve probably dated others. One (or both) of you may also have children.
You’re coming into a second marriage from a different place and time in your life, and keeping everything open and honest is the most significant thing to keep in mind. There are a few additional things you need for a successful second marriage. Let’s take a look at three of them.
Commit to Vulnerability
You might feel more closed off now than you did in your previous marriage. One of the keys to any relationship is communication. However, opening up during a conversation doesn’t always feel easy when you’ve had a failed marriage. You might feel guarded and closed off simply because you’re trying to protect yourself from the patterns of the past.
You have to be willing to be vulnerable with your new spouse. That doesn’t mean you need to do it all at once. Take small steps to show your vulnerability, and expect the same from them.
Discuss small issues and share how they make you feel. Over time, you can move on to more significant problems as you’ve developed more trust and intimacy.
Prepare for Conflicts
Disagreements in a marriage are not a bad thing. How you deal with those disagreements is what makes the difference. Conflicts can be worked out effectively and can make your marriage even stronger.
It’s easy to slip back into old argument styles, but it’s crucial to commit to being different in this marriage. Practice active listening, use “I” statements instead of “you” statements, and take a break by walking away for a few minutes if things become too heated.
Additionally, keep the dialogue open. That doesn’t mean bringing up old arguments all the time. It means keeping things open, so you don’t hold things inside and start to resent them.
When you feel like you have to bite your tongue around your partner to keep the peace, things will only get worse. When you can argue the right way, as a couple, it makes life much more comfortable.
Remember those emotional layers we talked about earlier? Don’t allow yourself to hang onto yours or your partner’s. Forgive their past and expect them to forgive yours. That also includes not bringing up mistakes they may have made in their first marriage when you disagree, or you’re not happy with them.
If you run into problems now, forgive them. They aren’t perfect, and neither are you. Getting married again can heighten your senses and make you more tuned in to potential problems because you’re worried about the marriage failing still. Instead of focusing on your spouse’s flaws, focus on forgiving them.
A successful second marriage takes work from both people. But, it’s another chance at romantic happiness. Avoid the pitfalls of comparing it to your first marriage, and be willing to make positive changes in your life to make it work.
If you’re in your second marriage or you’re going to get married, and you’re worried about it, feel free to contact me. Or, visit my [specialty page link] for more details.
I’m happy to help people/couples in the Berkeley, CA area who might be struggling with how to make their marriage work from the start.