Friday, October 23, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #22-Resolving Power Struggles

You want to go to Caifornia. Your partner wants to take a cruise to Bermuda. Back and forth you debate, then argue, then stop talking to each other in frustration. No compromise seems to come forth. You don't want to give in because you always give in and your partner always wins these struggles but what's the point in staying angry.
What to do?

Flip a coin.

Let chance decide. One person may seem to win but in actuality it is the couple's realtionship that benefits as both parties agree that it is more important to stay connected than to argue or try to win one's way.
While this may not work for really big decisions, it can help the couple that always seem to be in oppostion to each other and can even be fun.
It also helps each partner to take a look at how important it is to "get his/her way" and how that can lead to deep divisons in the realationship.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #21-"Hugging Till Relaxed"-part 2

Last week i described the practice of "Hugging Til Relaxed". Today, i want to talk about the theory of differentiation as it applies to what seems to be a simple activity. David Schnarch writes in his book, "Passionate Marriage":

"Differentiation is your ability to stand on your own two feet, physicaly and emotionally... It allows you to stay close while your partner "bounces off the wall". If you can quiet yourself while your partner is flooding with anxiety, you don't have to move away or make him or her feel differentlly in order to control your own emotions. You can stay near- all you have to do is calm yourself down...
If your spouse is your support system, when he or she gets nervous you have to grab onto him, physically or emotionally, or let go of him all together. If you depend on your spouse to "be there for you", you have to be wary all the time. When your spouse is upset, you can't relax when he's holding you, and you can't relax when he isn't.
Hugging til relaxed provides a way to learn to self soothe, or quiet yourself in close proximity to your partner... You can also feel how "holding onto yourself" eventually brings connection with your partner"

This is not easy to accomplish but certainly worth the efforts of practicing this exercise over time which will strengthen the couple's connection.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #20-"Hugging Till Relaxed"

In the hectic, high paced, stressed out world we live in, it is very easy to get disconnected from your partner. A very simple antidote to this problem is the practice of "Hugging Till Relaxed"(developed by David Schnarch-one of the foremost sex therapists in the United States- and described in his book, "Passionate Marriage") which can take as little as three or four minutes.
Agree to do this simple way of connecting once a day by:
1) "Stand on your own two feet"
2) "Put your arms around your partner"
3) "Focus on yourself"
4) "Quiet yourself down -way down"

Stay in the hug until you are both relaxed, and then look into each other's eyes and breathe.

Next week, i will talk about some of the benefits of this practice.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Relationship tip of the week #19-Breaking out of your rut

Many couples who are together for a number of years report that they feel stuck in their routines and their relationship has become boring. It is easy to get caught up in the family's needs and demands and forget to take the time to be creative in your realtionship. This can be as simple as going to a new restaurant, taking a different route home from a visit to your parents, bringing home a new board game unexpectedly, watching a tv channel that you have never looked at, or switching seats at the dinner table. But what if it makes your partner anxious? Calmy reassure him or her that it is just an experiment in practicing change and it will be fun to see how each of you react.