7 Common Marital Problems

If you are experiencing conflict in your marriage, you are not alone. Here are the most common marital problems among couples:

  • Communication breakdown
  • Unresolved issues from the past
  • Unfulfilled relationship/partner expectations
  • Intimacy issues
  • Infidelity
  • Resentment
  • Contempt

If left unresolved, these problems may corrode the positive aspects of your marriage, which can eventually lead to divorce. Marital conflicts can also have an adverse impact on children. Therefore, it is important to seek marriage counseling before conflicts create lasting damage. Marriage counseling not only helps couples resolve conflicts, but also teaches partners important tools for creating a happy and successful marriage. If you are interested in couples counseling please contact us at 813-244-1251. We also invite you to visit our websites at http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com and www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com.

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Managing Change in Your Relationship

It is quite normal for relationships to go through periods of change and many couples are able to adjust and reshape their relationship as it evolves. It is also quite normal for relationships to become stuck during this process, especially during major life events such as having a child, changing careers, having financial difficulties, and going through changes in health. Couple’s counseling offers a great opportunity to gain clarity, learn how to work through challenges, and grow as an individual and as a couple. It is important to seek help as early as possible in order to learn the tools necessary for managing changes and to preserve your relationship. The journey may be difficult, but the rewards great.

http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com

 

What to Expect in a Couples Counseling Session

Counseling approaches may differ by therapist. Some therapists may choose to see both of you individually for a few sessions in order to identify and address personal concerns relating to the relationship. This approach allows each partner the opportunity to feel completely comfortable in being open and honest about their concerns and goals. Other therapists may choose to work with a couple as a unit throughout the length of therapy. During joint sessions, partners will be able to discuss their concerns together and receive guidance in addressing current challenges as well as any challenges that may arise in the future. In addition, couples are usually assigned “homework” to do in between sessions. The work you’ll be doing outside of session is where the real change begins to happen because this will allow you both to put newly learned tools into action to improve your relationship!

Are you and your partner ready to explore the benefits of couples counseling? We invite you to call Star Point Counseling Center at 813-244-1251 where we have a team of talented therapists to help you.

http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com

 

Why do we hurt the ones we love?

The people we know and love the most are the same people we’re most awful to in word and deed. Often times it is because we expect too much from them. We hope that they can help us, that they can do all the things we are not capable of doing; moreover, that they have to do them, because of the love we invest in them. When they don’t, we feel disappointed and the natural instinct is to get angry and act out. Also, the people we love and care for are the ones who have the courage to be honest and tell us the truth, even when it hurts. And even though we know it is the truth, it still hurts and the pain can cause violent reactions

Many times we expect the people we love to just know what we are thinking, and when that doesn’t happen, we feel misunderstood. We wish they could make a journey inside our head and see things the way we see them, just because we think it is the right way. We simply can’t understand why they think differently and how they can miss something that seems so simple and obvious to us. In addition, we misunderstand them because we’re not always willing to try to understand them.

We love them but in the same time we hate them because they know our weaknesses and there’s no way we can hide. The mask we wear in relation with other people is put aside and all the things we usually try to hide come to the surface

Lastly, We trust them and we know deep in our hearts that, no matter what we do, they won’t stop loving us. We feel safe to take our frustrations on them because we think there will be no consequences. We hurt them most of the times because they let us hurt them.

7 Ways To Improve Your Marriage

  1. Did you know that couples wait an average of 6 years before seeking help for their relationship concerns? It’s important to address concerns early to prevent issues from growing.
  2. Avoid being critical toward your partner when disagreements arise. Instead, become inquisitive about their points of views. Open communication will help build a deeper understanding of your partner.
  3. Alter your approach when addressing concerns with your partner. Avoid blaming, criticizing, or becoming contemptuous, which only serve to escalate conflicts. Instead, take a deep breath and soften your approach.
  4. Remain flexible to your partner’s needs. Successful relationships involve both partners being able to rely on each other in times of need.
  5. Create and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationship.
  6. Learn how to deescalate an argument before it gets out of control. Effective communication is key.
  7. Focus on the positives! Successful couples focus on their partner’s positive attributes and the positives within their relationship, rather than the negatives.

If you would like Marriage Counseling or Relationship Counseling at Star Point Counseling Center then please call us at 813-244-1251.  starpointcentertampa.com

Standing your ground

Everyday, from the moment we wake up, we live our lives caring what other people think of us. We tip toe our way through life by doing things in order to please others, not because it’s what we believe in. Eventually our actions, appearances, and lives become molded by how we think other people perceive us.

Living a life that follows what other people think is a terrible way to live. We go through our days thinking about how other people might be judging us. But the truth is —  everyone is thinking the exact same thing, and everyone is too busy thinking about ourselves and our own shortcomings to worry about others.

It’s impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations. There will always be people ,  no matter what we say or how we treat them , that will judge us. You will never be able to stop people from judging you, but you can stop it from affecting you! Do not let other people’s perception of you effect your perception of yourself.

 

Living life according to “the plan”

“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” ~John Lennon
       Getting fixated on plans will often times lead to disappointment. We tend to plan out our lives rigorously and not know what to do when things do not go as we anticipated. Sometimes you might need to make minor adjustments to your life plans in order to enjoy the journey of life. Other times, major changes might be necessary, either way, that’s your opportunity to experience all that this world has to offer.
     Learning to find joy and happiness with life’s surprises takes time, but you will no longer find yourself being constantly disappointed or stressed or looking around wondering what happened to the life you thought you’d have.
      You can develop the habit of seeing the good in everything, even when life doesn’t go according to “the plan.”
      If you are having a hard time coping with the changes in your life, at Star Point Counseling Center, we can help you. If you have any questions or wish to speak to a counselor please give us a call at (813)-244-1251

Tips for a Happy Relationship

Tips to finding happiness and satisfaction in a relationship: Express admiration and affection. The idea is to look for ways to appreciate and feel warmth for your partner, and express those things. Send unexpected text messages, leave a loving note near the … Continue reading

It All Begins With Clear Communication

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Many people will agree that communication is KEY to any relationship. Whether it is with your significant other, family members, or very close friends, you want to have clear and open dialogue. Are experiencing communication blockage in your relationship? You might not be using clean communication. Follow these basic guidelines for cleaner communication:

  1. Avoid using judgmental words.  Avoid using words that convey to your partner that he/she is flawed. Examples: “childish, uncooperative, thoughtless.” These words do not belong in a caring relationship.
  2. Avoid using global labels.  A global label is a generalized disapproval of your partner’s identity. Examples: he or she is “stupid, selfish, lazy, useless.” These labels attack your partner’s person instead of his/her behavior. They convey that your partner is “always” bad. Use of these labels results in a loss of trust and a loss of closeness.
  3. Avoid “you” messages of blame and accusation.  Examples: “You always make us late; you never ask what I want; you never offer to help with chores.” The true meaning behind these “you” messages is: “I’m in pain, and you did it to me.” They also convey the message: “You were bad and wrong for doing this to me.” Instead use “I” messages which show no direct accusation or blaming of your partner. For example: “I feel sad about missing the evening with you when you come home late; I feel tired and irritated when I put the groceries away alone.”
  4. Avoid bringing up the past.  When communicating with your partner, especially while angry, try to stay in the present moment and deal with the current issue. Bringing up past events tends to build up a case against your partner compiling evidence to prove his/her faults. Example: “You did the same thing to me last week, and the week before.” This statement sends the message: “You’ve always had this flaw, and it’s not getting any better.”
  5. Avoid using negative comparisons.  Clean communication is about helping, not hurting your partner. It is meant to resolve conflict by not rejecting your partner. Negative comparisons only seek to punish and attack your partner.
  6. Avoid using threats.  Example: “If you leave this house right now, don’t expect me to be here when you get back.” This sends the message that your partner is bad and you are going to punish him/her. The deliberate intention to hurt is tremendously destructive to your relationship.
  7. Describe your  feelings rather than attack with them.  Using clarifying words to describe your feelings will help your partner to hear and understand you. Statements like: “I am sad, or I am feeling hurt,” are clear ways to express your feelings to your partner. Be mindful of your tone of voice when describing your feelings. Using sarcasm, threatening, or raising your voice can be perceived as an attack on your partner.
  8. Keep your body language open and receptive.  Believe it or not your body language can actually depict whether or not you are open and willing to communicate. Crossing your arms, pinched lips or a tight jaw, or looking away in a disgusted manner are all signs that you do not want to communicate. To portray openness, keep good eye contact, nod or acknowledge while listening, relax your face, uncross your arms, and if you are sitting lean slightly forward.
  9. Use whole messages.  Whole messages consist of observations, thoughts, feelings, and needs or wants. “You’re spending too much time at work” is not an appropriate way to express thoughts in a whole message, because it turns your opinion into  an absolute truth. “I am sensing that the balance is off; I think you need to spend more time at home.” This statement shows that the speaker takes responsibility for his/her own opinion and does not try to make it absolute.
  10. Use clear messages.  A woman who sarcastically says to her partner at the dinner table, “You’re talkative as usual,” may pretend her statement is a simple observation, but the observation is contaminated with judging thoughts, feelings, and needs. A more accurate statement would be clear and whole: “I notice you’re pretty quiet tonight (observation). It makes me think you’re not interested in me (thought), and I feel hurt and a little angry (feeling). I’d really like you to talk with me more (need).”

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Are you using clean communication with those around you and/or with your partner? Call Star point today to set up an appointment with one of our counselors. They can help guide you and your partner (or family members) down the road to cleaner and clearer communication.

McKay, M., Fanning, P. & Paleg, K. (2006). Couple skills: Making your relationship work. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Visit our website to learn more about how a counselor can help: http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com, or http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

Can A Smartphone Ruin A Relationship?

cell-phones-cheating-art

The answer is YES! Smart phones are becoming a growing problem in relationships, because they worsen emotional infidelity. You might be texting a co-worker about an upcoming project, and before you know it you’re sharing more and more with each other, eventually you find yourself in an emotional affair. This situation is beginning to occur a lot more frequently in today’s technologically advanced world.

Here are 7 reasons why smart phones worsen emotional infidelity:

  1. Real time response. You can keep your phone with you, continuously interfacing with another individual which keeps you potentially connected all the time.
  2. Relationship fragmentation. It’s easy to have a relationship when all you have to do is chat with the other person.
  3. Lack of reality testing. You can’t listen to smartphones nag or complain, you don’t have to deal with bad breath in the morning, and they don’t leave their socks all over the floor.
  4. Control of present. People in smartphone relationships can hide certain characteristics about themselves and promote desirable ones.
  5. Ability to hide. It’s easy to hide a relationship on your phone, and when it is discovered, partners just get better at hiding it.
  6. Faster emotional disclosure. People disclose emotional vulnerability faster over the phone than in face-to-face interactions, making for a deeper connection.
  7. Multitude of ways to connect. People start affairs with various apps on smartphones, including Facebook, dating apps, email, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. All of these apps are potentially dangerous to your relationship.

Starpointcounselingbrandon.com  (813)244-1251