Remind Your Partner of Your Love!

Just as no one is a mind reader when it comes to problems in a relationship, no one is a mind reader for the good points either. You love and appreciate your partner, so let them know it. Every day, remind both yourself and your partner of the love between you. Serve up a compliment first thing in the morning. Think about how happy your partner would be to wake up and see your smiling face and hear, “I love you because…” That one compliment, that one reassurance, can set the tone for the whole day. Call your partner at work, or leave them a loving message on their voice mail. Do thoughtful things for your partner, like bringing them a drink when they are watching TV, ironing their clothes for them, or making them a cup of coffee in the morning. Even the worst day gets brighter when your partner reminds you of how much you’re appreciated and loved. 

These things can seem small, but they can be the glue that reminds each of you that you’re taking this journey together, being with each other through thick and thin, and that you want it this way. Small thoughtful acts can say, “I want you to be happy. I want to make you happy.” 

 

At Star Point Counseling Center, we are here to provide you with the tools and strategies that have saved countless relationships from estrangement, separation, and divorce. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors.  We are here to help you improve yourself and your relationship.

sign

Advertisements

Letting Go of Resentment

resentful  Are you willing to let go of resentment so you can have more fulfilling relationships?

Believe it or not, one of many simple ways to let go of resentment is choosing to love rather than to hate. That’s right! LOVE! Its the opposite of hate, anger, or fear. Ever heard the phrase “killing ’em with kindness?” Well, that phrase can go a long way.

Think of it like this, if you send love (positivity) toward someone instead of hate (negativity), you actually begin to break down pieces of their wall allowing them to return positivity to you. In other words, by sending love someone’s way, that love comes back to you. It works the same way with hate. If you send hate someone’s way, that hate comes back to you.

What goes around comes back around.

Schedule some time during your day to think loving thoughts about a person you resent. Hint: think of the things that you liked about that person to begin with. Use that time to wish them well and ask for blessings to go their way.

Now I know this is easier said than done, but it can be done. It will feel weird for a little while, maybe for a week, a month, a year or so, but eventually you will begin noticing peace and love where there once was hatred and resentment. You will even begin to mean it. By doing this small, yet simple, exercise you will rebuild your relationships and they will become more fulfilling.

Will you try to let go of your resentment starting today?

 

Read more here: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/4-powerful-tips-to-reduce-resentment-and-feel-happier/

Visit our website today to learn more about how a counselor can help you to deal with feelings of resentment: http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com, or http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

Chick Flicks For Better Relationships

Image

When was the last time you took your spouse to see a chick flick? If you can only think back to the beginning of your relationship (i.e. the courting stage), then you may want to revisit that idea after you read this.

“Chick flicks” that tend to have women in tears, and that men find boring, can actually help to strengthen your relationship. According to a study conducted by the University of Rochester, couples who watched movies like “Steel Magnolias” and “Love Story,” and talked about the issues raised, were less likely to divorce or separate than couples in a control group who received no counseling or self-help assignments. This intervention proved to be as effective as intensive couples therapy in keeping couples together. “A movie is a nonthreatening way to get the conversation started” says Ronald D. Rogge, the lead author of the study.

The study compared four groups of couples in a total of 174 couples studied. The first two groups each received one of two types of therapy led interventions called CARE and PREP. The CARE method focuses on acceptance and empathy in couples counseling, and the PREP method focuses on a specific communication style couples use to resolve issues. The third group received the movie intervention, where couples were asked to watch five movies and then take part in a guided discussion. The fourth group, or the control group received no counseling or self-help assignments.

Researchers expected the CARE and PREP methods to have a more profound effect on relationships, and the movie intervention to carry little weight on improvements to relationship quality. Surprisingly, the movie intervention worked just as well as the CARE and PREP methods in reducing divorce and separation. Furthermore, couples who received marriage counseling or the movie intervention were half as likely to divorce or separate after three years when compared to the couples who received no intervention.

Some more recent “chick flicks” that may promote healthy discussions to improve your relationships, as well as laughter to elevate your endorphins, include “Couples Retreat,” “Date Night,” “Love and Other Drugs,” and “She’s having a Baby.” So the next time your spouse wants to watch a movie, make it a chick flick for a better relationship.

You can read the whole article from The New York Times Blog here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/movie-date-night-can-double-as-therapy/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1 

Also, for more information on the study visit http://www.couples-research.com

For more information on Mental Health Counseling, visit our website at http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com, or http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

Improving Relationships By Reducing Blame

Blaming the other person is one of the most common ways couples tend to destroy their relationships. According to Psychology Today, chronic blaming is a form of emotional abuse. Chronically being blamed for an act that you did not actually commit is like taking a verbal beating. Eventually, the person being blamed will start believing he or she is responsible for things that are beyond his or her control. This feeling of responsibility, otherwise known as “guilt,” later leads to poor self-esteem.

Seeking counseling is a great first step in eliminating blaming behavior and influencing growth and healing in relationships. Learning how to improve communication with your partner will help to increase respect and reduce emotional abuse.

For more information on mental health counseling, visit our website at http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com, or http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

There’s a Word for That? Pt. 3

limerace 3
In The Gift of Therapy, by existential therapist Irvin Yalom, a whole chapter is devoted to conducting therapy with a couple in the beginning stages of love. Although he doesn’t make reference to “limerance” specifically, it is implied in much of the text. He describes that couples in this state may not make the most logical choices, and often act off of the intense emotions that pair with romantic love. He also urges the therapist, “don’t try to joust with love anymore than you would powerful religious beliefs- those are duels you cannot win…” Well spoken advice from an expert in the subject matter. What he is describing is a feeling that will not be contested, and any advice given to the couple may fall on deaf ears. They are not at this point ready to receive any “advice” or “words of wisdom” that challenges the beauty and goodness of their relationship. But, why did the love struck individual or couple come to therapy? We have to assume that there is some problem with the relationship dynamics if someone is introducing their problems within the therapeutic relationship, and the therapist has to be crafty as to how he or she introduces this subject.

The question posed in our last blog, “Is limerence healthy/unhealthy, bad/good, or rational/irrational is still difficult to answer. But a conclusion can be drawn from some of the information that we already have. While limerence feels good, it may ultimately be irrational. Thinking can sometimes be distorted and therefore the euphoric state can be considered illogical. But, it is sometimes an emotional captivity that we do not seemingly have control over. This is dangerous because it ultimately affects our decision making processes, and we all know that each decision we make has some sort of consequence (negative or positive).

However, limerence does have its positive side. Who can deny that the sensation of being in love is wonderful? Who can say that they would ever give up these intense sentiments and emotions? It is a state to be reflected upon and to admire, that we as humans are capable of deceiving ourselves to such a degree that it affects our whole lives at times. No other animal is capable of doing this. The positive, as Yalom describes, from limerence is a sense of hope that may not exist in skepticism and that is uniquely present in the euphoric state. So the answer really lies in the individual. Each action and situation that a person is in, or has been in, can be reflected upon to create a better awareness of the self, to learn about life and all of its components. The label, good or bad cannot realistically be put upon the idea of limerence. Rather, it may be for the individual to decide how beneficial it is for him/her to experience this state and to learn and grow from it. Or, to avoid it and its potential negative consequences.

What do you think? Have you ever felt limerence before? Star Point Counseling wants to know! Comment below…

Also, be sure to check out our website at http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

There’s a Word for That?? Pt. 2

So in a previous blog, we gave you a brief definition of limerence. Just the definition of the term is not important, but rather it is more beneficial to find out if this state of being is healthy or unhealthy, rational or irrational, helpful or hurtful.
If you recall, limerence is the infatuous start of a relationship. It involves euphoria, obsessional thinking about the “limerent,” and a strong sexual attraction. This can be a very exciting time for some people, however it carries some very strong consequences. While the feelings are similar to love, its really more of a psuedo-love if you will. The difference between limerence and true unconditional love is that limerence actually has some conditions. A strong component of the term implies a reciprocation of feelings and action from the limerent, or the other person in the relationship.
What if this person does not share the same intense feelings? And what if your intense feelings are taking over your life? You may not be able to focus on work, and may be neglecting responsibilities you normally would take care of. You may start to lose yourself and put all of your time and energy into the limerent. In this case limerence does not show to be a very helpful state. Some researchers are even promoting limerence to be a DSM diagnosis.
But why does something that feels so good have to be so bad? Well, that is a question to be entertained in part 3 of the series. Stay tuned, you wont want to miss the answer to this question!

Check out our website at http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com for more counseling and therapy information. If you are in the Brandon or Tampa Bay Florida areas, call us at 813-244-1251

There’s a Word for That?

limerenceRecently I came across a word that I didn’t even know existed. As I was looking for love and types of love, I ran across Sternberg’s triangle. Although its reliability has been questioned in many ways, there are many important concepts that are introduced within this theory. One of which is the concept of limerence. The term was actually developed by a psychologist Dorothy Tennov and was explained in detail in many of her books.

Limerence is almost like an infatuation of sorts. You may recognize it in the beginning of a romantic relationship. Its the period of overwhelming feelings of love and attachment that is involuntary. There are many aspects of limerence, according to Tennov. One will usually have intrusive thoughts about the “limerent” and being overwhelmed with the idea that the limerent MUST have reciprocal feelings. So, how often does this happen? Is it healthy? Well, Tennov’s predecessors are working hard to make more people familiar with this term, and eventually may try to label it as a disorder.

Stay tuned for more information on limerence in the next blog. But we want to hear from you… Have you ever experience limerence? And if so, was it a positive experience? What was the outcome? Your feedback is appreciated!!!!!!

First Comes Love, Then Comes Communication…

woman-engaged

When couples get engaged to be married, there is often a feeling of euphoria, passion, and happiness. Knowing who you want to spend the rest of your life with, without a shadow of a doubt, can leave someone feeling satisfied and content, sometimes leading to less “realistic” communication about the future. The passionate love almost blinds us from seeing potential red flags and sometimes tears down our boundaries that we always knew we could keep. Conversations are intense and intimate, but may not include real and transparent values and beliefs. To avoid a fight and keep the “good feelings” going, couples will sometimes dodge discussions about sensitive topics, only leading to unmet expectations and future arguments. Jobs, kids, pets, finances, religious beliefs and boundaries with in-laws are common sources of disagreement that can even lead to divorce. Getting these opinions and expectations out is an essential part of setting up a healthy relationship and in turn a thriving marriage. Talking about difficult subjects also builds communication skills and allows the couple to learn how to talk to one another.
While arguments cannot all be avoided, and are in some instances inevitable, talking about the large topics is almost sure to be a benefit to the engaged couple. Check out this article for more information on topics to discuss before getting married.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/getting-married_n_3249163.html

For more information on premarital counseling in the Brandon/Tampa Bay area, call Star Point Counseling and set up an appointment today 813-244-1251. Or check out our website http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

Power Struggles in Relationships

Often times couples come to therapy with the notion that their problems can be fixed by the therapist telling them what to do. Sometimes people ask for these all important “tools” that will magically save the relationship from the downward spiral it is taking. Arguments ensue over when something happened, or even how a conversation went down providing a power struggle that MUST include “someone winning and someone giving up” (note the quotations as a sign of sarcasm*). Is this really true, however? Do all struggles and conflict have to end with one person holding the proclaimed whip?

According to author Peter Granger, the power struggle does not have to end with an unhealthy argument where we are expecting to take from the other person. But rather this conflict can be seen as an opportunity for the couple to learn and grow. Is having your way really the most important thing? Or, can we look at giving what we may not be receiving?

Want to learn more? Call Star Point Counseling for an appointment today and learn how you can enhance your romantic relationship. 813-244-1251 We have two convenient locations to better help you in Brandon and Tampa Fl.

Happy Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Children get ready to share valentines and candy at their schools, Moms and Dads buy their children special gifts of love, and significant others search for the perfect gift for their “better halves.” But why is gift giving so important for some and not for others?
Author and PhD Gary Chapman explains that gifts are one of the five languages of love. One who looks at gift giving as an act of love may not only see the visible benefits, but will tend to put more emphasis on the thought behind the gift. In other words, “it’s the thought that counts.”For these individuals, Valentine’s Day may be built up and the expectations could be set extremely high. For the gift giver this can evoke a bit of anxiety as the search for the “perfect gift” ensues to show t your special someone just how magnificent he or she is. Some tips may be in order here…
1. Buy something that the other person wants, not what you want.
Often times we find things and think someone else will like them because we do. But, listening to what your partner wants and fulfilling those wishes may better serve you in the long run!
2. Find something sentimental that only the two of you would know about.
Whether it’s a trip to where you first met, or a re-creation of your first kiss, long relationships may benefit from bringing it back to where things all began.
And Finally, 3. Do not buy something in expectations of getting something back for it.
Buying gifts is about doing something for someone else, plain and simple. Obligating the other person makes the gift feel ingenuine, and may set the gift giver up for feelings of resentment.

Want more tips on languages of love and relationship satisfaction? Star Point Counseling has two convenient locations in Tampa and Brandon to provide top quality services! Call to make an appointment today 813-255-1251.