About Relationships

Places and Paces

First and second place ribbons

When I'm providing couples counseling it is inevitable that each person will be a slightly different "place" in the change process. To begin with, it's not unusual for one person to initially be more interested in being in a counseling office than the other. It's probably fair to say that in some fundamental way each partner in a relationship is in a different "place" than the other. Healthy partners don't need to be at the same place as each other all the time in order to function well.

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70 Plus 70 Equals 100

The idea that a relationship between two people is a 50-50 proposition seems both obvious and fair.  If both people pull their fair share, the partnership will stay balanced and healthy, right? It seems only logical that to achieve a fulfilling relationship both parties must uphold their half of the bargain. But relationships are too important to "meet in the middle".

When I am counseling a couple to improve some troubling aspect of their life together, sometimes it is very easy to determine who owns most of the responsibility for change.  For example, if one person has an affair it's not appropriate to say that his or her partner is somehow "to blame" for the infidelity.  There are better ways than infidelity to handle dissatisfaction.

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The Most Difficult Year In A Marriage

 

I recently saw a humorous refrigerator magnet with a sentence that I thought was brilliantly true:

"The most difficult year of marriage is THIS one."

Long-term relationships take work, and that's what makes them worthwhile. The idea that a marriage is easy probably accounts for the high percentage of divorces in this country. People get disillusioned because the initial chemical high of early love wears off. It often takes the consistent and long-term work of real attachment for couples to maintain stability, to say nothing of the effort required to maintain true dynamic growth in the relationship.

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