Relationship Stage Analysis as a Marriage Counseling ProcessWhy do I do what I do as a Marriage Counseling Professional? This article elaborates on this theme.As an effective Psychologist, Relationship Advice provider, Life coach and Marriage Counseling practitioner, while working to save a relationship, I find it very helpful to form an opinion as to the current “stage” of the relationship.Here I explain the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind this practice.Many scholars and practitioners agree that relationships generally go through five phases of development: Honeymoon, Accommodation, Challenge, Cross Roads, and Rebirth.Phase 1: The Honeymoon This is the romantic, passionate, stars-in-the-eyes phase. I either get the impression that sex is good and there is never enough of it, or I stop and ask about it. There ought to be plenty of attraction and sexuality between them and if not, it becomes a priority in my discussion. The Psychologist role is leading here.Phase 2: Accommodation We all have to deal with the day-to-day realities of life. In the Accommodation stage, compromises are made regarding the fulfillment of our needs and expectations. As a result we engage, from time to time, in power struggles when our partners’ habits, needs, anger and withdrawal patterns become uncomfortable to us. It is important for me to question the proportion of these struggles to the entire marriage experience. A few examples are “how soon’, ‘how much’, and ‘how intensive’. I have an opportunity to learn from this stage the potential strength of the couple in problem solving, managing conflict, and their communication patterns. The Life Coach role is the leading one here.Phase 3: The Challenge Starting a new job, dealing with unemployment or the unfortunate occurrence of an accident or family illness are events that allow me to assess how strong the relationship is. It is fair to say that challenges are usually unwanted but nevertheless necessary for the couple if they really want to know what to expect from each other. I also need to know these expectations also. Raising children is a positive challenge; I definitely need to know how it reflects each partners’ qualities and their value system and ability to prioritize the family’s future needs. I’m a typical Marriage Counseling professional here…Phase 4: The Crossroads When a couple reaches this stage they have experienced a number of challenges (e.g. medical or money problems). In addition, more life decisions will be made (e.g. to have children, where to live, spending habits). This stage is different from the Challenge Phase because the couple has learned how each responds to these situations. This is the stage in which I learn how mature their emotional patterns are in dealing with their differences. It is most common at this stage for serious problems to develop. Typically, I expect to hear one or more from the following three: debates and regrets regarding the relationship, emotional withdrawal as a survival mechanism and attempts to force the other person to drastically change. When both individuals clearly see this progression I am able to offer a therapeutic strategy. Here I can fully exercise my role as a Relationship Advice provider.Phase 5: Rebirth (New marriage lifestyle) 70-75% of all couples whom I have counseled have reached this positive stage of a “new beginning”. At this point, folks really know the person they have married; couples feel once again appreciated and loved. It is my scientific Psychologist role practice to arrange a one-year follow-up consultation either in person or by phone to gather the qualitative as well as quantitative data in order to identify the couples’ continued ability to positively communicate with each other their disappointments, hurts, frustrations and most importantly their sexual intimacy.
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The courtship prior to a marriage may have been a world filled with excitement and enthusiasm for every day, however, like driving on empty, married couples often find the pace slows down and the routines of everyday life takes over and replaces the feelings of excitement with feelings of obligations, responsibilities, and monotony. Wake-up-Work-Chores-Sleep and Repeat is a simplified view of the typical routine shared by a married couple. Couples often report feelings of being married to a roommate rather than a spouse. The loss of excitement often creates an unhappy situation where one or both spouse become unhappy.To fix and unhappy marriage a couple must first recognize the source of unhappiness is often not particularly their partner. Unhappiness may occur with our own unexpressed expectations of what it means to be married. Communicating to your spouse of your feelings of what it means to be married is among the first steps that can be used to help alleviate the stresses caused in an unhappy marriage. While you may be eager to let your spouse know what is on your mind, part of communication is the way communication is done. Sharing your vision for your marriage will help solidify the bond in your marriage and help relieve feelings of loneliness.Communicating your vision doesn’t mean telling your spouse “you never do ____ anymore” or “you should ____.” A better approach begins with “I like it when you.” Positive reinforcement is only one technique to communicating your vision effectively without nagging, pressuring, or feel as though you are pleading for the things that will improve the relationship for both of you.
Mountains or the beach? Vegas or Disney? Manhattan Island or Manhattan Kansas? Where to go this year, and who got their way last year, and how do we resolve the vacation destination riddle? Is there a married couple who hasn’t had this discussion? Likely there isn’t, and the answer, though somewhat puzzling, and perhaps a bit controversial, may be separate vacations altogether. It’s happening with increasing frequency, particularly with two career families, and so-called working vacations.The practice is gaining in popularity, and for several reasons. Some of them have to do with time, of course, some with money, some revolve around kid care and some with a combination of all the above. Let’s explore a few of the reasons, advantages, disadvantages and considerations for taking a vacation alone, leaving your mate behind, or on their own separate trip.You’ve been dying to see wine country, and the offerings of Napa Valley, the B&Bs, the lush, verdant landscapes in and around fabled northern California towns. Your mate? Forget it. No interest. If there’s not a baseball game, or an outlet mall nearby, they’re really not interested in going. Besides, wine gives them a headache–not good for a vacation with your spouse, and cheese gives them gas, ahem, not good either.They, on the other hand have been itching to get to the new Camden Yards to see the Orioles play, hopefully the Yankees, then to catch a harborside dinner of crabs and all the seafood fixings, then take in Fort McHenry and revel in all the history there. Your mate? Baseball gives them a headache, history is boring, and crabs give them gas, but well, there’s hope for both of you. These are just a few of the dilemmas we face when it comes time to select a vacation spot. Here are a few more, including some legitimate reasons to vacation by yourself.It’s been thirty years since High School graduation, and you’d really like to reconnect with the old crowd. You want to see if BT really started that bowling alley, or if JS really did marry that goofball PD and they had seven kids!Your mate never even knew BT, only from scurrilous rumors of what he did as a pinspotter, and she’d been nuts about JS, and couldn’t believe he ran off with that goofball PD and they had all those kids! So no, thank you very much, she’s not going to the reunion. Separate vacations? Why not?This is the year all your sisters are getting together on the Oregon coast, and your mate isn’t even invited–girls only. Separate trips are in order.Your daughter has an audition at Juilliard, and only one of you can go because the other has a critical business deal. Take your daughter to New York and enjoy the place for three or four days? Why not?You have vacation time that you’ll lose if you don’t take it, and your spouse can’t go? Why not take off, catch some of the sights he or she doesn’t care to, and bring them back a nice gift?Maybe your job title is changing, and the boss requires some updated training that can only be found in Monterey, or New Orleans, or Martha’s Vineyard. Hey, we can all dream of things like this can’t we? The training is two weeks of intense, eight to five indoor, hands-on work, and your mate has their own work, so–separate vacations? Why not?Finally, perhaps you just want some time alone. Maybe the kids have worn you down, a life change has left you questioning a lot of things, or a certain birthday looms and you’d like to meditate on it, free of the need to interact, even with your mate. We all need this from time to time, and they’ll understand. Go ahead; get away; you’ll feel better, and that may be a welcome relief for both of you.It’s happening a lot more, for a lot more reasons. Separate vacations for married folks are less rare all the time. Even certain resorts are beginning to cater to the single-married set. The practice can be more restful and refreshing than any trip together just because it’s the norm, the way you’ve always done it. As Tara Fass, a therapist in Los Angeles says: “Going away on your own gives you and your partner the experience of autonomy, and also allows you to reflect on your marriage.”One thing to consider, though, as the experts all agree, separate vacations should not take the place of shared vacations with one another. It’s important that you save time and money for both at some point. It’s also very important to understand why you want to travel separately. If there’s a challenge in your marriage, it may not be the best time to go it alone.
Marriage problems are a fact of life. Most people struggle at some time with conflict that involves them and their partner. It’s difficult when you feel the love slipping out of your relationship and you’re not sure what you can do to stop the destruction. If you aren’t ready to call it quits and if you still love your spouse, fixing a broken marriage is what you need to focus on. You can save the relationship and in fact, you can actually nurture it to a place where you both love each other more than ever.Most of us, when we are living in a less than perfect marriage, point the finger of blame directly at our spouse. It’s easier to cast blame on their shoulders for the problems you two are going through instead of owning up to your part in the problems. You need to take a moment or two to reflect on your own behavior. Things like nagging, anger and resentment can all have a negative impact on a marriage. If you’ve been treating your spouse in a way that is making them feel less loved than when you two first got together, you need to own up to that. It’s easy to fall into a trap where we start taking advantage of the person we love most. If you’ve done this you need to show your partner how much you truly do treasure them, before it’s too late.Another of the effective tips for fixing a broken marriage is to give your spouse a platform where they can talk openly about their feelings. This seems straightforward and simple, but it’s not at all. Our natural instinct is to protect ourselves when we feel the person we love is being critical. However, you two can’t truly understand the depth of your problems unless you address them openly and in an environment where there isn’t any fear of backlash. A good exercise to accomplish this is to allow each other a specific amount of time to talk about your feelings without any interruption. This can go a long way towards rebuilding the relationship.
There are a number of problems that can put a marriage in trouble. Problems such as infidelity, financial issues, and trust issues are some of the more common ones a marriage faces. Whatever your problems are, the both of you have to agree to meet these problems head on. You also have to put your emotions to the side once you have decided to fight for your marriage. Once you have your emotions in check and have identified your problems, you can begin taking the steps to save your marriage.1. Seek Counseling It is important to find a professional, licensed, and experienced counselor. When you find a good counselor they will provide your marriage with guidance, support, encouragement, and new ideas to help your marriage feel good again. It is difficult to save your marriage by yourself and a good counselor will benefit you tremendously.2. Develop An Action PlanYou should have an idea of what the problems in your marriage are at this point. Solving these problems will not be an overnight fix, but if you develop an action plan you can work to solve these problems over time. Once you have developed your plan put it in action. Make the commitment to follow through with the plan and you will begin to solve these problems that are hurting your marriage. If your having a hard time developing a plan a good counselor will help you find the right plan for your situation.3. Dedication And DeterminationAnyone can save their marriage, but it will take dedication and determination from both the husband and wife. It will take time to undo the hurt, regain trust, and learn how to love again. This is why you have to be dedicated and determined to stick it through until your marriage is on good terms again.
Some guys may avoid this question while most ladies love to talk about it. Tying the knot is a dream for some women because they believe that it is only imperative for two people in love to get married. It may be true, but it is not as easy as you may think. A marriage should be based on a strong foundation of love, respect and faith. It is not an object that when you get tired of, you can easily abandon or throw away.During the early times, tying the knot at an early age is popular among teenagers since the men during that time are sent to fight during the war and the women are left to care for the family. Nowadays, there are many factors that can affect this major decision in one’s life. It needs time and understanding to start off.You shouldn’t tie the knot if:- You are still too immature to handle major decisions in your own life and/or in serious relationships- You still have childish manners and preferences that are way beyond “just being cute”- You worry about your looks rather than your feelings for your loved one- You want to tie the knot because you can finally escape your parents- You always think that marriages are all made in heaven just like in the moviesTying the knot shouldn’t be taken lightly. It requires a stable mind and heart to start with, commitment from both man and woman, and of course love and respect to maintain harmony in the relationship. If you lack any of these, it will be difficult to handle the more challenging parts of a marriage because it is not always bliss when reality sets in.You should also try to see the signs if you and your loved one are ready for marriage:- You handle problems with careful thought and planning- You are mature enough to handle the relationship, your commitment and the challenges that go with it- You accept your flaws as well as your partner’s and it doesn’t matter because you believe that love and commitment are not based on one’s looks- You want tie the knot and your parents’ blessings are important to you- You believe that marriage is a daily devotion to your spouseIf you believe that you and your partner are ready for a lifetime commitment, it is important also to know if you’re both on the same page. It would be unfair if only one of you is ready and eager to tie the knot as it puts pressure on the other person.It takes more than just a long engagement or years of being together. You need to consider if those years are worth it and spent on building the foundation of your current relationship. There’s no point in wanting to marry the other person if there’s no foundation at all. Tying the knot is more than just a fancy wedding dress or a dream come true; it involves a lot of hard work and commitment from both man and woman.