- You fight more and it takes longer to get past the fight. You find yourself regretting what you said and did during a fight.
- You fight over small things or you can’t remember what started the fight. It feels like the fights follow a certain pattern that you can’t break.
- You don’t communicate how you feel and what you want in a calm way. You blame your partner and focus on how he/she should change.
- You are not proud of how you respond to your partner when you are stressed out, but you don’t know how to calm yourself and respond differently.
- Sex has become a struggle and a source of conflict.
- You don’t feel connected and you need to know what your partner is doing at all times.
- You have lost trust in your partner’s ability to be there for you.
- You are aware that you are two different people with different perspectives, but you have trouble managing your anxiety over these differences without getting angry at your partner for being different from you.
- You feel that you don’t know each other anymore. You feel that you have grown apart.
- You feel angry and misunderstood and blame your partner for how you feel.
- You rarely express feelings of sadness and anxiety.
- You have tried everything and are close to giving up. You wonder if being yourself and being together is possible.
2) You can avoid your partner, withdraw from contact and shut down negative emotions to avoid open conflict. The problem with this choice is that when you avoid and shut down your negative emotions, you are also shutting down your positive emotions.
- You hardly ever communicate how you feel and what you want.
- You feel that you haven’t been able to pursue individual interests in your relationship. You feel controlled and overpowered by your partner.
- You have given up on being yourself with your partner. You withdraw emotionally to avoid conflict.
- You are best friends, spending most of your time together but there is very little passion left in your relationship.
- You are disappointed that your relationship is not the way you envisioned it would be it. You wish that your partner would change.
- You are aware that you are two different people with different perspectives, but you have trouble managing your anxiety over these differences . You feel that your point of view is not worth mentioning.
- You are unhappy and angry at your partner, but afraid to openly express your feelings. You need to feel understood without having to explain yourself.
- You would like to reconnect and feel more passionate about your partner, but you fear that you are just going to make everything worse if you start expressing yourself.
- You appreciate your partner. You have at least five positive statements for every negative.
- You listen actively to your partner without interrupting. Be aware of what your body language is communicating.
- You express all of your emotions. Use I-statements to stay on the task of expressing yourself and not shift over to blaming (You-statements).
- You acknowledge your differences and you are able to manage your anxiety over these differences.
- You are curious about your partner and you are willing to reveal yourself to increase understanding of each others hopes and dreams, fears and worries.
Make a note of how you usually respond to your partner.
Let me know here on the blog (use a pseudonym to protect your privacy).
If you attack or avoid when you are stressed out, decide right now to start responding differently.
At your first opportunity reach out to your partner and do one thing that will make a difference for your partner.
Do you need help?
Marriage Counseling / Couples therapy can help! You will learn to:
Communicate more effectively, negotiate differences, deal with conflicts and repair after fights.
Focus on what you can do to make a difference in your relationship.
Reach out to your partner in new ways to increase understanding of each other.
Reconnect by changing how you react to your partner in stressful situations.
Are you ready to work on your marriage/relationship?
Let’s talk about how I can help! click here for contact information
Photo of hostile arguing couple is by hang in there
Photo of avoidant and angry resistant couple is by John Walker
Photo of loving couple is by Zylenia