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From Struggling to Solving

From Struggling to Solving

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Published by Tina B. Tessina
I want to help you to resolve your issues, and move on to having a workable, satisfying relationship, with minimal arguing or fighting, and create a partnership which will cause you to feel blessed and happy.
I want to help you to resolve your issues, and move on to having a workable, satisfying relationship, with minimal arguing or fighting, and create a partnership which will cause you to feel blessed and happy.

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Published by: Tina B. Tessina on Jul 14, 2014
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From Struggling to Solving
 
Healthy relationships are built on a foundation, or infrastructure, of clear thinking, problem solving, and mutual support. Any willing couple can learn to build a happy relationship, if they stop reacting and learn to respond thoughtfully. As an individual you have ideas and beliefs about how certain things in life should be handled, and so does your partner; and we all tend to assume everyone, especially a person who loves us, will see it our way. I teach couples the techniques and information that allows them to communicate and solve problems, rather than fight endlessly about the same things. In my long
marriage, I’ve also learned from my own experience that there’s a big difference
between the skills and attitudes one needs to date and fall in love, and what is
needed to make married life, home and family work smoothly. There’s a difference
between being lovers and being partners, and on top of all that, keeping enough romance and fun alive to make it all feel worthwhile. Those of us who succeed are the blessed ones, the happy ones, and you can be, too. In over thirty five years of couple counseling, I have frequently worked with couples
who fight about who’s right, family, housekeeping issues and time, and who often
resort to yelling and blaming, but
it doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn you
what you need to know to build the healthy, loving partnership you want, and to eliminate struggle. When you learn to view your relationship as a partnership, rather than a challenge or a competition, yo
u’ll discover new ways to think about sharing and working
together to make all your decisions mutual ones. With a little information and practice, you can become a successful, happy couple. I want to help you to resolve your issues, and move on to having a workable, satisfying relationship, with minimal arguing or fighting, and create a partnership which will cause you to feel blessed and happy.
Stumbling Blocks
 
 
 
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to improving a marriage is the unwillingness to talk. Often, this is because a history of fighting has discouraged the partners, and
made them unwilling to deal with problems. It’s always amazing to me that couples
are so much more willing to fight than to work together, but I do realize that working together requires letting yourself be vulnerable, which is difficult when
you’re scared.
Most of the couples who come to me have let small problems fester for a very long
time before getting help. It’s almost never the small issues that are difficult—it’s
the habits that develop over time of fighting, struggling, and not working together.
 
Money issues are a big one
—and let’s face it, money is just math. It’s not very
difficult if you take the feelings out of it. But couples can get divorced over it.
 
Sharing space, communication, dealing with family and friends, having different wants or needs can all become giant issues. Couples without teamwork skills fight about money, sex, affection, time, infidelity, in-laws, raising children, housekeeping, or other problems, often repeating the same old arguments, without
any resolution, or locked in habitual ways of relating that they think they “should”
do, but that create dissatisfaction and struggle between them. Often, infidelity can be a result of the shutdown in communication (and therefore,
sex) that happens when couples avoid fighting with the “silent treatment"”. I recommend couples who fight take “time outs” when things get too heated, and
separate, but the person who called the time out has the responsibility to come back and re-start the conversation. I also recommend couples who are having trouble talking without fighting have their discussions via e-mail, because it takes a lot of the reaction out of the discussion.
 
Getting Help
 
When my husband and I got marr
ied, we agreed up front that we’d go for counseling with any problem we couldn’t solve within 3 days. We went a few times, then we got to the point where one of us saying “I think we need a counseling session” was enough to solve the problem, and we haven’ 
t needed help for about
27 years. We’ve been married since 1982.
 
 
Getting help with difficult problems is really valuable. If you go for help early, it only takes a session or two. If you wait and let things fester, it can take months to solve the problems.
 
One couple told me how they were on the brink of divorce
due to an affair. Before going to divorce court, they sought counseling, and stuck with it for 18 months.
She said “therapy saved my life...saved my marriage.” He said: “We sought
psychotherapy from
a professional to address the way we were thinking.” They
speak with ease about their past issue, and seem very much over it.
 
They found a good therapist, and took it seriously. They did whatever work the therapist assigned, and were willing to make changes. Those things are always successful.
 
Insisting you’re right and making your partner wrong is the biggest disaster you
can create. The healing action is to listen and understand.
 
Marriage is a learning process. You’re doing something brand new, and no
other
couple is exactly like you, so you have to figure it out as you go. But, there’s a lot
of good relationship technology out there to help you. The rewards for building a good partnership are truly wonderful.
 
Relationships and Myths
 
There is a pervasive myth that somehow happy couples just agree on everything automatically all the time. Believing this myth, we enter relationships convinced that whatever problems or differences we have with our partners will be easy to solve. But, in reality, the individuals who make up a partnership will disagree frequently, and often struggle over even minor issues.
 
In the course of building and sustaining a lifetime relationship, every couple encounters many problems. Different backgrounds and experience, discordant perception of each other and events, unequal rates of education and growth, conflicting needs for self-expression and contact, and differing values and beliefs about relationships complicate and often block attempts at creating partnership together.
 

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