By: Jennifer Hume
In my last article I wrote about core issues and how they are at the root of surface issues. I introduced a fictional couple, Trixie and Bob. Trixie and Bob had a repeating surface issue fight about Bob’s failure to help around the house as Trixie had repeatedly asked. Trixie became angry; Bob became defensive and shut down, which caused Trixie to get even more angry. And, you guessed it; Bob really shuts down after that. So on and so forth.
Can you sense the vicious cycle here? My Google search defined a vicious cycle, also called a vicious circle, quite well. It is “a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.” Synonyms are: downward spiral, catch-22, chicken and egg situation, and vortex.
How do you heal your wounded relationship? Get to the core.
Working as a professional counselor for over 15 years, I have had the opportunity to learn from my work with countless couples. Over the course of three articles, I’m going to share the most important things I’ve taken away from this work, the most critical aspects of healing wounded relationships.
The first step is the bedrock of relationship repair. In couples counseling, I call it “getting to the core.” The tricky part about doing it is, just like reaching the bedrock of the planet Earth, getting down to that firm foundation upon which to rebuild takes some sweat equity. Getting to the core is hard work because it almost always gets complicated by power struggles, fear of vulnerability, and surface issues. Allow me to explain these complicating factors before we really get to the meat of what core issues are and why it is imperative to work on them. Read More
By Karen Collins, MSW, LCSW, ACSW
Having a healthy and happy relationship is not as complicated as it may seem. A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect and mutual benefit. One of the most predominant qualities of a happy relationship is having respect for one another. If you do not talk to your partner with the same respect that you would speak to a friend, loved one, co-worker, boss or family member, then you have to question if you genuinely respect him or her. Treating your partner as your intellectual and emotional equal strengthens your relationship. Lack of respect can cause resentment; it is one of the quickest ways to undermine your relationship.
Consider some basic guidelines to assist you in developing and maintaining a healthy relationship. When you read over the guidelines, you will notice that all of them have some element of respect within the guideline.
- Keep in mind it is what you say, how you say it and when you say it! Your demeanor, tone, posture and attitude all factor into what you say and how well it is received.