Gratitude schmatitude. Bah humbug. And many other similar sentiments would express how I feel about the recent election shenanigans that were so filled with negativity. I had on my negative lens. But instead of dwelling with that experience, I chose to immerse myself in Cucalorus. Cuca-what you say?
There are a number of practices recommended by therapists to improve your relationship, all good. A few include making time to talk with your partner (and truly listening when you do), conveying appreciation and affection, managing conflict well, sharing rituals you both have come to expect and look forward to, supporting each other’s hopes and dreams, and having each other’s backs–loyalty. But one practice that goes unheralded, especially in American culture, is touch.
Did you ever find yourself thinking “After I found Mr. or Mrs. Right, I was sure that I would be happy forevermore! Now I wake up and look across the pillow, wondering what in the world I have done to my life. I’m bored. We’re just roommates now.” When this happens, we are often chasing the myth of eternal happiness. We have these ideas about what “should” make us happy. The problem is that we have many false beliefs about that very subject. Science can help us understand what relationship boredom is and how it impacts us.
Why do couples get stuck? And how do they move through the most pervasive issue that keeps them there? What is that issue? I will answer that question, but please keep reading first.
It’s all in your mindset. Everyone who lives in this region the past week understands what it is like to wait for a hurricane, especially one of the magnitude of Hurricane Matthew. I sincerely hope your family did not suffer during the storm. The idea of scarcity or abundance is easily apparent at the grocery store if you shopped for bread early. The ritual of buying hurricane supplies demonstrates the evolutionary instinct to stockpile for tough times. Were you anxious about not having enough food to get through the storm? Considering this idea, what sort of attitude do you approach your relationships with? What do you have stockpiled that will help you make it through the inevitable storms of your relationship? Read more
What is flooding? What do I mean by a simple approach to ease flooding? And of course I am not talking about Katrina-type flooding, although the feeling is just as overwhelming as it was to the residents of New Orleans.
One thing that bothers me about therapy and self-help books is their focus on nice, tidy stories and methods that neatly tie up experiences and outcomes. Cue music! Cue lights! It is as if the authors are saying, if you follow my step by step program, you will be cured! They might as well put a cherry on top.
If you experience anxiety choosing therapy, whether or not it is individual therapy vs couples therapy to repair your relationship, this post has some good criteria to consider. Often both are warranted, but thinking about it with these areas in mind is a good place to start. Read more
Harry Harlow was the first to do groundbreaking research using rhesus monkeys to demonstrate the profound impact mother attachment had on the normal growth and maturation of the baby monkeys in his experiments. It showed that even when the monkeys were repeatedly rejected by painful mother “dolls”, they would return seeking connection even though the source (the doll) was woefully lacking in the same.
In order to answer this question about the one thing couples do not realize when they are fighting, a little background is helpful. Science from all sorts of fields tell us that loneliness raises our blood pressure and can increase the risk of heart disease, even stroke, by double.
PAGE RUTLEDGE, LCSW, CHt | Couples Counseling
5006 Randall Parkway (close to UNCW)
Wilmington, NC 28403
Free parking at office