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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Communication Between Couples

Many things can complicate a relationship, whether it be money, sex or infidelity. However, some of these problems can be traced to a single, crucial element of all relationships: communication. Learning how to listen and clearly convey your thoughts and feelings could make certain issues easier to handle and solve.

Listening With Patience
If your partner claims you often misunderstand him, brush up on your listening skills. According to Eboni J. Baugh and Deborah Humphries of the University of Florida, bad listening habits are difficult to break, but you can do so if you notice your own patterns. Jumping to conclusions or thinking of your response before your partner is done talking is detrimental to understanding the issues your partner is addressing. No need to rush. Feeling like you need to have a comeback as quickly as possible turns a simple discussion into a competitive argument. The goal is not to "win" but to come out learning something about yourself and your partner.

Be Clear And Upfront
If you often feel misunderstood in your relationship, don't assume your partner isn't listening. The problem may be in how clearly you express your emotions and ideas. Negative words and combative body language can easily cloud an argument with feelings of hostility. Try using neutral words and statements centered on "I" rather than "you." When you point the issue at the other person, she can easily feel attacked. Calmness, neutrality and openness can make a difficult subject easier to hear.

When And Where
Life can often get in the way of open communication. The key is finding the right time to have serious discussions. Make an appointment if you have to, and rid yourself of all distractions (phones and TVs off, kids in bed). The setting is important as well. Arguments in public can lead to an embarrassing scene so keep it behind closed doors.

Other Tips
To ensure your arguments will come to a solution and will not run in circles, stay on topic. It is tempting to stray from the main issue and bring up past transgressions, but leave them in the past. Don't quibble over dates, times and other small pieces of the story. If it won't help your point get across, move on. Remember that your and your partner's opinions are the only ones that matter. Just because your mom agrees with you, doesn't mean she has anything to do with this discussion. Focus on your own thoughts and feelings.

The Aftermath
Now that the discussion is over, let it rest. Compliment each other on how well you were able to communicate. When you and your partner focus on enhancing your communication skills and arguing productively, it is the first step in solving hard issues. Great communication might not fix everything, but you won't have much chance to solve things without it.


Saturday, 1 May 2010

How to Solve Relationship Problems Without Breaking Up

Relationships are always a challenge and they take a lot of time and dedication. This article will help you solve your relationship problems.

1. The main key to a relationship is communication. Relationships are nothing without good communication. When you and your spouse argue try not to yell. Just keep calm and explain how you feel and why you feel that way. Patience is a big part of communication. Let the other person speak without being interrupted.

2. Come up with a plan on how you are going to solve your problems. Lists help a lot. List all of the things you want to change about your relationship. Describe why you want it to change and how it could benefit your relationship in the future. Don't write down a list of all the things that annoy you about your spouse. This is about helping and growing in your relationship not accusing the other person of being wrong all the time.

3. After you have a list of things you think you should change about your relationship sit down with your spouse and discuss the list and figure out what should stay and what should go. Make compromises because that's what relationships are about. Work out your problems and talk about things like the future and your plans. Don't be stubborn and negotiate things.

- If you feel like yelling just say u need some time alone and take deep breaths
- Don't give up. Keep trying to solve your problems.


How to Break Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

If you're having trouble finding Mr. Right, it might be that you have too much old relationship  baggage. Because our external relationships mirror what's happening inside of us, it's smart to look *inward* to determine why you're getting the results you're getting. Let's take a look at how you can break those unhealthy relationship patterns and attract your one true love once and for all.

1. Take great care of yourself. This topic is given a lot of lip service, and it's likely that you already know it. But, what most people wind up doing is depriving themselves in the important ways and indulging themselves in the stuff that doesn't matter (like that chocolate bar that you "deserve"). Here's what I suggest: start accepting yourself exactly as you are and spoiling yourself with "the good stuff"--whether that's time to read that book you've been wanting to read, a long bath, or a heart-to-heart chat with a good friend. Taking care of yourself is actually about doing what's going to make you feel loved and cared for--not about indulging those desires that aren't always good for you.
2. Treat the people in your life better. Are you the kind of person who's on the phone with someone while you're out with someone else? Or do you give the person you're with your full attention? (You know the right answer here.) Are you the kind of person who makes eye contact with everyone in the grocery store, offers a smile, and sometimes a Hello or do you pretend you're the only person shopping the aisles? Do you say "thank you" at least several times a day? Aim to treat people really, really well, whether they're people you know or strangers. Believe it or not, how we treat other people is a big reflection on how much we value ourselves, and treating other people better is actually a really easy way to improve your self esteem which goes a long way towards breaking old relationship habits.
3. Forgive all your exes. Yes, even if he cheated on you with your best friend. Yes, even if he betrayed you horrifically and treated you badly. Forgive 'em all. This DOESN'T mean take them back, it just means let go of the relationship fully, release yourself from reliving it, and release your anger, bitterness, and disappointment about how things turn out. By truly releasing the past, and forgiving all your former flames once and for all... you'll be ready to truly break old patterns and find the love of your life.
4. Practice "open" posture. This means, shoulders back, head up, looking people in the eye with a smile, mimicking the body language of people who are warm and friendly. If you tend to hunch over and try to take up as little space as possible, practice embracing being seen and acknowledged. This open posture will come to you much more naturally now that you've followed step #3 and forgiven your exes--that's because you won't need all that armor you'd subconsciously been wearing.
5. Only accept the great guys. If you have a history of dating losers, there's really only one solution: stop dating losers. I know that sounds like an oversimplification, but you'll find that after you've been practicing the previous four steps, this will come much more easily to you. Once you've gotten in the habit of treating other people with kindness and compassion (and treating yourself the same) you'll KNOW with absolute certainty that you deserve this same level of respect and care. And that makes it much easier to hold out until you find the love of your life.

- It's easier than you might think to release old relationship baggage, but you have to do the work--you can't just plop in front of the TV with your ice cream and distract yourself.


How to Take a Relationship Break

Some couples decide to take a relationship break when things get tough. For some this works fine, for others it can be the end of their relationship. If you're taking a break in your relationship, then observe these 2 simple rules and avoid failing where so many do.

1. Decide what the purpose of taking time apart is. This should be obvious, but without discussing this you will fail to have a clear guide of acceptable behaviour while you're both apart from each other. The purpose of a relationship break should be to reflect upon the relationship itself. To do this whilst apart from each other, where things can be seen from a different perspective.

2. Make sure you're both clear on what is acceptable behaviour while spending time apart. Once you are both clear on what the purpose of the relationship break is, the expected behaviour should be discussed. This will avoid any surprises. For some people, putting a relationship on hold means they are suddenly single and free to do as they please. Other people assume that while a relationship is on ice, the ground rules of the relationship still need to be observed. If these two modes of behaviour take place, when you reunite you may find yourself with a bigger issue than you started out with.

3. Stick to the guidelines. If you both stick to the guidelines, any issues that need dealing with when you get back together after your break will be the old issues that plagued your relationship in the first place (which may seem insignificant when viewed with a fresh perspective) and not new issues risen from things that may have taken place during your time apart.
- Sit down together and take setting guidelines seriously. Not doing so can cost you your relationship. All it takes is a brief conversation.
- Not having a clear guideline of what constitutes acceptable behaviour whilst apart can create a breach of trust - an issue which your relationship may not