Where Relationships Can Fail...

Relationships can be one of the most rewarding aspects of life, providing love, companionship, and support. However, relationships can also be challenging, and many of them fail for a variety of reasons. Here are some common reasons why relationships fail:

  1. Lack of communication

Effective communication is crucial for the success of any relationship. When communication breaks down, misunderstandings can occur, and conflicts can arise. A lack of communication can also lead to feelings of resentment, which can erode the foundation of a relationship over time.

  1. Unresolved conflicts

Conflicts are a natural part of any relationship, but they can become problematic if they are not resolved effectively. When conflicts go unresolved, they can lead to feelings of resentment, anger, and frustration, which can damage the relationship.

  1. Different values and goals

If two people in a relationship have different values and goals, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy and happy relationship. It's important to be clear about your values and goals and to discuss them openly with your partner to ensure that you are on the same page.

  1. Lack of trust

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. When trust is broken, it can be difficult to repair the relationship. Lack of trust can manifest in many ways, including infidelity, dishonesty, or lack of support.

  1. Different communication styles

People have different communication styles, and if they are not compatible, it can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. It's important to understand your partner's communication style and to work together to find a way to communicate effectively.

  1. Lack of emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy is the foundation of a healthy relationship, providing a sense of connection, support, and understanding. When emotional intimacy is lacking, the relationship can feel distant and unfulfilling.

In conclusion, relationships can be challenging, and many of them fail for a variety of reasons. Lack of communication, unresolved conflicts, different values and goals, lack of trust, different communication styles, and lack of emotional intimacy are all common reasons why relationships fail. By understanding these issues, we can work towards building healthy and fulfilling relationships that stand the test of time.

Boundaries In Relationships

Matthew Fray is a popular author and relationship coach known for his work on boundaries in relationships. He has written extensively on the topic, emphasizing the importance of boundaries in maintaining healthy relationships. Here's what you need to know about the magic of boundaries with Matthew Fray:

  1. What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves and others in our lives. They define what we are and are not comfortable with, and they help us establish and maintain healthy relationships.

  1. Why are boundaries important?

Boundaries are essential for maintaining healthy relationships. They help us establish trust, respect, and mutual understanding with our partners. They also help us avoid unhealthy patterns of behavior, such as people-pleasing or codependency.

  1. How to set boundaries?

Setting boundaries can be challenging, especially if you are not used to doing so. Matthew Fray recommends being clear and direct about your needs and desires, and communicating them in a way that is respectful and non-judgmental. It's also important to be consistent in enforcing your boundaries, even if it means saying no to others.

  1. What are the benefits of setting boundaries?

Setting boundaries can have many benefits, including increased self-esteem, improved communication, and stronger relationships. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve overall mental health and well-being.

  1. What are some common boundary issues in relationships?

Common boundary issues in relationships include not respecting each other's privacy, not being clear about expectations and needs, and not respecting each other's time and energy. These issues can lead to resentment and conflict, which can damage the relationship over time.

Basically, boundaries are essential for maintaining healthy relationships. By setting clear boundaries and enforcing them consistently, we can establish trust, respect, and mutual understanding with our partners. Matthew Fray emphasizes the importance of boundaries in his work, and his insights can be invaluable for anyone looking to build stronger, healthier relationships.

Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a form of couples therapy developed by Dr. Sue Johnson in the 1980s. The therapy is based on the premise that attachment is a fundamental human need and that individuals have an innate drive to form and maintain intimate connections with others. EFT is grounded in attachment theory and focuses on helping couples to identify and express their underlying emotions and needs in order to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Dr. Sue Johnson is a leading expert in the field of couples therapy and is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on the science of love and relationships. She is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Ottawa in Canada and has authored numerous books and articles on the topic of relationships and attachment. Her most well-known book, "Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love," has been translated into over 20 languages and has helped countless couples to improve their relationships.

EFT is a short-term therapy that typically consists of 8-20 sessions. The therapy focuses on three main stages:

  1. De-escalation: The first stage of EFT involves helping the couple to identify and de-escalate the negative patterns that are causing distress in their relationship. This involves identifying the negative cycles of interaction that the couple is caught in and helping them to understand how these cycles are perpetuated.
  2. Restructuring: The second stage of EFT involves helping the couple to restructure their interactions in a more positive way. This involves helping them to express their underlying emotions and needs more effectively and to develop new ways of interacting that promote connection and closeness.
  3. Consolidation: The final stage of EFT involves consolidating the gains made in therapy and helping the couple to maintain the positive changes in their relationship over time. This involves helping them to continue to communicate effectively and to stay connected emotionally.

EFT has been shown to be highly effective in improving relationships and reducing distress. Research studies have found that EFT is effective in treating a variety of relationship issues, including communication problems, infidelity, and attachment injuries. EFT has also been found to be effective in treating couples with a history of trauma or abuse.

Dr. Sue Johnson's contributions to the field of couples therapy have been immense. Her research and clinical work have helped to transform our understanding of the importance of emotional connection in relationships. Her approach to therapy has helped countless couples to develop stronger, more secure bonds with one another, leading to more fulfilling and satisfying relationships.

In conclusion, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a powerful and effective form of couples therapy that helps couples to develop deeper emotional connections and to overcome the negative patterns that are causing distress in their relationship. Dr. Sue Johnson's contributions to the field of couples therapy have been immense, and her approach to therapy has helped countless couples to develop more meaningful and satisfying relationships. If you are struggling in your relationship, EFT may be a powerful tool to help you and your partner find your way back to each other.

Divorce...

Divorce sucks. Plain and simple. Whether you initiated, your partner did, or you both agreed together, it is a crap-shoot. 

Six months ago, my husband and I quietly separated. I needed my own space so that I could deal with my resentment towards him. I was incredibly unhappy and had been for years. I felt completely unseen, unloved, and unwanted. We had almost no intimacy, sexual or otherwise, we rarely talked, and I always felt like the “heavy” in our relationship- the one who made the tough decisions, disciplined the kids, handled the finances, and took care of any and all planning for appointments and such. Now, in all fairness, my husband works hard- really hard! He works 10+ hour days through the week and then puts in another 6-8 on Saturdays. Sometimes, he even worked half-days on Sunday. He always took care of grocery shopping 1-2 times a month and cooked dinner most nights. He took care of oil changes, brake jobs, and yard work. And when he had free time, he spent with our kids outside playing soccer or basketball or playing on the trampoline. He and my son get along great- they have gaming in common and my husband is super patient with him. All in all, he’s not a bad guy and he certainly isn’t a bad dad, but as a husband, well, let’s just say, I was never really his priority. 

The 7 Pillars of Grief: An Introverts Perspective 
The experience of loss can come in many forms. Most of us readily recognize the finality of death as an obvious catalyst for grief. The process for working through these other types of loss is more or less identical to that of death.

We are going to explore some of these other forms of loss, how they shape us, how we heal from them, and most importantly, how we, as introverts, define and handle the stepping stones of this particularly hard, but necessary journey. First, allow me to tell you a little bit about one of my biggest battles with grief. 

In August 2017, my father passed away. My relationship with him had been complicated for almost all of my adult years. He had diabetes and ultimately succumbed to the toll that the disease took on his body. He was an alcoholic during my growing-up years, he could be hugely warm and funny, but he could also be cruel and cutting. He was an avid history buff and loved to read. He genuinely liked kids and enjoyed teaching them card games and board games. He was far from perfect and we struggled to understand each other. But, I know he loved me and I loved him. My journey through grieving was a life-altering experience from the inside out. 

The 7 Pillars (stages) of Grief are a vital part of the healing process. If you were to work through them in order, it would look like this:

• Shock and Denial
• Pain and Guilt
• Anger and Bargaining
• Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness 
• The Upward Turn
• Reconstruction and Working Through
• Acceptance and Hope

Now, here is something I want you to keep in mind- every single person is different. We all grieve in our own way and in our own time. If you find yourself skipping or vacillating between one or more of these pillar stages, that’s okay. If you feel like you are all over the place, that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you. 

Grief is messy. It’s chaotic and crazy and deeply painful. It shows up in ways that you never thought possible. You will have days of deep despair- where you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll feel weak and defeated and lost. You’ll have days where seemingly nothing of significance will make you cry or completely alter your mood from one extreme to another. There will be days when you’ll feel strong and alive and like you can FINALLY breathe. And yes, there will be days- even moments, when you’ll experience both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. And, you know what? It’s okay. You are okay. I repeat, there is NOTHING wrong with you. Keep moving forward because the only way out is through. It takes what it takes to heal.

Infidelity

Infidelity can be one of the most devastating experiences a person can go through in a relationship. It can be emotionally painful and can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. In fact, research has shown that people who have experienced infidelity in their relationships are at an increased risk for developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. In this blog post, we will explore the ways in which infidelity can impact mental health in a relationship and what mental health therapists can do to help couples who are struggling with this issue.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that infidelity is not always about sex. While sexual infidelity is certainly one way in which infidelity can manifest, it can also involve emotional infidelity, such as forming a deep emotional connection with someone outside of the relationship. Both types of infidelity can be equally damaging to a relationship and can have a significant impact on mental health.

When someone discovers that their partner has been unfaithful, it can be a shock that shakes their entire sense of self and trust in the relationship. They may feel betrayed, rejected, and deeply hurt by their partner's actions. These emotions can lead to depression, anxiety, and a range of other mental health issues. In fact, research has shown that people who experience infidelity are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who have not experienced infidelity.

The impact of infidelity on mental health is not limited to the person who has been cheated on. The person who has cheated may also experience negative mental health effects as a result of their actions. They may feel guilt, shame, and remorse for their actions and may struggle with their own mental health issues as a result.

In addition to the emotional pain caused by infidelity, it can also have a major impact on a person's sense of self-worth and self-esteem. When someone's trust has been betrayed, they may begin to question their own value and worth as a partner. This can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in themselves and their relationships.

So, what can mental health therapists do to help couples who are struggling with the aftermath of infidelity?

First and foremost, it is important to provide a safe and supportive environment for both partners to process their emotions and work through the challenges they are facing. This may involve individual therapy for both partners, as well as couples therapy to help them communicate effectively and repair their relationship.

It is also important for therapists to help couples identify the underlying issues that may have led to the infidelity in the first place. This may involve exploring issues such as a lack of communication, unmet emotional needs, or a lack of intimacy in the relationship. By addressing these underlying issues, couples can work towards rebuilding their relationship and creating a stronger foundation for the future.

In addition to addressing the issues that led to the infidelity, it is also important for therapists to help couples establish healthy boundaries and communication strategies to prevent future infidelity. This may involve setting clear expectations and boundaries within the relationship and learning how to effectively communicate with one another.

Finally, it is important for therapists to help couples develop coping strategies to manage the stress and anxiety that can result from infidelity. This may involve teaching couples relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, as well as helping them to find healthy outlets for their emotions, such as exercise or art therapy.

In conclusion, infidelity can have a significant impact on mental health in a relationship. It can be emotionally painful and can cause a range of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Mental health therapists can play a crucial role in helping couples navigate the aftermath of infidelity and work towards rebuilding their relationship.