Relationship advice

How trust can affect a health relationship

trust in a relationshipAs you know, trust is vital to any healthy romantic relationship. Still, it can be difficult to trust. There are many reasons we may distrust our significant other, including the reality that they may have betrayed our trust.

That said, our own life experiences impact our own views on trust as well. Here are three experiences that may impact us:

  1. Self-esteem issues. Many of us struggle with managing our self-esteem, which can come from a variety of experiences. For example, if we experienced social rejection as a child/teen, were betrayed and/or abandoned by someone we love, or experienced bullying, we may feel like we don’t deserve love. That makes it easy for mistrust to infiltrate relationships as adults. Early life experiences play a significant role in our development.
  2. Abuse. Trusting a significant other after being in an abusive relationship is difficult. Living in an abusive household as a child can make it difficult to trust as well. This impacts our belief in the central goodness and trustworthiness of others. As in issues with self-esteem, mistrust takes root.
  3. Previous infidelity. When you have been cheated on, it is easy to start seeing betrayal around every corner. Even once you have moved on from that unhealthy relationship, little nagging thoughts can begin to sneak in, undermining your faith.

One of the healthiest steps you can take to handle issues of mistrust is to have a conversation with your significant other. Let them know if you are struggling due to previous experiences. A loving partner in a healthy relationship will support you and ask how to help. This may mean seeing a therapist, volunteering, attending self-esteem workshops, or finding other ways to strengthen your relationship. Indeed, this can help you to trust your partner and move you towards a happy, fulfilled life together!

Marriage Best Practice: Spending Time Apart

Time Apart - good relationship practiceYour honey is your best friend. You enjoy spending time together, doing activities, hanging out, and eating food. Sometimes, though, you feel the need to do something – anything – alone or separately.

That’s normal…and completely okay. Healthy relationships require time apart. That’s why spending time apart from your honey is a best practice for healthy marriages.

First, none of us are carbon copies of our significant others. We have interests the other doesn’t have, and making your honey participate in things he/she doesn’t like all the time is exhausting for both of you. Instead, spending time with a friend who enjoys the same activity (such as hiking, gaming, poker, book club, etc.) allows you to enjoy the activity without worrying about your significant other.

Second, alone time is often underrated, but it helps you to refuel your soul. Some people need more alone time than others. Still, we all need it to some extent. Having alone time helps us to re-focus and de-stress, which helps us handle conflict better. In other words, your honey can’t be with you for you to have alone time!

Third, we have different people in our lives for different reasons. When we are upset, excited, angry – whatever it is – we know what we need from others. If someone doesn’t react how we need, it causes distress. As much as we love our significant others, they don’t always respond how we need in a particular moment. Rather than fight about it, or feel worse because you didn’t get what you needed, spend time with a friend who meets that need.

Finally, absence makes the heart grow fonder. If you spend a day with your friend doing something you love (but your honey hates), you’ll come home refreshed and missing him/her. They will have missed you too. You can tell each other about your day, feeling happy to be together and more in love than ever.

So, go forth and spend time away from your significant other without a guilty conscience. It’ll benefit your relationship, and you’ll thrive together!

5 Tips to Communicate Successfully with Your Partner When Stressed

communication when stressedWe all go through difficult and stressful times in our lives and relationships. It’s normal and expected. However, it can also place a strain on our relationships – even if it’s something like work, school, or other life-changes causing the stress.

Whatever the reason you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to maintain healthy communication with your partner. Start with these 5 tips to get you started:

  1. Be aware of your stress. As adults, we’ve lived with ourselves for at least two decades now. We know how our bodies react to stress and what tips us over the edge. When you feel yourself becoming stressed, let your partner know. If you are both aware of it, you can support each other by making a point not to take stress out on one another and/or not take it personally if our partner slips up and says something unhelpful.
  2. Embrace empathy. Empathy is difficult sometimes, especially if we don’t understand why someone is reacting a certain way. If your partner is stressed out, let them know you have empathy and are there to support them – even if you don’t get it. Offer to listen to their stressors, emotions, and heartache non-judgmentally. Afterwards, ask what they need from you.
  3. Apologize. Stress can make us snippy, mean, and unhappy. If you find yourself making verbal swipes at your partner, check yourself and your communication style. If you say something mean or unsupportive, apologize. Let your partner know you appreciate your support.
  4. Reduce the stress. Take a deep breath before your communicate with your partner in order to manage your stress and emotions in the short term. In the long term, find a way to manage your stress effectively. Not only will this help your physical, mental, and emotional health, but it will also strengthen your relationship.
  5. Practice healthy communication. By practicing healthy communication with your partner on a daily basis, it will be easier to communicate in difficult situations when you are experiencing stress. Rather than falling back on bad habits, you’ll be able to fall back on healthy habits that keep your relationship strong!

Contact us at Albuquerque Family Counseling to help keep your relationship strong!

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