While every relationship is unique, one thing that every married couple can count on is conflict. Conflicts can range from financial disagreements to infidelity. With that in mind, as long as you are willing to follow expert advice and put forth the required effort, reconciliation is possible. In addition, it is essential to avoid stonewalling, contempt, defensiveness, and criticism when dealing with your spouse. Dr. Phillips marriage counseling offers the following ways to improve your marital bond.
Many couples fight and behave cruelly over some of the most simple issues. For example, they might fight over dirty laundry, but dirty laundry usually has nothing to do with the argument they are engaged in. Most of the time, the fight has more to do with how the issue was approached, the conversation’s context, and the overall meaning associated with it.
For example, here are two different ways to approach the issue of dirty laundry:
“Why can’t you wash your dirty clothes? Is it because you think I am your slave?! You are such a slob. I am sick of you.”
“Could you please do a couple of loads of laundry for me? I really appreciate the work you do for us around here. Thank you for always being so supportive.”
It is no secret that the way we express our feelings can often trigger our spouse’s past pain, even pain that we may not be fully aware of. In a statement like the first example, it is easy for a partner to feel unloved, belittled, criticized, and attacked. However, when you are genuinely committed to making your marriage work and love your spouse, discuss issues and conflict with kindness, and remember to fight fair when you have a difference of opinion.
It isn't very reassuring to see how kind we can be with others, but how harshly we treat our spouse. If a person you admire or a friend gets in your new truck and spills a cup of coffee all over your new floorboard, even though it is upsetting, you will probably be kind and say something like, "It is no big deal, do not stress about it; I will take care of it." Why does it feel so natural to be kind and gentle with others and not with our partners? Think about this question and analyze what emotions come up.
Some days it can feel like your spouse gets paid to point out all of the things you do wrong, but you are the only one that can be an expert on how you feel. Self-awareness requires effort, but it lets you make more mindful choices. The only way to have complete control over your emotions is to make an effort to analyze your actions, emotions, and thoughts. Look closely at your feelings, see them for what they are, and accept them. There are no such things as wrong feelings, only wrong decisions.
These are just a few ways you can make your marriage better. Contact Dr. Phillips marriage counseling to start your journey toward reconciliation. We are here to help you find a better way!
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.