Stress and Relationship Problems â€“ Chicago Relationship Counseling
By Robert J. Smith – Providing Counseling Services in Chicago & Northwest Suburbs
Individuals and couples often begin therapy with a concern or complaint about their partner. Blame, anger, resentment, decrease in affection or sex, arguing about parenting or money, and withdrawl into oneself are common couples problems. Whether you have been married for a few years or many years, it is common for couples to have conflict and disagreements. How you resolve your differences and conflict is of most importance. Both individuals and couples come in to see me because they havenâ€™t yet found the solutions to resolving their differences. I believe that most couples can learn the skills and tools needed to relate better to one another. In many cases, they already have those skills and just havenâ€™t been using them.
When under the stress of circular arguments, we tend to build much tension, resentment, and anxiety. As the conflict builds and is unresolved, there is an increase in angry patterns of behavior or withdrawl. These negative patterns of interaction can lead to having feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in the relationship. Couples begin to throw barbs, avoid intimacy (physical or emotional), and live with their own thoughts about their partner. The problem in living with our own thoughts when we are anxious, is that, we build a story about our partner based on negativity, and tend to focus on what is wrong versis working toward finding positive solutions to our issues. In essence, we forget about the positive qualities of our partner.
I invite you to consider trying something different and new. After all, if you continue to do what hasnâ€™t been working, you will probably spiral down into the depths of relationship destruction. Consider thinking about and discussing with your partner what lead to you first connecting with one another. What were the qualities that you once appreciated? What enjoyable things did you do together?
Stress tends to block out those positive experiences, and leads us to focusing on the negative. It is possible to freshen your experience by intentionally thinking about past positive times, and what you would like to see happen in your relationship. You can remember positive times. You can change your relationship focus to something new in the present. You can let yourself focus on what you can do in the present to have calm and peace of mind. We do have the ability to heal ourselves and our relationships. It is a CHOICE that you can make to build new patterns of behavior that bring about a positive connection with your partner. After all, isnâ€™t that what you really want? To have a positive connection with your partner. You can do your part at breaking out of the negative cycle of interaction with your partner. The first step is to acknowledge that you want something different. The next step is doing one thing new or that you used to do in the past that was positive. Surprising your partner with a positive action can be the start of something new. It is like building a new house where an old house once stood. First, there had to be the tear down and clean up. Then you begin preparing the area for the new home. You then design what it is that you want. Brick by brick you build your new home. You can also change the design along the way to make the home the way you would like it to be. You can decide what color brick you want to use, the shape of the building, how many windows and where to place them, the height of the ceilings, and the size and number of the rooms. Before you know it, your new home is built.
Rome wasnâ€™t built in a day. You can take the time you need to REFOCUS NOW on what you really want. The choice is yours, to continue doing what hasnâ€™t worked, and feeling miserable, or take a STEP in a NEW DIRECTION.
Robert can be contacted at email: counseling@RobSmithLCSW.com or Ph. (847) 824-8366 to make an appointment. He is located in the Golf Mill Professional Building in Niles, Illinois and provides counseling services to clients in Chicago, Niles, Glenview, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Northbrook, Skokie, Arlington Heights, Lincolnwood and the remaining Northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Email:Â Â counseling@RobSmithLCSW.comÂ or Ph. (847) 824-8366.