@journey_to_wellness_ uses this lovely image to describe what a healthy relationship should look like. Learning about and valuing what is important to each other is paramount. Knowing and being able to express how you feel, your desires and thoughts facilitates openness which in turn leads to a deeper connection. Healthy relationships bring out the best in BOTH of yo
Filtering by Category: Couples
We all want to be heard. REALLY heard. We often prioritise that over listening. My favourite quote is; "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply". How often have you found yourself doing just that? Sitting and listening to what someone is saying, but really thinking about your; emotions or rebuttle - getting geared up to respond. I know I have! That's why with couples that I see, I focus on getting them to listen, REALLY listen. The best exercise I find for this (Couple Therapists if you have good ones too please let me know!) is simple paraphrasing! This exercise is so easy to use and translates to most issues or topics you may be struggling with.
All you need to do is; one person be the speaker and the other the listener.
Speaker: Discusses how they are feeling or thinking. Listener:Use your own words to communicate what you understand the Speaker to be saying (paraphrase). Don’t just repeat what the Speaker has said. Listener:: Verify, clarify, or modify the Speaker’s paraphrased response. Speaker: Paraphrases what the Listener has said again.
This is intended to help the listener to know that the Speaker is aware of the Listener's perspective and has heard what they have said. Paraphrasing and restating also allows the Speaker to correct any misunderstanding on the part of the Listener.
Side note; when I was 19 I remember seeing a big poster, and it's always stuck with me. It said; We have two ears, two hands and one mouth-to talk less listen more and do most.
So, what is differentiation? It's the opposite of symbiosis (connection as one - where codependency can arise...we will leave that to another day!)
Differentiation, the way we hold on to ourselves while staying connected to our partner. Differentiation requires the individual to be honest with themselves and partner, open to personal growth and the ability to express how they feel/think/desire while tolerating their partner doing the same.
Differentiation facilitates authenticity and vulnerability, and resolving conflicts and accepting that you might not like each other at times!
Differentiation is something I talk to couples about from the beginning. It is interesting how often people become fearful of that change - within their partner or themselves- that holding integrity can create so much anxiety. In actual fact it can do quite the opposite! It can keep the passion alive, stop relationships becoming stale, break any repetitive cycle that's occurring with conflict (hostile/avoidance) and most importantly, ease re-traumatisation.
Here are some tips to get you started with differentiation:
1. During a conflict or difficulty, try doing something that is 180 degrees different than what you have tried.
2. Question yourself: How are the current relationship issues made worse by you, your attitude, your way of looking at issues.
3. Confront yourself, not your partner. See how it feels and how you contribute to issues.
4. Ask yourself: Do I feel comfortable with my partner expressing their views, emotions or thoughts? •
See how it feels asking yourself these questions. If your differenation is strong in the relationship, you should be comfortable handing these over to your partner!
Increasing communication and intimacy:
To really focus on each other, 'soul gazing' is a technique that can help eliminate distractions and increase intimacy. To engage in soul gazing you can either sit and face each other on a bed or couch or alternatively lying on the bed facing each other. Hold eye contact for 3-5 minutes. (you are allowed to blink!) however do try not to talk. It can be awkward however with practice and time it will become easier. Try it for 5 minutes! It's all about taking time for each other, helping to build trust and ultimately gain a new level of intimacy
"If you love someone and you break up.."
When a relationship ends, it can be immensely heartbreaking. Negative emotions are often demonised and we are made to feel as though feeling sad, angry and hurt is not good for us. That's not the case. You are perfectly entitled to experience and go through these emotions. Talk to people:friends, family members, your therapist.
Whatever happened, remember you are loved, you are important, you are beautiful, keep that heart on your sleeve.
Intimacy is at the heart of a strong relationship. Intimacy is about being able to be free, to be your authentic self with them. It's a deep emotional bond that is normally reserved for just one person. Ideally, sex in a loving relationship should come from a place of love and connection. The two are interconnected intimacy builds sex and sex builds intimacy. When one is struggling, the other is also.
If you and your partner are having difficulties couple therapy can really assist.
New research finds that comfort with sexual communication is directly linked to sexual satisfaction. Alongside this: People who are more comfortable talking about sex are also more likely to do so while having sex, the researchers found. Expressing yourself sexually tends to be easier during sexual activity as guards and barriers tend to be lowered. After all, people who are uncomfortable asking their partners to wear a condom may be at higher risk of having unprotected sex and exposing themselves to sexually transmitted infections. Which would reduce the fear of pregnancy or STI's and increase an individual feeling relaxed....not to mention the all important intimacy! So try to communicate and express yourself honestly. This will lead to a happier sex life 💗.
Sex and communication: If you feeling awkward or exposed talking during sex, a good way to commence communicating is to try it before being in the act. You could start the conversation about something you've my have had a dream about, day dreaming about or a fantasy you've been thinking about trying. You could start by leaving a note or even a text. Putting yourself gently out there is a good way to start. It's dipping your toes rather than diving straight in!
Sex and communication: The ability to talk honestly and openly is vital in order to have a fulfilling sex life. The skills to do so can be learned which will greatly improve your sexual satisfaction and your relationship. Its not an easy thing to do, some people fear being embarrassed or embarrassing their partners. Not to mention the fear of being rejected or the possibility of ruining their relationships. Finally that many people are nervous about starting the conversation in the first instance so they just keep to themselves. Let's be honest; talking about sex is a very sensitive and uncomfortable topic for most people. All of these worries are completely understandable. Continuing on this week I'll be giving you ways that you can ease these fears and start having a better sex life.