This week we're trying to help couples prevent heartache by naming the mistakes we see most often in our office. Yesterday we discussed sweeping things under the rug, expecting a one-hour session to make everything better, & keeping work life separate from home life. Today we build on these common tips:
Discuss tense topics one at a time. It’s hard to follow a disagreement when you’re fighting about this, that, & the kitchen sink. Stick to one topic and conquer that before dragging out another issue. You’ll feel less exhausted and less at odds with each other if you do so. It’s like cleaning a house. If you save it all for one day it’s overwhelming, but if you break it down into sections, it’s much more manageable.
Avoid finger pointing. Each person needs to take responsibility for their part in the relationship/marriage problems. Most (not all) of the time it’s 50/50. Whether it’s how we react or what we say/do, or what we don’t say/do that contributes to the overall problem. If we blame & point fingers, then all we’re doing is attacking and not working together as a team.
Focus on the positive. Remember at one time you were attracted to each other and there was a reason you fell in love! A lot of times couples get too focused on keeping score of all the hurts and “who hurt who.” When this happens the positives get overlooked. If you look for the positives you will find them.
Remember these mistakes are common, which means they happen to the best of us. Keep these in mind the next time you're talking with your loved one and hopefully the conversation will go more smoothly. Thank you for reading and check back in for more effective ways to communicate.
Written by: Tamara McCord MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.