Are things going smooth in your relationship? Do you feel connected and close? Congrats! We are so excited for you! Getting to a good place in your marriage can be a long hard road. Many couples we work with are able to achieve connection, but they fear that things will go down hill over time.
Many times, our clients feel confusion when the term “abandonment issues” comes up in therapy. After all, don’t we most commonly think of the literal term, “abandonment”, as being physically abandoned (like an infant who is left on a door step for someone to find) ?
So, what exactly are abandonment issues?
We all have moments where we stop and think “I should call and check on so-and-so to see how they are”, or “I should really make an effort with this person to do more”. Life often has a way of getting in between relationships—whether they are friendships, your family, or even your marriage. Relationships don’t just happen. They take time, effort, love, patience, sacrifice, and nurturing to keep them in existence and to help them grow. This week at Imagine Hope we are talking about the importance of nurturing relationships, and steps you can take to better any relationships that you may not be giving your full time or attention to.
People love love. Romance can be like a drug to many. But the danger of this is that people don't truly understand what love is. They bring misconceptions about love into their relationship and end up with hurt feelings, confusion, and sometimes the ending of the relationship. Because society has such an impact on how we view love (and we know how twisted our society's lens of the world can be!), we want to help our readers understand the myths about love that could be doing damage in their relationships.
The fight or flight instinct is a strong one that kicks in without us even thinking about it. Sometimes this instinct can play out in relationships too. We might be in situations where we desire to fight for the relationship or flight and exit. This week we are going over common exits that we see in relationships. All relationships use language to express feelings. An exit is a behavior that acts out our feelings.
This week at Imagine Hope, we are discussing the impact your four-legged friends can make on your mental health. Did you know that research shows owning a dog or a cat can reduce blood pressure, decrease stress, and boost levels of endorphins in your brain? It’s amazing how impactful these family members can be on our lives!
Everyone has good intentions to find a healthy relationship, but do they have what it takes to make it happen? Enmeshment is the initial love stuck feeling people typically experience at the beginning. This extreme is a short lived fantasy land where people tend to lose themselves. This is not a healthy relationship.
As we have learned this week, shame issues take many forms in relationships and can have very damaging effects on a relationship. Many couples who come in our office initially think they are struggling with communication issues surrounding a particular area of their life (e.g., domestic support, finances, parenting, intimacy), but once we dive into the way they are communicating, we find that it has less to do with the content of their conflict and more to do with the way they communicate, if the communication is filled with shame.
Attacking the person vs. the behavior: Criticism
his week, Imagine Hope Counseling Group wraps up our blog series on anger. As we have discussed earlier in the week, anger can often times be what we call a "secondary" emotion. This means that what looks like anger is really secondary to another feeling that is underneath the angry reaction. If you haven't read the earlier blog parts from this week, I encourage you to check out part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4. So, read on if you want to learn about why you or someone you love might REALLY be angry.
Gathering & Learning, Conflict, and Creating Norms, as the Imagine Hope therapists have discussed, are the first three important stages in relationships that help us move towards intimacy. As Natalie shared in Wednesday's blog, Creating Norms is where you have gotten through the healthy conflict stage and know each others perspectives, expectations and where you "fit in" to the relationship. The fourth stage of relationships following this is Emotional Safety and Intimacy.
This week, we are talking about different kinds of love. Yesterday, Tamara described Eros, or passionate love. Today we will cover storge (pronounced store- guh) types of love, or love that occurs naturally in a family. Storge doesn't expect too much, is unconditional, often overlooks the other's faults and frequently forgives. Storge is the love where we can be comfortable and secure just being in the presence of one another.