Couples Counselling: Fixing Your Arguments

Dealing with Relationship Conflict in 3 Steps: Reconnecting

In your relationship does a row or conflict make you feel bad and pull away from your partner? Does this mean that you or your partner sulk or keep hold of your feelings? This simple 3-step fix will help you.

Step 1: Do not try to “set the record straight”

In your relationship, trying to establish the “facts”  is pretty much a waste of effort and you may have found that it makes the situation worse? This is because the mind works to protect itself, the emotion of the row creating distortion.  Perhaps you recognise the situation where you believe that you said and heard what you did whilst your partner will be adamant that they said and heard something different? What this means in that neither of you is really equipped to know what exactly happened.

Also it is very important to recognise that the conflict was in the past and accept that the past is gone. What has gone is much less important than NOW or what is going to happen.

Step 2: It’s All About You.

Accept that there is only one positive outcome that you can hope to achieve from the situation.  That is, you can only ever change yourself.  So, use your power to change your behaviour.

“When you decide to change your behaviour you choose to change the conditions of your life.  Doing this is the road to happiness”.

Step 3: Nightmares…

The following instructions provide an effective way to reconnect, Not only that but you get an additional bonus as the process itself helps develop relational maturity (Adult).

Agree a Nightmare Unfolding Appointment with your partner, agreeing when and where.

Complete the following sentences.  The rules are that you Speak ONLY about yourself. You Say NOTHING about your partner.

  • My contribution to this situation/nightmare was…

(Partner mirrors- notes on how to mirror are in following post)

  • What I did to make this situation/nightmare worse was…

(Partner mirrors)

  • What I could have done differently was:

(Partner mirrors)

  • Next time what I will do differently is:

(Partner mirrors)

  • Swap Over and partner speaks, using the same structure, speaking ONLY about themselves.

 

Note Especially that… No matter what your partner says or how they say it, do not justify or defend yourself.

Do not expect your partner to take responsibility for their part. They will only begin to see their part in the the problem after you have fully spoken about your part.  Accept that your mission is to only complete the above sentences. That alone will restore positive connection.

NB. The idea of fairness in a close relationship is “meaningless”. Fairness appears after we stop requiring it.

 

 

Ken McLeish is Principal Therapist at Reflexions Counselling and Therapy in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Reflexions provides counselling and therapy for a range of issues including addictions. He can be contacted through the website: https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .

Information contained in this blog is not a substitute for face-to-face therapy. It can only every be one view of a situation and may not be applicable to your situation. You are advised to seek specialist support for treatment for addictions. The work here is a personal view which may change over time and should not be taken as representative of Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Resources

Private Lies:Infidelity and Betrayal of Intimacy; Pittman, F.; (1990), Norton.
This is a classic book on infidelity. Very useful.

Counseling Today has some interesting articles by Frank Pittman

More resources can be found on Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy Couples page:Couples Counselling Resources

Invest in Your Life pt. 3: The Magic Number 7

Inward Investment: The Magic Number 7 & Feeling Good

Miller (1920 – ) is famous for demonstrating that our brains can’t deal with very much information at one time. If fact, you probably can only remember up to 7 random numbers or six letters or 4 or 5 words.  Try this by looking at the numbers below?

 2 4 6 7 8 0 9 7 2 3

Now hide the page and see how many you can write down. Most people can recall about 7. Chunking or grouping helps you to remember better.  Recalling  7 4 1 4 9 2 1 9 4 5 or TVFBIJFKCIAIBM would be helped if you see the sequence in the first and the acronyms in the second…

Because of how our minds work, it is therefore helpful to us to focus our efforts so that we are attending to (thinking about) things that matter.  However, you may find yourself thinking and worrying about things that you can’t influence. By definition, things that you can’t control are going to happen anyway DESPITE YOUR BEST EFFORTS.  Therefore, why spend any of your precious time or energy thinking about them?

Controlling the Controllables.

Worse still, lack of perceived control over our situation affects our wellbeing and our thinking. We get demotivated, fed up and stressed. Giving a footballing example, you’re not going to be helped if you are busy trying to control whether your team is going to win or not. This is because an individual player cannot control the output (winning), they can only control what they do (input).

Almost magically, as soon as they stop trying to control the uncontrollable they are set free and can focus on what they can do.  They then perform better, and feel better. And, more importantly, it makes a winning performance more likely for everyone.

Techniques to help you to sort out issues in your personal and professional lives in an efficient and effective manner. The list is extensive but includes anxiety, addiction, relationships, depression, and all things therapeutic.

Ken McLeish is Principal Therapist at Reflexions Counselling and Therapy in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Reflexions provides counselling and therapy for a range of issues including addictions. He can be contacted through the website: https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .

Information contained in this blog is not a substitute for face-to-face therapy. It can only every be one view of a situation and may not be applicable to your situation. You are advised to seek specialist support for treatment for addictions. The work here is a personal view which may change over time and should not be taken as representative of Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Ken McLeish BA DMS MBA MSc MSc Cert Ed UKCP Reg
Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy
Cuthbert House, NE6 5RD
0191 3506415
https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .

 

Invest in your life pt. 4: Tribal Relationships

Relationships: Using Tribal Thinking to Develp Greater Purpose and Belonging

Successful relationships at work, home and in all aspects of our lives are essential to our feelings of wellbeing and happiness.

Looking back in time, Homo sapiens became successful  as a group because we learnt that working together and sharing is more efficient and safer than being a lone hunter/killer. Every tribe had its rituals, roles and taboos, which allowed the group to stick together and survive. This way of being has become so deeply ingrained in our psyche that the essentials of relationship-making remain pretty much the same today as they did for our ancestors.

Knowing and participating in your current tribal culture will help you to achieve successful relationships.  Not only that, but you can generate in yourself a deeper sense of purpose and belonging.

Successful Relationships in 3 Parts.

1. Rules

Whilst many of the historical taboos no longer apply, rules and boundaries are essential to emotional security and safety. This means identifying the ground-rules and working out the conditions of each relationship you’re in-with your partner, friends and colleagues, and even with your kids.

What do you need the other person to do or not do? Vague statements don’t help as they are impossible to act on. The meaning of “I need respect,” is different for different people.  “Please can you tell the boss that we worked on this job together” is better. And, if it is important to you that you to know that your partner will be late, you could say, “When you are running more than 5 minutes late, please give me a call on my mobile and leave a message”.

Get to know what others require in your relationships. This sets the boundaries. Can I do this/can I do that? What are my needs and what is acceptable or unacceptable? Is compromise possible? Write down your needs, discuss, and remember to revisit them regularly.

2. Roles: Mammoth for Tea Darling?

Successful hunting and gathering was about everyone in the tribe working together and knowing what their job was.  Perhaps today it doesn’t affect whether we are going to catch mammoth for tea but role clarity does affect both our sense of self and our effectiveness. In your personal relationships are you clear about what each of you do? Step 2 is to have that discussion.

3. Rituals

Rituals and ceremonies help us to define situations. Do you greet: with a kiss or a handshake? Do you do a tea making ceremony? This is the glue that holds all of our relationships together. The make-up rituals after rows and arguments define successful and unsuccessful couples.  Identifying and sticking to your rituals, even when it feels difficult,  is important in keeping your relationships healthy and vibrant.

Relationship Success & Tribal Habits

Thus the recipe for successful relationships boils down to the 3 R’s – observe them, and you will be surrounded by supportive people for the rest of your life.

Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy helps clients to live life fully. We use a range of creative and traditional techniques to help you to sort out issues in your personal and professional lives in an efficient and effective manner. The list is extensive but includes anxiety, addiction, relationships, depression, and all things therapeutic.

Ken McLeish is Principal Therapist at Reflexions Counselling and Therapy in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Reflexions provides counselling and therapy for a range of issues including addictions. He can be contacted through the website: https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .

Information contained in this blog is not a substitute for face-to-face therapy. It can only every be one view of a situation and may not be applicable to your situation. You are advised to seek specialist support for treatment for addictions. The work here is a personal view which may change over time and should not be taken as representative of Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Ken McLeish BA DMS MBA MSc MSc Cert Ed UKCP Reg
Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy
Cuthbert House, NE6 5RD
0191 3506415
https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .

 

Invest in Your Life pt. 1: “Training”

This is the first of a series of six short business focused articles that were written for a magazine. They are all centred on a key topic and are designed to be reflective on an important issue that relates to your happiness and fulfillment. Hope that you enjoy it.

Inward Investment: Are you on The Right Track?

Have you set yourself goals in your life? Goals are the currency of business. However, applying business thinking to your private life can cost you. Here the price you pay is to direct your focus to your future at the expense of your present. Considering the metaphor of life’s journey, you focus upon your destination but lose sight of the voyage. This is particularly true when life’s journey is rough, complete with its’ ups and downs, twists and turns. Furthermore, today’s fast pace of life often compounds the problem.

What is it that you could be missing if you focus on your destination? You might well have thought about this. However, many people have not.

Suppose that you have chosen the right track and are now speeding to the right destination. When you arrive, you look around, surprised. You are not where you expected. You have arrived yet, you are somehow incomplete. Equally, you may be on the right track but the environment in which you find yourself is making progress difficult.

Being “in the present” is closely tied into your “quality of life”. Quite simply, taking care of the present improves your life. The following tips will help you to bring into focus elements which affect your “quality of life” and help you to enjoy life’s journey

Life’s Journey in 5 Steps

  1. How do I enjoy the journey?
  2. Who do I want with me when I arrive?
  3. What do I plan to do when I get there?
  4. Where is it that I want to get to?
  5. How do I best navigate the barriers in my way?

Overall, the point is: Taking care of business really starts with the most important investment of all – you.

Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy helps clients to live life fully. We use a range of creative and traditional techniques to help you to sort out key issues in your lives in an efficient and effective manner.

Ken McLeish is Principal Therapist at Reflexions Counselling and Therapy in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Reflexions provides counselling and therapy for a range of issues including addictions. He can be contacted through the website: https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .

Information contained in this blog is not a substitute for face-to-face therapy. It can only every be one view of a situation and may not be applicable to your situation. You are advised to seek specialist support for treatment for addictions. The work here is a personal view which may change over time and should not be taken as representative of Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Ken McLeish BA DMS MBA MSc MSc Cert Ed UKCP Reg
Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy
Cuthbert House, NE6 5RD
0191 3506415
https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .