The following is a transcript of the above video:
In this video, we will discuss what makes a good relationship, why you and your partner may be struggling, and what to expect should you choose therapy.
Many of our clients will ask us what we think makes a good relationship. What do you think?
- Never arguing
- Sometimes having an argument
- Always communicating openly
- None of the above
If you answered D, you would be correct. According to the research, none of the above are good predictors of a good relationship. What is important is for every one negative reaction in your relationship, that there are five positive ones. In fact, arguing means that you are relaying some type of information to your partner, and they are relaying some type of information to you.
Should you argue with your partner, it is okay to have angry or upset feelings, however, you want to ensure that your children are not witnessing it, volatile language is not being used, objects are not being thrown, and there are no physical altercations.
True or false:
We should be independent beings and not be reliant on our partner.
If you answered false, you would be correct. As human beings, we need connection with another person. Romantic connection is as important as a parent-child relationship. We know that children do not thrive if there is a lack of connection with a parent, and this is the same between partners. In relationships, we look to see that someone is there and meeting our needs, and when our needs are not met, this sends a panic to our brain, and we either get angry, or withdraw by being quiet or holding feelings in.
When we have a connection with another person, it releases a hormone called oxytocin, and this helps alleviate stress and increases feelings of trust. As human beings, we need secure relationships – we need a safe person in our lives. We’re usually looking for this in an intimate partner or love relationship. Both men and women need this.
True or false:
In order to get along, you need to agree with your partner all of the time or not have differences.
If you said false, you are correct. You do not need to agree or be the same in order to get along. You need to be able to tune into your partner’s needs and fears in order to be there for them, and this creates a safer relationship. In sessions, you will learn how to understand your partner’s needs and hear them differently.
You may be saying, “Well I do articulate myself well, it’s my partner who isn’t understanding me.” This is normal. When you’re expressing yourself, your partner may miss it based on your expressions or behaviours. Your partner may not understand that when you are getting angry, it is because you are feeling worried, fearful, or feeling helpless. Or when you’re withdrawing, that you’re trying to prevent an argument, which is protective of your relationship.
Many couples struggling with communication or connection will find they are having the same arguments over and over again and are unable to get out of it. We call this a cycle. In sessions, we will discuss what is happening in your relationship, and figure out the cycle that keeps happening between you. No one is blamed for the issues, and you will learn how to improve your part of the cycle, so you can change the interaction between you.
As both of you do this, the cycle starts to change. We will help you learn how to minimize the cycle from happening, and when it does show up, you can manage it quickly, and decrease distress.
Should you want to get more information about having sessions and to improve your relationship, please contact us at the Vaughan Relationship Centre.