How to Spring Clean Your Romantic Relationships
Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.
1. Thoughts From the Life Coach
In today’s thoughts, James talks about the danger of staying in unhealthy relationships.
2. How to Spring Clean Your Romantic Relationships
In many cases, people tend to overlook the primary relationship in their life. Jason doesn’t think this is a conscious decision. Rather, it is the result of getting caught up in everyday living and just overlooking things.
Because this is the season when we are spring cleaning other things, Jason believes now is the perfect time to spring clean our relationships.
The first thing you need to do to spring clean your romantic relationships is to take stock of the big “relationship” areas in your life.
A great place to start is by completing this worksheet that Jason is providing: Understanding Your Negative Cycle. Jason also encourages people to read; specifically, he recommends Dr. Sue Johnson’s “Hold Me Tight.” Finally, Jason recommends setting aside special time with your partner to talk about your relationship together.
So you don’t overwhelm yourself, give this conversation with your partner a limited period of time (1 hour or 90 minutes). Generally, there aren’t any conflicts that are going to come up that you don’t already know about. Also, give each partner time to express themselves.
Once you have identified what the relationship issues are, come up with a strategy for starting to fix each of them. Some or all of the items may or may not require professional help. Aside from that, you and your spouse can re-structure your schedule to spend more time focusing on the relationship. You can also commit to a regular schedule to talk about your relationship.
In Jason’s own practice, two of the biggest couple issues are money and sex. The more you can get on the same page with your partner about these things, the better for your relationship. In many cases, other relationship issues manifest as sexual disconnection and money issues. In terms of symptoms of a bigger problem, Jason recommends looking at whether either party is overspending or withholding sex. (In reality, these behaviors are evidence of a deeper issue like powerlessness or anger.)
As far as parenting and relationship issues, Jason sees partners disagree about how to raise the children. He also sees children becoming scapegoats for the parents’ problems (meaning that parents re-direct anger or guilt onto the children). In other cases, unhappy partners sweep problems under the rug and focus on the kids until after the kids are grown and out of the house.
With respect to the question of whether to prioritize the kids over your spouse, Jason believes you have to balance both of these “competing” interests. If you don’t know how to redistribute, you might want to consider learning how to do this. Take a look at whether you are addicted to chaos (as opposed to balance).
In terms of spring cleaning your romantic relationships, paying attention to yourself is also very important. Without taking a look inside, it is going to be hard to balance out the other things. You have to understand what you are lacking before you can communicate that to anyone else.
Keep in mind, when you spring clean, you are going to find things that have cobwebs all over them and look “ugly.” If this is the case, you can get professional help. When you get into fighting cycles, there is this idea of a negative cycle. Know that when you and your mate have fallen into a negative cycle, you are usually reacting to your partner like a ping pong ball.
This can feel very trying and testy. Just know that this conflict cycle comes up for everyone. It is normal! The task is to learn what your cycle is and how to work through conflict once you know the cycle.
Not finding time to spring clean your romantic relationships can lead to stagnation, resignation, resentment and unhappiness. By cleaning, you are breathing air into your relationship. You are telling your partner that you care about your relationship.
You can find Jason at phoenixmenscounseling.com.
3. The Family Law News
Today Matt gives us the news on parent sailors and negligent parents.