What to do When Your Significant Other’s Friends Don’t Like You

Nothing can stifle the progress of a budding relationship like the disapproval of your partner’s friends. Whether you’ve been the recipient of mean, sideways glances or rude behavior, it can cause tension and conflict between everyone involved. If you hope to continue the relationship without having to avoid any form of social interaction with your partner’s best friends, then it’s best to figure out ways to improve the situation.

Talk to your partner about it.

No one knows your significant other’s friends better than he/she does. If they’ve shown an obvious distaste for you, then chances are your partner has noticed and picked up on the glares and unkind treatment. If not, then it’s best to ask them about it. Tell them that you can see something is bothering their friends about you or the relationship and ask your partner what you should do. If they shrug it off, don’t make a big deal about it and be open to the possibility that you’re misreading them.

Make them feel special.

One of the best things you can do to win the approval of your partner’s friends is to do something nice or thoughtful for them. You can go out of your way to let them know that you value the roles they play in your partner’s life by buying them coffee, sending thoughtful notes, and involving them in things you’d do with your significant other so they don’t feel shut out. In other words, kill them with kindness.

Watch your behavior.

When you’re in group settings with your partner and his/her friends, be acutely aware of the vibes you’re putting off. There may be a reason they aren’t too keen on you based on certain ways you’re acting. Are you ignoring them and excluding them from conversations? If you have clashing personalities, find something all of you have in common and discuss that. This will make them feel more involved and they’ll see that you’re making an effort to get to know them more.

If nothing else seems to work, then it’s time for you to go directly to the source to figure it out. It’s important to be non-confrontational, let them know how much you care about your partner, and ask them if there’s anything you can do to make them feel better about the relationship. Maybe they’ll come to their senses and realize you aren’t as bad a person as they thought you were.

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

You Waited Until After the Wedding to Tell me This

As you already know, there should be no secrets in romantic relationships; especially those that are moving on to matrimony. You’ve all heard the saying, “Honesty is the best policy.”  That is so true in every aspect of life, including relationships with significant others, and certainly relationships with your spouse.  Maybe something that happened in the past, prior to meeting your chosen one, is better left alone and untold.  Granted.  But what happens when there are secrets relative to money and the way one spouse or the other handles it?  What if one has accumulated a large debt that the other one knows nothing about?  What if one loves to splurge on expensive items and the other likes to know where every penny is going that leaves the wallet or checking account?  In a word, trouble.

Many people who are in financial strain show no outward signs.  People function every day and seem fine, letting nobody know that they are having money troubles.  They have a house, a car, and nice clothing, but they may be toting credit card debt in 5 or 6 digits.  Is it possible that your mate has money issues that you are unaware of?  Absolutely.

So your spouse is a shopper and you are not.  Your spouse buys expensive gifts for you to celebrate your birthday, anniversary, or just because.  You remember special days, but you don’t go all out.  Suddenly, creditors are calling about exceeded credit limits and letters are being received containing late payment notices.  Do you panic?  Of course you do, if you’re the thrifty one.

Approach it.  Don’t let it eat at you.  Ask your spouse.  Have a heart to heart conversation.  This dialog may certainly lead to arguing and trying to figure out why you didn’t know any of this before you were married.  Maybe your spouse feels entitled to spend more money than you do if you spouse makes more money.  That is no good.  Marriage is a partnership and a united give-and-get situation.  It doesn’t matter who makes more money.  So how do you fix these issues?  Here are some ideas.

First, come clean with each other.  Be sure that you and your spouse know every bit of money that is owed to a creditor, even if things were purchased before you met.  Once again, honesty is the best policy.

Make all spending known to each other.  Get a budget book, or any notebook, and record every expenditure; every expenditure, from the coffee drink in the morning to the drink with your friends after work.  After the trends can be seen on paper, devise a budget.

Try to set financial goals for the future; i.e., 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years.  Where do you want to be?  Do you want to be retired?  Do you want to move across the country?  Do you want to travel?  All of that takes money (and savings).  Planning is essential.

Analyze your money, together.  Sit down together every month and pay the bills.  Reconcile checking and savings accounts, and look at credit card debt.  Being brutally honest is necessary.

Once you’ve both committed to getting your finances in order, it will take time.  You both will get angry and frustrated at times. It will be a long process.  Try to prepare for it.  Along the way, if you find you need some help dealing with how to solve your financial problems and the issues is putting a strain of your marriage, you may want to reach out and let the professionals at the Relationship Center of Orange County help you. 

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Feeling Unloved?

Feeling unloved lately?  Are you someone who used to feel a lot of love in your relationship and now you feel ignored or criticized?  A lot of things could be going on in your life, or your partner’s life, that has brought you to your current situation.

I’m sure you know your partner actually loves you, but it’s normal with goings on in our lives to not have enough couple time; therefore, leaving us feeling empty and hopeless.  It’s important that you focus on feeling good about yourself first.  I know, you hear that all the time; but it’s true.  Consider this.  If you truly love yourself, you don’t need to seek approval from anybody else.  As a result, you feel less disappointed and less hurt in romantic relationships.

If life has you spiraling in different directions (whether it’s because of working different shifts, juggling children’s activities, sporting events, sleepovers, and play dates), make it a point to sit down with your partner and discuss the fact that you’re feeling unloved, unneeded, or ignored.  If you don’t take the time, or make the time, to discuss your issues with your partner, you may just be causing yourself sadness and pain that is unnecessary.

If you have spent the time trying to work things out with your partner, but still have ill feelings, consider seeking professional help.  Let the professionals at the Relationship Center of Orange County help you.  Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

When Your Spouse Loses a Parent

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Helping Your Spouse

One of the most difficult losses that anyone will likely experience in their lifetime is the loss of a parent. If you’ve never experienced this type of loss, helping your spouse get through it can be arduous. Most don’t have the words to say or try to rush them through the grieving process, which only prolongs recovery. When equipped with the right tools and support, you can help your spouse get through to brighter days.

Five Stages of Grief and How to Help

Not everyone goes through all five of these stages, and they may not go through them in any sequential order. It may also take more time to get through these stages than others. Below you will find a description of these stages and tips on how to help them cope through each one.

Stage 1: Denial (Isolation)

When your spouse initially finds out about the death of their parent, they will most likely try to deny that the situation occurred. This is very normal and is often how our minds rationalize these strong, overwhelming feelings. This is the best way for the mind to defend itself against the real emotion and shock that come afterwards.

What You Can Do: During the initial shock stages, there may not be much that you can do to console your spouse. This is partially because in their minds they have numbed it out and they’re doing their best to just not think about it. Try to be extra-aware of how they are acting and may be feeling, and simply be there for your spouse however they might need you to be. Whether that means holding them while they cry, listening to their rationalizations, or just sitting in silence.

Stage 2: Anger

At this point reality starts to kick in and this is when the real emotions will emerge. The emotions are so unbearable that the brain deflects from being vulnerable and thus becomes filled with anger. Unfortunately the anger that is displayed can be directed at anyone or anything, and in some cases can even be directed toward the deceased. While your spouse understands no one is to blame, this is how the brain rationalizes the emotions they are feeling.

What You Can Do: During this time your opinion or what you think your spouse should be doing is best kept to yourself. Do not personalize it and make yourself the victim of their emotions. Instead, follow your spouse’s lead. If they want to talk, listen; if they need space, give it to them, and when they get angry allow them to feel that emotion.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Typically after they’ve gotten past the anger, they try to regain control of their emotions and thus begin a “blame game”. For instance if the parent died of a terminal illness they will say, “If I had noticed the signs earlier, maybe they would be alive”. The blame does not always have to be on your spouse as it’s common to point the finger at others during this stage.

What You Can Do: Listen and allow them to rationalize what they are feeling. At this point in the grief process, telling them that it was not their fault or there was nothing anyone can do will fall upon deaf ears and in some cases can cause unnecessary arguments.

Stage 4: Depression

During this point of mourning your spouse is allowing all of his/her emotions to come to the forefront. They begin feeling guilty, vulnerable, angry, and sad on any given day and this can turn into depression.

What You Can Do: Now it is time to offer kind words of encouragement. Let your spouse know that you are there for them and that brighter days are ahead. Also, as they are depressed, it will help if you can take on some of the daily chores and things that used to be their responsibilities. Allow them to focus their time and energy on healing as much as you can.

Step 5: Acceptance

This step may take months or even years to get to and, unfortunately, some never get there. At this point their emotions have been sorted, reality has set in, and they are accepting the fact that their parent is no longer there.

What You Can Do: As they begin to get back to a sense of normalcy, talk with them on a day to day basis about how they’re feeling. Try bringing up fond memories and stories about their parent(s) and connect with them again.

It is important to point out that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It can take your spouse a few weeks, months, or even years to work through the pain. If you begin to notice that they are headed down the path to depression or just can’t move past their loss, consider reaching out to a trained counselor for help. The caring therapists at the Relationship Center of Orange County can help you both understand each other, get past the loss and move on to happier days. Please call us today at (949) 430-7132 , or schedule your appointment using our online calendar. We look forward to serving you.

There’s a New Kid in Town

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Although jealousy between siblings is not uncommon, if you’re the parent of a jealous older child you may feel clueless as to how to best manage the situation.  You’ll probably receive your fair share of unsolicited advice from people who feel they know best, but keep in mind that each family is different and each child is unique in how they may deal with jealousy over a new baby brother or sister. Do yourself (and the rest of your family) a favor and ignore the “armchair therapist” advice. What follows are a few solid, time-tested tips and some  common-sense advice to help siblings coexist in a happy home.

Above all else is communication; you need to talk with your older child about the fact that a new baby will be arriving.  Put yourself in the older child’s shoes, especially if they are a fair bit older than the baby.  If you’re having your second child, your first-born has been the sole recipient of your love and attention for as long as they can remember, and the center of their world has been Mom and Dad for a very long time.  A bit of competition between siblings is normal; however, once the baby arrives, the older child should not feel like they have to compete for attention.  If parents allow ongoing competition for attention or time, it is likely to become an unhealthy environment, as well as an unhealthy relationship. So communication with your child, regardless of their age, from the time you become pregnant is crucial.

What follows are a few thing that you can do to encourage healthy sibling relationships.

  • Talk about your older child’s new role as big brother or sister (leader, teacher, etc.) while you are pregnant.
  • Talk about the advantage of your baby having a big brother or sister and how important they’ll be to their new baby brother or sister.
  • Let your older child help prepare for the arrival of the baby.
  • Make schedule changes for your older child that will be in effect when the baby arrives, such as an earlier bath time or dinner time.  Doing this ahead of time will insure the older child doesn’t blame the baby for the new way of doing things.
  • Have your older child be the first to be introduced to their new sibling, shortly after birth, and let them choose what outfit the baby will wear to go home.

And some things to expect from your older child…

  • Expect grumpiness or clinginess in the first few weeks of the baby’s life.  This is a big change for your older child and no matter how diligent your efforts have been to prepare your older child, their natural reaction will be one of fear that they’ll be forgotten.
  • Praise your older child when they do positive things, related or unrelated to the baby.  For example, if your older child prepares a bottle for the baby, praise the child.  If the child goes ahead and does homework without being told, praise the child.  Praise, praise, praise, whenever the older child shows growth and understanding.
  • Ignore tantrums to show your older child that acting out is not appropriate.  Divert your child into something else, whether it is an activity the child likes, or humor on your part.  This should lessen the number, as well as the length, of tantrums.

Now, the hard part – especially if your older child is several years older than your baby.  Offer equal attention to both children.  Ask your friends and relatives to remember your older child first when they enter your home to meet the new baby.  Be sure that you and your spouse give your older child one-on-one time as well.  This will lessen the thoughts that the older child is no longer special to you.  Allow your older child to participate in caring for the baby by choosing a task that is age appropriate.  Beware, your older child is not a parent, and you should never treat that child as such.

If all else has fails, have a heart to heart with your older child.  Jealousy is probably the result of your older child fearing replacement in your life.  Do not tell your child things like, “That’s ridiculous” or “You are being silly!”  Instead, tell your child that the feelings are okay, but they need to be expressed in the correct way; and always reiterate how important they are to you AND the growing family, and how much you love them.

Many times, parents are overwhelmed with trying to deal with the jealousy in their households.  When your older child is jealous of the younger child and nothing seems to make the older child feel secure, jealousy can affect relationships, as well as the child’s self-image.  Extreme cases are when arguing, acting out and physical fighting occur, which oftentimes causes stress in the entire household.

If your family is in upheaval as the result of one child being jealous of the other and you feel like you’ve tried everything to stop it but aren’t’ getting anywhere, consider talking with a professional.  It may be helpful for parents to attend counseling, and then to bring the children with them to counseling once the problems are known.  There is no need to be embarrassed or ashamed, and this is not a reflection of your parenting methods or style – it is a healthy choice.  Call us today at 949-220-3211 to make an appointment for you and your family members, or make your appointment using our online scheduling tool.  Speaking to a professional may be just what is needed to reestablish peace, love, and understanding in your home.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? (Part 2)

Let the counselors at OC Relationship Center help you work throught eh bumps on the relationship road.In a recent blog, I wrote about how young couples—or at least those in the early stages of couple-dom—face the prospect of relocating together. The advantage for those couples is that whether one or both is interested in relocating, they have the benefit of making that decision without the complications of marriage, children or other long-term commitments.

Of course, that’s not always the case. Plenty of couples come to me far into marriage and/or child-rearing with a dilemma: one wants to move, whether for a new job opportunity, to be closer to extended family or another reason, while the other does not. They’re invested in staying together, but they’ve reached an impasse. In these difficult cases, what’s the best approach to deciding how to make the best decision for everyone? No two situations are exactly alike, but here are a few suggestions that usually represent a good start.

Communicate Early

For starters, the moment you see a potential change on the horizon—or at least one worth considering—open the dialog with your partner. Don’t delay. Maybe you’ve heard of a new company in another state with a job opportunity you’ve always dreamed of. Instead of pondering the hypotheticals all on your own—yes, even if you’re afraid your partner will be dead-set against it—broaching the subject early on is a far better strategy. If nothing ever comes of it, it’s still a good idea to get everyone’s feelings on the table rather than wait until you have a job offer in hand or you’ve made up your mind about what’s best for you and your family. As an added bonus: you’ll know where both of you stands if a similar situation should arise in the future. It’s also good for building trust and transparency in the relationship.

Try to See Things from your spouse’s Perspective

Once you’ve broached the subject, be 100 percent respectful of your partner’s feelings and concerns. Each of you has both practical and emotional reasons for feeling the way that you do. To use the above example, the partner who’s looking for career advancement may worry that their partner doesn’t truly support their ambitions or even believe in their future. The other, meanwhile, may have stronger emotional attachment to their circle of friends, extended family in the area or the city you live in, or have negative perceptions of the new city under consideration.

While discussing it, then, it’s imperative that you be willing to listen carefully and validate your partner’s emotions. If either of you feels dismissed or belittled, walls will start to go up, and rational, we’re-all-in-this-together attitudes can go out the window.

Negotiate

This isn’t exactly a business decision between you and your partner, but some of the same principles can apply. Each of you can do some research, either separately or together, about the pros and cons of moving versus staying as well as compromises that can be made. Assuming there’s a raise involved, does it more than cover the potential of a higher cost of living in the new location? If you have children, have you made a realistic assessment of how their lives would be impacted?

Each of you needs to make a “wish list”: what neighborhood you would consider, what kind of home you would want (equal in size and amenities to your current home, for example—or maybe better), etc. For that matter, if you’re moving for a job opportunity, you need to keep your partner’s interests in mind during the negotiating process.

If you’re going to make a change—or not—that satisfies both of you, it needs to be a joint decision from start to finish. It could mean the difference between driving a wedge between you and bringing you closer…and for couples, the latter is always a good move.

If you and your partner find yourselves arguing or at an impasse over a possible relocation, please give us at a call at 949-220-3211949-220-3211 or schedule an appointment via our online calendar. We at the OC Relationship Center are here to help you.

Finding Peace by Letting Go of Resentment

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Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ~ Carrie Fisher

“Resentment,” the former South African president Nelson Mandela once said, “is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Yet we all know how hard it can be to let go of past grievances. I have met couples who can’t remember what they had for dinner last night but miraculously have instant recall when it comes to the last several times they were angry with each other. But no matter how legitimate the grievance, harboring resentments — or bringing them up again and again as fuel in arguments — does neither you nor the relationship any good. So what do you do when that old hurt keeps rearing its ugly head? How do you move past resentment?

For one, it is possible to forgive without forgetting. You may not have any control over what you remember, but you do have control over how you feel about it. Forgiveness is a conscious choice. So if you are committed to the future of the relationship, you need to learn how to move past old issues once and for all, or they can cast an ugly shadow over the relationship for many years to come.

Here are a few tools that can help you let go of past relationship resentments:

  1. Remember that you make mistakes, too. As painful as it is to remember the times your partner  as hurt you, it might be even more painful to acknowledge our own shortcomings — which helps to explain why it is so tempting to direct our anger outward instead of taking a more honest assessment of our own actions. But it IS a lot easier to forgive when you can admit that you, too, have been guilty of thoughtlessness, temper tantrums and other hurtful behaviors. It’s called being human.
  2. Deal with hurt and anger right away, in the moment. When you are angry, say so — it may be that your partner had no idea that they have done anything that bothered you. Or, it could be the opposite — they were feeling angry themselves and acted out in turn. Either way, now is the time to talk it through. If the issue is serious and emotionally fraught, or has been building up over time, you may even benefit from talking through your feelings with a couples counselor. But please avoid sweeping it under the rug. That’s an easy way for today’s frustration to grow into tomorrow’s resentment.
  3. Make a pact with your partner — and yourself — that when it comes to old wounds, you are done bringing them up every time a conversation gets heated. It happens all the time, and it is usually born out of defensiveness: Your partner is frustrated because, say, he or she thinks you have overspent on holiday gifts, so you reflexively direct attention back to another old, familiar argument rather than work through a new, uncomfortable subject such as this month’s credit card bill. However, by focusing on the topic at hand instead, you have a much better chance of working toward a swift resolution rather than engaging in a drawn-out mudslinging contest.
  4. Rip up the scorecard. What is to be gained by keeping a tally of every mistake your partner has ever made, if he or she has already acknowledged them, apologized and tried to avoid repeating them? More importantly, relationships are not a competitive sport, or a series of debates to be won. Treating them as such is a recipe for misery and relationship failure.
  5. Choose to forgive for your own emotional well-being. Anger can serve a positive purpose in the moment, alerting us when there is potential danger to ourselves or our loved ones, and giving us the emotional fuel to react. Old anger, however, is counterproductive — it just drains our energy and takes up valuable space in our minds.

So the next time you feel yourself dwelling on old wounds, remind yourself that you have a choice in whether or not to continue carrying that burden. And if you choose to leave it behind, you will have new found freedom to focus on working with your partner on a healthier, happier, resentment-free relationship.

Sometimes it takes the insight of a professional in order to see things differently. A relationship counselor can work with you to help you let go of past resentments and work toward a better relationship. Please give the counselors at OC Relationship Center a call today at 949-220-3211, or book your appointment via our online calendar. We’re here to help.

Are Your Communication Styles Out of Sync?

Let OC Relationship Center help you sort out your communication styles.A woman we’ll call Emily once confided that she felt a sense of relief in the morning when her husband, Brad, left for work. The problem began with the fact that they functioned on very different schedules. He was a morning person, getting up early to prepare for his day and consume (as she jokingly estimates) about three pots of coffee. By the time Emily—who preferred to sleep until the last minute before it was time to get the kids ready for school—was awake, he was wired on caffeine and was primed to talk, pontificate, or even lecture about politics, things going on at his job or whatever else he was focused on that morning. Emily was the most convenient target.

The result? A sleepy, de-caffeinated Emily—who was not primed to talk about anything yet, much less world events—felt like she was being assaulted with morning tirades and expected to respond. At that hour, all she could really think about was fixing breakfast for the kids.

Moreover—and here is the key point—she simply was not, on a personal level, as interested in some of his pet topics as she was. Even in the evening when he came home, some of the same issues would resurface. He was fascinated by the rapid development of faster and smarter computers. He had strong political leanings. A schoolteacher, he was frustrated about public policies in education that he felt weren’t best for the kids he taught. The list went on, and when Emily looked bored (because, admittedly, she sometimes was), he grew frustrated.

Couples, even the most compatible among us, cannot be expected to agree—or feel equally passionate about—all topics, so their problem was not all that unusual, but nor was the solution all that complicated. One day, Emily simply tried to explain to Brad that she agreed with pretty much everything he said about politics, etc. (though she also admitted that her interest in computer technology was almost nil). It’s just that she didn’t feel as strongly about them and had different ways of expressing her opinions. She added that the morning rants in particular felt like an assault on her senses.

At first Brad felt hurt and accused her of being disinterested in the world around her, but she encouraged him to find friends and colleagues with similar beliefs or even get involved in local politics—a win-win, because he could try and take action about the things he believed in while finding new outlets for his passionate feelings about them.

In a healthy relationship, your partner is often your go-to person to hear your frustrations, beliefs and observations about what’s going on inside and outside your personal life. But it often doesn’t work for them to be the only outlet—especially when they’re passions don’t perfectly align.

As for their difference in schedule preferences, that was the easiest to solve. Emily admitted to being guilty of doing the opposite: tending to choose the latest possible hour, when Brad was ready to go to bed, to bring up issues about the kids’ schools, a leak in the roof, or whatever happened to be on her mind. Both agreed to accept that Emily was not eager to talk before 7 a.m., and Brad was done for the day by 10:30 at night.

Respecting that you have different communications styles (as well as circadian rhythms), and working to find other people who share your zeal about different issues can take a lot of pressure of your partner and relationship, so instead of focusing on your differences, you can celebrate them while focusing on what you do share in common.

Nonverbal Communication Speaks Volumes

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Let’s imagine a couple, Tom and Sara, who have always made an effort to practice good communication skills. In their daily interactions, they regularly give each other small compliments, and always ask about things going on in each other’s lives. And when they argue, they try to remain calm, never hurling accusations or saying anything they’ll later regret.

These are great habits that can go a long way toward keeping a relationship strong. What many couples don’t realize, however, is that the best verbal communication skills can be undermined by a bad habit they may not even be aware of: poor nonverbal communication.

Let’s say Tom is in charge of bringing the garbage cans in from the curb on trash-collection days, but he regularly forgets. One night Sara has to work late, drives home tired and grumpy, and when she arrives the first thing she sees is that pair of garbage cans still at the curb. Angrily, she hauls them back to the house herself and approaches Tom. She explains how frustrated she feels that he never seems to remember that one pesky chore. He shrugs and apologizes, adding that he was really tired when he got home, and it must have slipped his mind. Even angrier now—after all, she’s the one who had to work late—Sara rolls her eyes, sighs heavily and then struggles for the right words. “Thank you for apologizing,” she says in a voice that betrays a hint of sarcasm. “I know you don’t mean to do it. But please remember in the future.”

Do you see what happened? When Sara complained about the garbage cans, he literally shrugged it off even as he apologized. She then essentially rejected his apology with a condescending roll of her eyes. As a result, the rest of the evening is tense; the issue hasn’t really been put to bed at all.

The point is that no matter how carefully you choose your words, body language matters too—a lot.

Things like glaring, shaking your head while the other person talks, or crossing your arms tightly across your chest can express that you’re more focused on your own feelings than hearing the other person out.

On the positive side, however, things like literally putting down what you’re doing when your partner is trying to talk, making eye contact, and touching your partner gently on the shoulder can go along way toward easing conflicts. The same is true even when things are going well—stopping and looking at your partner to wish them a good day when you leave in the morning sometimes goes farther than a hasty “I love you!” shouted as an afterthought when you’re halfway out the door.

There are countless more examples of effective vs. ineffective nonverbal communication, but the first step is just to be aware of it. When you’re talking with your partner, take care that the signals you’re sending are what you really hope to convey.

One trap you want to avoid is developing a pattern of giving off dismissive, angry or condescending nonverbal cues while trying to mask the building tension with polite language. In the example above, Sara’s eye-rolling may indicate that deep down she believes Tom is selfish and unwilling to do his share around the house. Tom, meanwhile, may secretly think Sara is always trying to boss him around, and his shrug is a way of showing that he resents her perceived nagging.

This can definitely be an indication that a relationship is headed for trouble. The absence of verbal arguments might tell one story, but your nonverbal cues are telling another.

Again, just being aware of your body language can go a long way towards improving communications, defusing potential fights and enhancing words of affection. If you think the problem runs deeper than that, however, and you find that words are failing you in your quest for a healthy relationship, please give OC Relationship Center a call at 949-220-3211 or book your appointment via our online calendar. Our licensed counselors are here for you.

Forgiveness Following Infidelity

OC Relationship Center can helpInfidelity is one of the most damaging things that can occur within a marriage. Each year, countless divorces occur because one spouse has had an affair, and the couple was not able to put the broken pieces of their marriage back together again. However, there are also those couples who choose to work on their marriages. How do you know if your marriage is worth saving? And, how do you begin to fix it when it seems so broken?

Should You Stay Or Should You Go?

That is the question on everyone’s mind when they find out that their spouse has cheated on them. Fight or flight? Only you can determine whether or not you want to invest the time and energy into healing your marriage. However, if there is any part of you that does, we recommend giving it a chance to mend. Forgiveness is possible, and many couples have forgiven infidelity and have gone on to live together in wedded bliss for the rest of their lives.

What Should You Expect?

What you shouldn’t expect is to wake up tomorrow morning and find out that everything is just fine. You shouldn’t expect the pain to go away overnight. You’ve been dealt a hard blow, and it will take some time to get over the pain you feel.

Give yourself the time you need. You will go through the entire gamut of emotions as you work through your feelings and begin to heal. One day, you will be incredibly sad, and everything will make you cry. The next day, you’ll be terribly angry at the world, and even more so at your spouse for putting you through this pain. Some days, you’ll feel numb, unable to feel anything at all.

All of these responses are perfectly normal, and they’re to be expected. However, give yourself the time you need to experience them and work through them. They are your pathway toward wholeness once again.

Help Is Available

If you find that you are having a difficult time working through your feelings by yourself, or if you’re not sure if you want to save your marriage, it helps to have a third party to talk to to help sort out your feelings. Help is available, and this isn’t a journey you have to take by yourself. By reaching out, you’re taking the first of many steps toward putting the pieces of your marriage back together again. Please give the licensed therapists at OC Relationship Center a call today at 949-220-3211 or book your appointment online. We are here to help you.