Ego

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Couples Troubles

Many couples enjoy the change of pace that summer brings. Vacations, musical festivals, cottage getaways with family and lots of outdoor BBQs are occasions to enjoy life and create happy memories. But these can also be times when relationship troubles are camouflaged, then dealt with later.

Is this you? Sad but true, a time to away, meant to grow as a couple, can also be a time of deepening relationship distress. Couples Therapy is an effective way of overcoming a communications impasse.

A recent report on BBC.com states that people between the age of 16 and 44 are having less sex than ever before. Is there something about life today? Are there new ways to hide problems?

Some modern indications of unhealthy couples behaviors include:blog-fighting-loving

  • Excessive smartphone/tablet use/social sites
    • Often in the presence of their partners
  • Excessive organized family activities
    • E.g. not enough free time for individual interests
  • Excessive amounts of time viewing adult web sites (Pornography)

These are ways to fill time and maintain distance when unspoken issues lie beneath a superficial calm. Couples unconsciously collude to maintain the status quo of parallel lives – like railroad tracks going in the same direction but never intersecting.

The issues below are still the ones most often involved in couples’ communication breakdowns:

  • Money
  • Sex
  • Parenting
  • In-laws

These issues are caused and often complicated by values that you and your partner may not always share. Values are personal perceptions about the right way to live your life.  For example, you may believe that it’s better to enjoy life while you have the freedom and resources to do so. Your partner may argue that it’s more important to save money for a nest egg as the priority. Issues become more entrenched when they conceal emotional issues such as insecurities about money or phobias that lead to recurring impasses of communication.

Despite the summer distractions, if you and your partner are stuck in a communication breakdown, it is a good idea to consult a psychologist trained in couples therapy to help you accomplish your goals together.

 

Dr Eva Fisher is a registered psychologist trained in Ottawa, Canada with training in couples and family issues.

Wealth Addiction

We all know about drug, tobacco and alcohol addictions, but addictions can latch onto almost any behaviour. Even activities that seem healthy like eating, exercising and working can transform into addictions.

While you can define addiction in different ways, one of the best definitions is “the continued repetition of behavior despite adverse consequences (Bettinardi-Angres, 2008).”

A recent article in the New York Times about an ex-Wall Street employee talking about his wealth addiction got me thinking about the subject. In the article the writer talked about how he was upset with his $3.6 million bonus because it wasn’t enough.

“Ever see what a drug addict is like when he’s used up his junk? He’ll do anything — walk 20 miles in the snow, rob a grandma — to get a fix. Wall Street was like that,” he wrote. “In the months before bonuses were handed out, the trading floor started to feel like a neighborhood in “The Wire” when the heroin runs out.”
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Big or strong: the ego difference

Harry and Andrew share many similarities.  Both are leaders in their field and high achievers at work. Both men accidentally discovered their wives online with male friends; they had made travel plans to meet with them. But their similarities end here.

Harry’s first reaction was anger, but soon he calmed down and realized that he didn’t want to lose his partner.  He decided to talk to her about what he had found out. He tamed his impulse to control his wife’s behavior and controlled himself instead.

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Food and sex: pleasure and anxiety

The session was well into the second hour, and Jen once again brought up how hurt she’d felt when her husband Dan insisted she’d put too much spice in the pasta sauce.

Dan was angry that she had forgotten that spicy food gave him indigestion.  He accused her of being inconsiderate. She in turn felt rejected by his criticism of her cooking and this made her anxious.

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  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Stress Management
  • Grief & Loss Therapy
  • Career Counseling

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Ottawa, Ontario

K2P 0R8

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