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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.

Infidelity in a long distance relationship

In long-distance relationships there is an illusion of closeness, partly because of the small amounts of physical time together. Many long-distance couples consider themselves to be a perfect couple in an imperfect situation. Yet, as we know, there is no such thing as a perfect couple and when the pair reunites and reality clashes with dreams, problems can arise with surprising force.

Laura and Cal had been together for four years, although they were only physically together for less than one of those years if you counted the actual days together.

Laura, a lawyer with a prominent position in a government department, could not relocate when Cal completed his studies and got a job as a professor at a university several hundred kilometers away.

Their relationship survived by alternating weekends together, daily texts, Skype, and long telephone calls at night in place of physical time together.
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Looking beyond social networks

What do you think these people have in common?

  • An introverted teenager anxiously checks his iPhone, Facebook and Twitter pages for messages from his classmates.
  • After dinner with their children, a couple with marital problems watches TV together while sending text messages to other friends on their Blackberrys.
  • A woman with a history of failed relationships keeps glancing at her cell phone looking for a text message from her boyfriend during a therapy session with her psychologist.

These people have developed dependencies on the new communications methods, as magic salves or solutions to their problems, and yet their search for happiness continues to be frustrated by the limitations of the technology.

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Texting: The new long-distance relationship?

Lisa reached for another tissue in my office while glancing at her Blackberry. “Why didn’t he tell me in person?” she asked.  “Why did he have to tell me it was over in a text message?”  After three months of dating her new boyfriend, Craig, she was heartbroken and tearful, trying to make sense of his reasons for leaving.  She was most indignant at receiving a goodbye in the form of a text message.

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

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