Whether you are married or in a relationship, conflict happens! The following website has many resources to help increase personal awareness, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution skills, communication skills, and more. The authors of the site and many of the accompanying resources are Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley. They have written numerous articles and books on friendships, relationships and marriage. This is a very helpful site with a great resource section. I use many of their principles in my counseling with adults and couples. I encourage you to check out the Smalley Marriage website!
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We all work at something, whether it's a job, caring for kids, upkeep on a home, etc. Work is something we are all familiar with. Yet when it comes to relationships and even friendships, many of us think it should just "work". No effort needed, no time I must put in; it should just happen. My challenge to you is to think about your job that way. Would that work? Likely not. We put in effort and time into our work, whatever that may be. It's time we start putting that same effort and time into our relationships. Can you imagine how great your marriage would be if you devoted 40 hours a week to it!? But just a few minutes a day can make a huge improvement in a relationship. Really sitting down with your full attention, no distractions, and talking to your significant other, your mate, or a friend, can mean so much to them and can help to improve or deepen the relationship. And you might even enjoy it too! Give it a try!
At the beginning of my counseling work with couples who are in relationships or married, I begin to assess their view of relationships and how that view is hindering or helping their relationship growth. I often share with them about this concept and encourage the couples to think in terms of working at their relationship. Often the couples find the work is doable and really impacts the relationship positively. After even a few sessions of therapy, couples find that their relationship is seeing positive signs of healing, growth and change, mostly due to the way their view of the relationship is changing and the amount of effort they have been throwing at the relationship! Your relationship can experience this positive impact too!
I'm not an avid writer so don't expect much. :) I plan to use this blog to post advice, tips and reflections from my work as a counselor with adolescents, adults, couples and families. Thank you for reading!