Why Self Acceptance is Important in Relationships

On an individual basis, it’s well-known that self acceptance can make or break one’s confidence levels. One who isn’t comfortable in their own skin will have a hard time making friends, or even making it through day-to-day activities. But when that same lack of self acceptance is taken into account within a relationship, the effects can be even more widespread. Whichever individual lacks self confidence will always be looking toward the other in order to provide comfort, or even approval.

In short term, this is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship, one where the other is co-dependent on their significant other. In long term, however, it creates a situation in which one person is almost completely in control, while the other relies on them for everyday confidence. In whatever level it may exist. Obviously, this is an unbalanced combination of personal responsibilities for the one doing the encouraging. As for the one lacking confidence, he or she will never be fully able to accept themselves on any level. Let alone with another person in the mix.

While it’s regularly stated, it’s vastly important for one to accept themselves. Whether this is based on career, family members, or just overall personality, without doing so they will always work toward the expectations of others. Or rather, what they think to be the expectations of others. However, once working to accept oneself, actual growth can be had, leading to ongoing goals and personal growth. Which can then translate into growth within a relationship in an equal basis. Not where both sides are holding different responsibilities and expectations.

In order to create a healthy relationship, both sides should create healthy levels of self confidence, as well as self acceptance. To learn more about these aspects today, get in touch!

Relationships: What Makes Them Unique

Anyone who has ever been married to (or dated) more than one person understands just how different relationships can be. Even though you’re the same person, being with someone A vs. someone B completely changes the dynamic of the situation. Even when having a “type,” it’s impossible to completely recreate the bond you had with one with a former flame. Because of personality types, hobbies, personal reactions, etc., the combination will always create something unique. Consider it similar to that of comparing apples and oranges.

Additional changes, such as age, maturity levels, wants or needs at the time can add to even more differences. And in this light, it’s very possible that the same two people can’t (or won’t) have the same relationship over time. Not only will they grow separately, but together in areas of closeness, what they expect from one another, and more. People are complicated creatures, and rather than trying to force their actions into categories, it’s important to explore the complexities and work toward achievable goals. Especially in communication and personal growth.

What it Means

When entering a new relationship or working to repair a current one, remember that each combination of personalities is unique. What might have worked (or not worked) previously can be adjusted for later on. Additionally, relationships are a constant work in progress. They should always be worked upon in order to better improve the quality of each couple’s wants and needs.

This can also be said for friendships and family members, all of which should receive ample amount of attention to create the best level of communication possible. No matter the individual circumstances.

Keep these differences in mind for everyday life, as well as when heading into your next counseling session.

Counseling as an Individual Safe Place

There are any number of reasons as to why a person seek out counseling. Whether they decided to attend on their own accord, were referred by a friend, or opted to talk with an unbiased third party, folks have been finding help with counselors for decades. But even almost as unique as the reason for attending in the first place comes the experience in and of itself. Because each person goes into counseling with a specific set of circumstances, the conversations they have while there are just as equally unique and specific.

Which is why, no matter the situation, counseling has long since been seen as a safe haven of sorts. Talking with a counselor means getting advice and help to your most personal events, and it’s important to feel safe while doing so. While going to a friend might come with biased advice or opinions, a counselor can provide an outside view that are relative to the situation. They are also highly trained to help walk through any issue in a safe judgement-free environment.

However, despite this haven-like atmosphere, some still feel uncomfortable when heading into a counseling session. Especially if they have never attended before. If nervous or uneasy about the situation, remember that counselors are there to help and provide a safe sounding board. Not one that will provide backlash or unwanted advice. After all, it’s this safe environment that has allowed so many to work through their feelings in a nurturing place, not one that decreases personal progress.

If you’re considering counseling, get in touch today and learn more about the safe, helping nature that Marriage Counselor Austin has to offer.

Why Relationship Communication is Better With a Counselor

The longer a couple has been together, the harder it can be to notice when there’s a problem. Or, if it’s noticeable, at least admit when there’s a problem. Because we slip into routines and couples become comfortable with their everyday lives, working to change that level of fluidity can often come as an unwelcome change. But when a problem does arise — no matter how large or small — it’s important that it be addressed before it grows into something larger.

Which is exactly why couples should communicate as often as possible. With the help of an outsider, however, especially one who is trained, that communication can be improved ten-fold. When talking with just one another, it’s likely that nothing much will change. Both parties will continue on with their everyday routines while the real issue at hand fails to get resolved. Even if it is discussed. But with a counselor, couples can be pushed to explore new and alternative communication methods. While this might cause the discussion to become heated, it also allows for both parties to say what they feel vs. what they think should be said. Counselors can also ask specific questions, and prompt others to explore topics that are most important to a couple.

Then, by better exploring these communication techniques, couples can learn to talk more effectively in the future. While it can be hard to get started discussion difficult issues at first, using an outside source, such as a counselor, can be a great way to jumpstart the relationship into better methods of communication.

4 Signs you Need Marriage Counseling

couples-fightingWhen we hear the term “marriage counseling,” many automatically think of something negative. Whether the couple has been fighting or essentially needs a fresh start, it’s something that fixes what’s broken. Yet despite its positive outcome it’s something that comes with a heavy stigma. However, just because it’s frowned upon doesn’t mean it’s something that shouldn’t be considered. In fact, counseling is a great way to improve communication, stop rising issues preemptively, and create a better marriage for even the happiest of couples.

If your marriage suffers from any of the following – to any degree – you may be in need of some ongoing upkeep.

4. Poor Communication

Do you and your spouse regularly have misunderstandings? Every now and then can be an oversight, but if it’s a normal occurrence, talking with a counselor might be a positive way to open up the communication channels and talk on a level that both of you have a better time understanding.

3. Change in Intimacy Levels

Your sex life can have a tremendous affect on everyday life, and going through sudden changes can often mean a sign of something more severe. Talk to a counselor if your intimacy has trailed or you and your partner are on different bedroom wavelengths.

2. Not Letting Go of the Past

When something significant takes place, couples are forced to deal with the event both separately and together. From the loss of a loved one, to an affair, each person goes through grief differently. But when one is moving on much quicker than the other, it’s time to talk out the logistics with an outside source.

1. The Same Fight Over and Over

Still arguing over that same event – no matter what it is? After countless talks with no real progress being made, both parties need to realize an outside perspective is needed. With the help of a professional, hopefully both parties can move forward and onto better aspects of the relationship.

From miscommunication to looking for some outside opinion(s), counseling is a great way to work on a number of marriage issues. Consider scheduling your session today for a fresh and positive way to work on all your relationship issues.

Marriage Counseling Questions: Are We Compatible?

One topic that comes up often in marriage counseling quesstions is, “Are we compatible?” The reason couples in counseling ask this is that they’ve hit a wall in their relationship. They likely fight and argue a lot, have realized that blaming the other person will only lead to more disagreements, still love one another, but don’t know what else could be causing the fights. The discord doesn’t have to do with compatibility, or communication, the couples genuinely love one another, they just haven’t learned to see things from the other’s perspective.

This clip from the movie “Crash” shows a very typical fight between a couple in which one person sees things from her perspective and the other person sees it from his perspective. In the end, it doesn’t really matter who’s right and who’s wrong, the issue isn’t about communication, or the “facts” of the situation, the real issue is that it’s difficult to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Following is a typical conversation between a client in a marriage counseling session.

Client: It’s common sense!
Coach: You mean it’s your common sense don’t you?
Client: What?
Coach: He has a different common sense than you do, intellectually you understand that he thinks and sees the world differently than you, but emotionally you feel that because he’s your husband he should see it as you do. Say after me, “my husband and I have different common senses.”
Client: (laughing) But mine is the correct one, right?
Coach: (laughing) Of course!

With practice, self-observation, and a willingness to admit that you’re wrong sometimes, we can help you answer these and other marriage counseling questions you and your partner have.

Marriage Counselor Austin 512-653-4316

Surviving Infidelity: Get Busy Living

The first month of 2013 an unusual thing happened in my marriage counseling practice. I’ve been working with couples since 1996 and a good portion of those couples have come to me for help with surviving infidelity. This one month I seemed to get way more than the average. In general I work with about one or two new couples a month with infidelity recovery. This month I had over six couples and individuals within the first two weeks of the year. I’m writing this with the intention of giving hope to whomever is reading and is experiencing the pain of infidelity.

It can be tempting
sometimes to give up on a relationship, and when someone experiences infidelity, recovery is not the first thing that person has in mind. Instead one is likely to feel devastated, wounded, angry, confused, foolish, and lost. Regardless how painful and hopeless you may feel, consider there’s a good chance you can recover. I don’t mean just get by, or survive, I mean you can heal those wounds and move beyond them to a joyful, thriving relationship with your partner. In order to do so you need to begin the healing process one step at a time.What does it take for infidelity recovery?

First, an understanding
that both of you hurt. However it may seem to you, whenever there’s infidelity, both people suffer a lot, even the offending partner.

Second, you should know
that the problems of the relationship didn’t start with the infidelity, they began long before. It’s important that you be willing to address those difficulties. It won’t be the first thing you address, you need to first address the pain, but you will need to look within yourselves to find the root causes. Believe me you can do this!

Third, couples in these situations
generally feel like they’re on an emotional roller coaster. One moment they may feel in love, forgiving, and hopeful, the next angry, bitter, and full of despair. This is natural and there are things you can do to deal with the ups and downs.

Fourth, do not make any long term decisions.
Being emotionally charged means you are not likely to be the best person to see what’s really best for you. Give yourself time to come down from the pain you’ve been feeling.

Fifth, get help soon.
When you select a counselor you should have an experience of trust. A good marriage counselor will have both compassion and a willingness to help you look at difficult things you may not like to look at. Good marriage counseling in infidelity recovery is direct, firm, respectful, informative, and compassionate.

Sixth, get busy living.
Even though you’re addressing things that are painful you must keep your eyes and heart on creating a healthy relationship! It’s not impossible, think of yourself as a scientist setting out to solve an interesting mystery.

Spiritual Marriage Counseling: Contentment is a Choice

Spiritual Marriage Counseling is about creating contentment in a relationship. Contentment is not based on circumstances. It is the power of focusing your energy effectively in any situation – it is the choices you make every second of your life. It is taking action to change your circumstance while focusing on the joy in your present situation. Satisfying a desire differs from contentment because it does depend on circumstance and is usually fleeting. It’s easy for us to feel good when our desires met are met by a partner. But this cycle of looking for contentment by fulfilling desires is not a spiritual existence, it’s a hamster wheel life because it is not a constant and this is especially true in marriage.

Often we feel blissful when we get a new job, a new romance, or other token that we want. How often does that bliss last? The newness simply does not stay new. Many couples in marriage counseling say “I want the relationship I had when we were first dating.” New love ends because the oxytocin, serotonin, adrenalin, and endorphins wear off. What people are left with is the desire for the high and a misunderstanding of what it takes to build love and contentment in a spiritual marriage. Spiritual love is a result of the choices you make with your partner.

A Genie grants a man 3 wishes.
The man asks that his wife die so he may find a better one.
Poof: She’s dead.
At the funeral, friends and family say how wonderful she was. The man realizes his mistake and asks the Genie to bring her back.
Poof: She’s alive again.
Having one remaining wish, the man ponders, but cannot think of what wish is best. So, he asks the Genie for a suggestion.
The Genie laughs, then says, “Ask to be content no matter what you get”.

I don’t suggest that couples give up all desires, that would be foolhardy. Rather, the point of spiritual marriage counseling is learning that marital contentment begins with self contentment. Self contentment begins with an awareness of and embracing one’s own inner life, emotions, needs, and purpose. From that point learning to be content with each other is a matter of choosing to remain in love, each second of every day.

Emotional Affair Recovery, Steps to Healing With Counseling

Marriage Counseling Steps to Heal an Emotional Affair

An emotional affair is often no different than an actual affair. Many times a partner doesn’t really know whether or not physical intimacy actually occurred because the offending partner insists “nothing happened.” The offending partner likely lied and withheld information until now and frequently is telling the truth only because of evidence that can’t be denied like texts, pictures, or emails. The innocent partner has suspected that something was going on for many months and now feels “stupid” for having believed the lies instead of the gut feeling or suspicion. In addition there’s the feeling that if it happened before there’s nothing to prevent it from happening again.

If this has happened to you marriage counseling emotional affair recovery can help. You may be constantly checking your partners phone calls, asking what he’s(or she) doing, where he’s going, why he’s late, who a text is from. You may be asking for guarantees that it never happen again, you may be thinking of ending the relationship or marriage. If you have children, you’re likely concerned about the effect on them. You may think that if it weren’t for the children you would already have left. You probably don’t trust your partner. All of these feelings are understandable. The one thing I suggest is that there is hope. There’s a very high likelihood that your relationship can recover from an emotional affair. We have had success with many hundreds of couples facing these and other challenges, marriage counseling for an emotional affair begins with hope.

The offending partner must be sincere in her (or his) determination not to repeat the behavior. You must have a means of addressing all of your emotional concerns, the sadness, anger, depression, and feelings of abandonment. Forgiveness is also crucial.

For couples counseling and emotional affair recovery please contact us at 512-653-4316.

Just Because You Are, Just Because You Can

Just because of the past doesn’t mean the future
Just because you fear doesn’t mean danger
Just because no one has doesn’t mean you can’t
Just because you hunger doesn’t mean eat
Just because you err doesn’t mean your worth
Just because you feel doesn’t mean it’s so
Just because you’re wrong doesn’t mean it’s bad
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
Just because others believe doesn’t mean you should
Just because you think doesn’t mean it’s true
Just because you love doesn’t mean you care
Just because you fail doesn’t mean quit
Just because you hear doesn’t mean you listen
Just because you’re right doesn’t mean it matters
Just because you see doesn’t mean you know
Just because now you create tomorrow
Just because you are means you are loved
Just because you’re loved means love others
Just because you feel means be aware
Just because you see means appreciate
Just because you think means reason
Just because you receive means give
Just because you hear means connect
Just because you dream means you can
Just because you can means live fully
Just because God means we are one

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