WORKING AT OPPOSITES

Desiring happy married life is a dream for youngsters wishing companionship or understanding partner and so on…But in reality one is attracted to a person with opposite or different nature. Let me explain it, a social one attracted to calm person like that. Unaware of this attraction to opposite character(s) couple busy looking for similarities inviting friction. It’s like choosing a calm going life partner & unhappy that he or she is not social.

The tug of war starts when each of the partner try to pull the other for their liking , be it food, life style choices etc. Instead learning and opening to each other makes relation more fulfilling and complete. This is possible by accommodating, compromising and accepting each others limitations & appreciating strengths. Happy Married Life then worth wishingūüĎę

Aggression- Its effects on family relationships

Human emotions, both positive such as happiness, excitement, and negative such as anger, sadness can play a very significant role in relationships. At the same time, the intensity of these emotions can equally be important in deciding the healthy and unhealthy properties of the relationships.By intensity, we mean, the strength or depth of the emotional reaction one expresses towards a personal, emotional or close relationship.

Emotions, specifically anger, have the capacity to stir the persons whole being or personality at the moment of its expression. Rapid physiologic, including hormonal changes, may take place with a high adrenaline rush that increases the function of major body systems such as rapid increase in heart beat, and restless¬† movements of the body. If the environment or persons at the receiving end are not able to understand the intentions or reasons behind this high intense expression, a disequllibrium creating misconceptions may result.¬† For example, if a family member is extremely aggressive (exhibiting high intensity of anger or emotion) and the person or persons at the receiving end miss the actual intention of why he or she is aggressive, an actual damage to the relationship may result as a consequence.¬† The person at the receiving end may misconstrue that the “aggressive” person is trying to physically harm them while the “aggressive” person may be trying to express his anger or frustration through their behavior.¬† Unless both sides understand each other, a strain the emotional relationship results.

When one is in a highly emotional intense state, one loses awareness of oneself, the surroundings and the persons in the environment. Continuous state of body and mind in such a high emotionally intense state can damage the health- both physical and psychological. More over it can be very stressful to close family members leading to a strain emotional distance over a period of time.

It is very important that one understand and works towards maintaining an emotional balance to preserve harmony with relationships. When one is emotionally intense state of body and mind, one loses the ability to reason and logical capacity and may cross safe boundaries of propriety, and possibly abuse close family members. Repeated episodes of such situations can permanently damage the emotional relationship making people feel alone, depressed and vulnerable. Not only that, repeated expressions of negative emotions can themself become habitual leading to more and more such “disasters”.¬† The unpredictability can be very threatening to significant or close family members living under the same roof.

In order to preserve one’s relationships, it is important to be aware of the situation as a first step. Showing agression in a high emotional state can appear to be an immediate rewarding experience for the person expressing; however, it can be more damaging in the long run. The receiving person may obey or become submissive for the moment but can become increasingly resistant over time and create an increasingly negative relationship. The ability to share openly between members becomes constrained. It is important that family members become aware and are willing to work towards this.

Certain precautions can be done to avoid such events-preventing emotional outbursts, anticipating and moving away from stressors, discussing stressors with family members,¬† and discussions post episode with all sides willing to listen to each other, working out a balance, by finding alternate creative¬† expressions or expectations, or writing a diary or notes to understand and reflect, learning to express frustration or upset by discussing than showing anger. If relations are still developing a distance in spite of best personal efforts, it is always advisable to seek professional help and even undergo an anger management program. It is advisable not to take any “emotionally charged” major decisions when one in a high emotional state of aggression.

 

Marital Therapy differs from counselling by well-wishers or family members

Harmony in the relationship between couples is a basic or fundamental need for a healthy family foundation. Children who grow up in a happy family are more likely to develop a better adjusted personality and be happy as adults compared to children who grow up in a disturbed family environment.

Family members, friends and well-wishers are often the first line of people who try to resolve differences between couples. They usually try their best to resolve differences between couples providing advice based on their own experiences, their understanding of the personalities of the couple and societal expectations. However, there are differences in how a professional trained marital therapist addresses relationship issues compared to advice from well-wishers.

The most important fundamental difference is that a marital therapist maintains objectivity or neutrality between the partners. To explain this further, a close family member or a friend or well-wisher knows one or the partner better and may try to look from the emotional angle of one spouse more closely than the other. For example, if they are more closely related to the wife, their emotional closeness may influence how they see the problem and its resolution and objectivity may be lost. This may be a conscious or subconscious influence. With a professional therapist, the neutral or mentor position plays an important role to identify the factors influencing or straining the relationship. There is no biased emotional closeness to either of the spouses.

The next most important difference is that a relative or a close friend has limitations in that they can only provide general counseling as to how to adjust, let go, think for future and forget the past, which will be a momentary solace than a long term solution. A marital therapist is trained to identify specific factors that are influencing or straining the relationship rather than determining who is at fault. These may include, for example, a faulty way of communication, too much over-involvement of a third person, external stress factors, possible culture, lifestyle, socio economic status differences etc. Once the factors are identified, further objective work at finding practical and pragmatic solutions, implementing and evaluating the proposed changes, and further modifications are possible to rebuild the relationship. The neutrality of the therapist helps to reduce a lot of blaming each other and a defensiveness or lack of trust that may arise because one partner feels the other is being favoured. It also compels both partners to work equally towards resolving conflict.  While a relative or close friend might help by guiding what is right or wrong, they may end up (even without meaning to) aggravating the problem and creating more conflict by appearing to blame one person more than the other.

An important part of resolving conflict is the ability of the couple to introspect and self-analyze their role in the stress situations and try to change towards a better relationship. Trying to see or blame one partner entirely is an unhealthy concept. For example, if one partner feels completely overwhelmed or helpless by the aggressive nature of the partner, we must understand that the very nature of helplessness exhibited by the person encourages the other partner to show aggression.  A healthy balance that involves both partners realizing and working towards change is necessary.

Once a relative or close friend is involved into couple issues of concern, there is a continuous follow up or involvement of the relative over a period of time.  This may create a dependence of the couple on advice and suggestions from the relative or friend. A marital therapist, on the other hand, works towards enabling the couple to understand their own stress and emotions and to use the skills acquired during therapy to address any future potential problems.  Thus, the therapist enables the couple to independently address their own issues.

The first few years of marriage are usually stressful as partners try to manage and live up to expectations and adjust to differing personalities and life situations. This usually continues till the couple reaches a stage of appreciating the capabilities and strengths of their partners besides accepting limitations.  Once children come into the picture, the relationship of the couple may disappear for a number of years as the needs of the child or children take precedence. Unless the couple is aware of the potential for stress and works at solving differences, the stress may affect the relationship.

To summarize, an objective unbiased eye can help identify one’s role in a relationship, suggest potential corrections at the right time, appreciate individual differences, and help look for pragmatic rather than ideal solutions. Well-wishers, although they mean well, may sometimes complicate the developing lack of trust between partners.

Sustainable Marital Relationships

A HALF DAY WORKSHOP

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Preparedness towards Expectations and Complexities of Marriage

Marriage is considered a unique life experience that should lead to happy and enjoyable memories. Marriage is often a union of two different personalities that seek to merge into a single common purpose and goal in life. Each partner has their own expectations and dreams and a happy marriage is one where both partners are able to realize their own as well as the potential of their partner. Expectations that are unrealistic and are not in alignment with the wishes of the partner or a common goal can lead to friction in the relationship. Often, friends turn strangers and even enemies over a period of sustained dissatisfaction.  Understanding our partner in depth helps to make relationships more meaningful for a productive marriage.

This half day workshop focuses on developing an understanding of varied expectations from marriage and the complexities associated with differing expectations. Through an interactive discussion mode, Dr. Kavitha Praveen, an experienced marital therapist, will discuss the different phases of a marriage and possible problem solving options that are rooted in an understanding of the self and the partner. The workshop will be useful for anyone interested in the institution of marriage- whether they are already married, separated or planning to marry.

Participation is limited to 15 members on a first come first served basis.

Date: September 9, 2012

Venue: Manasvin’s Center for Family Psychotherapy, Anand Nagar Colony, Khairatabad, Hyderabad, India

Please contact Dr Kavitha Praveen at 9849924478 (between 9am and 9pm ) to register.