you may be facing ::
with conflict with your partner
with the people we care about the most can often be
the most challenging. Many people find that, during
an argument, they end up saying things to their partner
that they don't mean, leading to feelings of guilt
and regret. As a result, many are afraid of even talking
to their partner out of fear of starting another fight.
thing that's important to remember is that conflict
is a normal part of all relationships. Learning how
to resolve conflicts and differences of opinion is
a must for any relationship to flourish. If you and
your partner are still committed to your relationship,
it's important that you both acknowledge that this
is a problem that must be addressed. It's more than
likely that somewhere along the line, communication
between the two of you has gone off track and you
should take your share of the responsibility in order
to work things through.
you are unable to work things through, it is important
to get professional help. Unresolved conflict may
lead to physical and/or emotional abuse, emotional
damage to your children, marital breakdown and separation.
counsellors will explore your situation with you individually
or in marital/couple counselling as appropriate.
following are a few ideas on how you can start the
| Pick a time when things are calm and the two of
you are relaxed and in reasonable spirits. Picking
the right time is the first step.
| Explain that you really care about the relationship
and you are unhappy that the two of you are arguing
more than you would like.
| Explain that you want things to be different and
you are willing to help make them different. Ask
your partner if he/she shares your perceptions
of wanting to reduce conflict and make conflicts
serve a more productive purpose.
| Make a pact to stick to the issue when there is
a difference of opinion and make every effort
to avoid personal attacks or discussing outside
| Try to understand your partner's point of view
even if you don't agree with it. Repeat what you
are hearing back to your partner to see if you
are hearing it accurately. Everyone feels the
need to at least be heard.
| If you find that you are getting no where, agree
to set an issue aside for a while but remember
to come back to it so that it doesn't continue
more time to be with your partner
relationship is maintenance-free. Couples who want
their relationship to succeed have to be willing to
work at it on a regular basis. Couples today, as a
result of their heavy workloads at home and at work,
are left feeling tired, burnt out, guilty, rushed
and frazzled. Many are also so stressed out and tired
at the end of the day that they don't feel like doing
much more than watch TV.
are, however, a number of things that you and your
partner can do to spend more time together.
are a few of our tips:
| Pick a quiet time when you are both in a fairly
positive mood and sit down with your partner to
find out if he/she is feeling the same way. If
so, state that you value the relationship and
that you want to work on it.
| Review some of the fun times that you've had over
the years and get your partner involved in remembering
and describing them. Try to draw out as much detail
as you can about the good times.
| Take and inventory together of what has changed
| Try and find a starting point. Focus on one of
the fun things you used to do together and problem
solve to figure out what you have to do to make
room for that fun thing then try doing it again.
| Make sure to tell your partner how you feel when
you do have quality time together - share your
good feelings about it.
to keep your sexual relationship alive
couples find that after 5, 10 and 15 years of marriage
they just don't seem to be having the same "sexy
feelings" that they used to when they were dating
or when they were first married. Often couples find
that one partner wants sex more than the other.
healthy and successful relationships go through periods
where sexual activity is not what it once was. Caring
couples address this issue together and try to prevent
awkward feelings from building up. Many sexual problems
in relationships are not medically based but have
to do with stress, communication and trust issues.
you think there may be a medical issue, arrange to
discuss it with your doctor. Doctors are trained to
discuss such matters comfortably. If you don't feel
comfortable discussing it with the doctor you have
now, consider trying a different doctor.
is a sensitive topic for many of us because most of
us were raised to view it as a topic people don't
talk about openly. Despite this, sex is an important
part of most marital relationships and it requires
communication to keep it enjoyable.
If you feel comfortable enough taking the initiative
of bringing up the subject with your partner, here
are a few things you might try:
| Pick a relaxed time when you have some privacy
and time to talk.
| Find out how your partner has been feeling about
| Try not to open the discussion with a complaint.
Most people are very sensitive about their sexual
life and their sexual performance.
| If it feels tense and awkward to discuss sex,
be honest with your partner and say you find this
difficult but you care a lot about the relationship
and you want to help make your sexual relationship
| Share thoughts about what might be happening.
For example, have you both been tired and over
committed with work or family? Are you both in
| Try to do whatever it takes to get some private
time together, time when you are not both exhausted.
A weekend away is ideal but having someone take
the children for a night is great too.
| Discuss reconnecting with your partner on a romantic
level with less physical emphasis.
| Try and be more open with each other about what
feels good and try to say more about what you
like and less about what you don't like.
families dealing with separation, divorce of remarriage
please go to our Families
in Transition webpage.