Relationship Problems

Relationships are at the core of human behaviour. We all relate to other people. However, relating to another is a mixed bag of excitement and fear, anticipation and dread, struggle and elation, closeness and distance, intimacy and loneliness. Living in a close relationship with another person can be a source of comfort, support and fun, and also, at times, a source of distress, frustration and despair.

Close relationships typically go through phases of development with normal highs and lows in attraction, energy and enthusiasm. It takes work to make a relationship last as there are various issues to address and pitfalls to avoid in even the most solid of partnerships. The key is for both parties to realize that this is normal and that hitting a rough spot is not, in fact, an indicator that the relationship is inherently flawed.

Relationships are dynamic and ever-changing. When problems occur in a relationship, there can be a diverse range of reasons related to both individual problems and problems relating to patterns of communication within the relationship. Individual problems that appear to place stress on relationships often arise due to individual needs not being met. These unmet needs often arise due to negative patterns of communication within the relationship.

Causes include:

  • Poor communication
  • Poor problem solving
  • Inadequate partner support
  • Lack of quality time and enjoyable shared experiences
What will help?

Developing a sense of trust: that is the condition in which you can be seen, heard, understood and accepted Accept that physical closeness is only one expression of intimacy

  • Acknowledge each others’ need to be autonomous, to stand on your own two feet and to make your own decisions
  • Create a safe space with your partner in which you can both express problems, doubts, fears and weaknesses without fear of rejection or punishment
  • Be willing to communicate, to share what is in your heart and mind and to listen to your partner’s expectations, needs and wants. Listening does not mean having to fix the problem if there is one Be willing to negotiate around your differences with respect and generosity. You are not going to get your own way all the time Be aware of and honestly acknowledge the personal issues you bring into the relationship and the unrealistic expectations you may place on your partner
  • Take time out to be alone and have some space. Without the capacity to be separate you will lack the capacity to give yourself freely to another
  • Maintain and build supportive networks of friends outside of the relationship. It is not possible for one relationship to meet every need
  • Develop the capacity to laugh and not take yourself too seriously
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Parenting Struggles

Parents face many challenges in raising their children to be safe, happy and well adjusted. Parenting strategies as well as behaviours and ideals of what parents expect, whether communicated verbally and/or non-verbally, also play a significant role in a child’s development. Parenting takes a lot of skill and patience and is constant work and growth.

What are some of the struggles for parents?

A common issue for parents is how to manage a child’s behaviour in an effective way, without being aggressive or punishing the child and it is generally accepted that there is no single or definitive model of parenting, but instead four distinct models of parenting skills. These models are the authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved or neglectful parenting styles. Authoritative parenting, is a “just right” style, in that combines a medium level demands on the child and a medium level responsiveness from the parents.

What will help?

Research shows that children benefit most when their parents: communicate honestly about events or discussions that have happened, also that parents explain clearly to children what happened and how they were involved if they were stay consistent, children need structure, parents that have normal routines benefits children incredibly utilize resources available to them, reaching out into the community taking more interest in their child’s educational needs and early development keeping open communication and staying educated on what their child is learning and doing and how it is affecting them.

Further help needed?

At these times, you may wish to seek help from someone you trust such as a close friend or family member, or professionally through your local GP, or through counseling.  Applecross Psychological Services can assist you with this process.

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