Relationship / Family Issues
Distress in a Relationship Usually Falls in One of Five Areas:
- Attachment Seeking – “I miss you and want to re-connect.”
- Repair Seeking – “Something has gone wrong. Can we fix it?” or “I am hoping for an apology or recognition that you understand what went wrong.”
- Negotiation Seeking – “We definitely disagree and I’d like to see if we can find a solution that works for both of us.”
- Identity Seeking – “I would like you to know and understand me better. I don’t want to be invisible to you.”
- Autonomy/Independence Seeking – “I would like more freedom to pursue my interests, talents or desires.”
Questions each one of us need to ask ourselves are:
Are you being the partner you aspire to be?
What will it take to close the gap between how you are and how you want to be?
What is so distressing to your partner about you/your interaction?
When things go wrong, do you take an active role in repairing distress?
How do you support your partner in an ongoing way?
A Child’s Perspective when Parents are in Turmoil
- Don’t put me in the middle. If you need to talk to each other, please do it yourself.
- Don’t make me take sides. You may not have a husband/wife anymore, but I still have a mom/dad. When possible, tell me something positive about my parent.
- Ask me how I am doing and what I need. Even though you are going through your own loss, I need help talking about what is going on.
- Try to keep everything else in my life the same.
- If you need to talk to somebody about what you are going through, find a friend or a therapist. It is too much for me to carry your burden as well.
- No matter what my age is, this is still a loss for me. I may show my grief in many different ways, including anger, depression, anxiety, or acting-out behavior. Please get me help if I am having difficulty.
- I long for continuity, routine, and tradition. Although our family has changed, keep as many traditions and routines the same as possible.