As lifelong students of human behavior, we believe that anyone—even the most well-adjusted individual or couple—could benefit from therapy. Even if you are not grappling with internal conflicts or unconscious forces, the external world will often send you down unexpected roads that could not have been anticipated. When the unexpected occurs and throws you off balance, counselors and therapists can be the re-centering force you need.
Couples can also benefit from therapy. They may constantly be falling into unnecessary disputes and arguments that seem unresolvable, or they are simply seeking to improve their communication with one another.
We thought this would be a good time to talk about those issues and conflicts that may be signs that you could benefit from the guidance of a professional. Read on, and feel free to contact us at your convenience at (212) 721-8910.
Are You and Your Spouse Always Disagreeing on Issues Big and Small?
While it is perfectly normal and healthy for two people to disagree on certain things—such as tastes in film, food, or fashion—there are some disagreements that can put a halt on progress. Some of these issues include matters related to parenting, marriage, money, your respective family members, and even your general lifestyles.
You would think that given how frequently these issues would come up between two spouses that any disagreements would be quickly resolved for the sake of health and happiness, but that isn’t always the case. There are many people who are quick to run from these conflicts after they arise, rather than try to address or resolve them through honest, open, and productive dialogue. While being in a relationship rut is taxing, many people perceive the hard work of personal growth as being even more taxing, so they avoid it altogether.
While these disagreements can be difficult to resolve, they’re very much solvable. Often couples just require the guidance of a professional to get through to the other side. Here we will take a closer look at some of these often very specific disagreements.
Couples with Differences in Parenting Styles
Despite all the information two parents might absorb during a mother’s pregnancy or the years leading up to the child’s conception, many individuals will still unconsciously defer to the styles of parenting they learned from their own parents. Sometimes they simply use their parent’s style as a guide for what not to do as much as what to do. This is a good approach, as it involves the parent thinking critically about child-rearing.
Others, however, won’t think critically about the less-than-favorable approaches to child-rearing that they learned from their parents, and simply repeat their patterns. When your spouse has a different approach to parenting, it can lead to clashes related to issues of a child’s table manners, their education, eating habits, and more.
When two parents argue over these issues, it doesn’t just put a strain on their relationship—it also impacts the child. Though a young child may not have the words to even communicate their feelings, they will most certainly pick up on all the tension in the household. They may develop anxiety issues, a persistent sense of insecurity, guilt, or shame.
With help, however, you and your spouse can learn to parent as a team.
Couples Counseling: Align Your Parenting Styles
While there is more than one way to raise a child, there are some approaches that should most definitely be thrown out. With the help of a trained professional such as Dr. Bryant, you and your spouse can learn what you’re doing that works, what could be improved upon, and how to parent as a team rather than two opposing forces.
Some of the steps to a healthy and unified parenting style include:
Developing Family Goals Together
In session and at home, trying asking yourselves questions like: Do we want our children to be well-behaved? Do we want our children to be generous to others? Do we want them to be well-rounded? Do we want to encourage them? The answers to these questions might be obvious, but asking them and then working to learn how to achieve these results is important.
Examining Your Daily Parenting Routine
You both know that you want the same from your family, so now you can start looking at what you do day-to-day that you agree on, disagree on, and could collectively improve upon. Could your child benefit from better bedtime rituals? Does one of you let the child watch television for too long?
Understanding Your Differences
It is important to recognize that you and your spouse come from different upbringings. It is not as simple as identifying these differences, however. After bringing these differences to light, you need to do something about these differences.
Reach a Compromise with a Counselor
When you have identified the differences that make you and your partner the individuals that you are, you then need to look at how these differences have impacted your styles in parenting or other facets of your relationship. You also need to ask yourself if other differences might pose problems at later stages of your lives.
Will you accept some of these differences as part of the dynamic that makes your relationship unique, or will some of these differences need to be modified for the betterment of your family and relationship? Relationships, as we all know, are all about compromises. When a compromise is being made, you should always think of it as a positive change and not an attack on your personality. To find the appropriate balance, enlist the services of a trained and experienced counselor or therapist.
Contact Dr. Bryant Today
Dr. Bryant can help you reach these compromises without conflict. They can help you develop the communication skills your relationship needs and restore balance. It is always good to remember that these decisions are made not at the cost of your own selfhood, but for the betterment of your relationship and your whole family.