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You've managed to work out a fitness plan for other areas of your life such as diet, exercise, friendships, finances, etc. But what about the fitness of your relationship?

Take TURNS — Relationship Counseling

All couples experience relationship problems at some point. These problems stem from difficulty in different areas. Some of the most common areas that can cause friction in a relationship are:

· Communication problems
· Infidelity
· Child rearing
· Financial problems
· Differences in priorities
· Trust issues
· Household chores
· Emotional incompatibility
· Sexual incompatibility

Why Counseling Helps

Whether financial troubles or a lack of communication appears to be causing relationship problems, marriage counseling can provide relationship help. Relationship counselors teach you how to effectively deal with problems as they occur and strive towards workable solutions. Couple's counseling encourages respect for each other's feelings and perspectives while avoiding judgment and blame.

Seeking Relationship Help

While it may be clear that things are not going well in the relationship, not every one is comfortable with asking for help. If you have not warmed up to the idea of marital therapy, try these alternative strategies for relationship help:

Talk to a third party. Speak to someone you respect such as your pastor, rabbi or priest. When you find yourself in a rut, it is helpful to get outside input. Talking to a clergy person alone can give you support and another point of view. You may also learn things that you were not aware of before if you are willing to hear another person's perspective. Having a mediator facilitate communication between you and your partner can lead to more productive conversations, especially if there is a tendency for you and your mate to argue, yell, or play the blame game.

Find the time to talk to each other.
Set aside time each week to discuss important items. Most people lead very busy lives and juggle work, children and other responsibilities. However, do not use this as an avoidance strategy to neglect dealing directly with conflict. If both of you are able to communicate well, forcing the conversations to occur could move your relationship into a much better place. However, if there is a tendency to fight unfairly (i.e. yelling, name calling, blaming each other, etc.) do not hold conversations without a facilitator, otherwise you will only make matters worse, not better.

Start dating your mate again. Schedule time alone together. Do not spend your time together talking about the kids, mortgage, bills, or any other areas that may lead to arguments. Reconnect with each other as friends, partners, and lovers. Too often couples become distracted from each other and focus their attention on others (i.e. the children). While this is okay to some extent, it needs to be balanced with remembering the person you married.

If you find that your relationship problems do not improve, then it is time to swallow your pride and get past your aversion to couple's counseling. Getting the help you need now can save you the expense and discomfort of a divorce.

Strengthen Your Relationship by Taking TURNS




When Dealing With Conflict