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A standard assortment of features are available with Calla. The Gantry 5 Framework provides the foundation for the template's feature set.

UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING? Relationships are hard work! Even couples who are generally in a good place and consider themselves best friends can experience issues due to life’s curve balls.   Many partners are hesitant about couple’s therapy due to the misconception that it is the last resort for couples on the verge of separation.  This is not the case at all.   Relationship counseling  teaches couples how to navigate stressors together, meet each other’s needs, and be better partners.

UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING

UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING

WHAT RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING TREATS

  • Feeling distant or lonely.
  • Difficulty communicating.

  • Experiencing trust or commitment issues
  • Feeling distant or lonely.

  • Feelings of low self-worth, insecurities, or abandonment arise.

  • Issues surrounding intimacy

  • Conflict with parenting styles

  • Abuse, addiction, or adultery

  • Childhood or sexual trauma

  • Codependency

  • Learning how to be a better partner

  • Difficulties with extended family

  • Health Complications

  • Grief and Loss

WHAT MAKES RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING EFFECTIVE?

  • Research suggests that marriage counseling is effective in 75% of cases.

  • Half of the couples have reported being able to resolve or half of their concerns.

  • A qualified therapist helps balance differing perspectives and find common ground.

  • If staying together is doing more harm than good, then you can mutually make that decision in a controlled and civil setting.

  • You utilize several different therapeutic approaches till you find one that works.

  • You learn how to co-parent efficiently and work as a team for your children, and model problem solving and healthy communication for them.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

Research indicates that couples that are struggling will wait six years before seeking help. Often, that is too late because the longer you wait, the more ingrained bad habits become, and it becomes increasingly difficult to shake them. If you’re part of a relationship in distress, the sooner you seek counseling, the better your odds are of improving your relationship. Remember, it is never too early to start relationship counseling, but there may come the point where the damage may be irreparable. You deserve a relationship that makes you feel happy, loved, and safe, and relationship counseling and marriage counseling can help you get there.

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Ways to affair proof your relationship. Affairs don’t happen by accident. They can be prevented, read on to find ways to affair proof your relationship..

ways to affair proof your relationship

PRIORITIZE EMOTIONAL SAFETY

Create an environment in your relationship where you both feel safe enough to be completely honest with each other.

This safe space allows you can talk about your needs honestly. Share everything, your deepest, most vulnerable thoughts and feelings with your partner knowing that they will be heard, respected and validated.

Going outside your relationship to get your needs met is unnecessary and counter-productive.

SHARE YOUR RELATIONSHIP NEEDS AND MEET YOUR PARTNER’S NEEDS

Take some time to write down your relationship needs. Rate each need based on its importance. Then rank your needs in order of importance.

Have your partner do this too.

Now sit together and share your needs with each other.

Discuss the needs that are not being met and find ways to get those needs met inside your relationship.

Being completely honest with each other and both you are getting your needs met, the chances of an affair happening in your relationship are slim to none.

AN EMPOWERED TAKE ON AFFAIRS

My primary interest for you is personal growth, as a relationship counselor and marriage counselor it my job is finding the hidden growth opportunity inside an affair.

In order to take advantage of that golden opportunity to grow, you have to be able to see yourself as being partly responsible for having created the environment that allowed your partner’s affair to happen.

Stay with me here…

AN AFFAIR DOES NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT!

Just like the health of a plant is dependent on the soil it grows in, so the health of your relationship is dependent on the environment you both co-create for your relationship to grow in.

An affair is something that emerges over time as the result of the environment the two of you co-create together. The space you co-create can pull an affair into existence or pull a lifetime of fulfillment into existence. I know I’m getting existential, so let me land the plane.

If your relationship manifests an affair, both of you are responsible for having co-created the environment in which the affair could grow.

You probably weren’t aware of it at the time, and you may not have been the one having the affair, but you played some part in creating an environment in your relationship that invited your affair.

It’s your affair because even if your partner cheated, the problem affects both of you.

I’m planting the accountability for your partner having an affair in both of your courts.

As I see it, the most empowering way to approach anything in life is from the perspective that you are accountable  for what shows up in your life. (which is different from “you are to blame”)

When you can see yourself as being at the source of your partner having an affair, then you also have the control to do something about it.

When you blame your partner for having an affair, you become the innocent victim of your circumstance…

…and an innocent victim has a lot less power than someone in the driver’s seat of their life.

I prefer being empowered over being a victim personally.

AN AFFAIR HAS ITS BENEFITS TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP

If reading that above statement makes you want to ask what did I just read? I completely understand.

However, if you’re open and willing to forgive each other, an affair can have many hidden benefits to your relationship:

  • It acts as a wake-up call;
    forcing you to deal with issues you were previously ignoring or unaware of
  • It can be an opportunity to create deeper intimacy and connection between you
  • It can be an opportunity to finally get your unmet emotional and sexual needs met by your partner
  • In healing your relationship from the affair, you’ll have to grow (a lot) – and that’s always a positive thing

Not suggesting having an affair will give you both these benefits. 

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5 Healing Shame Exercises

Dothan counseling services5 Healing Shame Exercises. I spend so much of my life thinking about shame and all of the ways it impacts our lives and relationships. I see the presence of shame in my therapy office (or on my screen, via Telehealth therapy) often. It shows up in my own life, too. In fact, I’ve yet to meet another human who doesn’t have a close, personal relationship with shame. Shame is a palpable thing.  There are many signs of shame in a person.  I see it in slouched posture, avoiding eye contact, fidgeting hands, hugging and hiding behind pillows to create physical distance. Shame is a shrinking sensation. Shame is the thing that sustains suffering, because it convinces us that if anyone sees the messy, dark, scary parts of us, we will be unsafe, unlovable, unsuccessful, and wrong. In fact, shame often keeps people away from counseling and other types of support. Therapy is all about being truly seen and heard, and shame wants nothing less than to be seen and heard. Shame wants us to be hidden and alone. Read about 5 Healing Shame Exercises to Help You Show Up More Fully

Guilt vs. Shame

When I talk about my working definition of shame, I compare it to our moral compass.   Guilt is that feeling inside that says, “I acted out of line with my character, and I need to make a change.” Guilt shows us where we’re out of integrity and gives us a nudge to get back in alignment. Guilt says, “I am not bad, but I did something that isn’t okay. I need to do better.” Guilt is certainly not a pleasant or comfortable feeling, but it’s an important one. It is not debilitating. It is temporary and eases as soon as we make amends, take accountability, and change our behavior.

If guilt is our compass,  then shame is a black hole. Shame sucks us into heavy darkness, where no light can get in and no light can escape. Shame says, “I am bad. I am broken. What’s the point?” It says, “I did something bad, therefore I am bad.”

Pride & Shame

Shame also has a really interesting relationship with Pride. Think of Shame & Pride as flip sides of the same coin. Most of us have experienced people in our lives who flip-flop between deep shame and seemingly egotistical pride. It’s the switch between “I’m not good enough” and “I’m better than all of those people.” On the surface, this can look confusing and strange. In reality though, it makes perfect sense. Shame and Pride serve the same function: They are hiding places. Shame says, “I’m not as good as anyone else, so I don’t really have to show up in vulnerable ways.” Pride says, “I’m better than everyone else, so I don’t really have to show up in vulnerable ways.”  Shame and Pride look different, but keep us protected from real vulnerability. It can feel scary to show up in our lives with both confidence and humility, boldly stepping into our emotions and humanity, knowing we will get things wrong. So instead, we choose the hiding place of Shame or the hiding place of Pride, or we run back-and-forth between the two.

The Impact of Shame

Now that we’re on the same page about what shame is, let’s talk about the impact shame has on our lives. I probably don’t have to convince you that shame is unpleasant. We all know what shame feels like. It is lonely, defeating, and so painful. However, shame doesn’t just feel uncomfortable for us. In fact, when we’re in our shame, the people in our lives lose us. It keeps us cut off from connection and community. It makes us completely inaccessible to our partners, families, friends, and communities. We get sucked into that black hole and we become unable to hear and acknowledge the pain of those we love. We become incapable of taking accountability when we’ve done wrong. We wind up making someone else’s hurt all about us. This is actually an incredibly common theme in both individual therapy and couples therapy: One person’s shame pulls them offline from their partner. That is not a fun place to be. So what do we do about it?!

Healing Shame Exercises

Shame is like a cockroach. When we shine the light on it, it flees. In order to get rid of shame, we have to pull the shameful stuff into the light. Here are 5 healing shame exercises to help you step outside of shame when it shows up.

1.  Therapy

Both individual therapy and couples therapy are amazing ways to begin healing shame. Therapy is a focused, intentional space where you get to be seen, heard, and supported by someone who believes in you and wants you to be your best self. Good therapy will help you step outside of shame and more fully into your life.

  1. Opening up to a trusted loved one

This one will probably feel scary. Like we discussed, shame wants us to hide. It takes a massive amount of courage to open up to a loved one about something we hold shame around. However, when we open up to someone we love and trust, shame goes away. Here’s a tip: When you open up to someone, clearly communicate what you need from them. Do you need reassurance? Validation? A hug? Be clear with them so they can support you in a way that feels good.

  1. Online forums

Especially during COVID-19, online forums and social media are fantastic (and socially distanced!) ways to connect with other people who may be experiencing something similar to what you’re experiencing. The experience of community is an antidote to shame.

  1. Affirmations

Spend some time each day on affirmations.  When shame shows up, talk back to it. Try one of these affirmations: “I am whole and lovable;” “I am allowed to make mistakes;” “I am allowed to show up in my full, imperfect humanity;” “I am enough.”

  1. Inner child work

Imagine that shame voice as a scared younger part of you. If it’s hard to visualize yourself, visualize someone in your life who you feel compassion toward. Then, imagine that person feeling the same shame you’re carrying around. Imagine what you’d say to them. It might sound something like, “I know you’re going through xyz.   I still care about you and love you. You’re safe with me.”

Healing shame is not an easy process, but the more we practice it, the easier and less scary it becomes. If you take away nothing else from this article, please remember that you are not alone in your shame. The rest of humanity is right there with you.

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Couples Therapy vs. Marriage Counseling Dothan Marriage CounselorCouples Therapy vs. Marriage Counseling? If you and your partner are experiencing trouble in paradise, professional help could be a truly constructive way to get your relationship back on track and continue to grow and learn as a couple. But what kind of help exactly? What’s the difference between couples therapy vs. marriage counseling anyway?

What is couples therapy?

This type of therapy is designed for couples who love each other, but have reached an impasse, typically because they “struggle being vulnerable and lack basic communication skills.” (Yep, a large percentage of the population falls into that category.) As such, a therapist will work with the couple to identify the root cause of these issues—a process that involves both parties taking a hard look at their own family communication history and patterns of unhelpful behavior. (For instance, if your wife is an “asker” and you’re a “guesser,” you may have been communicating wrong this whole time.) In other words, the role of the therapist is to help each person unpack their own issues and understand themselves better within the context of the “couple”—namely so that they can better support one another’s personal growth and ultimately enjoy a more harmonious relationship dynamic. Couples typically pursue this type of therapy after they have been together for at least one year, often longer—you know, when the honeymoon phase is in the rearview and tension (not the sexy type) starts to creep in. 

What is marriage counseling?

Marriage counseling, is intended for couples who are soon to be, or already are, married. You can think of this kind of counseling as something of a prophylactic measure, in that treatment tends to focus on the here and now and is typically “more generic and skill based as opposed to being focused on processing emotions and understanding one another’s perspective,”. In fact, marriage counseling sometimes involves formal classes, complete with prescribed lesson plans designed to teach both communication skills and the basics of conflict resolution. Basically, it’s like prep work for married couples who have anticipated the struggles ahead and wish to ride the highs and lows of the relationship successfully.

Couples therapy vs. marriage counseling

What’s the difference?

Now you’ve probably surmised that both types of treatment do indeed cater to different needs. For an even clearer picture, I’ve broken down the key differences, including some I haven’t yet touched on, between couples therapy and marriage counseling.

1. Starting point

Couples therapy is typically pursued when the couple is experiencing problems, big or small, in their relationship and wants to understand the “why.” Marriage counseling, on the other hand, is often attended by newlyweds and sometimes even required of couples before getting married. Couples who opt for marriage counseling don’t necessarily have significant relationship issues (though they can) but choose to participate in counseling nevertheless as a means of preparing for any challenges they might encounter as a married unit.

2. Experience

In couples therapy, participants will take a deep dive into the issues at hand and treatment will be tailored to the specific needs of the couple. Marriage counseling is a less personal form of treatment, and the process doesn’t involve quite as much digging; it consists primarily of identifying potential issues and learning the skills necessary to resolve conflict and find compromises.

3. Benefits

The benefits of couples therapy include a better understanding of triggers and coping skills, an improvement in feelings of happiness within the context of the couple, and increased empathy toward both self and partner. Marriage counseling provides education and support so that couples can learn the general communication skills required to build a strong foundation for their marriage.

4. Timeline

Couples therapy is generally a bigger commitment, consisting of as few as eight or more than twenty sessions, depending on the level of distress in the relationship. Marriage counseling is a shorter-term engagement involving fewer sessions, though the exact number depends on the outline of the course and the specific objectives set.

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Infidelity brings couples into counseling more than any other relationship problem. These couples are in crisis and pain and do not know how to start repairing and rebuilding their relationship. 

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Some of the most common questions couples have are:

“How could this have happened?”

“How could I have prevented it?”

Without question, the most effective way to affair proof your relationship is to build strong, healthy communication.  Having healthy communication cements your relationship in a way that nothing else can.  It is much easier to prevent infidelity than it is to repair it and much less painful.

Here are 3 tips to get your communication skills jump started:

  1. Share your life with each other.  Let your partner know what you are doing and how your day went.  Include him or her in your daily life even if you do not think he or she will care.  Sharing creates a powerful bond.  Do not look at it as being under a microscope and having to “report in.”  Instead, look at it as creating daily building blocks of trust, love and support.
  2. Express your thoughts and feelings.  Holding in those little things that irritate you can quickly lead to resentment.  When I hear someone say, “He’s changed” or “this didn’t bother her before”, I know this can mean that someone was not expressing feelings for awhile and not cannot hold it back.  Besides expressing what is bothering you, also talk to each other about your dreams.  You remember those, right? Talk to each other often about your passions and dreams.  It cannot always be about the bills or shopping lists.  Positive conversations create connection.
  3. Check your filter.  How often do you have suspicious thoughts about your partner?  Suspicious thoughts about your partner can be automatic when you are skeptical that an affair is happening.  How does this affect your communication?  You may have a thought that he or she is being unfaithful and lash out without any evidence that your thoughts are true.  Instead of lashing out, talk to your partner about how it feels to you instead of how you believe you have been done wrong.

A few small changes can go a long way in building a loving bond of trust in your relationship.  Your relationship is your most important investment.  Do everything you can to nurture and help it grow. 

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(And Why You Need To Know Where You Are)

Although there are no typical couples, every relationship goes through intimacy stages. These stages do not always happen in any particular order. All these ups and downs are leading to something…could it be love?

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Take a look. What stage is your relationship in?

1. Infatuation

“Oh my God, I just met the love of my life.”
“He is perfect….I want to marry him.”
“I cannot wait to see her again.”
“We have so much in common.”

Ahhh, the sweet, syrupy stage of infatuation. It’s wonderfully intoxicating and so difficult to resist. Hormones and logic rarely coincide, so you find yourself checking your messages 24 times an hour, not eating,buying new lingerie,and so on.

Infatuation makes your dopamine levels soar, producing a full-body euphoria that causes humans to seek out sex again and again. Brain scan studies show that the brain during orgasm is 95 percent the same as the brain on heroin. Your brain cannot maintain the high of infatuation; you will fry. How many movies do we see about this? It’s pure poetry, love magnified. Infatuation will ebb and flow at different points. The sex will not always be that good…it may get better or it may get worse. This is where you start to land.

2. Landing

The landing from that fantastic flight of infatuation can feel scary, as we start to see things more clearly. There is a great article in Psychlogy Today that says something along the lines of,”the day you wake up and say you have married the wrong person is the day that your marriage truly begins.” It means that this is the day where the veil of infatuation lifts and the 20/20 vision of everyday living comes in.

“Wow, he is neurotic.”
“Has she always told those annoying stories?”
“I didn’t think about him all day…does that mean we are not ok?”

The landing can feel light and kind of soft or it can feel rocky and knock you off your feet. Either way, it can leave you feeling like Cinderella when the clock struck midnight. The landing can be oh so bittersweet.

3. Burying

This stage happens when all the to-do lists and everyday life comes into the relationship. Before you know it, conversations focus on things like who’s doing the laundry, your boss, or the crazy mother-in-law. During the burying stage, other things, like everyday life, begins to settle down on your beautiful oasis of a relationship. Burying is not always bad; it is a sign that your relationship is real and weaves into your everyday existence.

The important thing is to not lose your relationship during this stage. Relive your first date, take dance classes together, try new sexual experiences. Do something that allows real life to take a break and the gentle, sweet intimacy to resurface, bringing us to the next stage.

4. Resurfacing

Resurfacing is the stage where you turn to your partner and say to yourself,”wow, I forgot how hot he is,” or, “I love her so much.”

Resurfacing is a relationship resolution. You begin to realize your partner has issues or habits that annoy you, but you have issues and habits that are annoying to your partner, too. You start to think,” I can’t believe I have such a sweet person in my life who always has my back.”

A massive problem that you two resolved, a great date, an especially good night of sex, almost losing the other person,or good couples therapy can all trigger resurfacing. Anything can jolt us awake, a death in the family or even a birth.

5.Love

This is what it’s all about, right? The part where we look across the dinner table, argue over the remote, or go on a great trip together and think,”I have it really good” or “I love him/her more than I could ever imagine.”

Here, the sex is usually better than it’s ever been. True love seems to truly blossom around year five; the rest is a rotation, sometimes rapid and sometimes slow, of the other stages.

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New lovers carefully watch their words with each other, even when they argue. They don’t want to say anything that could hurt their partner (Hostile Venting). They treasure their closeness and cannot bear being upset with each other for long.

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Unfortunately, as relationships mature, partners often forget how angry and hurtful words can damage their intimacy. The longer partners have been together, the more likely their negative phrases to each other will resemble what they heard being used when they were growing up. As arguments become more heated, they begin to lose touch with the effect of their words. They rationalize their venting with little remose or need to apologize. Over time, they may escalate more quickly to hostile levels of attack. Winning becomes more important than maintaining trust or intimate connection, with each verbal blow leaving an invisible but permanent scar.

If a couple does not learn to recognize these damaging, hostile phrases, you run the risk of destroying your relationship beyond repair.

Hostile remarks fall into 6 categories:

1) Character assassinations

Character assassinations are statements that partners use to define the other as someone who has always been, will always be, that bad. They attack your partner’s basic character rather than his or her temporary behavior. Example: “I can’t believe anything out of your mouth. You’re a liar.” “You’re a b***h.”

2) Threats of abandonment

These types of phrases cause your partner to feel worthless and no longer needed. Example: “I don’t care what you do anymore.” “You don’t get it. I’m done.”

3) Invalidations

These phrases focus on your partner’s weaknesses. It is an attempt to neutralize his or her advantage so you can feel superior in an argument. Example: “That’s the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard.” “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

4) Threats of Exile

These phrases are essentially telling your partner to get out of your life. If you threaten exile enough times, your partner will actually begin to believe you and no longer expect the relationship to continue.
Example: “I want you out of my life.” “Why don’t you go back to your old girlfriend? You deserve each other.”

5). Challenges

Hostile challenges are questions or statements that are delivered with sarcasm or defiance. If you are challenging your partner’s basic rights to feel, think or behave in certain ways, you will ask mean questions to ‘show’ your partner how stupid or incompetent he or she is.
Example: “Yoy actually believe what you’re saying?” “Do you even know what you’re talking about?”

6) Preaching

When people feel hostile, they often pull out the parental card. Pointing or wagging their finger, they quote authorities or even absent friends, to push home their point. This hostile venting activates childhood guilt or embarrassment. It’s especially hurtful if you know your partner’s history and use what vulnerable memories they’ve revealed to you to make your point.
Example: “For a person who claims to be decent, you ought to know better than to do what you’ve done.” “”You don’t have any integrity, do you?”

Recognizing these hostile phrases is the first step in making healthy changes. When you and your partner understand the impact of your hostile words, you can start to change how you handle yourselves in future arguments and disagreements. You and your partner can discuss these hostile phrases and tell each other how these same feelings could be expressed in ways that are more loving and accepting.

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Depressed Partner

Depression is hard enough to deal with without adding the overwhelming guilt that comes along with thinking you’re potentially damaging your relationship.

depression therapy Dothan

Depression can be all but impossible to comprehend if you haven’t experienced it yourself. It can lead to all kinds of relationship distress, with damaging behaviors coming both from the person who is experiencing depression and from their partner who may be trying to help but just can’t seem to do or say the right thing.

What can you do to help if your partner’s mood seems to be spiraling downward?

1. Recognize the signs of depression:

* feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
* persistent sad, anxious or ’empty’ mood
*feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
* loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies, activities
* decreased energy, fatigue, being ‘slowed’ down
*difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
*difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening or oversleeping
*appetite and/or weight changes
*thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
*restlessness, irritability

2. Don’t be accusatory.

It’s important that you understand that depression is not a choice, a moral flaw or a personal affront your partner is using toward you.

Depression is also not a ploy for attention. It’s an under-addressed, serious illness that affects every area of someone’s life. Unfortunately, society seems to think it’s some type of moral weakness, as if someone with depression should just ‘be able to snap out of it’ or ‘buck up and move past it’ and all would be solved.

Because of this mindset, it’s extremely difficult for depression sufferers to even admit there’s a problem. If you suspect your partner is depressed, don’t try to force them into anything. Depression isn’t just having a case of the ‘blues.’ It can be brutal for those experiencing it. Take it seriously.

3. Don’t try to reason them out of it.

If logical thinking was an anti-depressant, no one would be depressed. Avoid offering reasons why they shouldn’t be depressed. Your solutions will only serve to depress them further and cause them to feel disconnected from your relationship. It’s more helpful to offer your care and support rather than trying to ‘fix it’. Trust me, your partner wishes it was as simple as implementing whatever solutions you can come up with. They do not want to ‘brainstorm’ideas to ‘fix it’ either.

4. Help Geuinely and Gently.

Subtlety and gently say something like ‘I’ve noticed you’ve seemed down a lot lately. Maybe we should go see someone. I found a good recommendation.’

By using ‘we’ it seems less accusatory and gets your foot in the door. Just this simple use of ‘we’ instead of ‘you’ lets them save face and they need to feel that right now. Never say, ‘You need therapy.’ Ever. The goal is to get them help so they can climb out of the darkness. You can’t do it for them but you can do what you can to get them going in the right direction.

5. Don’t be patronizing.

Your partner is depressed, they haven’t lost their intelligence. Avoid questions like, ‘Are you sure you want to do X, Y or Z?’ Just go with the flow. Accept that there will be good days and bad. They aren’t just moping. Don’t make jokes or tease them, even when your intentions are good.

6. Do not share the private details of their depression with family or friends without their consent.

This is your partner’s business and an extremely private one. Since there can be a stigma surrounding depression, the last thing they want is to have to explain to people what is going on with them. You owe it to your partner to let them share when and if they want to. If you need support for yourself because this can take a toll on you too, talk to a professional or someone far removed from the situation who can maintain confidentiality.

7. Enjoy good times.

When things are good or their mood lifts, enjoy it. Don’t ask questions or ask why they aren’t like this all the time. Again, it’s not a choice for them and there can still be good times. Appreciate them when they come.

8. Take care of yourself.

Moods in relationships can be contagious. It’s easy to let yourself slide into the pit with them. It’s also easy to start feeling resentful. Having a depressed partner can make you feel like you’re in a one-sided relationship and in a way you are because depression can creep in and take everything over. It’s impornt to continue to do activities you enjoy and that restore your own emotional health and balance.

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3 Mistakes for Women to Avoid

Divorce counseling dothan1. Dating after divorce, thinking that all men are going to be like your ex-husband.

Dating after divorce? It’s difficult to trust someone new after being hurt by your ex.  But if you do not resolve your trust issues, it can destroy your chances of finding a new, healthy relationship. Your distrust is transparent in your conversations with people, or even on your dating profile when you say things like,’No dishonest men’ or ‘No head games’ . You are telling the world you’ve been hurt and have trust issues.  Here is how this hurts you:  Men who have it together will recognize your distrust and possibly be scared away by it, knowing he will be paying for the sins of your ex-husband.  Contrarily, the men who do play games most likely haven’t even recognized this about themselves or they’re not going to own up to it, so they are not likely to stay away because you have asked.  If you haven’t resolved your trust issues, the doubting voice in your head says,’All men are like my ex.  All men cheat. All men fall out of love and break up with you.’Replace this nagging replay with,’I’m in a new relationship and I am learning all about him and his wonderful, unique qualities.’  Start with a clean slate. Notice THIS person’s qualities.

2.  Getting involved in a rebound relationship.

After a divorce, it’s normal to feel lonely.  Often, to fill the pain of loneliness, people get involved with someone new before they’re ready. How do you tell if a new relationship is genuine or a rebound relationship?  Dating after divorce, ask yourself if this new person has qualities you’d want in a long term relationship? Do you have things in common? Is a physical attraction keeping you from seeing how incompatible you really are?

Also ask: ‘Am I happy alone, even without a man in my life?’ If yes, you’re ready for a new relationship.  But if you’re with someone just so you’re not alone, then this is most likely a rebound situation.  As you heal your trust issues and learn things about yourself, it is possible to transform a rebound relationship into a real one as long as it isn’t just based on physical attraction.

3. Unintentionally hanging onto baggage.

Dating after divorce Often, I will say,’If you’re over 12 years old, you have baggage.’ We’ve all been hurt in the past. The key is to release the baggage so that you do not carry it with you into your future relationships. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of our baggage and how it holds us back.

It’s time to ask yourself some questions:

Did you spend enough time alone after your divorce to really think about what caused the collapse of your marriage? While your ex played a part, did you have any destructive habits? One of the most destructive habits is blame.  We want to blame our significant others for how we feel, but the truth is our emotions are our own.  Instead of telling someone,’You’re making me angry’, it’s more effective to say,’When you did X,Y or Z, it didn’t feel good or I felt uncomfortable.’

Whether it’s avoiding blame or other destructive habits, is there anything else you could do differently to not carry old baggage forward? Answer this question and you are on your way to saying goodbye to the old and hello to new, healthy relationships.

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Relationship Milestones

Every couple goes through trying times. The interesting thing is that these trying times bring some couples closer together while it tears other couples apart. What makes the difference? Let’s look at some of the situations, relationship milestones.

Relationship Milestones

Your first kiss, meeting each other’s parents, and your first trip together. We all know about the things that are a big deal in a relationship. But there are a lot of smaller milestones along the way that can reveal a lot about where your relationship is headed, as well. Guys aren’t always big on talking about their feelings, so the things he does can be a bigger indication about how he really feels about you. No need to break out the champagne every time one of these things happens, but you can rest easy knowing you two probably have a promising future together.

1. THE FIRST TIME YOU FART IN FRONT OF HIM AND DON’T WANT TO DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT.

We all fart, and sometimes they come out when you least expect it, like when you’re laughing really hard or when you’re just drifting off to sleep. If it happens in front of him and you aren’t mortified, that’s a pretty good sign you’re comfortable around him and you know he doesn’t judge you.

2. YOU NO LONGER CARE ABOUT WAITING A FEW MINUTES BEFORE TEXTING HIM BACK.

At first, you never want to seem too eager, or too available. But once you’re at the point where you’ll text him whenever you feel like it without analyzing it first, you’ve officially made it past the “casually dating” phase.

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4. YOUR FIRST INSIDE JOKE.

Not only do you get each other’s humor, you’re actually able to laugh together at things no one else gets. You have things that only you two share, and that always brings people closer together.

5. YOUR FIRST NICKNAMES FOR EACH OTHER.

And no, “babe” (or any term of endearment that everyone else uses) doesn’t count.

6. WHEN YOU CAN TELL HE CLEANED UP BEFORE YOU CAME OVER.

That phase where he still cares what you think and wants to impress you is a great part of a new relationship. Enjoy it, because it’s only a matter of time before you see what his real hygiene habits are all about.