What’s the Difference Between Fighting and Arguing with Your Partner?

Mindful Healing_Whats The Difference Between Fighting And Arguing With Your Partner

FIGHTING VS ARGUING

When you have a conflict with your partner you may refer to it as a fight. We don’t mean fisticuffs; we mean a verbal fight. Other times we say we had an argument. Do they mean the same thing or are they different? They are different. In a fight someone has to win. In an argument, there is no goal to win, the goal is for both parties to listen.

HOW TO AVOID FIGHTING

First, acknowledge that there is a conflict and embrace it. Conflicts are not negative; in fact, they are opportunities to improve relationships. If they get ignored, resentment can poison the relationship. See it as an opportunity for both of you to resolve something. After practicing as a couple, you will look forward to resolving issues while building trust in one another. Define the issue and the outcome you want.  Set a specific time to discuss. Sometimes it is best to let things cool down. Later in the day is best, you don’t want these issues to go unresolved overnight. These are only three tips. If you want more, check out 13 Rules for Fair and Healthy Fighting in Relationships.

HOW TO ARGUE IN A RELATIONSHIP

Conflicts are healthy, embrace them and look forward to resolving them. The key for both sides is listening. When you are both actively listening, it doesn’t feel like a fight—because it stops being a fight if both parties are listening. Remember, there are issues on both sides that need to be resolved. Blame is not the goal. Sure, there may be some responsibility on either or both sides—but that is very different from blame. Seek opportunities to accept responsibility and acknowledge your role.

BE MINDFUL OF THE MOMENT

Mindful Healing is more than Therapy and Counseling. We are about helping you be mindful in every area in your life. When you are mindful, you feel a sense of freedom from being in a judgmental state. It is an awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences from moment to moment.  Mindfulness is for everyone and a gift you can give yourself.

 

If you live in Portland or the Portland area and want help with

couples or poly counseling or learn about mindfulness training,

E-MAIL US OR CALL US AT 503-878-8588 TO SCHEDULE YOUR INTAKE TODAY.

 

Unmarried Couples Counseling in Portland

counseling-for-unmarried-couples

Couples counseling is not just for married couples, it is for all couples and frankly all types of romantic relationships. Couples therapy is designed to help partners overcome many relationship obstacles, including communication issues, infidelity, breach of trust, power struggles, or intimacy problems. Portland is no exception when it comes to challenges that may come from relationships. The three main reasons couples seek counseling in Portland are true throughout the United States.

HOW SOON IS TOO SOON?

In an earlier post, we give reasons why it is never too soon to seek couples counseling. The primary reason we cite that post is to build a healthy foundation before your relationship needs saving.  There used to be the notion that couples’ therapy was an after-the-fact solution, like repairing or saving a relationship after an affair. Couples’ therapy is much more than that, it involves learning communication skills, coping styles, personal goals, problem-solving, and values. Couples can experience many challenges at any stage in a relationship.

YOU DO BETTER IN THE GYM WITH A TRAINER

These are the words actress Kristen Belle used when she explained her reason for seeking couples counseling before she got married. She told Good Housekeeping, that it helped her “[to have] a much bigger toolbox” for when she had disagreements with her partner. Couples’ therapy no longer has a stigma. What has become perfectly acceptable for married couples and long-term partners is now encouraged by twenty and thirty-somethings.

TRANSITIONING INTO ADULTHOOD IS ALREADY TOUGH

Becoming an adult comes with all the perks of being independent; having your own job, making your own schedule, calling your own shots. It also comes with more responsibilities and, for some, more pressure.  When you add a relationship to the mix, seeking help makes sense. If you are in your twenties and early thirties, you are already navigating through new challenges. With couples counseling, you can learn how to navigate through these challenges together.

PORTLAND IS #1 for DIVORCED MILLENNIAL

Statistically, when you isolate for millennials, Portland, Oregon ranks number 1 in both divorces per population and divorces per married. Unfortunately, this makes Portland, Oregon the divorce capital for millennials. The good news is Portland Millennials are adopting couples’ therapy at a faster rate than older, longer-term couples. In fact, a university study about couples’ therapy reports 51% of millennial couples are likely to seek out some kind of relationship counseling, more than older couples that have been together longer.

WHAT HAPPENS in COUPLES COUNSELING?

With couples’ counseling, we will explore each of your individual needs, the nature of the relationship, identify barriers, and create solutions to heal your relationship. We’ll work on values, communication styles, healthy conflict, friendship, romance, problem-solving, boundaries, loving as an action, and goals that serve everyone.

DO I NEED INSURANCE TO SEE A THERAPIST?

No. In fact, at Mindful Healing Portland LLC we accept clients on a sliding scale. We are currently accepting clients for our sliding scale rates.

 

If you live in Portland or the Portland area and need Couples’ Counseling,

E-MAIL US OR CALL US AT 503-878-8588 TO SCHEDULE YOUR INTAKE TODAY.

 

Polyamorous Relationship Resources in Portland

polyamourous-counseling

In July of 2016, The Guardian US wrote an article titled Polyamorous in Portland: the city making open relationships easy citing Portland as one of the most tolerant cities regarding consensual non-monogamous relationships. Three years later, and there are multiple resources for the polyamorous community. However, the term may still be new, even to those who may already be curious, so let’s get some polyamorous vocabulary defined.

Polyamory (“Poly” for short): Engaging in multiple romantic relationships simultaneously with the consent and knowledge of all parties.

Ethical Non-Monogamy: This is a broader term for multiple simultaneous romantic relationships with the consent of all parties. This includes poly relationships, open relationships, and swinging.

Compersion: It is the opposite of jealousy. Feeling joy when another person is feeling joy.

Non-Hierarchical Relationships: In poly relationships, there are still unique relationships between any two parties. Generally speaking, in most poly relationships all relationships are considered equal although there are some poly relationships where there is an agreed hierarchy.

Primary/Secondary Partner: In hierarchical relationships, there can be further definition given to each of the relationships. Sometimes a “nesting partner” is interchangeably used for the term primary partner.

You can get a fuller glossary of poly terms at Franklin Veaux’s site. Veaux literally wrote the book on ethical polyamory, “More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory

ARE THERE POLYAMOROUS SOCIAL GROUPS in PORTLAND?

There is a Portland Poly meet-up on the second and fourth Friday of every month. The meet-ups are casual, meet and greet, drop-in style hangouts. If you just want to see if there are other non-monogamous people out there, you’ll find them here. The meet-ups are also a great opportunity to ask questions, learn more about it, and even hear other people’s stories about the good times, and the not-so-good. Learn more on the Portland Polyamory Meetup Page.

Interested in groups near Portland, but live outside the city?  Check out the Portland Polyamory’s list of poly groups near Portland.

DO POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIPS in PORTLAND DO COUNSELING?

Poly relationships are no different than monogamous relationships. The key word is “relationships,” and with counseling, you can learn tools to better communicate with your partner(s) and develop tools to listen and express yourself better. The three primary reasons monogamous couples seek counseling can also be true for poly relationships as well. At Mindful Healing, we are sensitive to poly relationships and want to help all relationships become stronger.

DO I NEED INSURANCE TO SEE A THERAPIST?

No. In fact, at Mindful Healing Portland LLC., we accept clients on a sliding scale. We are currently accepting clients for our sliding scale rates.

 

Are you in a polyamory relationship living in or Portland or near the Portland Area and are interested in Couples and Poly Counseling?

E-MAIL US OR CALL US AT 503-878-8588 TO SCHEDULE YOUR INTAKE TODAY.

 

How Soon is Too Soon for Couples’ Therapy?

Psychologist taking notes during couple counseling session

Technically there is no “too soon” for Couples’ Therapy. There are many cases when couples begin therapy as early as 6 months or sooner. In fact, millennials are opting for couples’ therapy much sooner than their counterparts a generation ago. The biggest factor in this new trend is a better understanding of what couples’ therapy is.

HELP YOUR RELATIONSHIP BEFORE IT NEEDS “SAVING”

There used to be the notion that couples’ therapy was an after-the-fact solution, like repairing or saving a relationship after an affair. Couples’ therapy is much more than that, it involves learning communication skills, coping styles, personal goals, problem solving, and values. Couples can experience many challenges at any stage in a relationship. Some of the most common problems include sex, finances, differences in how much free time should be spent together, differences in standards of cleanliness, jealousy, addictions, and family issues. Therapy can provide a safe and fair way for couples to navigate these issues. These are also tools that can last through the future of the relationship, too.

ARE UNHEALTHY CONFLICTS IN A RELATIONSHIP A RED FLAG?

Conflicts, and fighting early in a relationship, do not determine if you are a good match or not. It simply means that there is a challenge in problem solving, communicating, or some other dynamic. These are skills that can be developed and refined. Some of the biggest struggles in communication that tend to end relationships include personal criticism (rather criticizing individual acts/behaviors), contempt, defensiveness, reactivity, lack of relationship repair, and disconnection/stonewalling behavior.

The biggest red flags when it comes to conflict are signs of abusive behavior, which can be emotional, physical, sexual or financial. Common examples of emotional abuse include yelling, manipulation, name-calling, shaming, humiliation, constant criticism, threats (to you or themselves), ultimatums, discouraging social time with other people, discouraging personal empowerment (denying right to work, school…etc.), withholding affection, and invasion of privacy. Common physical abuses include hitting, spitting, choking, any bodily harm, threats, intimidating postures/gestures, physical restraint, or denying your right to leave a place. Common sexual abuses include unwanted touching/fondling, rape, forced uncomfortable sexual scenarios, forced painful sex, non-consensual sex, derogatory name-calling, and withholding sex as an ultimatum. If you think you are in an abusive relationship and feel unsafe or cannot get out, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you identify as a female, a great local resource here in Portland, OR is the Gateway Center.

CAN COUPLES’ THERAPY FIX ALL RELATIONSHIPS?

No. Couples therapy can do many things. It can clarify concerns, goals, and values. It helps couples learn healthier methods to interact more productively. It provides a safe and fair way for couples to be vulnerable and express themselves. It can also help you figure out how to solve your problems. Many times, these changes create healthy, growth-oriented relationships. But couples’ therapy cannot and should not fix all relationships. Sometimes people are healthier as friends, or not having a relationship at all. The goal of couples’ counseling is not necessarily to save a relationship, but to create a space for the people in a relationship to get to a healthier space and create a healthy values-based relationship as part of that interaction, whatever that looks like.

COUPLES THERAPY IS GOOD FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, TOO

The biggest trend in healthcare is prevention. And really—it is not that new of a concept. You brush your teeth to prevent cavities. You watch your cholesterol to prevent heart disease. So on and so on. Couples’ therapy can give your relationship the best foundation possible. You can have tools coming out of the gate and prevent miscommunication from the beginning.

DO I NEED INSURANCE TO SEE A THERAPIST?

No. In fact, at Mindful Healing Portland LLC., we accept clients on a sliding scale. We are currently accepting clients for our sliding scale rates.

If you live in Portland or the Portland area and want information or are in need of Couples’ Therapy,

E-MAIL US OR CALL US AT 503-878-8588 TO SCHEDULE YOUR INTAKE TODAY.

 

Top 3 Reasons Couples Seek Counseling in Portland

Woman and man holding hands, Happy couple holding hand in hand love in the parks, Expressing love. concept couple lover valentine day.

Portland, Oregon has a divorce rate of 12.5%, which is nearly 2% higher than the national average. When you isolate for millennials, Portland, Oregon ranks number 1 in both divorces per population and divorces per married. Unfortunately, this makes Portland, Oregon the divorce capital for millennials.

When researchers dug further into the reason for these millennial divorce statistics, it appears that the reason has less to do with the environment and more to do with the age at which couples marry. Couples in Portland, Oregon tend to marry younger than in other cities.

So, what are the primary reasons couples struggle? What tools are younger couples missing that older couples seem to have? And how can a therapist help? Good questions. Let’s tackle them one by one.

COMMON CHALLENGES COUPLE HAVE

There are multiple reasons why a couple seeks therapy. Most of them can be broken into one of three categories; breach of trust, frequent conflicts, and general feeling of detachment. Below are three common reasons why couples seek counseling and how Couples’ Counseling can help.

BREACH OF TRUST

Breach of trust is not always from infidelity or an affair. Trust is a major foundation in any relationship, and it can be weakened by lies and deceptions about finances and emotions, too. It’s hard to have a healthy relationship when we feel betrayed and it can be challenging to heal and move forward. Counseling provides a safe space for both parties to express their vulnerabilities, concerns, and move forward in a constructive way.

UNHEALTHY CONFLICTS (OR CONFLICT AVOIDANCE) GAIN IN FREQUENCY OR INTENSITY

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. Relationships involve multiple people who have different perceptions about the world and themselves, with each person having different needs and desires. On top of that, as humans, we’re always changing. Conflict is natural, and necessary, for relationships to evolve. Healthy conflict leads to problem-solving and growth. Unhealthy conflict is often filled with contention, agitation, and leads towards distancing.

There are all sorts of unhealthy ways of dealing with conflict; for some conflict looks like full-blown shouting, others it can be violent, and with others it comes in snide remarks or passive-aggressive comments. Conflicts don’t always have to be direct or aggressive, they can internalize without the other partner even knowing it.

Another unhealthy conflict pattern can be avoidance. Often, the desire to avoid conflict causes people to avoid addressing their problems, and getting their needs met. This coping behavior tends to leave problems unsolved and builds resentment.

It can be concerning when these unhealthy conflict patterns or avoidance patterns increase in their frequency, intensity, or duration day-to-day, week-to-week. New or sudden conflicts, agitation, or irritation can be symptoms of unresolved challenges. Counseling can help identify the root of the conflict and teach coping mechanisms to manage conflict in a healthy way that lead towards growth.

FEELING DETACHED

Typically, in healthy relationships we feel open and connected with our partners, and in new relationships this is often the case and feels wonderful. Over time, this may change, and when our partner feels closed-off, withdrawn, or retreats inside their own head, it tends not to feel so good. Typically, we respond to our partner’s disconnecting from us by disconnecting ourselves, creating a major gap in the relationship. Sometimes this can be accepted as a new norm, or lead to resentment, hostility, or ending a relationship. Therapy can help with identifying barriers to openness, connectivity and work with you as a couple to create solutions.

THE GOOD NEWS

While we stated that millennials have the highest divorce rate, they are also adopting couples’ therapy as a solution sooner than earlier generations. In fact, a university study about couples’ therapy reports 51% of millennial couples are likely to seek out some kind of relationship counseling.

DO I NEED INSURANCE TO SEE A THERAPIST?

No. In fact, at Mindful Healing Portland LLC we accept clients on a sliding scale. We are currently accepting clients for our sliding scale rates.

If you live in Portland or the Portland area and are in need of Couples’ Counseling,

E-MAIL US OR CALL US AT 503-878-8588 TO SCHEDULE YOUR INTAKE TODAY.