Before you delete your relationship, try hitting the pause button!
Could a separation help a struggling relationship?
Hello, I’m Bob Buchicchio and welcome to my blog. I’m very excited about this blog since I have been planning and thinking about it for a long time. I have been working with struggling individuals and couples for many years now and believe I have much to offer you. There is a lot of information on how you can improve a marriage or relationship as well as how you can leave your partner, but there is little about how you can use space and separation in a positive and productive manner and learn something about yourself and your relationship in the process. Through this blog and my website I want to offer you and a much larger audience what I have learned and taught others about relationships over the years.
In my outpatient counseling practice I see many stuck couples that feel they have nowhere to turn. They are tired and stressed by the constant fighting and quarreling or fed up with the “ice wall and dead air” that has built up over time between them and feels like it is slowly killing them. At least one partner wants a change. So I put together a 10 Step Problem-solving guide (*link to 10 Steps) with a menu of options that individuals and couples can begin to use immediately to free them from their stuck patterns. Many partners say they feel like they are held hostage by a resistant reluctant partner. “He refuses to talk about our problems”; “The silence is killing me.” “Our fights are getting worse and it is affecting the children!” “He refuses to go to counseling.” “Our sex life is the last thing on her mind!” “All she does is bitch ,bitch, bitch.” “Internet porn has replaced our sex life”. “I just discovered that he is having an affair.” The list of complaints goes on and on. Unhappy relationships can trigger depression and desperate behavior.
What you can do now! Often our first reaction to a crisis or awareness that your relationship is in real trouble, is panic and fear. We feel angry, helpless, hopeless, sad, unhappy and empty. We may talk to our best friend or parents to get support. But “stuck” is the word that most couples can relate to. I personally do not like feeling like a “victim” and a primary goal of working with people is to help empower them out of a victim position!
What you can do right now if your relationship is in a crisis or conflict:
1. Your first job is to take care of yourself now. Remember the instructions they give you when you are on an airplane – “Put your oxygen mask on first, then, help your child, partner or others.” Excessive anxiety will only limit your capacity to think and take positive actions.
2. Reach out to someone else you can trust. Be careful here that you can confide in someone that will help you and not push you into taking an action that you will later regret.
3. Remember that conflict and crisis is often the bridge to change. The energy that is created allows you to rearrange the way you see the world, your partner and relationship and yourself. Often the very thing we fear at first helps to set us free.
Step 1 in my book, Taking Space-How to Use Separation To Explore The Future of Your Relationship provides you with information on dealing with conflict and I will also talk about how you can work with conflict in my future blogs.
If you prefer not to read you can listen to it on CD on my Couples Home Study Course – Step 1 CD which not only provides much of the information in the book but gives you specific ways to help yourself now. My objective with this blog is to talk about topics that relate to where you and your partner are with your relationship issues now. I’m interested in hearing from you about your situation on this blog. Post a question or concern. The power of information and learning from others is unlimited!