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General

Podcast: How Can Romantic Relationships Work With a Mentally Ill Person?


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss the potentially disastrous effects of mental illness on romantic relationships, especially those in which one individual has a mental illness and the other does not. Drawing from their own failed marriages (two each), Gabe and Vincent talk about the role mental illness played in the ending of the relationships, including when they were undiagnosed or diagnosed but with little or no treatment. Gabe also shares advice for those in such relationships on how to minimize the impact of mental illness on the relationships themselves, based on his successful third marriage.
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Marriage and Divorce

Are You Making These 4 Communication Mistakes in Your Romantic Relationship?

We assume that communication should come naturally to us, and maybe we think it does, especially in our romantic relationships. After all, we communicate all the time. We talk to our partners all the time about a wide range of topics, from what's going on with our jobs to what's for dinner to why we're feeling so upset.

But good---clear, connection-enhancing---communication takes work. It requires some education, effort and practice. You’ll likely still stumble from time to time. Because, of course, you’re human.
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Anger

How Do You Create Emotional Safety in Your Relationships?

One partner in a couple who have been married nearly four decades, reported that she felt controlled by her husband. When asked if it was always the case, she responded in the affirmative and when taken a step further, and asked why she married him, she shrugged her shoulders and sadly said, “Low self-esteem, I guess.”

She admitted that their interactions over the years only served to deepen the divide between them. At a loss to know how to resolve her dilemma, she was willing to do what she could to establish some semblance of control in an otherwise untenable situation by working on improved self-care that could reflect how she wanted to feel.
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Holiday Coping

One New Year’s Resolution a Couple Can Make Together

Maybe you’ve already made a resolution or two for the New Year. Have you and your partner ever made one together? Choosing one that you’re both likely to keep can do wonders for your relationship. One is the key word, because keeping it simple makes it more likely that you’ll both follow through.

Any relationship, no matter how great it already is, has room to grow. So instead of thinking, “Were fine,” think “The sky’s the limit!”
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Family

Why We’re Terrible Communicators and What We Can Do

A big part of Cheryl Sexton’s work is helping clients talk to each other in clear, compassionate and connected ways. Because most of us are actually terrible communicators, and naturally that hinders our interactions, and chips away at our relationships.

We tend to be terrible communicators because we often get too anxious. We yearn to say the right things, and thereby worry incessantly about bringing up a sensitive topic. We replay worst-case scenarios about how the other person will respond. Sometimes, we get so anxious we totally shut down and stop speaking, said
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Agitation

Fighting Over Money? How to Stop Arguing About Finances

Money can be a loaded topic, especially during the holidays or when business, family, and finances mix. It’s one of the biggest sources of relationship problems -- and it can be the toughest to resolve.

Throughout the course of any partnership, butting heads over spending and saving habits is to be expected. Couples can face financial rough patches that are more emotionally complex than deciding whether to splurge on take-out this week. When this happens, it can feel overwhelming and affect your ability to focus at work and home.
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Anger

Do You Have Trouble Getting Past an Argument?

In every relationship there are arguments. It is just a fact of being that close to someone. Disagreements, within reason, shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing in a relationship, but rather an opportunity to practice healthy and good communication skills, as long as they are resolved effectively.

But what happens when you have an argument, seem to resolve it, but can’t let the residual anger and frustration go? This happens with many couples. You (or your partner) think the conflict has resolved only to find out later on that your other has been stewing over it for days (or weeks).
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General

3 Unrealistic and Detrimental Expectations About Marriage

There’s no shortage of unrealistic expectations about marriage. Which we can pick up from our families, from friends, from fairy tales, from television and movies, from magazine articles. And these supposedly true beliefs can sabotage our relationships, creating a whole lot of misunderstanding and chipping away at our connection.

Unrealistic expectations “set up couples to fail,” said Clinton Power, a clinical relationship counsellor. “When you expect that your relationship is meant to be a certain way, and that expectation doesn't happen, this can create feelings of anxiety, sadness, and despair.” It can spark resentment, which can ruin relationships.
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Family

It’s Not the Wedding — It’s the Marriage!

Mia found wedding planning stressful. Her mother’s was obsessing over the invitations, flowers, color scheme, favors, hors d’oeuvres, guest list, and other details -- so much that it seemed like she was the one getting married.

Exasperated as her mother droned on about ice sculptures and chocolate fountains, Mia wished she had decided to elope. She finally blurted out: “It’s not the wedding, Mom! It’s the marriage.
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