Some couples engage in arguments regularly whereas others refuse to engage in any behavior that might lead to conflict. Regardless of where your relationship stands on that spectrum of conflict frequency, arguments are a normal and expected part of a relationship. Arguing with each other is not a sign of an unhealthy relationship on its own. When the arguments become repetitive with no new insight or when they hurt one or both partners regularly, that is when the health of the relationship begins to weaken. More →
March 19, 2012 · 2 Comments
June 13, 2011 · 2 Comments
“Don’t forget to call the doctor today,” Vaishali called over her shoulder as she went to wash her hands after breakfast. Ninad was loading his cereal bowl in the dishwasher when he heard the reminder. She had already told him this what seemed like 90 times the night before.
Vaishali came back from the bathroom as Ninad was finishing up. “When do you think you’ll call the doctor?” Vaishali asked. More →
June 3, 2011 · 3 Comments
Numerous research studies have identified three basic conflict management styles that are commonly seen in couples: avoidant, volatile and validating. Most important for the satisfaction and health of the relationship is having a matching conflict management style with your partner. That way, both of you have the same expectations of how disagreements will be resolved.
About 30% of couples say that their partner has a different conflict resolution style than their own, with the actual number probably being higher than that. More →
June 1, 2011 · 8 Comments
Abhay was the calmest person you could ever meet. He rarely became angry or overly happy and seemed to be at peace with everything in his life. Ashwini was the opposite. She was a very passionate person who felt a wide ranges of emotion. When something exciting happened, Abhay would smile from ear to ear and Ashwini would jump up and down and scream. More →
May 11, 2011 · 1 Comment
Having a conversation about a difficult topic can bring up a lot of anxiety in both partners. If there is already a history of difficult conversations ending in argument, partners get into a cycle of avoiding sensitive topics, creating a ticking time bomb in their relationship.
Arguments are a natural part of all relationships. But if they occur too often or include unhealthy aspects, relationships suffer. Here is a step by step guide on how to address sensitive topics and avoid them turning into heated fights. More →
October 29, 2010 · 3 Comments
After 2 years of marital stress, Sagar and Purvi decided it was time they needed to sit down and figure out what exactly the source of their relationship issues was.
Quickly, they identified the negative communication pattern that they found themselves in. When one of them felt criticized, they reacted with contempt, which made the other feel defensive until one of them (most often Purvi) became so overwhelmed with emotion that she disengaged from the argument. The pattern had become so ingrained in the way that they argued that they didn’t realize there were healthier ways of arguing. More →
October 11, 2010 · 3 Comments
Couples who have a healthy relationship experience numerous physical and emotional benefits. First, couples in healthy relationships do not engage in defensiveness, which has been shown to increase blood pressure in people with and without other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The avoidance of this behavior acts as a preventative factor against developing or worsening existing cardiovascular risks. More →
Tagged: affection, arguments, cardiovascular health, communication, complaint, contempt, defensiveness, healthy relationships, men's issues, oxytocin, relationships, research, stress, women's issues→ 3 Comments
September 24, 2010 · 1 Comment
Once you have acknowledged that your spouse is being passive-aggressive and have become better at identifying the instances when they are exhibiting such hurtful behaviors, you have two choices on what to do:
First, you can choose to stay quiet. By not confronting your spouse, you will avoid the cyclical pattern of sulking, withdrawing and further passive-aggressive behaviors that are a result of their difficulty or inability to hear even reasonable complaints from you. This may reduce stress in the short-term and may also help avoid getting into a negative communication pattern that will escalate into a fight. More →
September 22, 2010 · 2 Comments
Passive-aggressive behavior, like all other behavior that can negatively affect a relationship, lies on a continuum. We have all engaged in behavior that has hurt our relationship in one way or the other. Perhaps we’ve criticized when we really should have watched our words more carefully, or we’ve become defensive or passive-aggressive behaviors at one point, perhaps when we were feeling extremely upset or like our words don’t seem very important to our partners. More →
September 13, 2010 · 4 Comments
One can say that one of the strengths of South Asian culture is the value placed on taking care of other’s needs and placing collective happiness over individual happiness. This can lead to a strong feeling of togetherness, accountability to others in your life and high group cohesion.
However, this strength is a double-edge sword, especially when it comes to relationships because this need for collective or group harmony can also function to minimize problems in the marriage.
Minimizing is outwardly dampening one’s emotional reaction to an event while inwardly feeling the full effects of that emotion. It is on the same spectrum as being in denial about the problem. Here is an example** to illustrate how minimizing occurs: More →