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You have found the right person. They are kind, caring, funny, and they are the perfect complement. The only thing that seems out of place is their anxiety. You try to cope with it, you try to help them through their most anxious moments. Sometimes, though, it feels insurmountable.

If you are with someone who has anxiety, it can easily feel like the third wheel in your relationship. Anxiety can bring about discontent, fear, and confusion. Ultimately, it begins to affect everyday life with your partner.

Anxiety is a mental health condition. While many people suffer from occasional anxiety or stress-induced anxiety, others are debilitated by its hold. It can be difficult to understand if you have never faced anxiety yourself.

If your partner is currently dealing with anxiety in any form, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that you are moving forward together, coping with the symptoms and supporting one another through even the most difficult situations.

Take Time to Learn About Anxiety

If you feel frustrated by the fact that your partner is dealing with this issue, or frustrated that you cannot fix it quickly, it might be worthwhile to learn more about what’s actually going on. You may be surprised to learn how common anxiety is. While General Anxiety Disorder affects about 3% of the population, 2% to 3% suffer from panic attacks, and 7% report dealing with social anxiety.

Occasional anxiety is very real, and there are a multitude of related issues and symptoms that coincide with – or bring on – feelings of anxiety. Post-Traumatic Stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, phobias, depression, and more can trigger anxiety, or can tie in with General Anxiety Disorder. Before you try to “fix” things, it’s important to understand what your partner deals with.

Listen

Anxiety isn’t a choice. Coping with anxiety is complicated, so it is critical that your partner feels loved and accepted. Listen to what they tell you and encourage them to describe their thoughts and actions to you, without judgment. Be a receptive ear to them.

It is also appropriate to ask questions. If there is something that confuses you, or if you are struggling to understand an aspect of their anxiety, invite them to elaborate so that you can work through things together if they choose.

One way to get to the core of their anxiety is to ask about their triggers. Know what brings on a panic attack so that you can prepare yourself to help them when the time comes. Ask questions such as, “what can I do to help?”

Don’t Assume It Is About You

If you are dating or married to someone who suffers from anxiety, it may be easy to assume that a mood shift is somehow connected to your relationship. There is a strong possibility that this is not the case.

Instead of assuming that it is you who must change, or that your relationship is in trouble, be open. Ask them about their feelings and concerns. Instead of immediately jumping to thoughts of rejection, envision these moments as opportunities to show your support.

Recognize Your Own Feelings of Anxiety

Even someone who has never dealt with anxiety before can become swept up in a partner’s anxiety. Those thoughts, fears, and feelings are highly transferable.

It is important to realize that this type of anxiety stems from your partner, not from you. In moments of struggle, you need to find coping mechanisms in order to be there for them. Indulge in self-care or stress-relieving activities. It is easy to burn out, but prioritizing your own emotional well-being and keeping energy in check may give you peace of mind and help you more effectively deal with what you face as a couple.

Get Help If Needed

If you and/or your partner are currently dealing with anxiety, Susan Block, LMFT might be able to help. Susan provides a safe, nurturing environment for individuals and couples to share their thoughts, and she can assist with techniques to cope with or overcome anxiety. We offer marriage counseling, couples counseling, relationship counseling, and individual counseling and therapy. For a free consultation, call 954-675-1936, or visit our site for more information: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/counseling-specialties/online-therapy/

The post Having a Partner with Anxiety: What You Need to Know appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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It is easy to get swept up in the familiar routine of life. The daily grind of jobs, commuting, family, children, activities, meals, and chores can be overwhelming at first, but we gradually settle in and it all begins to feel comfortable after a while. Generally, comfort is not a bad thing. We should feel at ease around our spouses and partners, able to relax and enjoy the down time.

Troubles can surface, though, when we become so comfortable in our connection that we fail to see the growth and change in ourselves and in our partners. While you have built a life together, you have also changed as individuals.

People develop new interests over time, encounter new people, and engage in new experiences.

If you have been in a relationship for a long time, it is easy to forget how critical that “getting to know you” phase was. You likely decided to keep dating or eventually get married because you genuinely liked your partner and chose to commit to them. However, you are not the same people you once were. You are older, likely wiser, and your lives have become much more nuanced. It is important to explore those changes in order to reestablish your connection and strengthen your bonds.

Here are some practical ways for you to strengthen your relationship or marriage, and give things a kickstart when you have fallen into a routine:

Start Dating Again

This may sound a little odd, but think back to when your relationship was new. You were constantly discovering details about each other, finding reasons to connect, similarities and interesting differences. As we mentioned before, years later, you may feel that seeing your partner or spouse every day has prevented you from seeing their growth.

Dating is intentional, and this discovery phase is most effective when you are alone, without children, friends, and coworkers. Schedule a recurring “date night” and commit to keeping it. Hire a babysitter, skip work obligations, let the chores slide a bit. This time should be special, separate, and unique – but it doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy. A quiet night at the movie theater, a walk in your favorite park, a dinner, or a weekend getaway, the important thing is to make the time meaningful. Talk and enjoy each other’s company.

Ask Questions

At some point in a marriage or a long relationship, we stop asking questions. We sometimes feel like we know everything we could possibly know about our partners. The truth is that you likely don’t know it all! Knowing how their day went, how work has been, and how they take their coffee should never be the end of the conversation.

Keep the conversation going, as people evolve over time. Ask about what they have been reading, what their favorite foods are, what they dream about, or what they think the future holds. Even big picture topics can get lost in the minutiae of daily life. Ask questions, respond honestly, and challenge each other to keep doing this regularly.

Jot Things Down

Even if you write things down for your eyes only, this can be a powerful reminder of all the “little things” that your spouse or partner does for you that you forget about when you are busy. A lack of connection can lead to resentment, and resentment can quickly become overpowering and dangerous. If you sit around wondering when the last time your partner something nice for you was, chances are that you will dwell on it and lash out in unexpected ways.

Keep a journal, diary, or even a notepad nearby and jot down anything about your life that makes you happy, things your partner does for you that show they care, kind words and compliments. When one of you is fixated on the other’s lack of consideration, you can miss the little things – the time he or she packed your lunch, helped out more than usual, or let you pick the Netflix show. Writing these seemingly insignificant items down can make a big impact and help you see that your relationship is more solid than you think.

See a Therapist Together

Marriage counseling, couples counseling, and therapy are not signals that you are in trouble! Sitting down in a relaxed setting with a counselor or therapist and your partner can be invigorating for any relationship. Both of you have committed to spending this time together, you have agreed to be open and honest, and you are both seeking advice from someone who can help you communicate and reconnect.

Susan Block, LMFT helps couples engage, find intimacy, and increase their friendship. In a warm and judgment-free setting, it can be much easier to develop a dialogue. She can help facilitate the conversation, providing research-based tools and techniques during your sessions. Whether you are facing the common issue of being in a “rut”, or you are dealing with more complex issues such as grief or infidelity, Susan Block offers unmatched expertise and would love to help you.

To learn more about marriage counseling, couples counseling, pre-marital counseling, and other therapy services available, visit our site: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/, or call 954-675-1936 for a free consultation or to schedule a session.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/counseling-specialties/online-therapy/

The post Get Out of the Rut: Tips for Strengthening Your Marriage appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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You’ve just reached the point in your family life where your kids are in school each day and have become a bit more independent. With some of the neediness and sleepless nights in the past, you wonder if it is high time to rekindle the romance and take a vacation with your partner.

Perhaps you’re past that phase, your kids are a bit older, and your youngest has finally settled into a career or into a college dorm room. You’ve returned to a quiet home. Suddenly, you realize that you can’t even remember the last time you went on a vacation alone, as a couple.

Parenting has its many ups and downs, but these critical junctures where the children have grown up a bit, or have moved out completely, can leave you with feelings of uncertlainty. Your relationship with a spouse or partner can change over time, also. If you are looking to reconnect and enjoy some of your newfound freedom, then a vacation alone together could be the perfect next step.

“The Kidsmoon”

Let’s say that you fall into the first of these parenting timeline scenarios. Your kids are a bit more independent, though not fully independent, and you feel as though you deserve a few nights away. The allure of late mornings in bed and sightseeing without having to tote around toys, snacks, and coloring books can be quite strong.

The kidsmoon is a fantastic way to take a well-deserved break, and most tired parents return energized and invigorated. Furthermore, if your relationship is healthy to begin with, it may be a powerful way to rekindle a romantic flame and reestablish why you and your partner are together in the first place. Your relationship is about more than your children, but it is easy to forget that when you are caught up in the daily grind of shuttling kids to sports practice, helping them do homework, and cleaning their messes after meals.

There are some less positive things to consider, though. You will miss your children greatly, and you will likely spend significant time talking about them and wondering what they are doing. Frequently, parents report feeling some level of guilt for “leaving” their children behind with grandparents, relatives, or friends. If you are heading to a destination frequented by families, those guilty feelings may become stronger. Worse, many couples describe feelings of awkwardness when they are alone with their spouse or partner for extended periods of time. Without the kids around, how do you talk to each other?

You should know that all of these thoughts and feelings are normal. It is natural to miss your children terribly, to feel as though you’ve left them behind. Reassure yourself that they are likely having fun, and the break from you and your partner can often be as healthy for them as it is for you. Call them, text their caregivers, and give yourself peace of mind. Then, enjoy the freedom and quiet! Take advantage of the sound sleep, the lazy afternoons, and the opportunity to see new things and engage your partner in new ways.

If you find that you are having difficulty relating as a couple without the kids around, try immersing yourself in your activities and rest assured that this, too, is quite normal. Recall what you used to do before you had children, discuss common interests that stretch beyond your family.

The “Empty Nester Vacation”

While it’s easy to feel sad in the wake of your children leaving home, try to focus on the positive. Yes, you will miss them tremendously, but you also have this unique chance to rekindle romance, dine alone, and travel alone! Book the vacation you’ve been meaning to take, the one you could never bring yourself to plan because you were too tied up with practices, games, exams, and college tours. There is no better way to kick off this new and exciting phase in your life.

The best advice for brand new empty nesters is to take advantage of the uncertainty and transition. This is the perfect time to reevaluate your needs as a couple. If you are foodies who have thought about trying a new cuisine or a trendy culinary destination, consider something out of the ordinary. Stay closer to home and head to New Orleans or San Francisco, or think of more exotic foodie-friendly locales like Quebec, Italy, or Japan. If you feel you may want to travel somewhere exciting, where you and your partner can bond over new experiences, consider the lights of New York City, buzzy Las Vegas, or perhaps an action-packed overseas cruise.

The point is to head to a destination where you can both make new memories, relax, and have fun. Whether you are on a tight budget, or the sky’s the limit, a trip is the ideal way to celebrate your successes and discuss the hopeful future. Take the opportunity to chart the course for this new phase in your life.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/counseling-specialties/online-therapy/

The post Vacationing Without Kids: A Powerful Way to Reconnect appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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A common misconception about relationships is that one person’s happiness is dependent upon the actions of the other. That is simply not the case. In a relationship, your happiness begins and ends within you!

It is critical to remember that, above all, our own happiness needs to be considered. A happy partner often leads to a happier relationship.

Even if we develop bright outlooks, though, it is easy to fall into the belief trap that any relationship problems are abnormal. This could leave you feeling down and negative. In fact, there are many issues that could arise in a relationship that are extremely common – and very normal.

Here are some of the most frequently occurring relationship issues that seem to arise, and some useful advice about how to approach them and deal with them head-on.

Feeling “Meh”

This happens all the time. You have been with your partner for a long time. The luster seems to have faded, and the “spark” that was once there is a distant memory. You spend your days feeling “meh” – bored, tired, and craving attention and stimulation.

This feeling is simply a lack of dopamine. When things feel boring or routine, your brain releases less dopamine, the “feel good” chemical, and excitement dwindles. This will call for some work and some faith in the fact that the lack of spark can be quite temporary. Experimentation is key. Discovering new hobbies together, engaging in conversations about interesting topics, or cooking a new meal together could all help the process. Consistently working on your relationship and responding to each others’ needs will likely produce positive outcomes.

The Blues

That “meh” might turn into something more serious if you allow it to fester and build. There are several factors that can spur on depression, from genetics to whatever else might be going on in your life. Unlike traditional medical tests, depression can only be determined through behavioral factors such as lower sex drive, changes in sleep, anxiety, anger, irritability, and more. When other means of coping fail, people in relationships tend to blame their imperfect unions for their negative feelings.

The truth is that all relationships are imperfect. If these symptoms persist, though, then it may be time to look inward and consider seeking treatment for depression. As we mentioned before, a happier relationship starts with a happier you, and in order to find balance, you may have to engage in self-care.

Dealing with Betrayal

While sexual betrayal may be what you think of first, there are many types of betrayal that could plague a relationship, from an invasion of privacy to financial deception. Betrayal, though harmful, is also very common.

While a breach of confidence or a misunderstanding might be rectified with both parties conversing and making the effort to heal whatever trust was broken, more serious betrayal (like infidelity) may require professional intervention. Consulting a therapist and attending couples counseling sessions might be a good start. A therapist is trained in techniques that allow partners to open up and explore their emotions in a judgment-free setting.

Mood Swings

Everyone experiences fluctuations in their mood. For some, it’s hormonal. For others, it could be related to stress, either at work or at home. If your relationship suffers because of mood swings, it is as important to bring up concerns as it is to engage in self-assessment.

If your partner is subject to changes in mood, agree to be honest with each other and raise your concerns. Offer to discuss whatever it is that is affecting their daily temperament and be prepared to help. If you are suffering from mood swings, ask yourself how you treat your partner. Regardless of what your partner does, you can make changes from within. A conversation or a deep self-assessment could improve both your well being and your life together in the long run.

While relationship problems are common, as noted above, there are situations that may require a safe space for you to engage in couples counseling and therapy. Susan Block LMFT brings innovative therapeutic techniques and experience to each relationship and can help you engage with your partner to promote healing. To learn more about our counseling services, visit: http://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/, or call us for a free consultation today: 954-675-1936.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/counseling-specialties/online-therapy/

The post Common Relationship Issues (And When to Get Help) appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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When it comes to your relationship, each and every problem can seem magnified. Over time, many things could lead to a breakdown between you and your spouse or partner. Feelings of hopelessness, confusion, anger, or frustration may set in. Many wonder if there could be a way to resolve issues, work through obstacles, and whether there is a clear road to recovery and reconciliation.

There are many different paths that lead to couples seeking counseling. The process of deciding to attend counseling can seem like a huge step, and many people in relationships realize that they are not completely certain about what therapy might entail – let alone whether it will provide solutions. Finding the right provider, working appointments into various busy schedules, and honoring the financial commitment might seem daunting.

To shed some light on the couples counseling process, here are some of the common issues and concerns within a relationship where counseling could be beneficial.

A Lack of Trust

Infidelity does not always come in the form of a direct, physical encounter. While some couples deal with sex outside of the relationship, others are coping with an “emotional” affair with someone else. In other cases, lack of trust might be the result of excessive spending, financial secrets, or some other deception. With the help of a professional counselor, both parties might feel more inclined to discuss their emotions and vulnerabilities in a judgment-free environment.

Escalating Anger or Arguments

Discord can turn a happy partnership or marriage into something difficult to manage. Constant arguing and conflict can disrupt your daily life and the lives of children and families. While conflict from time to time is natural and normal, constant conflict is not normal. The fights might be about more than just what lies on the surface, as tension and resentment could stem from any number of sources. Counseling can help you dive into some of these issues and determine what is at the root of the constant conflict.

Faulty Communication

Just because a couple isn’t arguing frequently doesn’t mean that there aren’t serious issues that linger. Communication is key, and if one or both members of a partnership or marriage feel misunderstood, ignored, or not heard, it is important to resolve those issues as soon as possible. A professional counselor can help provide insight into why communication issues may exist. There might be a lack of understanding, personalities in conflict, or an unwillingness to hear the other’s concerns. Giving you the tools and strategies to communicate better and be honest with your partner can improve your life for the long haul.

Something Feels “Off”

Does something feel a little “off”, but you’re just not sure what to make of it? If you have dealt with major life changes, you suddenly feel uncomfortable with your partner, or doubts about your relationship seem to crop up out of nowhere, a counselor can help steer the conversation and unpack some of those issues. Counseling can help you and your partner not only resolve issues, but identify issues, as well.

Intimacy Is Nonexistent or Problematic

Sexual obstacles can hinder a relationship quickly. Whereas your sex life may have once been consistent and robust, age, stress, or other issues might have caused a disruption. For the other partner, rejection and resentment can arise. A lack of intimacy can be dealt with physically, but there are equally important mental and emotional components to the process, too.

Stuck in Bad Patterns

Bad habits and lifestyle changes that impact a relationship can rapidly turn into bad patterns. Even something as simple as a lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, or one spouse having to travel frequently can lead to division and frustration. Worse yet are problems that have come up over time, and have never properly been discussed or dealt with – one parent absorbing more chores or childcare duties than the other, for example. Sitting down with a couples counselor can help smooth over some of these long term issues and can help redirect your energy towards improving and moving forward together.

If you and/or your partner or spouse feel that you’ve encountered roadblocks towards a healthy, meaningful relationship, or if any of these scenarios seems a bit too familiar, Susan Block, LMFT is here to help. Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation: 954-675-1936, or visit our website for more information: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/counseling-specialties/online-therapy/

The post When to Consider Couples Counseling appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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Once the holiday season begins to fade, we start to see familiar heart-shaped boxes of chocolates in the grocery and drug store aisles. No sooner do we toast the New Year and we are suddenly bombarded with Valentine’s Day decorations, flowers, treats, and balloons. It seems to happen earlier and earlier every year.

Valentine’s Day can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s a truly happy day, filled with affection and romance. For others, though, it’s quite the opposite. Whether you are single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day could bring up unintended feelings of loneliness, bitterness, depression, and even anxiety.

People in newer relationships might feel the familiar frustration of having to suddenly embrace a “label”. Should you discuss buying gifts? Do you simply go purchase a Valentine’s gift? Worse yet, what if that special someone buys you something and you don’t return the favor? The stress of having to figure things out in a frenzied hurry can be downright chaotic!

From reminders of past relationships to lost loved ones and companions, this holiday can hit a bit harder than the rest. It might be difficult to see friends and family embrace the day. For parents, it could be difficult to make Valentine’s Day fun and memorable for your little ones without coming to terms with the fact that your own relationship could be suffering. Parents of older children might be reminded that their kids are in relationships themselves, which could be uncomfortable to accept.

Bad memories can also emerge. From failed proposals to bad Valentine’s dates, perhaps there seems to be an endless flood of issues associated with the day. Many have significant others who might be traveling or working, which adds an extra layer of pressure on a couple. Sexual and performance issues or intimacy problems may suddenly become clear, placing strain on a marriage or relationship.

Those who are not celebrating Valentine’s Day, but rather coping with it, can often deal with the stress and despair by reminding themselves that they are not alone. Sometimes, negative emotions subside once you think through things, put Valentine’s Day in perspective. This is not necessarily a day to pressure yourself to plan the “perfect” getaway or candlelit meal. It’s about remembering why we love each other, our families, and ourselves.

For some, though, these emotions remain. If Valentine’s Day has brought up painful reminders of being alone, individual counseling may be needed.

For those in relationships, the struggle of Valentine’s Day might hit hard, forcing you to reevaluate your connection to your partner. Communication, a lack of romance or affection, or less intimacy could be lingering. If you find yourself in need of deeper and more meaningful exploration of these feelings, couples counseling can be beneficial. Having a licensed therapist with you to discuss relationship problems and, more importantly, come up with real solutions could be exactly what you and your partner need most right now.

The Valentine’s Day Blues are real and your feelings are valid. If you find yourself feeling the pressure, pain, and anxiety described, Susan Block, LMFT is here to help you work through the emotions and problems to come up with real solutions during individual counseling sessions. Likewise, couples can benefit greatly from constructive couples counseling sessions, aimed at strengthening bonds, intimacy, and opening up lines of communication.

For more information about how Susan Block, LMFT can help you with individual counseling, couples counseling, grief counseling, marriage therapy, premarital counseling, or family counseling, visit her site here: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com, or call for a free consultation today: 954-675-1936.

For further reading on the “Valentine’s Blues’, visit:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/02/14/if-youre-not-happy-during-valentines-day-youre-not-alone/#439f74641159.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/counseling-specialties/online-therapy/

The post Coping with the Valentine’s Blues appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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If everyday stressors along with the added pressures of the holidays have strained your relationship, a “New Year’s Resolution” to reconnect with your significant other could be the first step toward “reigniting the fireworks. It really is the perfect time to take a new approach as 2019 brings a fresh slate filled with new possibilities. Here are a few thoughts to get started.

Say “yes” to something your partner has always wanted you to do! Perhaps it’s camping when you’d rather stay in a 5-star hotel, or ballroom dancing lessons even if you have two left feet. Whatever it is, the fact that you suddenly said “yes instead of no” will resonate with your partner. You might also wind up having fun (yes, that is a real possibility) and also find your partner willing to say “yes” to something you’ve been interested in sharing as a couple. Even if it turns out to be a one-time thing, you can both appreciate each other’s gesture and vow to find activities you both enjoy to ensure more quality time spent together in 2019.

Focus on the positive! Especially for couples who have been together a while, it’s easy to focus on the negative. Instead of “why don’t you put the cap back on the toothpaste” try “thank you for making coffee every morning.” Rather than cringing at the sight of dishes in the sink, smile that they are the result of a dinner cooked especially for you.” Just a couple basic examples, try to remember all the things that endeared you to your partner in the first place. Goofy socks, a perfectly prepared flan, bed head, a generous heart, off-key singing voice – whatever it is, it can lead to less criticism, and maybe unleash a laugh or two.

 Speaking of which, laughter can be the glue that keeps a relationship tight! From bonding over a hilarious comedy to creating a “special intimacy” with a running joke, resolve to bring more joy into your relationship by creating more opportunities to share laughter. It can also open you up to sharing more thoughts, listening more intently and improving communication overall. Which, as you know, is all important to a good relationship.

 If you’re thinking, “That’s all well and good for other people,” it might be time to take to take a more in-depth look. If there is constant disagreement, a lack of respect or a general malaise, perhaps communication has broken down. Is there a lack of affection, empathy, or a breach of trust that one of you can’t forgive? If you still want to reconnect, outside assistance could prove useful. As a Couple’s Therapist in Coral Springs, I’ve seen couples facing complicated issues successfully address and resolve matters with couples counseling.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: https://coralspringscounselingcenter.com/counseling-specialties/online-therapy/

The post Reigniting the Fireworks in 2019 appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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You’ve finally met “the one!” So why is your stomach in knots and your mind filled with thoughts like “does he or she really like me?” or “will this work out?” Pretty common during early stages of a relationship, worries such as these often subside as time progresses in a relationship where there are mutual feelings of attraction and eventually love. If self-doubt, worry, or fear continue to grow despite being well-matched, you might be dealing with relationship anxiety.

What causes relationship anxiety? On the conscious and subconscious level, the cause can be linked to life experiences that have shaped our views on romantic relationships, our psychological defenses, and our critical inner voice. Perhaps you’ve had your heart broken in the past, feared physical intimacy for any number of reasons or thought you were not “good enough” to attract a loving partner. All generalized examples, it could also be a combination of many thoughts and/or experiences. Still mystified? A skilled and licensed marriage and couples therapist can help you tap into the cause of your worries and fears, spot emotional responses that could be sabotaging your relationship and guide you toward healthy ways to resolve your anxiety.

What are the responses to ongoing relationship anxiety? Some people (perhaps seeking reassurance that they are loved) could become clingy or extremely emotional. Others (who may fear they are inadequate) might become suspicious and/or jealous. Others (who expect rejection) can become aloof or withhold affection to essentially beat their partner “to the punch.” Relationship anxiety can also turn into anger, cause fights and eventual breakups. If any of these responses sound familiar, consider taking a deep look inward to see if you can identify what might be causing your discontent. As an important step to understanding the feelings that drive your behavior and shape your relationships, you can then embrace coping skills to manage your feelings. Still not sure of the cause? Professional assistance, whether on an individual basis or as part of couple’s therapy, is recommended.

What if it’s not me? If your partner is consumed with worry or anxiety, ask them what is troubling them and really listen to their words. Please remember not to criticize your partner for having anxiety or dismiss their worries. Offer reassurance if you can and perhaps find an activity (like a leisurely walk or dinner out) to help reduce your partner’s stress and enjoy time spent together. If you feel anxiety is an ongoing cause of concern, couple’s therapy is a supportive way to help your partner as well as your overall relationship.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block practices in South Florida

The post Is Anxiety Sabotaging Your Relationship? appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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Congratulations, you’re engaged! It’s such a happy time unless you are having second thoughts. After all, you’ve seen other couples who were ecstatic in the beginning become incompatible over time. Are you having a case of “wedding jitters” or is it possible you’ve made a mistake? Premarital Counseling may be the next logical step to find out. Although most people associate any form of marital counseling as a sign of failure, there’s absolutely no shame in seeking it out. In fact, it can actually strengthen your relationship from the get-go – by nipping potential problems or disagreements in the bud early on, you avoid festering longer-term issues. This preemptive action potentially saves you and your fiancée years of counseling down the line.

To have and to hold from this day forward. As a licensed marriage & family specialist offering pre-marital counseling in Coral Springs, I help my clients realize and share their feelings effectively with their spouses. Sessions include discussions on core values, career goals, views on finances, thoughts on intimacy, having children or not, extended family involvement and expectations for shared and separate social lives. While you may have talked about some or all of these things, pre-marital counseling allows you to go deeper into your thoughts on a variety of issues. This coaching helps you handle things as minor as pet peeves, split responsibilities around the house, and even how to deal with a friend that one of you adores and the other despises. By taking action now itself, you can resolve things far in advance, learning how to talk and feel understood. Not to mention, building a solid foundation helps preserve the spark in your marriage.

For better or for worse. During a marriage, it’s inevitable that both of you will change and evolve over the course of time.  Some changes will be positive, and others may be challenging, especially when struggling with situations that were not a concern in the past. For example, the loss of a loved one can introduce newfound sadness or depression, and the sudden onset of a health problem can alter your financial status. Whatever your “troubled waters,” pre-marital counseling offers you coping skills to help “bridge” the gap between both of you during trying times. However, if an extreme escalation or change in behavior (alcohol or drug abuse, infidelity, domestic violence, financial dishonesty, gambling addiction) occurs, I recommend you seek outside help (marital counseling, therapy, rehabilitation) from a trusted source for further assistance.

Until death do you part. These are the final words of traditional marriage vows, and the goal of pre-marital counseling! Share this blog with your partner and discuss the benefits of building a strong foundation before tying the knot, then (if you’re both game) schedule an appointment to get started. What you love about each other (and led to your engagement) will be highlighted, and what you don’t know about each other may come to the surface. Prepare for some surprises, but trust that the end result will give you clarity on your compatibility. In most cases, I find premarital counseling calms “wedding jitters” and helps build a better groundwork for a happy marriage. In other cases, the “forever commitment” might not be in the cards. Either way, it’s best to know for certain before you say – “I Do.”

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block practices in South Florida

The post Premarital Counseling – Is it right for you? appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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Are major life events or everyday hassles stressing you out? Stress can definitely magnify how we respond in our relationships. In our close relationships, our own irritability brought on by stress can have a negative impact on our interactions with loved ones. Over time this can create a disconnect which is unhealthy for everyone. This disconnect can compound an already stressful time. This leads to perpetual, negative vicious cycles.

Vicious cycles are certainly not healthy for strong relationships, but particularly bad for couples involved in rockier relationships. So how can you alleviate stressors in your relationship? You can do this by first realizing how stress is impacting it. Chronic “stress and strain” can cause you to withdraw or lead you to constantly “vent” or complain. This leads to a breakdown in communication. When you are met with less than expected support (Why hasn’t she noticed I’m upset OR why won’t he listen?), this can lead to bruised feelings, less affection and in many cases, a concern that the actual relationship is flawed. If left alone, the perception that the relationship is flawed could actually turn into reality.

The question is, how do you break the stress cycle before it causes lasting damage? If outside stressors are affecting you (career, chronic pain, extended family or friendships) – It’s best to first “isolate the source of stress” and address it so it doesn’t ruin your private life. Acknowledge that you and your partner are a team and should work together to ease the stress. As an example, let’s stay the stress is work-related. Together you might come up with ways for you to “ease the stress” on the job or agree that it’s time you look for another position.

If the stress is coming from within the relationship (lack of communication, financial issues, disrespect or controlling behavior), it’s time to discuss ways to solve the issues causing you stress. Resolve to really listen to each other to gain the perspective you both will need to find an agreeable solution. If you feel “you’ve been there, done that” with no success, discuss the possibility of seeking professional help. A marriage counselor or relationship coach can offer an objective analysis and offer strategies to cope with stress and ideally, ease its strain on your relationship.

With all that said, there are also ways for you to individually manage your stress in order to increase your chances for success. Take some time for yourself to enjoy a leisurely walk, a laugh-out-loud comedy or whatever gets you to smile; and encourage your partner to do the same. Cardio exercise such as jogging, swimming or playing sports is also a proven way to alleviate stress by boosting pleasure-inducing endorphins, so get out and get moving to feel better fast. Spending social time with family & friends can also do wonders to brighten your outlook! Last, but certainly not least, volunteering can be very rewarding and a great way to open new outlets to channel your stress. “Beach Clean Up Anyone?”

Have you been feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with your life? Therapy begins with joining. Selecting a therapist who comfortably guides you through the process is crucial to your progress. Free Consultations Available. Send me an online message with your availability or call me at 954-675-1936 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block practices in South Florida

The post Stop STRESS from Ruining Your Relationship appeared first on Coral Springs Counseling Center.

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