Myths vs. Facts

Myth:

People cheat in relationships because the other partner isn’t satisfying them in the bedroom.

Fact:

If only there was one simple answer to that question! As a therapist, I find that most monogamous (and there are plenty of people who do not believe in monogamy) people cheat for several reasons, however, these have been the biggest reasons I’ve seen in my 14 years of practice. 1. The person who cheats feels like he/she is not having their needs met (these can be emotional needs, physical needs, or financial needs). Now, this doesn’t mean that anyone in a committed relationship has the right to cheat if that happens, but instead signals a larger breakdown in the relationship (communication, individual depression or other emotional issues, life getting in the way) and is a very loud alert that something is wrong. 2. The person has already checked out of the relationship and is perhaps acting out in order to get out of the relationship.

Cheating can also sometimes be a cultural norm, and therefore can be a behavior modeled for that person growing up. The best preventative measures for this phenomenon in a relationship is to pay attention to it! Our relationships need to grow, change, and evolve, just as we do as individuals. When we can communicate effectively with our partner, then we have a better chance of catching problems as they come up instead of reactively dealing with the consequences of this act.

Don’t hesitate to get help! Marriage counseling is available to help you work with your partner on the problems that can lead up to this devastating problem.

 

Micah Hatchett, PhD., LPC,  has been practicing as a therapist for 14 years, and is the Clinical Director of Northshore Counseling and Wellness in Covington, LA.

How is Your Uniqueness a Strength?

Many people hate being different. But what if being different is exactly where all the opportunities for success and happiness start?

This is not a made up tease.

According to Gallup Research everyone has talent and some people have cultivated their talents into their STRENGTHS. People who use their strengths are happier and more satisfied with their life at work and at home.

How can you find out about YOUR strengths?

At Gallup’s website you can take a test. It’s only $9.99 and it will send you information immediately upon completing the test.

This test was based on research that encompassed over three million people. When you are done you will get your top 5 strengths and descriptions along with some additional information. There are 34 strengths, but only 1 in 33.3 million people will have the same exact five strengths in their top five.

The advantage of learning about your strengths is that it often confirms what we are good at and love to do. Many people are pushed to work on their weaknesses and end up feeling drained and unhappy. When you cultivate your talents you feel energized and in the zone! That place where time is lost and you feel completely absorbed.

If you haven’t been in the “zone” for a while, or never, don’t worry!

Talents may be dormant but they never go away. You just have to decide to use them!

Why should you learn more about your STRENGTHS?
1. It will help you rediscover or confirm your talents.
2. You will be more confident about communicating your strengths to others because you value your own uniqueness.
3. A greater appreciation for your own talents will help you recognize what is special about others.

This is just the start! Many organizations and businesses use strength-based training to develop teams, but it is also great for individuals and couples.

If you are interested in learning more about your strengths Northshore & Southshore Wellness is partnering with Wendy Hornung, a Gallup Certified Strength Coach. See our EVENTS section to find out about upcoming Strengths-based training events.

How is couples counseling for same-sex couples different from opposite-sex couples counseling?

For the most part it’s not. Same-sex couples deal with many of the same issues in couples therapy that opposite-sex couples do. Most couples come across the common issues of sex, finances, household duties, and family. The need to learn better communication skills, learn the art of conflict resolution and compromise, recognize and break dysfunctional patterns, and find ways to reconnect or stay connected are all common things dealt with in couples counseling for all couples.

Good communication is a two way street and the ultimate goal should be to better understand your partner.

That said, there are some issues that are unique to same-sex couples. Being a member of the LGBTQ community poses its own unique set of challenges that are bound to leak over into your relationships. As a same-sex couple, you may be faced with a lack of acceptance by family or friends, and on a larger scale, a lack of acceptance by society in general. Issues may arise in trying to navigate through the decision to come out to family and friends. Couples deal with feelings of anger, hurt, and frustration over not being allotted many of the same privileges that straight couples are granted. The desire to become a parent also presents its own unique set of obstacles for same-sex couples who wish to fulfill that desire.

  • Keys to a better same-sex relationship
    • learn better communication skills
    • learn conflict resolution
    • recognize dysfunctional patterns
    • reconnect in new ways

Even the happiest and healthiest of couples run across difficult times. All of these things, and many others, can be addressed in couples therapy so that you can gain the coping skills and strategies needed to deal with any common or unique issues that arise and pose a challenge to your relationship. When going through a difficult time in your relationship, one of the most effective ways to start the mending process is implementing basic healthy communication skills. The key to good communication is to really listen to what your partner is expressing to you and then attempt to understand their perspective. Often times we are so concerned with trying to get our point across, that we forget to take the time to hear what our partner is trying to communicate to us. Good communication is a two way street and the ultimate goal should be to better understand your partner. If you are both working to understand each other, real work can be done to better your relationship.

Priscilla Hurd, LPC, NCC

Ready to get to work? Call us! 985-624-2942

Couple’s Communication 101

Dr Andre, Why can’t I communicate with my partner?

 

“We just can’t seem to communicate!” I hear this often in sessions with couples. Here are a few pointers that I always offer my clients who struggle with communication.

First of all, we need to understand the differences in the way men and women communicate. Men are generally far more concrete and linear in their thoughts and statements, whereas women are more abstract and detailed. For men, YES and NO are perfectly acceptable answers. Women, however, are more likely to respond with more information. For example, when a lady asks a man if she looks OK in a particular dress, a man believes he has answered her question when he responds with “yes” or “no”. Another female is more likely to respond to the same question with, “Well, I like the color of the dress, but…”

A gifted communicator knows how to listen.

Another communication challenge happens when a man asks a woman what is wrong and she answers “nothing”. He usually believes her! This does not mean he doesn’t care about her. Men are just not good mind readers. Ladies, they depend on you to tell them what you want or need. But, remember, we all get the best results when we speak in the “I” rather than “you”. Starting a statement with “you” tends to put the other person on the defensive because it has an accusatory tone. And, let’s not forget tone and timing are very important.

A gifted communicator knows how to listen. Men, by nature, are problem solvers. Women vent their feelings and problems to men who in turn have the urge to fix the problem. Great news, guys!  You don’t have to fix it – just listen. Listen without judgment. She just needs to get it off her chest.

Great news, guys!  You don’t have to fix it – just listen.

Finally, have you ever heard of QTIPS? It’s the acronym for Quit Taking It Personally, Silly. We all need to remember that not all problems are about us; so, let’s not assume he or she is angry at or disappointed with us. Your partner’s attitude or expression may be the result of something that happened at work or with someone else. Just ask, “You look upset. Is this about me?” When you respond with openness, your partner will feel safer to share with you. However, if the problem is about you, remember tone and timing. We can say almost anything when we say it with kindness and respect.

…remember tone and timing.

For more in-depth help with relationship and communication challenges, our therapists at Northshore Counseling and Wellness and always happy to help you be your best self. Please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

-Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Contributed by Janis Caserta, LPC, LAC