Substance Abuse: The Uninvited-Invited Guest

SUBSTANCE ABUSE: THE UNINVITED-INVITED GUEST

Michael Brown

Substance abuse can intrude into and erode a relationship like an unwanted guest. Therefore, I have chosen the metaphor of the “uninvited-invited guest” to reflect the dialectic between unwanted intrusion and welcome invitation of substance abuse in an intimate relationship. At times, substance abuse enters into a relationship like an uninvited guest. Other times, it is invited in by one, and unwanted by the other. Yet other times, it is invited in by both. However it enters, it is like an unwanted guest that stays too long and interferes in the relationship.

In his Sound Relationship House Theory, Dr. John Gottman uses the metaphor of the house to describe the elements of a sound relationship. My intention here is to explore the metaphor of the uninvited-invited guest in terms of the Sound Relationship House in order to explore the effects of substance abuse on an intimate relationship. I also suggest how the externalizing metaphor of the uninvited-invited guest might be used in couples treatment for substance abuse.

The Uninvited-Invited Guest and the Sound Relationship House
The first three levels of the Sound Relationship House are the friendship basis of the relationship and constitute the foundation of a strong relationship. The first level of the house is Build Love Maps. This entails how well partners know one another: their inner psychological world, their worries, stresses, joys, and dreams. The second level is Share Fondness and Admiration. This level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. The third level is Turn Towards in everyday moments. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship. Partners have the opportunity to either turn toward, turn away, or turn against bids for connection.

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How to Fix a Relationship That’s Falling Apart

fix a relationship

HOW TO FIX A RELATIONSHIP THAT’S FALLING APART

Team LovePanky

A relationship, just like everything else in life, needs care and attention. Many couples overlook this detail and end up unhappy in a perfect relationship. Find out how to fix a relationship and turn things around.

Figuring out how to fix a relationship is a lot like stacking a deck of cards. There are so many different cards involved and it’s really difficult to know where exactly the balance went awry.

Just like a stack of cards, in almost all cases, it’s never a single reason that leads to a failure in love.

It’s a series of disappointments and resentments that lead to an unhappy relationship.

But nevertheless, it really doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship. Even the unhappiest of relationships can be fixed with a bit of understanding and love.

How to fix a relationship

If you still love your partner and are willing to work on your relationship, read these five simple pointers on how to fix a relationship.

They are easy and can bring back the happiness that’s lost in all the confusion and pain.

#1 Communication

How did you deal with the situation the last time you disagreed with your partner, or had a little fight?

Most couples prefer to just end an argument with slammed doors and silent evenings rather than face the situation, sort it out and clear the air.

You could give each other some space for a couple of days and wait for the issue to get sorted out by itself. But by avoiding a confrontation, you would end a fight but you really can’t understand each other or help each other. Problems that are brushed under the carpet have a way of raising a stink every now and then.

The next time you’re feeling frustrated and lonely, talk about it with your partner and try to get over the issue. Why do you need to talk to a third person and get help from the outside when you can actually talk frankly and listen to each other instead?

#2 Forgiveness

We’re all human, and all of us make mistakes, even the most perfect of people. If you want to know how to fix a relationship and have a successful one, both of you must learn to forgive each other. And most importantly, you must remember to never judge your partner.

It takes a lot of courage and strength for your loved one to confess about something that they feel may be bad or hurtful. When you judge your partner, you make them feel worse, and you also psychologically affect them and make them shut themselves up. And once your partner feels uncomfortable sharing their dark secrets with you, they’d prefer to hide their secrets or talk to another friend rather than tell you what they really feel. And that’s never going to help your relationship. In fact, it could be one of the worst things that can happen to your relationship.

The day either of you stop sharing your feelings and thoughts with each other is the day your relationship starts to drift apart, even if only by a small bit every day.

If you feel something’s wrong in the relationship or if your partner’s done something objectionable, talk to your partner without accusing them or shouting at them. Help your partner understand how you feel about it instead of yelling or cursing at your lover. And unless an unpardonable mistake is repeated, learn to forgive and forget. Sometimes, even the best of us can make a mistake without really wanting to.

#3 Compatibility

Compatibility is crucial if you want to know how to fix a relationship. In several cases, opposites attract and you may find yourself married to someone who’s got nothing in common with you. But if you think about it, perhaps, it’s those differences that brought both of you closer. Sometimes, compatibility doesn’t lie in sharing similar likes and dislikes, it lies in wanting to understand and lead the ways of your partner. If you’re having issues with compatibility and want to fix your relationship, you’d know what this means.

If your partner’s too carefree or lighthearted, you may be in love with your partner because you admire that quality, however much it may annoy you at times. Compatibility isn’t about how similar both of you are, but how well you mesh together as a couple.

Don’t look at your differences as burdens, instead look at it as something that either of you can learn from each other. Make a conscious effort to understand your partner and understand their behavior. By understanding each other’s minds, both of you can change and become better individuals and a better couple.

#4 Compromise

Learn to give in. It’s as simple as that. It’s surprising to see that so many individuals fail in a relationship because of this one thing alone. Seriously, how difficult is it for couples to learn to give in selflessly once in a while? Over recent years, men and women have become too bullheaded and stubborn. Couples don’t like to give in, and it’s always my way or the highway. But think about it, if you truly love your partner, seeing them smile or have a good time would make you happy too, wouldn’t it?

If your partner’s happiness matters so much, why not go out of your way to compromise on something they like just to see your partner happy? If you can’t give in now and then, you’re cohabiting with your partner, and you’re not really in love with them.

Of course, it’s never good if one person always gives and the other person just takes. It has to be mutual. For starters, you could even keep count if nothing helps. Every time your partner compromises for you, you need to compromise for your partner. Over time, these things will begin to come naturally.

#5 Growing together

Relationships need to grow constantly, just like how individuals need to grow. When a relationship stagnates, you start to lose interest in it and soon, you stop caring about it. And one fine day, you may not even want to do anything with your partner.

Both of you start taking each other for granted and before you know it, the relationship comes to a grinding halt. If you want to know how to fix a relationship, you need to heal it from the inside. You can mend a bird’s feather, but you can’t really heal it until you help the bird move and fly.

Learn to improve a relationship and better it, learn from each other and give enough space to each other to grow as individuals. Only by becoming better individuals can both of you become better lovers.

These five fixes on how to fix a relationship can seem trivial and easy. And that’s the whole point. Sometimes, the most complicated of knots need a small tug where it matters. And just like that, in love too, we all need a small step forward to start creating a happy relationship.

Take a baby step into knowing how to fix a relationship today, and you’ll see how much better your relationship can get in under a week, just as long as you remember these tips.

How Do I Get Over a Broken Heart

get over a broken heart

HOW DO I GET OVER A BROKEN HEART

Team LovePanky

Ever wondered how you could get over a broken heart and walk away from it all? Break ups can hurt a lot, but you do have the power to get over a broken heart and move on if you really make up your mind… and follow these tips.

 

If you’ve read the first six points on getting over a broken heart in the introduction, you’d see how important it is to actually stick to your decision and make a conscious effort to move on from an ex lover.

Here are a few pointers that can definitely help you forget your old flame and move on to a happier life.

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How to Get Over a Broken Heart

How to Get Over a Broken Heart

HOW TO GET OVER A BROKEN HEART

Team LovePanky

Want to know how to get over a broken heart? A breakup can feel like the end of the world, but if you really do want to move on, here’s a complete guide on how to deal with a broken heart.

At some point in your life, if not already, the proverbial “shit happens”.

And all you really want to do after that is try and figure out how to get over a broken heart.

If it hasn’t already, it may soon, or you may be one of those lucky few who are able to cruise through their entire life with just one loving mate.

But to the awful tons of people who aren’t that lucky, and have broken up, or are still licking their wounds or still crying their hearts out over a dead relationship, this may be an eye-opener.

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Hurt Feelings Do Not Mean You Did Something Wrong

HURT FEELINGS DO NOT MEAN YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG

LaVerna Wilk

I was recently visiting with a friend and she shared a story about a blowout fight she had with her husband. Being a therapist, I’ve grown used to this over the years.

The story went like this. Someone accidentally moved her chair as she was going to sit down at work, causing her to fall and hit her neck against a desk. As a result, her range of motion was limited and it was very painful for her to turn her head.

After her fall, she and her husband had been driving on the freeway and as he was trying to make a last-second lane change, he asked her to check out the passenger side window for cars. She said she felt disregarded because he knew she was in pain, and his request only made it worse.

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How to deal with difficult emotions

HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT EMOTIONS

The Gottman Institute

The key to dealing with difficult emotions like anger, confusion, fear, loneliness, and sadness is mindfulness.

Practicing mindfulness enables you to calm down and soothe yourself. When you’re calm, you have space to reflect and thoughtfully respond, rather than react.

Following these six steps will help you to understand and deal with your difficult emotions in a mindful way.

6 Steps to Mindfully Deal with Difficult Emotions

Mindfully dealing with emotions is hard and it takes time. Be kind, compassionate, and patient with yourself and your partner.

Is Your Single Life Affecting Your Married Life?

IS YOUR SINGLE LIFE AFFECTING YOUR MARRIED LIFE?

Bethany Bartholomew

You did it. You tied the knot. You found your one and only and created a happily ever after together.

It could’ve been yesterday. It could’ve been years ago. Whenever you made it to Mr. and Mrs. status, congratulations! That is a happy event to celebrate and keep celebrating for years to come.

But even though you made the big decision, did you make the big change?

Married life comes with some significant changes in your everyday. Some are obvious, and some are not so obvious. Some are so subtle that you might miss them for years.

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Why Do Men Cheat? The 3 Biggest Reasons & 27 Convincing Excuses

why do men cheat?

WHY DO MEN CHEAT? THE 3 BIGGEST REASONS & 27 CONVINCING EXCUSES

Vinod Srinivas

What makes a man a cheat? There are three big reasons for that. And why do men cheat on women? These 27 reasons will help you figure the truth out!

If you’re wondering who do men cheat, the truth is, as much as I hate to admit it, men do have a natural instinct to stray.

If they think they can get away with cheating, they cheat.

It’s what their mind tells them to do, even if their conscience tells them otherwise.

A man of principles though, a man who has integrity, may hold himself back even when the opportunity arises.

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The Anxious-Avoidant Relationship Trap: An Interview with Amir Levine Part II

anxious-avoidant

THE ANXIOUS-AVOIDANT RELATIONSHIP TRAP: AN INTERVIEW WITH AMIR LEVINE PART II

Kyle Benson

Interview Guest: Amir Levine, M.D., is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and co-author of a popular book, Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love, which has been translated into 14 languages. You can read Part I of the interview with Dr. Levine here.

It’s important to be in a secure relationship because insecure relationships are “a recipe for a lot of pain,” according to Dr. Levine.

This doesn’t mean that partners in insecure relationships don’t love each other. They often love each other a lot. The problem is that in an anxious-avoidant relationship, there tends to be a sense of “stable instability.”

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Are Love Laws Throwing You In Relationship Jail?

ARE LOVE LAWS THROWING YOU IN RELATIONSHIP JAIL?

Kyle Benson

What determines whether you feel loved or rejected?

If your partner comes up to you and says “you’re needy,” do you laugh or cry?

Even though we speak the same language with our partner, each of us swims in a sea of private meanings. Growing up in different families with unique life experiences has given each of us separate dictionaries on love.

Our dictionary sets the standard that governs not only how we feel, but how we behave, what we do, and how we act in our lives.

The meaning we give the experiences in our relationship is the judge and jury of our love life. These are what I call Love Laws.

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