The New Year And Your Relationship. Another year come and gone. What are your expectations about 2022? There are still uncertainties about the pandemic. The way I see it COVID-19 is still not being managed effectively. Our new normal seems to include feelings of paranoia, fear, confusion and anxiety. The way we behave has changed as we continue to social distance and wear masks. These types of physical boundaries may have psychological long term results. If you’ve had COVID there are the residual long term physical health concerns that “long haulers” are managing.
The New Year And Your Relationship
When the vaccine became available people received their two inoculations. Many, like myself believed this would keep us safe from getting the virus. Then the boaster became available and like many, I believed we would be extra safe. I contracted COVID after both doses. I, like many others, became less diligent about following the CDC’s best practices for protection. Wash hands, use sanitizer, stay six feet apart, and wear a mask. Even with testing readily available on some level this pandemic may be here to stay.
As a marriage counselor working with couples dealing with issues of infidelity (affair recovery), neurodiversity (Asperger marriage), and relationship discord, I know they just want to be happy and content. With the uncertainties of life it’s important to know what you want so you know what your relationship needs. Happy Me Happy We was launched during the pandemic and is still a best seller helping individuals do just that.
Relationships in the time of coronavirus is an opportunity to think about what you want in life moving forward. If the last couple years have been unhappy due to being isolated at home do something about it. As a Marriage Counselor, I see some couples who have become closer due to the proximity of time and space. For others, that time and space adds to their unhappiness. A woman I’m working with said her husband doesn’t interact with her at all. She says she feels lonely in her relationship. She also said she’s taking this time to reassess her marriage as status quo is no longer working or wanted.
Life is too short to remain in a relationship that isn’t working for you. I help people who ask the question…”Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” Through my counseling process I help couples look at and choose from three options. Option 1 – keep status quo, option 2 – move forward with an action plan, or option 3 – move on and find another life that best suits you.
If reassessing your relationship is something you know you want to do please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com
Decide what your “new normal” is going to look like.
Asperger Marriage. Asperger marriages are also known as Neurodiverse Relationships. Where one partner is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), typically the husband (AS) and the wife neurotypical (NT). In my own marriage, my husband is the AS partner and I am the NT partner. People with traits of AS have always been around, either misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, or labeled “odd” in behavior. Marriages with a person with AS are often very challenging, with mental health consequences for both partners, for their children, and for their extended family systems. Neurodiverse couples counseling (coaching) views partnerships thru a neurological lens. Education about AS, acquiring tools and putting a system in place with a counselor that specializes in neurodiverse couples enable the couple to become more communicative, but, more importantly, more relational which creates harmony and cohesiveness for moving forward. Traditional marriage counseling is ineffective and can sometimes be detrimental to the process.
The mismatch of expectations, lifestyle, and needs tend to create misunderstanding, conflict, and unhappiness for both partners in the marriage. As an NT wife, I experienced feelings of frustration, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and much anger. Cassandra Syndrome is what a woman experiences after years of being married to a man with Asperger’s. Cassandra Syndrome is also referred to as Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome or Affective Deprivation Disorder and abbreviated as CADD, OTRS or AfDD. Cassandra is a debilitating condition that can lead to physical and psychological problems if not managed experiencing distress as a result of their emotional needs not being recognized, or met by their AS (autistic) partner. My acting out behavior included threatening divorce every other month, crying while yelling, excessive drinking, and insulting comments.
The AS husband may experience general anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior (repetitive patterns of behavior), social anxiety and irritability. AS husbands are often observed as not being thoughtful, inconsiderate, selfish, narrow minded and sometime narcissistic. The primary diagnostic features cause significant impairment in important areas of functioning leading to challenges in their relationships. My husband’s anxiety and depression were exacerbated due to my acting out behavior.
In my professional and personal opinion the single best indicator for success (good prognosis) is both partners acquiring tools for moving forward meeting the needs and wants of each. The AS partner practices how to be more expressive, forthcoming, understanding of expectations while the NT partner manages her range of emotions in appropriate ways. Acting out behavior negatively reinforces effort on the AS partner’s part as he is already consumed with anxiety and fear.
Being in a neurodiverse relationship is similar to two people speaking different languages coming together and wanting to establish a life together. Learning each other’s language is imperative for communication. Learning how to do that is not rocket science. There is a learning curve but it’s worth the effort because neurodiversity makes for more interesting relationships.
For more information about Asperger Marriages please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com
Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners. Marriages or partnerships with a person on the Autism Spectrum (AS) are often very challenging, with mental health challenges for both members of the relationship, for their children, and for extended family. Neurotypical women (NT) may appreciate that her AS partner marches to a different tune and does not exhibit some of the negative social or interpersonal attributes that she may have encountered in other potential partners or previous ones. Women may be attracted to men with AS because they appear safe, are highly intelligent, gentle, appreciative, interesting, creative, well read, unusual, quirky, and loyal.
Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners
As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor/coach, I tend to see couples who present with neurodiversity at its worst. Couples come in complaining about communication, lack of emotional connection, and time management to name of few. There are many strengths that enable an AS man to be highly functional. Because an AS husband and NT wife speak different languages neurology matters. I work with my couples through a neurological lens or Asperger profile. Traditional marriage counseling is not effective and can sometimes be detrimental to moving forward.
According to Myhill and Jekel of Asperger Association of New England (AANE), people with ASD can be good partners. The women’s choice to marry someone with AS is not intrinsically a bad one. Some women aren’t aware they are entering into a neurodiverse relationship until enough time goes by where they notice communication is more transactional than relational. The women are often the ones who seek help as they are confused and don’t understand why their relationship seems different than others’. With the appropriate resources Asperger marriages can be just as rewarding and fulfilling as other happy marriages. Yes, there is work to be done, but just like anything else, if you do the work it should pay off. With putting systems in place, acquiring relational tools, and implementing the process you can have the relationship you want. All marriages have challenges. If two people who care about one another truly want to move forward, they can.
I am married to a man with Asperger’s. My Asperger marriage will continue to have its challenges. We are grateful for what we have learned to be able to say our marriage works for us. I look forward to working with neurodiverse couples because I know firsthand of the many challenges. I also know every couple has their strengths and I help them look for them.
If you would like more information about moving forward in your Asperger marriage please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com
Reasons To Seek Marriage Counseling. There are many reasons to seek marriage counseling. After the Honeymoon stage where both can do no wrong, couples enter into the Conflict Resolution stage, where they may experience problems from communication to sex issues. The details of life can become overwhelming affecting their connection to one another. If conflict is not resolved feelings can deteriorate where loss of being “in love” can change into roommate situations or even worse, where feelings of contempt will always lead to unhappiness and possible separation.
Couple seeking marriage counseling
No matter how healthy your relationship is, you may experience some problems that might affect your connection to one another. That is not to say you have lost your love for them, but maybe it is time to address some trust issues or communication concerns. Couple’s Counselor San Diego could be how to have that peace of mind and to feel supported through a hard time. They are there to guide you through the journey of Affair recovery while helping you every step of the way moving forward.
One of the main reasons people seek therapy is for help with intimate and close relationships. And while couples counseling tends to be viewed as something for only relationships in crisis, there are many reasons people in relationships might pursue it. Some are small, some larger, but all are important and deserve to be explored and worked on.
Here are 10 good Reasons To Seek Marriage Counseling:
1. COMMUNICATION ISSUES
Communication is the foundation of all relationships. Communication comes in many forms, both in person and over the phone, text, or social media. Therapy teaches couples how to communicate with each other in a positive manner that works. The type of communication a person grows up around tends to strongly affect how they communicate in their adult relationships. Counseling can help couples make a conscious choice of communication style and not just fall back on what they know from their history.
2. PREMARITAL COUNSELING
There are many issues couples face before they tie the knot. Premarital counseling is a place to discuss many things. One example is finances. Will bank accounts be shared? What about making decisions about what to purchase? Another consideration is household duties. Are children part of the picture? What role(s) will in-laws play in your life? Couples counseling can be a safe place to start the conversations that need to be addressed.
3. SEXUAL ISSUES
Sex can be something that heals and brings a couple together, or it can be a battleground fraught with anxiety, embarrassment, anger, and hurt. Counselors encounter sexual issues frequently and can help.
4. INFIDELITY AND UNFAITHFULNESS
Infidelity within a relationship can be the most hurtful and damaging thing a couple ever goes through, but it does not mean the relationship has to be over. Couples counseling provides a healing space to begin the journey toward resolution. It can help find practical and meaningful ways to navigate the treacherous waters of unfaithfulness.
5. ASSISTANCE MANAGING OTHER RELATIONSHIPS
Couples have relationships with people outside of their relationship together. Friends, extended family, children, coworkers, and supervisors/bosses/professors are just a few. These relationships can be either healthy or unhealthy. Some things that can be discussed are boundaries with members of the opposite sex or same sex, communication with exes, and together and alone time.
Nontraditional intimate relationships, such as polyamory, open, and swinging, can have problems and struggles—some of which are specific to their lifestyle and identity, some that all couples deal with.
6. NONTRADITIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
Nontraditional intimate relationships, such as polyamory, open relationships, and swinging, can have problems and struggles—some of which are specific to their lifestyle and identity, some that all couples deal with. It can be intimidating to seek relationship therapy for fear of not being valued or understood because of the type of intimate relationship one is in. Many relationship counselors are comfortable and have the background and understanding to work with people in nontraditional relationships and can provide an open and safe place to work on the struggles a couple is having.
7. BLENDED FAMILIES
When one or both partners have children from another relationship, blending has its own specific struggles and difficulties. Parenting differences, the role of the other parent, and the new identity of the family all need to be explored.
8. THE END OF A RELATIONSHIP
When a relationship has ended, whether by mutual agreement or otherwise, managing life can be difficult. Often, individuals need to express anger, sadness, and grief. There may be practical issues to sort out as well, such as housing and children. Agreeing how and when to communicate is another example of a matter to be discussed in couples counseling.
9. DIGITAL-AGE ISSUES
Facebook. Twitter. Texting. Sexting. Instagram. YouTube. Snapchat. These are just a few ways technology can infiltrate and affect relationships. Communicating via social media has its own pros and cons. Couples often have conflict regarding who to “friend,” what to “like,” and who to text, block, or chat. Communicating that is not done face-to-face or even on the phone is hard. No matter how many emojis are used, words can be misconstrued and misread. Tone of voice and body language are important to understanding what is being conveyed. Relationship counseling can help couples work through problems technology has caused, and create boundaries with each other to help restore trust when social media have hurt the relationship.
10. TRUST ISSUES
After trust is broken, relationships can be harmed or even destroyed. Part of having a solid and healthy relationship is to be able to trust one another. Learning to trust again is a slow and hard process, and it can be painful and frustrating when it doesn’t happen quickly. Counseling can educate and assist couples with understanding the process of regaining trust, and provide tools and direction to help.
All relationships are difficult in some form or another. There will be disagreement, conflict, and hurt even in the best of times. Marriage counseling can help couples grow and heal. Like all types of therapy, the lessons learned and behaviors changed will continue to serve each person for much longer than the therapy itself.
It takes work to have a solid and positive relationship. Marriage counseling is worth considering for any couple and can promote mutually beneficial change for years to come.
For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com
Happy Thanksgiving. This upcoming week can be a challenge for individual’s and their families. Besides continuing to manage COVID-19 this week starts the Holiday season. Thanksgiving can be a most pleasant time or the most stressful time. Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving or travelling to be with family, be mindful that you do have choices. The ramification of those choices can be positive or negative to your well being.
Man thinking about whether to attend Thanksgiving with family
The holidays trigger many painful and anxiety provoking experiences. Some of us have fond memories of Thanksgiving, but many also have traumatizing ones. We are products of our upbringing so suffice it to say, family members tend to trigger us. Not all generations do the work to leave a more healthy legacy for the next. If that can’t happen it is best to have limited contact with those who cannot or will not exercise appropriate/healthy behavior. Thanksgiving with relatives can be time specific as some family members are clueless to know how to do that. You don’t have to spend all day getting triggered. Give yourself the option to attend or pass this year. In other words, take care of yourself and your family. Don’t worry about hurting those who are accustomed to traditions that really don’t work for you. Family members have expectations that meet their needs. But do they meet yours?
If you have children it is even more important to protect them from dysfunctional people. Codependency keeps people trapped into getting other people’s needs met over your own. Keeping yourself in an environment (Thanksgiving dinner) when individuals are behaving badly (cursing, criticizing, judging, opinionated, drunk, high, etc.) is not only uncomfortable but abusive to the gathering. Assert yourself, get up and leave. Role model for them how to take care of oneself. Don’t worry about the feelings of the clueless.
If you need help with codependency as it can be draining and feels like your losing your sense of self, contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com
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