Fighting with our loved ones can feel terrifying, and it’s easy – if we don’t know what we’re doing – to get trapped in bad habits that lead to the deterioration of our marriage or long-term relationship. Fortunately, as we discussed earlier, conflict is natural and to be expected. However, there are four behaviors to avoid when in conflict, according to the Gottmans’ copious research.
Welcome to Part 2 of our “book club” on Gottman and Gottman’s “And Baby Makes Three”. In Part 1, we introduced the book and the scope of the problem. In this installment, we share insights about the stresses of parenting that are common yet rarely talked about. You’re not alone – that’s the point of Chapter 1. Many couples feel alone in their parenting because gender roles and parenting values have shifted so much in the past twenty to thirty years that many young couples may feel they can’t look to their parents for advice.... And you may not have an older, wise person to call on for advice (like a mentor or friend from a church or other group). Add to this the tendency for men not to talk about their emotions (though this can affect men or women) and you’ve got a recipe for silence and pent-up tensions that lead to relationship problems getting worse rather than resolved.
6 min read | "The greatest gift a couple can give their baby is a loving relationship, because that relationship nourishes Baby’s development. The stronger the connection between parents, the healthier the child can grow, both emotionally and intellectually." (p.9) Stress and tension can build in our long-term romantic relationships, even despite our best intentions. Perhaps you’re a few years into your relationship, and already feeling doubt, irritation, or even anger on a regular basis. Ironically, one of the most joyous moments of our lives – having a child – can exacerbate negative feelings in a relationship (see our recent article for new Dads). The good news is you can learn coping and relationship-building skills, and they apply whether you have kids or not.
In this article I wanted to share some ways that stress has manifested itself physiologically for me and some tools that you can use to become more aware of stress and its effects on your body. It’s important to accept the mind-body connection – the idea that your state of mind can affect how you feel physically, and vice versa. If your body is not relaxed, the same is likely for your mind. For several decades, clinical studies have shown that interventions like relaxation, visualization, and meditation can improve various physical conditions like healing after a heart attack or battling insomnia.