Relationship Conflict - How Do You Handle It Effectively?

If you are:

       Experiencing communication difficulties in your personal relationship?

       Facing a marital breakdown?

       Contemplating separation or divorce?

Then read on to find out how:

       Counselling may help you break down the emotional barriers

       Improve communication between you and your partner/spouse 

       Help you to take control of your life and improve your emotional wellbeing 

Handling conflict within your relationship can be extremely challenging, emotionally draining, as well as placing a huge strain on family life. As a counsellor, I have helped some clients to manage the stress and strain they are under at such a difficult time. One of my clients was going through a divorce, a couple of years ago, and was close to breaking point when she sought me out for counselling. Being forced to continue living under the same roof as her estranged husband, she was sick and tired of the ’mind games’ that were going on between them. 

Unable to reach an amicable agreement on the divorce settlement, her husband and resorted to underhand tactics such as placing a hidden camera in the lounge so he could keep an eye on her comings and goings, hiding behind doors, eavesdropping on her telephone conversations. My client was at her wits end and any attempts she had made to try and resolve their conflict had been met with unfounded accusations and more lies. 

In order to help this client I helped her to identify how she responded to her husband and how she approached him. Very quickly, my client realised that by anticipating a negative response, and worrying about how he may react only helped to bring about a negative outcome. Having counselling helped to assist her in changing some of her behaviour patterns, thus enabling her to assert herself in the way she communicated her feelings to him. Before long, some of the underhanded tactics stopped and eventually she managed to turn things around. The divorce proceedings went ahead and the client has now moved onto make a new life for herself.

Another client, who will remain anonymous, sought counselling to help find the courage within, to leave an abusive husband, who was terrorising her and their children. Despite taking out a court order to ban him from the house, she had become a prisoner in her own home, because every time she ventured out of the house, he was lurking around the next corner. Her confidence was in tatters and she was sick of living in fear, she had no-one to turn to…..

Having a weekly counselling session gave the client a safe space to explore her feelings and find ways in which to overcome her fears. Over a period of time, she started to get stronger, regain her confidence and self worth and started to assert herself. When she managed to pluck up the courage to get a restraining order placed on her husband the abuse stopped and he eventually moved away from the area. She started divorce proceedings and was able to focus on improving the lives of her and their children.

Children can be badly affected when their parents split up. Depending on the reason for the break up, children often feel hurt and confused, uncertain what the future holds and wondering where they will end up. This can very often affect a child’s performance at school, undermine their confidence and make them feel fearful and anxious.

Are you in despair right now, because of the state of your relationship? If you are losing sleep about the way you are being treated by your spouse/partner, then talking to someone whom you can trust will help. Having the support of a counsellor can help you to become much stronger and develop a more positive attitude in any difficult situation. Most clients find that once the fog has cleared, they can start to find ways of getting their life back on track and feel much happier and more confident. 

N.B. Permission was sought to put forward the case studies above. The clients mentioned remain anonymous for confidential reasons.

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