Tag Archives: after the vows

Sustaining a Happy Relationship & Fighting Fair: We Got 99 Problems but the Marriage Ain’t One

All relationships, even the happiest ones, experience conflict. Psychotherapist and relationship coach Gloria Zhang says the goal should not be to eliminate it entirely (because that’s totally unrealistic!) but instead to work through any disagreements, niggles and stressful times together.

Do you know one of those blissfully happy couples who seem to have it all figured out? You probably roll your eyes at them. That perfect, fawning pair who have been together longer than the Internet has existed. They hold hands everywhere. Their Instagram feed is full of romantic getaways to countries you’ve never heard of. Sometimes you secretly wish they would adopt you.

How nice,” you might think, “They probably never fight!”

Right? Wrong!

Surprisingly, therapists have discovered that people in happy marriages often never solve a lot of their issues!By default, that means the goal isn’t to eliminate all conflict entirely.

So, how do those ‘perfect’ couples (although you know no one’s relationship is actually perfect right?) deal with their problems? The answer is actually more philosophical than anything.

Happy couples accept that problems are just a fact of life. They focus on handling conflict in a productive way.

The good news is that you can also learn how to fight fair. By conquering your fear of conflict, you’ll have a happier marriage and actually grow stronger after an argument. In my opinion, that sounds way better than the slow, painful death of years of resentment.

But first… we need to talk about how NOT to fight.

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After the Vows: Attachment Styles and their Role in Your Relationship

Did you grow up with the myth that “love is all you need” to make a marriage last? From a psychotherapist and relationship coach Gloria Zhang’s perspective, here’s why that’s a pile of doo-doo, and what you should do instead…

During the last legs of my former relationship, I felt like a deprived puppy begging for scraps of affection. Like most relationships, it started off just fine and seemed to reach a plateau. That is until we found ourselves in the most popular case of couple’s Russian roulette: The Pursuer-Distancer dynamic.

Sound familiar?

I felt needy and they felt trapped.

The clingier I became, the more they needed space.

And every time my partner got annoyed; I would get a flashback to being a seven-year-old kid again who was receiving the cold shoulder from disappointed daddy.

The mindboggling part is that neither my partner or I were “bad people”. We genuinely loved each other and had soccer-field sized list of common interests. So why couldn’t we meet the other person’s needs?

Despite the seductive appeal of “Rollercoaster Relationships” that is oh-so-glamorised in Hollywood (The Notebook, anyone?), it makes for a miserable love life.

And it is trust and safety that makes for a lasting relationship, not drama.

The key to improving, and maybe even rescuing your own relationship is understanding WHY this dynamic occurs between you and your partner.

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