Energising your Relationships

img-20190313-wa0000-444810066.jpgI love to go to a garden nearby to look at the plants growing and to savor their fragrant breeze full of oxygen and greens. And let me tell you I do love to speak to the plants in the morning as they open up their lovely flowers to the rising Sun and rebuild their energy which they gather from the sunlight .At home we do not have a lawn where we could grow these plants (we live in an apartment) . But on the top of the building where we have managed to rent a terrace we do have a few pots with plants. These plants have very tenderly been reared by my daughter with great care and love. I have seen the fresh flowers of white, red and yellow colors bloom to the plants virtually growing from little buds to the full blown beautiful flowers. Whenever I go the terrace I water them, talk to them and make sure they feel loved and taken care of by me and feel happy about this. I feel my conversing with my plants exactly is the reason these plants have grown from tiny saplings to the full grown plants adorning their smile into these flowers.
Similar to these little saplings and plants all kinds of relationships need constant communication, love, tender care, nurturing and sunshine of trust and admiration. If any of the same is missing our relationships tend to get withered away just as all those seedlings died which had not been attended to by me.
We would often take our relationships for granted once we have formed them. We allow the novelty and the freshness of each other’s company wear of, thinking, “now that we have each other where the hell can the person go”. It is easy to do that as you get busy with the daily grinds of life. But like the delicate plants that were given extra care by me to grow, each relationship too needs to be handled with full involvement and care.
In a relationship or in a friendship, we need to regularly spread the showers of mutual understanding, of admiration the nurture and love. Not all relationships may require you to go out of your way to attend to them. A periodic touch of getting to know about each person as to how he or she is living life ensures we do not feel cut off and likewise the other person too feels in touch. In the current age of internet and social media though people are always available online, yet the lack of personal touch and physical presence of good listeners is felt by one and all. People living under the same roof and sleeping in the common bedroom become strangers as they remain occupied in their own virtual world of WhatsApp.Facebook,instagram,twitter and other online social media apps.
I have many a times met such husbands and wives who do not have either time or an empathetic ear for each other to give at least a hearing to the partners when they need to talk. Being there with an empathetic attitude and listening with patience to the other’s point of view can go a long way in solving many compatibility issues the couples face in their marital life.
I am currently meeting and counseling quite a few numbers of families, where all family members have agreed to spend at least two evenings in a week on working days and every alternate weekend in a month together on family outing or family dinner and they have shown wonderful results in their understanding of each other. The faces of the family members more especially the younger members beam smiles as big as the rose in the picture above after they find their parents spending a quality time with them in such a positive manner.

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Just as we need to take care of the plants, saplings and flowers an protect them from all kinds of weeds, strong winds, too much of sunshine, the same way we need to tend to the relationship by giving our empathetic, loving , and understanding physical presence and listening ears  to all family members.

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance
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Are you giving enough of yourself to Improve Your Marital Relationship ?

mother-and-babyPoonam and her husband  Sangit had a wonderful marriage going for the first  year of their marriage.Everything seemed to have been set specially to bring the joy and comfortable living for them in their life, but things took an adverse turn when Poonam had conceived her first baby. Her pregnancy ( an unplanned one ) had happened and  Sangit  didn’t know how to handle this. Poonam’s early morning sickness was too much for him to take .He felt that he had  been dealt a wrong hand in the marriage.The same wife who used to be at his side all the times had almost forgotten about his being there  in her life .Poonam noticed he had begun avoiding spending time with her.The gap had further widened in them after the delivery .Sangit felt that Poonam had been spending her time with the child and she did not have any space left for him in her life. The daily spat of words and tiffs took the ugliest toll on their relationships when Poonam had attempted to hurt herself in a fit of rage . That is when they decided to call on the  family therapist for an intervention.

arguing coupleDolly had echoed similar words  of dissatisfaction in her marriage to this  therapist  as  she expressed her annoyance on her husband for  spending most of his days  for office travel unnecessary . She told the therapist, ” even on the days he is in town he would hardly give time to me and children. Every evening my husband  spends his time with his friends partying in the club or a bar”.

Poonam and Dolly are not the only ones who are dissatisfied with their marriages.

Facebook-Coverphoto-Ladies-Night-and-Brunches-Dubai-v2-1Harish a businessman speaks  same thoughts when he says, ” my wife throws one kitty party every week compulsorily and the days she does not throw a party herself, it would be any of her friends inviting her over. We hardly see each other at home.  We have become strangers staying under the same roof”.

Couples express their dissatisfaction with their marriages in many ways. one of them being not spending much time together or not giving the required attention to demands of each other. It is apparent today’s  marital life is not what it used to be ten or twenty years ago. The internet, the need for travel , the need of  socialising for each partner to the marriage demands time from them and they can hardly find time for each other . Resultantly , each partner is finding the other one going away from him or her. But in order to keep the contract of marriage running they are  demanding more from each other without putting in the necessary time to be with each other .

From the case studies mentioned above it can be seen that the couples  are basically divided their time and life into many different compartments, depending on the situations in which they currently are. These compartments can be identified as:

  • The couples with small  children allocate most of their time to  the act of parenting  but it is not necessary that both of them do it together.
  • The couples  who have grown up children have  found many interests of their own respectively on the internet .
  • Or they have  formed their social circles independent of each other and spend time away from each other .
  • The couples who do not have interest in either of the above three situations are concentrating on their work  and for them their careers hold more importance than being with their partners .

The demands however from the spouses into the marriage remain what these used to be  many many years ago. The modern husband  wants a wife that he has seen in his mother who was his father’s wife. The modern wife looks forward to a husband as she noticed  in her father who led a very devoted life many years ago. These partners to modern marriages often tend to forget that their interest , their needs, their style of living have been completely changed as compared to the times in which their  parents had built their families.

The new generation of couples need to understand that they either need to  put in more efforts, time and resources into their marriages to make them work or they need  to demand less from their relationships .Marriage is about contractual obligations of social nature  where each partner  would get only what has been invested into. Marriage works when you give as much as you want to get in return .

The best  way to make  your  marriage work is to not to make your marriage a standard measurement of your  marriage vis a vis the marriage of your parents . Your marriage  possibly is a better marriage contract now as you both are able to pursue your independent areas of interest and at the same time contributing towards the development of each other as a better human being .

But in order to achieve that you have to allow each partner a space wider enough to  facilitate the expression of their true self.

You both need to develop a lifestyle that permits investment of time and your socio- psychological inputs  in your marriage, to build strong relationship  compatibility.

Marriage is no more considered the only source of social  and financial security when so many people nowadays  live in relationships without actually tying the knots  or even getting on with their lives without the  need of a partner from the opposite sex. In such evolutionary times the investment of your time and  positive energy can definitely make the partnership  workable and enjoyable  and save you from the disappointment  of not getting the right attention from your partner  .

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

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Are you a happy couple or an unhappy one but you are in love.Pick up some Tips for Building a life lasting Relationship

photo-1523975989600-f61068b1a4b3Ankur and Meeta have been married for  a number  of years now . They seem to have been having serious thoughts on their relationship already. The couple have been  staying with and without each other quite frequently in all these four years . One small tiff and the bags get packed . Meeta gets back to her mother’s house, or if she does not go out then it’s Ankur who would shift to the separate bedroom at the first floor of the house.  The accusations and blames keep them apart for a few months, till one of them apologizes.They come together and the honeymoon begins again .  Ankur’s mother has by now adjusted to their frequent bouts, as it has become a routine affair. Meeta wants Ankur should be dynamic in today’s competitive world and drop his laid back attitude .She would like him to move fast in his career ,and match the dynamism,she feels she is equipped with.For Ankur,the priorities are his family,his ailing mother who needs him and hence he feels satisfied with his progress.

couplesSomewhat similar  story has been going on between Bhuvan and Anita .Their 16 years of marriage has come to a stand still with both virtually accusing each other of neglect and  oppression .Anita blames Bhuvan of having neglected her  for  all their   marriage period. She feels she could have done better if she had adopted a career so that she could get away from the demands of married life. Bhuvan on the other hand feels oppressed, saying, ” She has been a very demanding wife and does not allow me to breathe freely .I need space of my own now”. he continues, ” from the day we began dating each other she has been like this always”.

But does it happen only after marriage. Not necessarily . Ashy and Neelu end up quarreling  on every date even though they would be making up soon. The new  issue would come at the next date .  For them ,it is wonderful feeling to be in love and date each other. The couple meets for awhile and then pine for each other till they meet at the next date.

images (6)While dating prior to the commitment made to each other for a long term relationship, everything is seen by the lovers  from behind the rosy shades of love and affection for each other. The emotions of possessiveness and yearning do not   allow the lovers to think of and bring in the mundane communication of a daily grinds of life.

It is definitely fine for short term love / date experiments .But being in a long-term relationship isn’t merely pining for the lover’s physical proximity and  intimacy alone. Being in long term relationships will involve managing and taking care of many other lives in addition to the lives of the lovers. And it is not an easy task.  Both people need to accommodate themselves to new family atmosphere and new relationships in their lives ( which come into their lives as an inheritance of marrying each other)  . May be a few years later  they will have to raise their own children  to make their family a complete unit.

The lovers need to  then communicate over many other issues in addition to the romance and love in marriage. The issues that gain priority over love may pertain to jobs and careers, money and household expense, household work and taking care of the babies, social, cultural and religious affairs, parenting and in many cases taking care of the aged and old in the families.

coupleAs a couple begins their journey into the long-term relationship of wedded bliss, their love for each other many a times may take a back seat and the love gets reduced to a few stolen kisses and quickies here and there. The couple forgets about nurturing and keeping the flame of love and desire for each other alive. Soon the infatuation of physical hunger wears off and then the focus shifts from the affection to the problems.

photo-1526736054478-78a346854f1bThe stark realities of need for more money, career priorities and of culture, of religion, and of family may cause concerns and small squabbles. Before these squabbles get blown into major issues and a beautiful relationship begins to disintegrate. The couple needs to understand that every relationship is important in life and more so with the one with whom you have to spend your life time.

Needless to say, that every difference and misunderstanding should be treated as worth working for and saving, once the infatuation begins to fade.

photo-1484660073876-32a014c54b24Communication in person and not on the social media , is the only tool and doorway to establish a better understanding. The couple, need to take  up all those problems that are causing strangled relationship .It is always good to keep the bedroom stories confined to  four walls of the personal  bedrooms .But should the couple  feel  they are  not able to communicate with each other without raising voices and angers , they should get the professional advise of the family  therapist and relationship  counselor.  The  airing of grievances in the family sitting room can aggravate the problems and cut down the love quotient. Isn’t it a fact that the love still exists, we just have to bring it to the fore again.

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Premarital counseling – What should the couple ask a psychologist counselor?

35127-dating-couple-1200When Pooja  and Prakash  had been advised by their friends  to consult a family therapist , they had virtually not known , “what questions they should go and ask the counsellor”.Pooja and Prakash both have had a very private life . To them it was a very big task to go and meet a stranger and discuss  about their love and the  daily issues that had been causing the lovers’ tiff amongst newly engaged couple .Theirs had been an arranged affair. Pooja’s brother  and Prakash’s father worked in the same office . The meeting was arranged by the family after they learnt from Prakash’s father that they had been looking for a match for their son. Things materialised too fast and before   she could realise what had happened , they had been committed to each other. Pooja at times felt , she could have taken some more time to decide, and so did Prakash. They wanted that  they should know each other better before they plunge into the final nod of ,matrimony.

  1. What should they ask the counselor separately as individuals and  as  a couple together once  have decided to tie the nuptials?
  2. Does every couple need such counseling?or is it only their unique situation ?
  3. But we have known each other for so long as lovers / friend’s ,why do we need ,counseling now?
  4. Will the counseling be done in privacy or  will there be more couples will be involved in the process?
  5. Will the counseling involve my /ours parents too?
  6. How will the counseling help me/ us have a smooth/ rocking marital relationships?
  7. How many sessions will be necessary?
  8. What if counselling proves contradictory to the expectations?
  9. Will we still love each after the counselling ?
  10. Will the counselling bring it closer still?

  We look at some of the  answers in the lines below :

What is the right time for a Couple to Seek Premarital Counseling  and what the questions could relate to ?

  • When both the partners are very young and have never been married. ( of course both have   to take decision to get  married only at the legal marriage age allowed by the law of the land )
  • When the commitment for marriage cannot be taken with an open mind and the decision leads to fears and phobia in the individual’s mind.The counsellor could be able to remove the fears and phobia related to marriage decision.
  •  When the decision involves many issues related to   religion, culture, family ,  economic, social background, income,, parenting, household responsibility, work, job, career ambitions,  physical intimacy, sex, companionship, privacy, loss of independence etc. Take your questions to the counsellor and addressed them together .
  • When any of the near relatives, parents, siblings, have been through a bad marriage in the family. The counsellor should be able to clear your doubts and fears.
  • When either or both partners have had a failed marriage before and have been through a trauma of legal divorce.It is very important here to seek counselling before you commit yourself to the new relationship.
  • When the family pressures conflict with personal reasons and attitude.The counsellor will help you reconcile and look at the things differently.
  •   When the individual have been a victim of childhood abuse or domestic violence.The professional counselling is needed to come out of the previous trauma so that you are able to lead a peaceful and much happier  life now after the wedding .
  • When individual has other reasons that could create conflicting situations with either of the spouse or other near and dear ones.Take it up with the counsellor and resolve all issues.

maxresdefault (1)  Let’s Understand a few facts: We as individual live in a predetermined, self imposed ,self selected privacy as we go about our daily living in families and in various roles of society. Yet within this privacy we do have the necessary social interaction and relationships.   Marital counseling can help the couple develop a relationship that has the inbuilt system of allowing space to both the spouses and yet bring about the required intimacy for enjoying the new relationship.  The couple should evolve like two full grown flowers that spread a common fragrance of love and affection and yet appear beautiful in their own individual identity.    Every couple knows that their Dedication to Marriage will build stronger relationships.  Their dedication towards each other will bring about a strong love for each other, a sense of humor, willingness to grow up together, necessary strength for working towards a common cause, shared and tolerance for each other’s religious and cultural beliefs, and commonality of life’s goals.  This dedication will be built upon love, affection, empathy, allowance, understanding, commitment, communication, friendship and of course yearning for companionship.  All these adjectives together make a beautiful garden known as the marriage. One such missing petal can cause the whole flowers fall apart hence the mental strength gained through premarital counseling will provide the necessary feed, , sunlight   and the nurturing to the romancing couple and of course the bring down the ever rising divorce rate the world over.

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Premarital Counseling

images (3) Suzy  and Amit have been going steady for quite sometime now.Their families were happy that  both of them had eventually decided to get married. Suzy was happy too as she celebrated the announcement of her engagement to Amit   to all her friends by throwing a grand party. Amit too had attended the it but he did not seem to very happy with the decision. He wanted some more time to decide but had to say yes on account of family insistence.Suzy was quite taken aback by his reluctance.Suzy’s mother suggested they should consult a family  therapist.

Nalini  had finally found the love of her life when Abhishek had proposed to her . She was however zittery of sharing her life with someone for all times to come .She wanted that both she and her fiance Abhishek should consult a marriage counsellor to understand what lay in their life after wedding.

The decision to get married is a very happy moment but at the same time individuals (irrespective of the fact whether they are male or female) get very apprehensive of sharing their freedom, space, individuality and even responsibility of handing over the managing of their lives to someone else.  Falling in love and getting engaged to someone you have fancied as life partner is very fascinating.  The post engagement is a thrilling and a very delightful time. It is a time when dating, dreaming and fanciful planning takes place between the couples. Most of the couples come close and become emotionally fond of   each other. The physicality of intimacy, close proximity and the idea of having fallen in love are very intoxicating.  This period is the time to know each other and thereby cementing ties for a happy life long relationship. The couples in addition to falling in love should preferably take out some time together to get a positive premarital counseling.  Such a premarital counseling will help the couples uncover and resolve many issues that could become too late after having been married.

Let us see what the premarital counseling means to newly engaged couple:

graphic_couplePremarital Counseling –  a future Relationship Therapy: As blissful couples go through their engagement, looking at their    own ring and adoring the engagement. They get busy preparing their wedding trousseau   , finalizing   wedding plans.  There are enough people to take care of the details of the accessories.  The couple should take out some time for the most important thing of all – their relationship at present and their relationship that is being built up through the sacred marriage.  In earlier times of joint family systems, an older sister, sister in law, other seniors in the family like a grandmother, or an older aunt, some close family friend took over the counseling of the bride to be or the groom to be.  But the independent single family system has deprived such a privilege to modern couples.     Social thinkers and family psychologists recommend that each couple who has opted to get married and tie the knot should go through at least one session of premarital counseling. Couples may have specific needs in premarital counseling and therapy, such as following particular religious faith and culture, maintaining traditions of their family issues and the questions of sharing their personal world, privacy or possessions with another person and likewise, so  there could be many questions lurking about the future life.

51372915-happy-couple-in-love-datingWhat is premarital counselling? premarital counseling is advice and counseling imparted to a young couple (man and woman) who are about to get married   shortly. The counseling usually is imparted to the   couple together. But many a times individual counseling is also undertaken to  assist the individuals in removing many of  the myths, fears, misconceptions which could lead to conflicts in marriage later, if not handled at the individual level.  The premarital counseling   is facilitated by a qualified psychologist who has had the experience of dealing with marital and family problems for a long time.   The premarital counseling renders

  1. Help to the couples to identify those areas of conflict that could become problematic later on in their lives.
  1. Assist couples in developing understanding for the changed roles in their lives and the expected mutual adjustments expected from now on in their lives.
  2. Equip them with the skills to enjoy and pilot their way through a meaningful marriage successfully.
  3. To develop as responsible fun loving companions for each other and to the other family members.
  • A professional counselor   addressing the pre-marital counseling to the couple will make use of many kinds of assessment criterion to help the couple understand the rosy as well as bleak areas which could either make the marriage enjoyable journey or fill it up with   potential complications.  The psychologist will address some of the common areas given below at the time of premarital counseling:
  •  Male –female Sexuality and its implications /expectations in a married life.
  • Interests and Activities of a married couple and as individual entities
  • Role Expectations for both the partners
  • Personal Adjustment /accommodation for a successful marriage.
  • Interpersonal Communication and interfamily adjustments
  •  Culture,  Morality, Ethics,  Religion And Philosophy
  • Marriage Expectations and the changed life thereafter
  • Family Issues and mutual responsibility
  •  Finances- income- individual-shared
  • Personal growth, family growth, Children ,and Parenting

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