best marriage counselor in New Delhi Shivani Misri sadhoo

Tell-Tale Signs that Your Relationship Needs Counselling

When you hit the like button on your bestie’s ‘picture perfect relationship’ posts with her husband on social media and feel envious, just remember that those ‘oh-so-cute’ photos have been carefully curated, edited, and filtered just to garner attention and appreciation from friends, relatives, strangers, and acquaintances. However, in real life, there are no filters. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Relationships undergo a series of trials and tribulations. In any relationship, conflict is inevitable, but it is critical to recognize when it is a red flag. However, it is not the end of the world. Just like we consult a doctor when we fall sick, couples too can take help from relationship counsellors to save their relationship from falling apart.

Many times, couples feel embarrassed by the idea of seeking help and avoid seeing a therapist. But, believe it or not, couples counseling really helps. Even a healthy relationship can benefit from it. So, how do you know that your relationship needs counseling? Here are a few signs to look out for according to New Delhi’s leading marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo.

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  • Communication gap: Communication is the key to all successful relationships. In order to understand each other, couples need to communicate well. And always remember that communication is a two-way process. If you want yourself to be heard, you too must lend your ear whenever your partner wants to share their feelings and emotions. So, if you really feel that your partner constantly withdraws from an interaction or simply avoids confronting the issues, then this is a classic case of stonewalling. This is where a counselor may be able to break down the wall between you two and help with proper communication.
  • Lack of intimacy: Do you suddenly feel that your relationship has lost its spark? Although the honeymoon phase may not last forever, the feeling of togetherness must not fade away. Lack of physical and emotional intimacy can affect your relationship badly. Talking to a relationship counselor might help.
  • Too many arguments: As mentioned earlier in this article, arguments are an inevitable part of any relationship. Arguments are not necessarily bad. It is the way people handle them that makes a difference. Sometimes conflicts blow out of proportion. Couples must ‘agree to disagree’ to resolve a conflict in a healthy way. Relationship counselors can help you diffuse disagreements in a calm and composed way and make sure you respect and love each other.
  • Lack of trust: Trust is the cornerstone of a strong and successful relationship. Once broken, it is difficult to rebuild. Many times, couples fail to comprehend the real reason for this lack of trust. And that’s where a relationship expert comes into the picture. A counselor can help couples decode the real reasons for mistrust and help them rebuild it.
  • An Affair: No relationship is ever without flaws. But, if you or your partner are thinking of having or already having an affair, then there’s something seriously wrong with your relationship. The very thought of having an affair is a clear indication that you are seeking something your partner or better half cannot provide you with. This is regardless of whether it is an emotional or physical desire. If you have had an affair already or are planning to have one, then it is high time you consider taking help from a relationship counselor. This will help repair that breach of trust.
  • Transition: Even though change is the only constant in this life, any significant change in your life, whether it is getting married, having a child, buying a house, getting sick, or even changing careers, can create friction in relationships. Getting help from a counselor may be the best way to help you deal with change effectively.
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Three Common Mistakes Couples Make During Conflict

Let us assume a scenario, a couple sitting down at opposite ends of their sofa, and glaring at each other. Actually, this couple in their 40s had yet another fight. It is a continuation of something that started last night, but the reality was they had variations of the same row for the previous three years.

The complaints go on like “I have asked you to be kinder, but you speak to me with such contempt,” the husband says.

“But you are also doing things that upset me,” the wife counter-claimed. “What am I supposed to do?”

Shivani Sadhoo says, they are in gridlock and falling into three common mistakes made by couples with perpetual problems.

So what are these mistakes? Could knowing them transform your relationship? This is answered by India’s top marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo in this blog.

Mistake 1: “You change”

It is quite easy to have a long list of what your partner could do differently and a short list of your own. Probably yours is completely blank or full of hopeless ideas such as “give up.” Sadly, pointing out your partner’s shortcomings does not encourage change—merely defensiveness and counter-attack. Usually, it is encouraged that couples step into each other’s shoes and look at the world from there. However, once you reach gridlock, you are quite angry to make this leap of imagination.

Mistake 2: Protesting louder

If you cannot get through to your partner, you might wonder, why not raise the stakes? Probably they will finally understand and take you seriously. So, you shout louder, throw a bigger tantrum, or move from sniping to sarcasm and on to quite nasty name-calling. Other versions involve bringing in the opinions of other people to back you up and punishing your partner by refusing intimacy. Unfortunately, couples debate alternative narratives, forming a case against their partner.

Mistake 3: Flee and purse

At a certain point, one partner will check out. It might be walking away, internally shutting down, or people-pleasing (by which it means agreeing to anything for a quiet life but being filled with resentment or giving an empty apology to close down the argument). There are couples who simply beg their partners to stop. Not surprisingly, the other partner does not feel heard and fears nothing will ever transform. So they prevent the fleeing partner from leaving, following them to the next room or they rekindle the row a few moments later.

How to break the gridlock

Consider that both of you are correct. It is quite easy to fall into black-and-white concepts of right and wrong, win and defeat. Instead of this comparative approach, embrace something called contemplative thinking. In place of “yes but,” switch to “yes and,” which does not negate your spouse’s position. Once you accept that both are correct, you open up to creative solutions: “What can we do distinctly?”

Look deeper into the problem. Ask yourself, “What is this argument actually about?” If you both feel so strongly, it should be something important and that usually goes back to your childhood. So, tell each other what past trauma has been reactivated. If you require help with this, find a Gottman-trained therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo.

Stay in the cauldron of conflict longer. It is natural to look to exit conflict as equally as possible but it takes some time to go through. Do not put pressure on yourselves. It will generally take several discussions, perhaps, over several days. So learn to feel more comfortable having uncertainty and agree to keep talking.

Become vulnerable with each other. In place of showing your armored exterior, speak about what you find hard. Remember to use “I” statements. For instance: “I feel anxious” instead of “You make me feel anxious.”

Look for similarities and build on those. It is helpful to remind each one of what you agree on. For instance: “We both want the best for the children” or “We are both feeling quite overwhelmed.” If you address the better part of your spouse rather than attack their flaws, it is simpler to build cooperation.

Going through. Once you stop pushing your specific solution, another way will slowly arise. If you are still stuck, it might be that you need to return to the earlier steps and do some more talking and plenty of listening. When you both feel really understood, you will be ready to march forward.

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Reasons You and Your Special One Should Take that Romantic Getaway

Modern life has become so hectic that even 24 hours is not enough. Our brains are busier than ever before. Finding time for each other sounds like an impossible task. But, sometimes we need to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in order to reconnect with our significant other. The need of the hour is to spend some quality time together as a couple. And what could be more blissful than a romantic getaway far from the madding crowd? Let’s find out from Shivani Misri Sadhoo, India’s top marriage counsellor, how a romantic getaway can add magic to your relationship.

Makes your relationship stronger: Besides rejuvenating your soul, a romantic getaway makes you stronger as a couple. From hiking to scuba diving, and spa treatments to candlelit dinners, you spend time together from sunrise to sunset. This constant togetherness rekindles the spark and strengthens your relationship further.

Stress buster: Travelling together takes away all your worries. The change in environment makes you feel happier and healthier. With beautiful surroundings, your mind remains calm and composed. As a couple, you can savor these moments of peace and comfort. Studies reveal that regular romantic getaways improve your quality of life. The stress of your stressful days can be left behind, albeit temporarily.  

Renews intimacy: Romantic vacations bring two people closer. The bond of love and trust deepens. They get more comfortable with each other. This allows couples to confide in one another and become good friends. Spending time together in a romantic ambiance enhances emotional and physical intimacy in a relationship. It gives them the strength to handle tough situations together.

Know each other better: While traveling together you discover another side of your partner. You see your partner in a different light. Getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new places together simply helps you to know each other better. It develops mutual understanding, trust, and confidence.

Reduces conflicts: Travelling broadens your perspective. Romantic vacations give you the opportunity to accept and adjust to new circumstances where you learn the art of cooperation and coordination. This helps you to become a better problem solver. It reduces conflicts and disagreements.

Become happier: Taking time off from your busy schedule and traveling together helps to recharge your mood. By stepping away from their daily grind, their mind becomes stress-free. The mere act of planning a vacation together creates an environment of anticipation and excitement. This feeling of something to look forward to itself gives you a positive vibe. You feel happier as a couple.

Rekindles love: Sometimes romantic feelings fade away as life takes a roller coaster ride. Romantic trips can help you fall in love with each other once again by creating beautiful memories that you will cherish for a long time.

Takeaway

So, what are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and pack your bags for that much-awaited romantic vacation to come back home relaxed, recharged, and rejuvenated. 

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Signs that Strongly Indicate, Your Romance is Actually Over

According to Eminent Marriage Counselor Shivani Sadhoo

Studies confirm the truth that in romance, the end is mostly predictable. The evidence indicates that the strongest sign that a romance is over is certainly not what a partner says or does, but how he makes the other one feel.

In simple words, Shivani Sadhoo says, if you sense your partner has moved on emotionally, he/she probably has. Although he/she might still perform the relational bare minimum, like dutifully calling every day, a partner’s “quiet quitting” might be obvious in other ways, like through the choice to increasingly make plans alone or with others. While it is tempting to wonder if you are “simply too sensitive,” or assume you should have done something to prompt your partner to pull away, actions speak louder than words—and a partner’s behavior speaks high volumes.

Lack of intimacy predicts a breakup

A top university investigated the connection between a lack of intimacy and the likelihood of relationship dissolution. They found that partners who perceived lower levels of reward in their relationship were more prone to head for a breakup. They found this effect was significant even post-controlling for relationship satisfaction and attachment insecurity.

Operationalizing reward in a manner that captures various features of intimacy like connection, love, and self-disclosure, the findings of the study validate the importance of intimacy within a romantic relationship, confirming previous findings that intimate connection is one of the core reasons people stay in a relationship. They also noticed that because there might be a difference in the extent to which a person values intimacy or considers it a “reward,” there might also be a difference in the reward’s predictive power for a breakup. They report that their exploratory analyses yielded assistance for this possibility by showcasing that reward did not predict breakup as strongly for those people who place less value on intimacy.

India’s top marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares some points that will help you to recognize the signs that the end is near in this blog.

Taking note of the presence or absence of the features of intimacy noted in the study like connection, love, and self-disclosure, could make it easier to observe when your partner is disengaging. Here are a few signs to look for.

Building up boundaries

Some partners start to withdraw by forming walls instead of bridges. This might occur physically, like when a partner seeks to spend more time in a different room, or emotionally, through reduced information sharing. However, it is manifest, forming boundaries is a roadblock to relational development, showcasing the beginning of a future apart.

Withdrawing affection

If your partner has lost interest in getting intimate and doing romance, you most probably want to know why. Barring significant life alterations like a cancer diagnosis, or the loss of a job or loved one, which could be associated with withdrawal and depression, withdrawing affection is mostly a sign that the relationship is faltering.

Looking for socialization

A partner who is cascading towards meeting new people or attending events solo might be showing a preference for singlehood. You can respectfully seek the queries into the reasons or rationale for the change in preference, but consider whether there would ever be an acceptable answer to the desire to spend time socializing without you.

Starting a new chapter

If your relationship does come to an end, bear in mind that a failed relationship is not the end of the world; rather, it might be the beginning of a fresh chapter in your life. There is nothing about romantic rejection that defines you; breakups happen to several people at some point, and various breakups have more to do with the partner who prompts the dissolution. If a breakup was actually, provoked by your behavior, you can learn from it and march on, stronger and wiser.

Ways to Bolster Your Marriage and Avoid Divorce

Ways to Bolster Your Marriage and Avoid Divorce?

Shares India’s Leading Couples Therapist and Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo

If marriages are truly made in heaven, then why are divorce rates increasing globally? Is it because of the pandemic or should we blame the 7-year itch? Whatever the reason, divorce is not a solution because problems do not disappear after a divorce. Nowadays, people have become accustomed to everything being disposable. We keep changing our gadgets, our jobs, and even our life partners. Many couples feel divorce is the only way of getting out of the routine. However, that is not true because even if you feel that your marriage is on the edge of collapsing, it is within the realm of repair.

So, if you’re wondering exactly what you should be doing to bolster your marriage and avoid divorce, scroll down to read a few ways suggested by Delhi’s top marriage counsellor, Shivani Misri Sadhoo.

Expectations must be realistic: We feel upset when our expectations remain unfulfilled. Usually, marriages fail when partners cannot fulfil one another’s needs, leading to disappointments and disagreements, and in most cases, divorce. Learn to burn your resentments. Instead, sit and discuss which of the expectations are realistic enough to be fulfilled and what kind of adjustments can make things better.

Communicate daily: Proper communication will foster emotional intimacy that will strengthen the relationship further.

No secrets: Transparency is the best policy when it comes to any relationship. Let your better half know all about you—your ambitions and aspirations, your deep concerns, and your deep fears without invading your privacy. Being transparent builds trust and fosters intimacy and a sense of security in a relationship.

Laugh with each other: Love can keep a couple together, but shared laughter strengthens the bond between the two. Laughing and giggling with your partner helps to overcome stress and conflicts in a relationship thereby making it stronger. Laughter is indeed the best medicine.

Money matters: While it is true that money isn’t everything, yet one of the main reasons for divorce today, is related to finance. Couples must share their financial expectations to strengthen their marriage. Whether it is sharing your debt and credit status or combining of finances, you must be aware of each other’s financial goals.

Show kindness and respect: Mutual respect is one of the cornerstones of all successful marriages. Be kind and considerate towards each other. Marriage is all about the little things. Small gestures of love and appreciation add a whole new dimension to your relationship. Consider picking up her favorite coffee table book or flowers from the store. Use the golden words—pleasesorry, and thank you frequently.

Bottom line

Marriage is all about sharing and caring. A marriage is built day by day and brick by brick, just as Rome was not built in a day. A lot of work goes into living “happily ever after”. So, keep investing in your relationship and make the right changes that will bring sunshine to your life.

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Myths About Relationships, that You Should Stop Following Immediately

Suggests Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the plethora of “quick fix” relationship advice offered by various books, magazines, blogs, and daytime TV talk shows? Though there is no doubt it is presented with good intent, much of this advice is terribly contradictory. Such as a quick-fix weight loss program, it abandons any effort to support hypotheses with research, basing guidance rather on personal opinion and anecdotal evidence.

Probably, the most prominent quick-fix advice is that communication – and more categorically, learning to resolve your conflicts – is the key to romance and an enduring, happy relationship. This notion is a myth, and it is hardly the only misconception out there. Myths are destructive to your relationship because they can lead couples down the wrong way, or worse, convince them that their relationship is a hopeless scenario, says Shivani Sadhoo.

Through this blog, leading marriage counsellor and couples therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo talks about the most common myths about relationships.

Communicating and employing active listening skills in trying to reach conflict resolution will save your relationship

While active listening is surely a useful skill, it alone cannot save your relationship. As Dr. Gottman points out, “even happily married couples can have screaming matches – loud arguments don’t necessarily doom a marriage.” We all have our disagreements, in a range of different ways. So go ahead, break all those active listening rules! Bear in mind your affection and respect for each other, and remember that using a softened startup when bringing up a problem can override natural variations in conflict style.

Neuroses or personality issues ruin a marriage

Everyone has issues they are not totally rational about, but they do not necessarily interfere with our relationships. The secret to a happy relationship is not having a “normal” personality but finding someone with whom you mesh. For instance, a person has a problem dealing with authority – he hates having a boss. If he were in a relationship having an authoritarian partner who tended to give commands and looked to tell him what to do, the outcome would be disastrous. The point is that neuroses do not have to ruin a relationship. What matters is the way you deal with them. If you can accommodate each other’s strange aspects with care, affection, and respect, your relationship can thrive.

Common interests bind you together

It depends on the way you can interact while pursuing those interests. Imagine that you and your partner are walking hand in hand inside your favorite used book store, smelling that old book smell, coffee in hand, headed for the “Literature” section. Romance is in the air. But wait! Just around the corner in “Politics,” a couple seems to be having an argument! Books are flying and tempers are flaring. “You stupid! He will never get sufficient electoral votes!” Clearly, enjoying the same activities could create an incredibly strong bonding between you and your partner, but these activities could also be a source of tension, depending on the way you interact while pursuing your common interests.

You scratch my back and…

It looks to make sense that deals must be made in order to maintain a sense of fairness and balance and that in romance a kiss must meet a kiss and a smile meet a smile. In reality, deal-making and contracts, quid pro quo, mostly are done in unhappy marriages. Do not keep score. Build bonding and strengthen your relationship by freely providing each other with positive overtures and support.

Dodging conflict will ruin your marriage

Everyone has separate methods of dealing with disagreements. A continuous barrage of honest criticism, for instance, might not be the best policy. An example here is when you head to the living room to watch the game, rather than getting in a tiff with you about the noise and constant TV watching, your wife goes for a run and comes back feeling better. When you are upset with your wife, you go into the backyard to play catch with your kids. Each of you finds a way to self-soothe, and both of you go on as if nothing happened. Finding a middle path that you both can agree on can let you talk things out when you truly need to while averting clashes over every trivial matter.

Affairs are the primary cause of divorce

In several cases, it is the other way around. According to a project it was found that around 80% of divorced men and women cited growing apart and loss of a sense of closeness to their partner as reasons for divorce, as opposed to just 20-27% blaming their separation on an extramarital affair. The reality is that most affairs are not started in an attempt to quench an unfulfilled desire for physical intimacy, but rather in an attempt to find friendship, support, attention, caring, concern, and respect beyond a relationship that feels lacking in these qualities.

Men are not biologically, “created” for marriage

Specific, theorists call upon natural evolutionary differences between males and females to argue that men have always been predisposed to have as many offspring as they can and follow successful reproduction with one female with a fast sprint to the next available, while women are inclined to nurture their young and look to keep the father close for protection. The conclusion they had is that men are just biologically more likely to have affairs. This is, in modern times, not a particularly worthy or accurate observation. It has been found out that affairs have to do with the availability of potential partners. According to one theorist, since women have entered the workplace in huge numbers, the number of extramarital affairs of young women now slightly exceeds that of men.

Men and women hail from different planets

You have all heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. This specific notion you may dispose of easily. Here is math for you. Dr. Gottman says that “the deciding factor in whether wives feel satisfied with the physical intimacy, romance, and passion in their marriage is, by around 70%, the quality of the couple’s friendship… and for men, the deciding factor is, by 70%, the quality of the couple’s friendship, so men and women come from the same planet after all.”

Best Marriage Counselor in India_Shivani Misri Sadhoo

6 Types of Romantic Relationships and How to Define Yours

Nowadays, people use the word “relationship” so much that it is mostly assumed to have one universal definition. In reality, though, the word encompasses such a huge variety of kinds of human connections, both romantic and non-romantic, and it is likely that no two people share the exact same kind of understanding of what defines a relationship. So, here’s a cheat sheet of the basics.

A relationship is any sort of association or bond between people, whether intimate, platonic, positive, or negative, says Shivani Sadhoo.  Generally, when people talk about “being in a relationship,” the term is referencing a particular type of romantic relationship involving both emotional and physical intimacy, some level of ongoing commitment, and monogamy (i.e., romantic and sexual exclusivity, wherein members do not have this sort of relationship with anyone else). That said, romantic relationships can take several different forms, from marriage to casual dating to ethical non-monogamy.

There are 4 basic forms of relationships, they are family, friendships, acquaintanceships and romantic. Few more forms of relationships are work, teacher/pupil, and community or group relationships. A few of them may overlap and coincide with each one. For instance, two individuals can be both colleagues as well as close friends.

But, here what India’s top marriage counselor and relationship expert Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares is about the types of romantic relationships and how to define yours. So, here it goes.

Dating

Dating is the act of intentionally spending time with a person to get to know them better, have fun together, and enjoy being romantic. Dating could sometimes be about seeing if there’s probability of a more long-term relationship, or it can merely be about having fun without expectations for the future, which is at times called casual dating.

Not everyone agrees on what stage of commitment is implied when two individuals say they’re “dating.” Some people just use the term when there is already a defined, committed relationship in place, while others use the term to mean they are just exploring to see if there’s relationship potential.

Committed

In the context of couples, the terms “in a relationship” generally means being in a committed, long-term romantic relationship. A committed relationship is one where two people agree to continue being in a relationship for the foreseeable future. There is an understanding that the two will continue to spend time together, work on enhancing their relationship with each other, and continue nurturing their bond. People in committed relationships might choose to use identifiers such as a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner to signify their relationship to others.

In traditional monogamous relationships, being in a relationship also means that a couple will be romantically and sexually exclusive—that is, they would not have any other romantic or sexual partners other than each other. In non-monogamous relationships, exclusivity isn’t needed

Marriage is one form of committed relationship wherein a couple publicly vows to live together and forms a legally binding union.

Casual relationship

A casual relationship is the one where two individuals may be dating, regularly spending time together, and engaging in romantic or sexual activities—but sans any expectations for the relationship to last into the future. These sorts of relationships are generally, more situational and short-term, and they might or might not be exclusive.

People in casual relationships generally do like each other and are attracted to each other, though there might not be an intense emotional bond or desire to deepen the connection. Whereas people in committed relationships might see each other as life partners, people in casual relationships might not be as integrated into each other’s lives. They typically will not use terms like boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner.

Casual intimate relationship

This relationship is one where two individuals spend time together majorly to have physical intimacy with each other. They may see each other regularly getting physically intimate, or they might get physically intimate once and never see each other again. They perhaps like each other and enjoy each other’s company, but they are not interested in a romantic union with each other. Usually, there is no emotional connection, or the connection is distinctly platonic or friendly, like in a “friends with benefits” situation.

Situationship

A situationship is a romantic relationship that has not been explicitly defined, normally by omission. The relationship might have several of the same qualities as a committed relationship, a casual relationship, or dating, but the people involved have merely not put labels on it—usually intentionally, whether that is to avoid making things complicated, because they are still figuring out what they want from each other, or because they are too afraid to bring up the “DTR talk”  (conversation defining the relationship).

Normally, situationships usually have more emotional involvement than a friends-with-benefits scenario but not the explicit romantic feelings and commitment of a committed relationship.

While relationships sans labels work great for some people, situationships can mostly happen because the two people are not on the same page about what they want or because there is an assumption that the relationship would be short-term enough for it not to matter.

Ethical non-monogamy

Ethical non-monogamy is a wide umbrella term for any relationship where individuals can have multiple romantic and sexual partners at the same time. It includes polyamory, open relationships, relationship anarchy, and several other types of relationships between more than two individuals. Ethically non-monogamous relationships can be casual, committed, open, exclusive, dating or sex-only, or some combination of these categories, and people in these sort of relationships might or may not use terms such as boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner to describe each other.

However according to psychology there are 7 kinds of relationships

·       Infatuation: just passion

·       Friendship: only intimacy

·       Empty love: commitment solely

·       Romantic love: passion and intimacy

·       Fatuous love: passion and commitment

·       Companionate love: intimacy with commitment

·       Consummate love: passion, intimacy with commitment

How to define your relationship

When it comes to dating, romantic relationships, and sex, it is essential for partners to be transparent about what form of relationship they want and to ensure they are on the same page.

Here are a few things to ask each other to define the relationship:

a)       What do you want from this relationship? Something casual, in-the-moment? Something more future-based? Not certain yet and simply want to explore for now?

b)      Are you looking for a long-term relationship? If yes, do you see potential here?

c)       Are you seeing another person?

d)      Are there any romantic feelings here? Are both interested in exploring those feelings, or just want to keep things more casual?

e)      How frequently do you both want to talk and see each other?

Well, these questions could feel intimidating or too serious, looking to avoid these questions means you’re simply choosing to make assumptions rather than seeking the truth.

People form commitments and expectations even sans labels. Not talking about the terms of your relationship does truly not mean you don’t have one.

And bear in mind, that defining the relationship does not mandatorily mean you need to enter into a serious or committed relationship. Defining the relationship is just about clarity.

Some people might choose not to label their relationship because they are afraid of being tied down too early or in a place where they feel trapped. However, one needs to understand that you maintain complete autonomy of yourself in every relationship you are in, and you are the one who is responsible for communicating what you require, what you want, and what you do not want. So, if you feel you are at a place where you cannot do not wish to date one person exclusively, that must be communicated to your partner so that he/she can make a decision about whether that works for them or not.

The 5 Different Stages of A Relationship Every Couple Goes Through

As Revealed by India’s Eminent Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo

You have perhaps fallen in love at least once in your life. As you grow older, you come to the realization that falling in love is actually the easiest part. It is being in a relationship that can be quite challenging.

Marriage counselor Shivani Sadhoo says, relationships are not always easy. In fact, it takes a lot of work to cultivate them.

But this is the way love grows and lasts. So how do you make sure that you start your romantic relationships on the right note?

While each relationship is unique in its own way, there are generally 5 stages every couple goes through. It does not matter how you met or what your goals in the relationship are.

You will pass through each of these stages.

And how you manage them will define the shape — or the end result — of your relationship.

Understanding these stages as they occur can help you better navigate your way into a long-lasting and loving partnership as explained by India’s top marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo in this blog.

The 5 stages of a relationship

·       Attraction and romance

·       Crisis stage

·       Working stage

·       Commitment stage

·       True love/bliss stage

Every stage is a challenge on its own. Actually, the first two stages mostly prove to be the most challenging to every couple.

Let’s dive deeper into the 5 stages of a relationship.

The attraction and romance stage

This is what movies are all made of. In the initial stage of a relationship, you are in complete euphoria.

You are falling in love, and nothing could go wrong. Everything is just perfect – right from your first kiss to that energy you feel around them. They cannot do anything wrong, and you can never find any flaw in them. In fact, you go around your day in continuous high thinking about this person. And in a manner, you are actually high. Strong levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and even oxytocin are all released into your brain when you are attracted to someone. These chemicals force you to feel giddy and euphoric.

Your loss in appetite, and insomnia, all side effects of this little chemical haywire. This feeling can last from a couple of months to a couple of years. You better enjoy this phase while you can, because the next stages are where things turn real.

Crisis stage

As it has been mentioned before, couples have a difficult time going through the first two stages of a relationship. This is because of the difference between the Attraction Stage and the Crisis Stage.

In the first few months of a relationship, everything appears to be going exceptionally well. However, the dopamine in our system eventually trickles out, and one begins seeing things more clearly. Your love glasses are removed. You begin becoming comfortable with each other, and things are becoming all too real. You see the toilet seat up one too many times, or they said something improper to your friends. The crisis stage is where your first arguments and relationship anxiety takes place.

Most couples will go through this stage and sadly, will actually break up. Suddenly, the other person seems too annoying or it’s a one-sided relationship. And one of you may be having cold feet. Are you truly compatible? The crisis stage is where your mettle as a couple will get tested. You are suddenly struggling for power and searching for harmony at the same time.

Working stage

So you eventually conquered the crisis stage. Whoa!

You have clawed your way out of the hole, and now you find yourself in perfect harmony. You have formed a routine as a couple. Someone cooks and the other partner does the dishes. Everything is calm, and you see yourself in love with this person — in the manner that counts.

Commitment stage

You decide to be together. Even when the going gets tough. Even when it may be difficult sometimes. You recognize that your partner is a completely other person with their own set of flaws, dreams, goals, desires, and needs. But you choose them anyway. This is what the commitment stage is all about. It is all about consciously deciding that this individual is the one for you. You may think the working stage was good, but the commitment stage is where you genuinely feel like you belong to this person.

This is generally, when couples take big steps in committing to each other – moving in, marriage, or having kids.

Real love/bliss stage

This is it. This is what everything you did was for. All the sweat, hard work, blood, and tears have brought you here. Finally, you are a team. Your relationship is no more the center of your world. Rather, you go outside of your relationship and make something beautiful. The real love or bliss stage is where couples work together on an ultimate goal or project.

This could be anything creative that means a lot to both of you, or something practical such as your dream home. But to several couples, it is about starting a family. And although there are continuous challenges that will test you, you have all the things you need to make it through. You have learned from your past mistakes. You remember the good times fondly and the bad times make you realize it was all worth it after all.

The takeaway

Relationships are a journey. But so is anything else in our life. True love is not something that simply gets handed to you. And these 5 stages prove just that.

It is important to know which stage you are in so that you will know how to get through it. If you see yourselves in a loop, repeatedly arguing about the same things, then you are probably still in the crisis Stage.

Concentrate on communicating better. If you are feeling stagnant, where everything looks fine, but it feels like you are not moving anywhere, then you are most likely in the working stage. Find out your next goals as a couple.

Eventually, being aware of where you are as a couple is the key to moving ahead.

tips for Rough Patches in a Relationship

5 Ways to Sail Through Rough Patches in a Relationship

As Suggested by Couples Therapist Therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo

When a train passes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineman.  Life is not always about roses and rainbows or chocolates and candies. There are good times and bad times. Good relationships and bad relationships. You just need to stay strong and have faith; things will work out slowly.

Has your partner left you confused lately? Do you feel unloved or unwanted? Have you stopped listening to each other? Do you keep arguing over petty issues? Stop burying your head in the sand and pretending that everything is alright.

It is an alarming time that you address these issues. Let us find out the ways to deal with a rough patch in your relationship as suggested by Delhi’s top marriage counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo.

Walking down memory lane: Remembering the good old days can bring back that spark in your relationship. Flipping through the pages of an old album or scrolling through your social media photos can add positivity to your relationship.

Break the silence: Silence is not always golden. Communicate with each other. Discuss your problems. Communication is effective only when both the speaker and listener cooperate with each other. Both partners need to listen, understand and respect each other’s point of view. Only then will this problem be solved.

Learn to forgive: Let bygones be bygones! Research suggests that the act of forgiveness can improve your mental and physical well-being. Isn’t that good news? While it is not easy to let go of past grudges and bitterness, forgiveness can act as a healing balm for your wounded relationship. We must always remember that;

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’

Spend more quality time together: Make a ‘couple’s bucket list. Do things that may or may not excite you but make sure you do it together. Plan secret dates for each other. Go for long walks. The more time you spend together, the closer you will get to each other and this will help you understand each other better.

It takes two people to make or break a relationship: It takes two to make a relationship work. No matter how much you try to be good, your partner will have to put in equal effort to make the relationship work. Love is not solely about finding a good partner. It is also about you, being a good partner.

Sometimes conflict also gives you the opportunity to understand, appreciate and embrace differences. So, whatever happens, don’t give up. Make sure that you give your heart to the same person every time.

5 Common Tactics People Use to Hide Their Affairs

Infidelity in romantic relationships is surprisingly quite common. Sure, some partners may use infidelity as an exit strategy, eventually wanting their partner to know so that their partner initiates a breakup.

While for some, however, hiding infidelity is a top priority. They want to keep their primary relationship partner. They also want to keep their extra-dyadic partner(s). The price of losing their primary relationship, in these cases, is quite high, so they turn to the hard task of hiding their infidelity, says Shivani Sadhoo.

People differ in how creative they are in hiding infidelity, and how much energy they put into stopping their primary partner from finding out their unfaithfulness.

India’s top couples therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo cites some of the most common to least common tactics that a person might engage in, in order to hide their affairs.

Be discreet

The most commonly endorsed method to keeping an affair quiet is to be intentional about communications and meetings, to limit any scopes of being discovered.

Behave in the same manner as usual

Unusual behaviors might tip off a primary partner, so unfaithful partners will pay attention and bring their usual self to their interactions with their partner. No matter their usual way of interaction (for instance, as complainers, comedians, helpers, or cheerleaders), they keep that way going after their affair starts. By keeping their couple dynamic the same, they work to eradicate suspicion.

Restrict contact with the extra-dyadic partner

In place of seeing an extra-dyadic partner frequently, a person who wants to maintain their primary relationship (even as they wish to continue their affair) will willingly limit how often they meet up with their extra-dyadic partner. As a ploy of being discreet, attention to frequency lowers the likelihood of discovery.

Pay more attention to their primary partner

A presumed way to distract a primary partner so that they do not become suspicious is to shower them with interest, love, and attention. Being warmer and a lot more generous, for instance, are strategies partners may use to hide an affair.

Lock all technology

Solid evidence of a partner’s affair would not be difficult to come by with all of the recorded communications one relies on today (texting, emailing). Partners who do not delete, or who do delete but want additional safeguards, may make sure, and quite intentionally, lock their devices. Changing passwords, signing out of their social media—these sorts of behaviors are strategies to decrease the primary partner’s awareness.

A person usually knows his/her romantic partners quite well, and he/she, you. On account of this intimacy, unfaithful partners probably have an edge in covering their tracks. They may know which strategies and accompanying mechanisms are more important to use, and which may come off as artificial, suspicious, or alarming to their particular partner. In simple words, they can cater their deception to their primary partner.