Category: Couples

Couples Issues: Kids

Marriage Counseling for issues with kids. Photo credit
Couples Issues: Kids


Marriage Counseling is helpful to any struggling relationship. This is a series of articles that will describe the top issues that people in relationships struggle with. It is common to continue arguing about the same topic until the issue is resolved. Marriage Counseling offers a safe and encouraging environment to work on those issues.

Starting a Family

You decide to start a family or maybe it just happened without being planned. No matter how it starts, bringing a child into the world provides a family with great joy. It is a beautiful time for the couple. However, it also presents challenges that can affect the relationship. Handle your partner’s feelings with care during the challenging times.

Main issues couples face

There are some issues that tend to be common to couples with children. Here are some of those issues:

Division of labor aka Who does what

Mostly important with younger children but continues to be a struggle for some couples. You feel that you are doing more than your partner or your partner complains of doing more than you, for the kids. It is important to have the conversation and divide labor in a way that makes sense to both.

Differences in opinion about raising children

Couples can have differing opinions about how they want to raise their children and this is the most difficult to face. There are so many decisions to make from the moment you find out you are expecting. There are decisions to be made about so many things, from the items you will purchase to the type of delivery to the feeding methods. It is so complicated to be responsible for another human’s life. It is best to approach it as a team and discuss the options togeher. However, this issue continues even when the child grows regarding discipline, schools, food, etc. There are so many aspects of raising a child that it is important to have a strong team and very strong communication through the process.

Talking about issues when there is hunger involved or lack of sleep

Young children make it difficult to take care of yourself because you focus most of your energy in caring for the child. However, if you do not take care of yourself it is difficult to care for others. It is difficult for parents to get their needs met. If you are hungry or tired, choose a different time to discuss important issues or it may be helpful to apologize for your behaviors after. Or, try not to judge your parnter when they are hungry and sleep deprived.

How to improve your relationship

Tips to improve your relationship. Children do not have to be the demise of your relationship. Here are a few tips that can help you to improve your relationship after children.

Preparing emotionally for becoming parents

This is the best time to strengthen the communication with your partner. This might be a good time to start counseling to iron out any issues that are currently affecting the relationship, before the child arrives. There are also parenting classes that are offered after the child is born and is a good place to receive support from your community. The Burbank Parent Education Program offers great opportunities for parents.

Communicate with your partner about your feelings

Talk with your partner about how you feel. Communicate with your partner about what you need from them. Express  how you can be a better team and family. The stronger your communication and relationship is, the more healthy it is for your children. Focus on communication with your partner. They need to know what you are going through so that they are able to understand fully. Having these discussions can really save your relationship. Talking also gives you a chance to show your partner that you care. Marriage Counseling can be a good place to start if you are not used to communicating with your partner.

Be gentle when discussing child’s needs

When discussing your child’s needs with your partner, it is important to be gentle with eachother. Remember that you are on the same team. Your partner cares deeply about you and wants to help. Be gentle when you speak to each other. It is the most healthy if your child can see you talking to each other in a loving way.

Focus on Relationship (Not just the children)

Children do better when their parent’s relationship is doing well. You don’t have to be the helicopter parent. Focusing on your relationship is actually good for your kid’s wellbeing physcially and emotionally. Spending time nurturing your relationship can provide your child with the examples he needs to be emotionally healthy. You also provide relationships tools with your example.

Marriage Counseling

Some people struggle with seeing the causes of their issues and having a third party present to help them communicate with love and care is a huge benefit to any new family. Marriage Counseling can help you improve your communication with your spouse so that you can have a stronger family system.

Wendy Salazar is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the city of Burbank. Please contact with furhter questions or to schedule an appointment

Couples Issues: Money

Counseling Couples
Money Issues

Couples Therapy is helpful to any struggling relationship. This is a series of articles that will describe the top issues that people in relationships struggle with. It is common to continue arguing about the same topic until the issue is resolved. Couples therapy offers a safe and encouraging environment to work on those issues.

Most Common Money Pitfalls

Not Realizing your own money issues $$

You may not realize that you have money issues of your own and this is one of the most common things that people struggle with. Many believe that if the topic of money doesn’t come up in their relationship, it is not a problem. This may be very from the truth. It is commong to avoid conversations that we are not comfortable with and many people early on in a relationship refuse to discuss money.

Small secrets are not a big deal

You might think that it is not important to discuss where your money goes, with your partner. You earned the money with your hard work and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. If you choose to be in a relationship and you have goals with your partner regarding buying a home, travel and raising children, then it is their business and secrets can cause ongoing arguments. If you are supposed to be saving for a romantic vacation but instead you are splurging on shopping sprees or fancy dinners, it becomes a problem.

Thinking that it’s not possible to compromise

Even in situations with extremely differing spending habits, you can find a middle ground. Having coversations with your partner about money and trying to find a middle ground is important. Even if one person has a spending problem and the other loves to save, it is important to find the middle and compromise with your partner.

Confusing spending habits with character traits

Discuss the money issues as exactly what they are, a habit that can be changed. A person that over spends is not necessarily to be described as selfish or careless. People often do not learn good money and saving patterns at home and then develop careless spending habits. This does not mean that the person is completely careless. It is important to address the spending habits as spending habits without attacking the character.


If you resent your partner for the money they make or the way they make their money, this applies to you. You might think that you work hard and don’t make as much as your partner. Or that they don’t work as hard as you do and make more. This is a common thought even in strong relationships. You think that your debt is higher than your partner or how easy it is for them to  save. Acknowledge what you are feeling so that you can address it. Do not let this destroy your relationship.

How to fix it

There are steps that you can take today to help you start working on improving your relationship with money and with your partner.

Work on your Finances

Whether you are in a relationship or not, it is always a good time to start working on improving your relationship with money. Speaking with a financial advisor can help you get started with managing your money issues. Maybe you need to figure out what your money issues are because you know you have an unhealthy relationship with money. Start working on that today. Here is a guideline to find someone to help click here.

Be Aware: Money Problems are not about money

Issues with money are not about the money but about reaching goals and dreams. Money issues are not meant to be a personal matter in your relationship. Find out if your goals match with your partner. Ensure that you have mutual goals and work on those goals together. Goals include, buying a home, raising children, taking exotic vacations. These are things that people need money for and you need to save in order to accomplish these goals. Make sure your goals match.

Talk about Money

I know that talking about money is not anoyone’s idea of sexy talk. Even yet, talk about each other’s goals and dreams early on in the relationship and find out how you will work together to reach those goals. You want to further your career by going to school and money is needed for that which causes you to work less. These are important conversations to have.  Talk to your partner today about your goals and make a plan to reach those goals.

Be Prepared

The moment you decide to sit down ant talk about money, make sure you are prepared to share your money history as well as your current situation. Be prepared to discuss a plan to improve finances. Be open to suggestions, especially if your partner is good at saving.

No Judgement Zone

Do not start the conversation by judging your partner. Money is a sensitive subject and already difficult to talk about. If you want to start a healthy relationship with your partner and money, do not judge. Also, your partner will be more honest with you about money issues if you do not judge them. It is healthy to start a conversation with no judgement.

Work as a team

Your relationship is made up of a team, treat your partner that way. You are on the same side and have mutual goals, therefore, it is important to treat your partner that way. Talk about your finances in an open and honest manner. Furthermore, if you want a future with your partner, it is a good habit to start.

Always be Honest

Honesty really is the best policy, when you are talking about money. If you know you have a problem with spending and saving, be honest with your partner. Being that your partner cares about you, they will be there for you and it is important to stay honest about spending and saving. Your partner needs to know that they can trust you with everything, including their money.

Counseling Couples

If you find that after reading this article you are still having trouble bringing up these topics with your partner, it is a good idea to seek help. A couples counselor can help provide a safe environment to discuss the important topics that are difficult to bring up on your own. Find a therapist near you that can help with this.


Wendy Salazar is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the city of Burbank. Please contact with furhter questions or to schedule an appointment

Couples Issues: Sex

Couples therapy
Sex Issues

Problems in Relationship

Couples Therapy is very important for couples that are struggling in their relationship. This is a series of articles that will describe the top issues that people struggle with. The issues faced in a relationship will tend to keep coming up until they are addressed. Couples therapy is a great way to address the main issues.

Why Sex is an issue

Many couples struggle with sex and it appears to be a topic of arguments. The reasons are described below:

Difficulty with Orgasms

Some women experience issues with orgasms and this is something that can get in the way of the couple’s sexual intimacy. It is recommended that you seek professional help, in this case it may help to receive a medical evaluation to rule out any medical condition. In this situation, a specialized sex therapist would be the most helpful.

Sexual incompatability

Sexual desires that do not match. Men and women are not always the same when it comes to sexual desires and it is important to find someone that is a good match for you. This becomes an issue when one has a low sexual desire and the other has a high sexual desire. Therapy can help both to rule out any issues regarding sexual desire. The best situation would be that both people in the relationship have  a compatible sexual desire.

Performance Issues

It is common to experience performance issues, this is an issue that men encounter. Again, in this situation it is important to receive a medical evaluation to rule out medical issues. Seeing a therapist can also help to find out if anxiety or other conditions can be causing performance issues.

One person wants to spice up sex life but other is complacent.

This issue is similar to the sexual incompatability but it has some differences. It is possible that both have the same sexual desire but one is complacent with the way it goes and the other wants to try different things. Seek help with learning to communicate wants and needs in the relationship. A couples therapist can help with imrpoving the communication regarding the needs of each person.

Sex after a baby

This is another common issue that couples struggle with regarding sex. A new baby is a great blessing and creates a new special journey for the coupls, however, change keeps new parents busy which can get in the way of spending time with each other. It is important to re-establish the intimacy and connection with your partner after a baby. Increasing communicationg during this delicate time is crucial. Couples Therapy is very helpful with this issue. It is recommended to wait to be cleared by your medical provider before continuing with this.

Wanting emotional connection

Getting caught in a routine of work and evening activities can get in the way of connecting with your partner. People become more distant emotionally and for some, it is difficult to initiate sexual desire, when he/she does not feel connected. Relationships are a living thing and need to be nurtured like you would any other living thing. It is important to make time to communicate and connect with your partner. Seeking counseling can help people connect emotionally.

Chronic Illness

People that struggle with chronic medical conditions. Get evaluated by a physician to ensure abilty to perform with out affecting illness. There are also other issues that arise due to illness that directly affect sexual functioning. It is important to increase communication with your partner. Strong communication with a health care provider is crucial as well. Couples counseling helps couples struggling with issue.

How to solve issue

It is important to seek help from a trained professional in order to address these issues. Couples therapy is one option to receive help. Be open to try different things with your partner. Communicate with your partner about each other’s needs. If the issues are specific to sex, find a Sex therapist to help with those specific concerns.

Couples Therapy

If the issues is specific to help then it is best to seek  help from a therapist that has had specified training in that topic. Calling a certified sex therapist will help with the specific issues regarding sex.

If you have issues of intimacy with your partner or built up resentment, then it may be best to seek help from a Couples Counselor which can be a PhD, PsyD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist or Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Wendy Salazar is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the city of Burbank. Please contact with furhter questions or to schedule an appointment

Love in the time of Technology

Love In the Time of Technology

Relationship problems, technology, couples, love
Love in the time of Technology

Relationship between Technology and Love

Technology has been a great tool to help optimize business. There are many benefits that technology offers to everyone in certain areas of their life. Love, is not one of the areas that benefits from technology. Some may say that single people still benefit from finding people using social media. Electronics can become an issue for established relationships. As I observe people out and about with their partners, I often find people that are sitting or walking next to each other but they appear to be too distracted by their phones. Distracted people are unable to enjoy the moment that is happening right in front of them. This can make the interaction difficult for both people involved.

How Technology grabs attention

Technology is fun, new and interesting. From the begining of time, computer software developers have done a great job at creating software that people are attracted to. Currently, it is possible to have access to anything and everything from your fingertips. Information comes with ease to all people because computers are no longer required to be pulled into technology. Most people have a smart phone, with apps and internet access everywhere they go. This creates a constant pull towards the phone. This is a problem because people then spend less quality time with the people around them, including the person they love. Being constantly on your phone leaves less quality time to focus on the present moment interactions. There is more information about this in the book Irresistible

Problems in Relationships

It is true that some relationships carry other issues. Issues can become aggravated by being constantly in second place to someone’s phone. Oftentimes, people are already feeling upset, or resentful towards their partner. Constantly being on the phone adds a safety barrier that stops issues from being addressed in a healthy manner.  It is important to treat your partner with respect, love and compassion. To solve the issues in the relationship from the root, you need to dig deeper and find a more intimate connection. In order to connect to a human being it is important to put the phone/computer/tablet down and talk. To learn more about overcoming issues in relationships you can read Love is Never Enough.

What to do next?

There are some steps you can take to help you start improving your relationship if you feel that this article describes your situation.

  1. Look at eachother in the eye and talk face to face when an issue arises. Do not wait until the problem is bigger to talk about it. Talk about it early on and be compassionate with your partner. Waiting can cause emotional explosions.
  2. Create No Phone Zones or No Phone Times. Having a designated time or place that is free of electronics can help create a safe place where you can be intimate and talk with nothing to get in the way.
  3. Have dates with no electronics allowed. This is similar to the no phone time or zone but it is an aggreement where you know you will be out with your partner and both agree to be free of electronics.
  4. Get Help. If you feel like the issues you have encountered are overwhelming and these tips do not help call someone that may be able to help. There are couples counselors that are waiting to help people come closer together.

Wendy Salazar is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the city of Burbank. Please contact with furhter questions or to schedule an appointmentcontact me.


Couples Counseling

Couples Counseling
Couples Counseling

There are many couples that struggle with  communication and this may lead them down a negative path. It is important to seek help to solve a preventable problem, one form of help can be seen in the form of Couples Counseling. Many couples may believe that their issues are way larger than a communication problem but taking that step, as small as it may seem can help to save a marriage. Using the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, these are some of the errors in communication that couples can work on to help improve their marriage.

There are a couple of issues that can affect the way a couple communicates with each other. I will simplify it in this article for the purpose of understanding it better, however, having someone guide you through these communication skills may be most appropriate.


The first communication error that I would like to review is criticism. Criticism can be detrimental to a marriage. It is important to be able to find trust and be able to communicate with your partner about the good and negative aspects of the relationship and for this reason, it is better to offer a complaint, than to criticize. A criticism can be described as a personal attack against the partner, or making a negative statement about the partner. A complaint is a comment about the partner’s behaviors, and not their person. One example of a complaint is saying “I noticed that the trash is getting very full. I know that this is a chore that you have agreed to complete, can you please take out the trash by today.” This is an example of a complaint regarding the partner’s behavior. A criticism would be “Back when we decided on chores you agreed to take out the trash and it has not been done. I feel like I could never count on you because you are so lazy.” This is a criticism against the other person and it is not helpful at all. Also, this can cause the partner to become defensive and fuel an argument. This is something that you can further practice in couple counseling.


The second communication error is contempt.  Gottman describes contempt as the most destructive in a marriage. Contempt invovles feelings of resentment, disrespect, and hostility towards the partner. Some people use condescending humor as a form of contempt. This error involves one of the partners discounting the good things the other does for them as “their responsibility” and easily forgets the good that is done. However, when the partner does something negative, this is held on to and not easily forgotten, which is then communicates as resentment. According to Gottman, the best way to reduce contempt is to create appreciation in the marriage and focusing on the positive the partner does in order to reduce contempt.


The third error in communication with couples is Defensiveness. Gottman believes that in every argument, each member of the couple is responsible for atleast 30% of the argument. Using this thought, it is important for both people involved in an argument to take their part of the responsibility and truly listen to their partner instead of offering defensive statements. Using defensive statements usually worsens the situation instead of helping the couple resolve their issues. Therefore, it is important to truly listen and sometimes just trying to understand the other person, without offering a defensive statement, can be enough to end an argument.


The fourth and last error in communication that I will be describing is Stonewalling. This is when one of the partners decides not to respond at all or walking away. This is usually done with good intention but it usually does not end well. Another way that this can happen is by not offering complaints about something that is angering a person and this just builds up and makes the situation worse in the long run. Some people believe that by not talking about something it will just go away but that is usually not the case. It may be a good idea to calm yourself before continuing the conversation but it is important to always come back and talk about the situation that is causing problems in the couple.

Couples Counseling

These tend to be the harshest mistakes that a couple can make,  avoiding these errors in communication can be the start to improving your relationship. Speaking to each other with love and respect is the most effective form of communication in a couple. It is understandable that there may be issues that prevent this from happening and one or both people may need to heal their past wounds to decrease resentment and other neegative feelings that contribute to errors in communication. There are other forms of communication that can be most helpful as well as provide a means for the couple to grow in their love and respect towads each other. These will be discussed in future articles but in the meantime you can seek couples counseling to help you heal and grow as a couple.

As mentioned above, this article was not intended to solve all your marital problems but instead, these are just a few of the errors in communication that people tend to make and it may be the most helpful to have someone guide the couple through these changes because it is very difficult to change old habits. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help to save your marriage, click here for more information about counseling services available.

Wendy Salazar is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the city of Burbank. Please contact with furhter questions or to schedule an appointmentcontact me.

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