I Feel Like My Teenager is Ruining My Relationship With My Spouse - Partner

The stress of raising a teenager can affect us in many ways. One way it can affect us is by putting a strain on other relationships in our lives. I have heard many parents of teenagers discuss that they feel like their child is coming between them and their spouse or partner. What is important in such situations is being able to recognize this and address it by changing the dynamic.

What often happens is that teenagers learn that they can create conflict between their parents as a means of taking the focus off of them. Not only do they do this but they are often very skilled at it so that parents don't even recognize what is happening. As parents, it is common that you may have different ideas about rules or how to respond to certain situations with your teenager - this is not a problem in and of itself. It becomes a problem when teenagers recognize that you are disagreeing because then they can use it to their advantage to create further conflict between you and your spouse or partner which takes the attention and focus off their behaviors. Being able to disagree privately and present as a "united front" is priceless in dealing with teenagers. In addition, it is important to not get so caught up in the stress of parenting that you forget to put time, energy and effort into your relationship with your spouse or partner. It is really important that you and your spouse or partner take time with one another and make one another a priority despite the stress and challenges you may be facing related to your teenager.

Below are some tips for parents to help keep your relationship with your spouse or partner strong while facing the stress of raising a teenager.

1. Don't argue about parenting in front of your teenager. If you remember one thing this should be it! If your teen is aware of such conflict, they will use it to their advantage which will likely create further conflict between you and your spouse. Teenagers are not doing this to be malicious, however, if they see an opportunity to get themselves out of trouble they will take advantage of it.

2. Respect your differences in parenting. Although this can be a challenge, know that having differences and being able to share different ideas can result in the best overall parenting - as long as you are able to come to some compromise. Just because your spouse or partner thinks differently than you does not make them the "bad guy". Remember that you both want what is best for your teenager and that you are acting out of love.

3. Take time for each other. Make sure you make spending time alone, without focusing on your teenager a priority. Set a date night, go to a movie, go for walks together and make sure you are still able to laugh with one another despite all the external stressors in your lives.

4. Seek professional help. If you are feeling like things are not improving or that they are getting worse in your relationship with your spouse or partner, you may want to consider seeking the professional help of a coach or counselor. This can be a very successful intervention to help you get things back on track which will result in your feeling happier and more fulfilled in all your relationships.

For more information on Life Coaching or coaching for parents please visit [] or email

My name is Karen Vincent. I am a Certified Life Coach as well as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I have worked with teenagers / adolescents and their parents for the last 15 years in a variety of settings, including outpatient therapy, specialized schools, over the phone and in the home.

Please call for a free Coaching Consultation: 774-245-7775

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