A useful conversation falls apart when partners attack, defend or withdraw. These 'rules' help to keep the connections clean. They are simple. They are not easy, but they will effectively change the way you address — and resolve — your disagreements.
So you've taken the leap and are making wedding plans. You're excited, exhilarated, but nagged by some uneasy feelings because of his eating habits. You're not perfect, but at least you know that what and how you eat is important, and you're consciously, consistently trying to improve your own eating habits. He, on the other hand, could care less, and routinely inhales junk food.
The idea of divorce doesn’t just arrive. It creeps in like a whispering snake. Your mind resists the thought: it's too earthshaking. Then one day you surprise yourself. Perhaps you blurt out the word divorce in a fight. Maybe you tell a friend and suddenly hear what you are saying. Maybe you wake up from a daydream and see that you have been imagining a future without your spouse.
Here are more poems we've shared with some of the people we've worked with; men and women who have recently broken up with their lovers or broke up a long time ago and haven't yet recovered. Like the poems we selected for our earlier post, Poems to Love Smarter, these fall into the second of the three categories of things Joseph Campbell wrote about in The Power of Myth: 1) The things that can’t be talked about, 2) The words we use to describe the things that ca
These are the most frequent mistakes that couples make, often so quickly that they don't fully recognize them as mistakes, so please take time to see which apply to you and your lover: 1. Arbitrary inferences: Conclusions made without supporting evidence. Example: "He's late from work. He must be visiting one of his ex-girlfriends.
Here are 7 important criteria to use in evaluating a Brief Solution Focused Therapist: The therapist will: 1. Look for openings to help you discover solution building rather than problem definition language. 2. Encourage you to stretch more for each other so you can experience easier, more flexible give and take in your day to day relations. 3. Help you create new meanings and new ways of understanding old problems. 4. Encourage you to own your own agendas without hiding from each other or going underground.
Question I’m dating a woman who’s really great, except for the fact that she’s constantly questioning me whenever we spend any time apart. To give you an example, when I go out with friends, she has to know where I’m going, when I’m going to be back, and exactly who else will be there.
One of the things I appreciated the most about my late husband Jim was that he insisted that we have a weekly date. We wisely made “issue discussion dates” for working out problems, but our regular weekly date was sacred time not to be polluted by a disagreement. During a very tough time our date was breakfast out with him working on a crossword puzzle and me reading my novel. Then we’d go see a movie. These were safe activities that gave us peaceful time together even though, apart from this “time out,” we were consumed with trying t
A raw spot originally forms from moments in a person’s past when attachment needs were repeatedly neglected, ignored or dismissed resulting in the person – the child, teenager or adult in a past romantic relationship – feeling: • Emotionally Deprived, or • Emotionally Deserted.
Six key things that all serious, long-term lovers should keep in mind if they want to grow together and deepen their sense of emotional safety and intimacy: It’s never about agreeing on everything It’s easy to say, “This upsets me.” But it’s not so easy to talk about the deeper meanings that will enable you to become more understanding and more intimate with each other.
I was recently at an event giving tips on how to improve your date night when I met a woman who, without a hint of a smile, said “I don’t need any tips about dates, I have a husband”. Her lack of happy glow, disregard for evolving romance, and general gloominess served to remind me of the reasons I continue to recommend creative date nights to long term couples. We all need to put energy in re-connecting, re-discovering each other, and reminding ourselves that we are desirable and worth dating.
Are you burning the midnight oil trying to figure out what to get your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? Do you feel pressure instead of pleasure in having to prove your love each year? The truth is romance doesn’t prove your love -- it keeps it strong. Romance is an essential element of keeping the flame alive in your relationship.
I received an email the other day from a woman who read my article “7 Reasons to Acknowledge Anniversaries”—she requested an article in kind about Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day presents us with a double bind. On the one hand, we are bombarded with advertisements, talk show segments, and subtle (or not so subtle) messages on how important it is to do the right thing by your sweetheart.
I recently discovered the work on Alison Armstrong – who for 15 years has been honing her message on the important differences in men and women that manifest in the heterosexual marriage in typical and often frustrating ways. Her wisdom is found in the freedom that comes when we understand each other instead of blame and accuse each other. Last week I was sharing some of these ideas with a small group of grad therapy students. One of the men who is newly married, lit up and said, “Oh my gosh, that happene
We did it!! We did it!! When we planted our feet on the continent of Antarctica a few days ago, we became the first marriage researchers to interview successfully married couples on all seven continents of the world. And we want you to know that we are very proud of that accomplishment! As our loyal readers know, we have been engaged in our “labor of love” for over 30 years. We began our journey with this simple idea in mind – “Do great marriages around the world share common and pervasive characteristics.“
Have you settled for companionship in your would-be romantic relationship? Companionship is when you exist in the same home but spend very little time together, and neither of you is particularly satisfied.