Partners can learn that instead of pointing fingers at each other, it's important to recognize that they are both creating their relationship together. Even when behavior may appear negative to outsiders, there is always a purpose, there is a value that may be used in a better way if it can be looked at differently. Co-creation is a positive & hopeful lens for partners to understand their relationship as they recognize they are an "US".
Codependency is a murky business. Codependency is always a part of the beginnings of every love affair. The beginnings are so enchanting for all of us. Your partner can do no wrong, they are absolutely brilliant. Codependency is a part of love & yet it can swallow love whole & make it disappear. Emotional dependency can be a healthy activity & a part of a healthy relationship as long as both partners are still individuals.
Partnerships & Marriage really require a lot from both people. Partnership demands that both people share their points of view & that we must reshape our own personal reality to be more accurate. This is truly very hard work because part of being human is favoring our own point of view. Yet, deep inside we know a single narrative cannot contain anything as complex as the truth.
A Top Dog relationship means you participate in a hierarchy of power by either swallowing & ignoring your more authentic self or by enjoying the role of being manipulatively in charge with your demands being met. The narrative of every couple must be written by two people, not one to have authenticity.
It’s so easy to start taking each other for granted. We develop habits of how we see each other & we make assumptions instead of being curious. When we don’t feel seen it’s really a big deal & we end up hungry. This definitely happens as the years pass & it’s your job to freshen things up. It is beyond foolish to imagine you will never be disappointed in your partner because they are so wonderful & you miss being saturated in romantic love. We all have ideas of who we want to be & who we...
Couples stuck in ambivalence are secretly in love with maintaining the status quo. Not being wholehearted about either improvement or leaving, erases so many missed opportunities. Living with a constant level of unhappiness and resentments is like living with malaria. You can do the work to repair & restore vitality to your relationship. Listen for 11 things you can do.
Power struggles in relationships are totally ordinary & daily. Things can work in a couple where power is somewhat lopsided, but it will be boring & predictable if one person has all the power to make decisions most of the time. Sharing power is a dance in the messiness that is worth it to reduce arguments & fighting.
Too many relationships have an over developed sense of the critic, was pointed out in this interview with Dr. Joseph Melnick. It’s easy to blame & tell people what they’re doing wrong. Instead of telling each other about what’s wrong, we need to restore trust with a curiosity about each other. He describes what he calls “cardboard relationships” that are like paintings you don’t look at any more. In the beginnings of relationships it’s so easy to be open & experimental. Then couples seem to...
Being insecure is something everybody struggles with. Insecurities are easily fed by fears when we believe we are misunderstood. Being insecure tests even the best of us. Insecurities can keep people trapped in emotionally masochistic relationships. Facing how we are unlovable can help us grow & change.
We arrive in this world with very few skills to help us navigate relationships. It takes a few decades just to understand ourselves much less anybody else. I think long term loving requires that we give each other the benefit of the doubt. We all begin a bit too stingy & full of self interest.
As we live our lives, we all experience loss, change and transition.
While we all know the grief associated with change, each grief looks and feels a little different. And, everyone grieves differently.
As you work through the losses, changes and transitions in your life you’ll find it’s helpful to be patient and gentle with yourself, because it’s not easy and it takes time.
The face of hope may change as you grieve. Hold it in your heart; keep it alive because you won’t always feel as...
Interview with Dr. Patricia Papernow, in her fourth decade working with blended families. Blended families are complicated, where adults may be thrilled to find a new love, children may experience that as a turning away from them. Loyalty Binds can create problems, which may work out better with a slower pace.
Pornography Addiction has become a problem for many couples. It sets up unrealistic expectations that real life can't compete with. Porn addiction often becomes a powerful problem because it's easier than dealing with the messiness of human beings. Our brains love the pursuit of novelty which is available so immediately on the internet.
In relationships we take the easy way out a lot. We lie & tell people what they want to hear instead of truth. We silently stash resentments & get divorced. We decide sex is a chore we don’t want to be bothered with. We dump our insecurities on each other to fix instead of fixing them ourselves. We let our anxieties run rampant & spill all over our partners instead of trying to learn how to self soothe. We tolerate disrespect & sometimes contempt instead of asking our partner to course...
Personality Disorders are difficult in relationships because they have massive power through manipulation. So if you are in a relationship with a personality disorder, You must figure out how you give up your own power. You must learn how you participate in the dysfunction. It doesn't happen alone, it happens with you.
Boring relationships sneak upon us. It’s easy to make excuses, we’re too tired after work or busy with the kids. Relationships require work to keep them fresh. You have to be committed to trying new things out. The opposite of boring is being creative.The brain loves novelty so it’s really important to explore & experience something new.
Trust means we give up our inclination to exaggerate our wounds out of self interest. We can be very self righteous which creates a distorted picture of what happened. We harden ourselves & adore our own expectations of how things should be in a relationship. The opposite of all this disconnecting energy is to soften and imagine the value of your partner's point of view.
Interview with Marcia Turbiner Ph.D who describes the need to have a relationship with yourself in order to make relationships work. She offers a way to think about what is NOT ME and what is ME. You have to begin to understand how to take care of yourself to develop a solid sense of self. When you see yourself as an individual you will see the other more clearly.
Learn how to think about your relationship in 3 parts, why blame is immature and why being a separate individual keeps a partnership more solid. Consider how sacrifice, respect, going to bed angry and not playing games is crucial for relationship longevity.
Too many people live with contempt in their relationships. Contempt is a power play that leads to loneliness. When ugliness layers & layers over time it becomes ordinary. When contempt is an ordinary activity instead of an unusual one, that’s a BIG problem. Contempt is a tango for two.