Communication can be almost impossible with a partner if we only want to steer the story in our favor. Communication requires an openness to the validity of someone else’s story even if you don’t like it. Communication gets unstuck & we can communicate better when you are able to let two opposite things be true at the same time and let them sit quietly next to each other instead of trying to get one to win and erase the other.
Anger can be a huge problem in relationships. This episode asks what's important about anger management for relationships? Anger can be incredibly self absorbed & ugly. It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of "I'm right" & needing to win. We all want the power to control & be the Top Dog. So listen to this episode to learn how to reign it in. Interview with Matthew Plotner.
Infidelity is complicated & difficult to heal from. Dr Spring wrote the first book that defines infidelity as a loss of trust & a shattering of the self. The person who has been betrayed struggles to recapture their sense of themselves. The partner who had the affair needs to listen non-defensively, without interruption to the profound level of hurt. Quick apologies are not going to solve this for the person who is hurt & feels their life has blown up. Listen to learn what does work.
Date to learn more about yourself. Don't stay in the safety of passivity, watching who they are. Dates can be practice to grow. Think of "every intimate partnership as a classroom in which I can learn again and again about myself, about commitment, about integrity, about authenticity, forgiveness & about apology." Quote & Interview with Dr.Solomon
Misery can so easily build in any relationship. Misery zaps your energy to think & it's easy to indulge your sad feelings. The two of you as a couple can fall to the bottom of your priority list. The misery usually spills over into bickering & fighting with each other because we don’t kick the neighbor’s dog, we kick each other.
Learn how fights can be turned into recovery and intimate conversations. In your fighting there are clues to what you are really suffering from that you have not been able to confide in your partner. Interview with Dan Wile who says "The heart of a couple relationship is saying what you need to say & feeling that it has gotten across. It is having conversations that work out."
There are many lopsided relationships where one person is catered to & the other partner is what I call overly generous. Partners like to be the nice one but getting stuck in the niceness can evolve into a giant hidden pile of resentments. There is a price to be paid for too much kindness, you can lose track of who you are because you are so busy pleasing others.
Sexuality can be a complicated business, very different from how easy it is on television. Interview with Emily Nagoski the author of Come As You Are. Find out what to do about low desire. Most problems with orgasm occur because frustration does not add fuel to the accelerator. In fact, Frustration hits the brakes in sex. Learn here how to improve your context to improve desire.
Love matters so much to people, how it goes wrong & how to put it right. Emotionally Focused Therapy is based on thousands of studies on human attachment, it basically gives us a way of understanding love. It's scary to reach for your partner and expose your softer feelings, because we're all scared of rejection and that's not because we're wimps or immature. It's because we're bonding mammals and our brains are wired to see cues of abandonment and rejection from the people we care about as...
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.