Click Managing Emotions to download your article.

We look forward to continuing to be in touch with you and being part of your relationship journey.

Pete and Ellyn


  1. There are many tips for resolving problems.
    1. Be and stay mindful of the types of reactions happening to you and your partner.
    2. Acknowledge them in a spirit of partnership either in the moment or at a later time.
    3. Try to reduce the conversation to one issue at hand to focus on that, and be compassionate toward your and your partner’s reactions, given you may not even realize the source of emotions.
    4. When emotions get heated, take a time out.
    5. Stretch yourself to fully comprehend your partner’s reality.
    When none of this works, realize that the first necessity is to calm your emotional brain-nothing comes before that. Use time outs, meditation, deep breathing, imagery, EMDR or get help from a therapist trained in reducing traumatic restimulation.
    But, be accountable for managing yourself and calming yourself or taking a time out until you are capable of fully participating without escalating the problem further.

  2. Rochelle-
    Thanks for your comments and for your quest to find a good and satisfying relationship. It is absolutely essential to find someone who is open to getting help and willing to take guidance. You show an openness to get help and to be accountable. The accumulation of emotional trauma can best be helped by a skilled professional and even better given your history, early in your next relationship so it does not restimulate past trauma.

  3. This is true – the article describes what has happened in my relationship. I have realized this but for both parties it is a matter of how to manage these emotions and triggers. I’ve definitely been pushed to my worst but don’t resort to name calling etc more often than not. Instead I internalized as a response to the emotional abuse that some how it is my fault, the mean things said to me are true, I’ve been worn down as a result of emotional abuse. Even when walking away requesting time out before things escalated I was blocked and forced to experience verbal abuse.
    I was willing to change to take responibility for my contibution in the negative loop to break it but it takes both to be willing.
    I completely agree with the past experiences coming into play – he has certainly brought this out in me and the inferiority, lack of confidence, not feeling good enough. I have not felt emotionally secure in this relationship.

    Question: Can a partner be found that doesn’t so readily trigger these painful experiences and is willing to let caring and loving each others souls to rise above this and be more effective to negotiate and create win win decisions?

    It is too late for this relationship we have split up -(although for logistical reasons are still sharing the same house – its complicated) Therefore some insight and education to selecting a partner who is willing to do the work for a relationship to flourish would be helpful. I don’t want a repeat. How do you select a mate who is as emotionally intelligent as you are? Have you considered helping new couples determine compatability prior to “marriage” ?
    I’ve struggled with are we just incompatible or is it the failure to communicate effectively due to being unable to manage emotional, protective & defensive responses.
    Its been 5 years for us and at this point I know that I need some one who shows me respect and controls their emotions. I’ve been trying to explain how critical it is to stop the negative loop cycle you talk of and to address what is driving the reactions to no avail.
    Yes I have the awareness but lack the right tools although I’ve read books and have tried to educate myself. I know for a fact and completely agree with paragraph page 3 – the things my partner has said to me both verbally and non-verbally is what was being said to me and my experiences growing up. I know I need to change the way I think about things to change the emotional responses.
    I’ve been told emotionally abusive men don’t change but held out hope. Át what point to you just split before your soul and spirit is completely destroyed. This relationship has caused me to experience anxiety and depression and I must hope that some day I will find the right partner for me. This is my second failed long term relationship – ultimately I wanted a long term – partners for life relationship. History can’t repeat itself.
    Yes I have diverged and in closing reiterate that this negative loop you write about has been exactly what I have experienced in this second relationship. (my first marriage 16 years had completely different issues)
    Thanks for your work to help couples.

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