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This Single Communication Tip Will Save Your Marriage

Couple in serious discussionWant to save your marriage? You should know that under stress, couples do three things that are relationship killers. All three are self-protective reactions to pain or fear. But self-protection to one partner is poison to the other.… Read more...

Building Effective Collaboration with a Highly Anxious Client

couples in therapy sessionA common scenario that many of us see in our practices is the over-functioning wife with the anxious-avoidant husband. He is a highly anxious procrastinator  and is often not accountable for what he says he will do.… Read more...

Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail – Here’s Why

For some reason the calendar seems to dictate the desire to become a better person. You may feel a surge of excitement at the prospect of overcoming a bad habit or attitude. What is it about New Year's resolutions? Despite good intentions, your efforts soon evaporate like snow flakes in July. Here’s why you don’t follow through.… Read more...

Conflict Avoidance: Shifting Relationship Impasses, Part 2

Thanks a lot to those of you who took time to write your thoughts about the transcript I last posted about shifting relationship impasses in a conflict avoidant couple. You were processing many of the issues involved. I picked this couple because they demonstrate many traits that are common in intensity avoiding and conflict avoiding couples. As I sat in the session with them, I could viscerally feel how disengaged they had become. I knew they would not change from insight alone! I asked myself: Why does the wife have so much difficulty expressing her desires? Why is her husband so sensitive to rejection? I don’t want to assume I know the answer to these questions.… Read more...

5 Principles for Sustaining Intimacy in Your Marriage

  The following list highlights some of the principles that we believe are most helpful in creating and sustaining intimacy. Some of these principles are counterintuitive. 1. The foundation for ongoing sustained intimacy comes from partners being able to explore, appreciate and presevere in managing differences rather than similarities. Almost everything is predicated on this first principle. After an initial bond is formed, the intimacy potential in a relationship will always remain low if couples avoid exploring their differences and contradictions. Without this exploration, differences and contradictions become walls and barriers instead of bridges.… Read more...

What’s That You Said? The Fears That Prevent Us From Speaking Up

How much do you value being seen and heard? Do you really want a truly successful relationship? How important is it to have impact on others? Let's look at speaking up! Of course, for some people, that's easier said than done. You might prefer to sky dive without a parachute than tell another person what's really on your mind. But it is possible to develop an assertiveness connected to head and heart that clears the way for honest, empowered living-without being rude to others. Those who stay mum when they would be better off speaking their mind do so for a variety of reasons: Fear of being rejected. Any time you risk disclosing what you want and why it is important, you become vulnerable.… Read more...

Actions of True Intimacy: a Different Gift for Valentine’s Day

Are you willing to go beyond flowers, dinner and chocolate for Valentine's day? Here's a different gift. The gift of intimacy. It will last longer than a box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers. The poet Rilke once advised a friend that a good marriage does not create “a quick community of spirit by tearing down and destroying all boundaries,” but rather appoints the other “guardian of his solitude.” Rilke's comments, applicable to all committed partnerships, point to the mutual respect and clarity that form the basis for genuine intimacy. Here are 10 ways to deepen your intimacy.… Read more...
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