Vulnerability

A Happy Relationship is IMPOSSIBLE Without Trust and Commitment

A Happy Relationship is IMPOSSIBLE Without Trust and Commitment

commitment

Love is like Legos. In each passing moment, we are either building a wall between ourselves and our lover or a bridge into each other’s hearts.

Each Lego is an interaction between romantic partners. The deciding factor of whether we open or protect our hearts is the quality of trust.… Continue reading Here

Negative Emotions Offer Opportunities for Connection

Negative Emotions Offer Opportunities for Connection

negative emotions

When I work with couples, it’s not uncommon for one partner to say, “I can’t handle my partner’s anger,” or “Her crying overwhelms me, I don’t know what to do.”

The other partner expresses, “He never listens to me,” or “She never cares about my life.”

The problem here is that an emotionally dismissive response blocks emotional connection, and over time, erodes trust, the foundation of a happy and positive relationship.… Continue reading Here

Chronic Stonewalling Imprisons a Relationship

Chronic Stonewalling Imprisons a Relationship

Stonewalling
Have you ever watched a child try to get attention from their mom or dad?
“Pay attention to me.”
“Look at me.”
“Mommy, daddy, watch me.”

But what happens if the child’s attachment figure is unavailable and unresponsive? The child will experience distress.… Continue reading Here

Defensiveness Doesn’t Protect a Relationship

Defensiveness Doesn’t Protect a Relationship

defensiveness
Being defensive blocks connection, compassion, and isolates you from your partner. Instead of focusing on we-ness, a defensive person focuses on me-ness. Defensiveness is one of the most dangerous signs of toxic fighting because it creates never-ending cycles of negativity.… Continue reading Here

Date Like You Did in the Beginning and the Passion Won’t End

Date Like You Did in the Beginning and the Passion Won’t End

date night

We are supposed to find love by dating around. All across the globe, different pairs of strangers meet every night at restaurants hoping that the person sitting across from them is “The One.”

Many dates will be awkward enough to signal the server over immediately for the check.… Continue reading Here

Stop Trying to Fix Your Partner’s Feelings, Connect with Them Instead

Stop Trying to Fix Your Partner’s Feelings, Connect with Them Instead

feelings

One of our deepest needs as humans is to feel understood, and true understanding is not possible without empathy. As psychologist Carl Rogers put it, “When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good!”

Think back to a time when you were listened to and really felt heard.… Continue reading Here

How to Listen Without Getting Defensive in Relationship Conflict

How to Listen Without Getting Defensive in Relationship Conflict

defensive

Understanding your partner requires the capacity to listen. Really listen. Couples are advised to hear each other’s complaints without feeling attacked, and as great as this sounds, it’s often unrealistic.

When something you said (or didn’t say) hurts your partner’s feelings, there’s a strong impulse to interrupt with, “That wasn’t my intention.… Continue reading Here

Transforming Criticism into Wishes: A Recipe for Successful Conflict

Transforming Criticism into Wishes: A Recipe for Successful Conflict

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog.

In the heat of an argument, it’s far easier to say what we don’t want than what we do. Stan Tatkin, the founder of the psychobiological approach to couple therapy, proposes that people are better built for war than love.… Continue reading Here

There Are Two Views to Every Conflict and Both Are Valid

There Are Two Views to Every Conflict and Both Are Valid

perspective

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog

Heather’s voice raises as she says, “How can you not see it my way? It’s the truth and you know it. You’re just too stubborn to admit it!”

Jason responds, “That’s not what happened at all.… Continue reading Here