The Sex Test Post-Test

Irrelationship, the defensive mechanism many couples use when the prospect of true intimacy begins to show itself. It can easily manifest in sex and sexual behavior.

Can Your Relationship Handle the Sex Test?

What happens when sex brings us too close to the very things that it's ostensibly supposed to: intimacy, empathy, emotional risk, and investment?

When the Fighting Stops

Irrelationship is a jointly created state of insanity made visible in the mutual acting-out ‎of the anxiety of being vulnerable, intimate, empathetic and invested in one another.

Healthy Dependency

Dependency is a bad word in our culture. We cling to our fears of empathy, intimacy, emotional risk and investment and label anything that smells of dependency an illness.

When the Perks of Love Interfere With Love

It is sometimes the case that the gifts of love become more important (and are certainly more safe from the risks and anxieties of love) than love itself.

Business Connections Complicated by Irrelationship

Everyone knows that "history" causes problems in romantic relationships. It's equally true in business relationships, as this case so pointedly illustrates.

Desperately Seeking a False Sense of Security

It is the awareness of the most mundane threats to our hearts that irrelationship most effectively protects us from—how emotionally close we are to those in our everyday lives.

"Same Head Every Day"

Brainlock is our way of describing the neurological/physiological-meets-individual/social/contextual factors that underlie and sustain irrelationship.

Your Relationship’s Personality

What is a relationship's personality, and how does it protect itself? Defect and defense can be seen as interchangeable terms—both pinpointing the existence of irrelationship.

Want To Save Yourself Years Of Heartache?

Dysregulated relationships have a hard time surviving the transition from the passion of the honeymoon period into a mature, profound, and sustainable commitment to reciprocity.

Sex as Relationship Builder or Deal Breaker

Sex can be used to build intimacy. But when a relationship is in trouble, sex can be used just as easily to maintain distance. In that case, sex stops being about sex.

The Power of Giving - in Action

There is nothing so valuable as having what we offer to others taken, made use of, and experienced as having value and being useful and helpful. Irrelationship blocks this.

What If Only I Am Ready/Willing To Work On Our Relationship?

When bottoming-out in irrelationship, it can be a painful moment fraught with terrifying insights into how wrong so much of what previously felt right about the relationship is.

Learning to Relate

Learning how to relate is extremely complex—more so when, very early in life, a child’s parents aren’t effective caregivers.

How Can Your Relationship Survive True Intimacy?

What we regard as the transience of love is really risk management. Love can endure, if only we become aware of our self-destructive efforts to protect ourselves from its risks.

How We Can Be Empowered Through Conflict

When we assume that conflict in a work situation means there's a problem, we create a problem by losing an opportunity for learning and growth. Here's how to do communication well.

“I’m Married to My Work”

If we think of intimacy as taking a chance on letting ourselves become known and accepted as we really are, “intimacy” can apply to relationships that develop in the work place.

Are You or Your Boss a Benevolent Tyrant?

The day-by-day sharing of space and tasks makes the workplace a powerful incubator for routines of irrelationship.

What Does A Successful Relationship Look Like?

Irrelationship allows us to interact with each other to maintain mutual unawareness of the threat of getting what we (think we) want in long-term love: intimacy, for instance.

Generosity as Isolation

Generosity and altruism are, of course, wonderful qualities. They are also the sheep’s clothes of irrelationship, allowing us to hide our anxiety about being close to others.

Listening to Hear

We don't know what your lives are like, but we're hoping that you can muster up six minutes to communicate effectively—to experiment with listening and being heard.

How Avoiding Difficult Dynamics Undermines Work Productivity

Community character, as a function of irrelationship, is a group defense that people in groups unconsciously establish/maintain to protect them from being overwhelmed by anxiety.

Later Never Comes—Betrayal and the Threat of Intimacy

Understanding avoidance, especially avoidance of awareness of the threat of intimacy, requires understanding how betrayal in childhood leaves its mark on adult relationships.

Why Do We Stay Unwell?

Being well or unwell in relationship and in irrelationship are both two-person processes.

The Threat of Intimacy in Our Daily Lives

Intimacy in our everyday lives is about our working through—together—our fear of accepting each other as we are: allowing ourselves to accept and be accepted, love and be loved.

Can We Co-Create Emotional Unavailability?

Irrelationship is not a self-against-the-world defense against the anxieties of every day life. It is a dynamic—a defense system that we co-create and co-maintain with others.

Valentine's Day—Love's Amateur Night

Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity to test the waters and see what it might be like if we allowed the intimacy and vulnerability of our partnership to happen every day.

Narcissism and Abuse as a Co-Created Relationship System

Labeling the other person as pathological to justify leaving them is one way to avoid intimacy. We don’t see how we repeatedly transform each other into what we don't want.

5 Steps to a Better Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a day that can be fraught with and weighed down by expectations. Perhaps we can mitigate potential problems by prepping for it together.

The Cost Of Personal Relationships To Career Development

Without realizing it, do we think about relationships in outmoded 20th Century terms? How can we adjust our thinking to accommodate the array of options available now?