Is Your Partner Driving You Crazy?

Some people cannot allow their intimate partners to predict their behaviors. They seem to intentionally thwart expectations even when they have participated in the plans for them. The reasons they behave that way defy rational thinking but do have an understandable basis and can be challenged and healed.
8 Rays of Hope for Struggling Relationships

8 Rays of Hope for Struggling Relationships

Even the most dysfunctional relationships may be not only salvageable but contain the potential for total rejuvenation. The outcome depends on what resources still remain under the cloud of despair, and how willing the couple is to do the work to bring them back to life.

Communication "Bank-Shots"

Many intimate partners, not able to get what they want using direct communication, resort to other strategies to get their point across. One of the most common is to use another source as the back-up to strengthen the argument. These communication "bank-shots" often work but can undermine true intimacy if they are not challenged and replaced with authentic connection. .

Has "Excess" Become an Addiction?

The opportunities and concurrent obligations that people are facing today have increased dramatically since the advent and availability of technology. Many are over-involved and struggling to stay balanced and healthy in the face of the stress they are feeling. Without changing behaviors or learning to be more efficient, their bodies will become less able to regenerate.

Why Great Husbands Are Being Abandoned

Women have often been the predominant gender initiating divorce. In the past, their reasons have often been role inequality. Millennial men are willingly exchanging dominance for vulnerability. Women are still divorcing them.

Haven't You Had This Terrible Fight Before?

Many established couples fall into verbal ruts where they repeatedly fight over non-nonsensical and non-resolvable issues. As those verbal grooves become habitual, the intimate partners can become inured to them and not realize the cumulative damage they are creating. Identifying and recognizing them are the beginning of positive change.

If We Weren't Already Married Would You Choose Me Again?

Most committed partners marry with the full intent to maintain the promises they've made to each other. Life's challenges intervene, often pushing the partners into a parallel team that makes them forget the sacredness of their interpersonal connection. Regular check-ins to make sure they hold on to the beauty of their beginning can keep that loss from happening.

"I" to "We"–Blending Independence With Committment

Single life offers many advantages. People don't have to worry about giving up their individuality or compromise their priorities to please a long-time partner. Committed partners also have their list of blessings. They create history together and commit to the same dreams. Moving from being single to pair-bonded requires the willingness to effectively compromise.

Class Reunion Scrambles–Returning to Old Loves

Early loves leave heartfelt and deep memories. Life intercedes and they are often abandoned, only to re-emerge later in life when nostalgia beckons and opportunities arise. Class reunions have more and more become the place where those chances increase. The conflict between loyalty to a present relationship and an old love an bring anguishing sadness and beautiful joy.

When It's Time to Let a Relationship Go

The self-help media abounds with relationship advice. If only intimate partners would just learn the skills, have the motivation, and not be willing to quit, any relationship can eventually flourish. The truth is that many wonderful people do everything they can to make their committed relationships work, and still lose them. They need the support to move on without guilt.

Romantic Phrases that Melt Hearts

Men know what they need to say to make their women feel loved, even when they don't choose to use that knowledge. Women know what they want to hear, and those phrases are the same. So, romantic language is essentially feminine. Women need to translate their romantic feelings into words men feel loved by, by rarely know what those are.

Write Anger, Speak Love: An End to Bickering

Many established intimate partners find themselves bickering about unimportant issues and not taking the time to search for the underlying potential heartbreaks. Separating out love from anger and hurt can help them identify and heal what their real problems may be.

Why Can't I Let Love In?

There are relationship partners who can give love out but cannot take it in. They may seem as if they just are autonomous people who don't need much, but underneath they may be suffering from prior wounds that do not let them heal from the love that is offered. Their partners do everything they can to help, but often eventually disconnect, saddened they weren't enough.

The Honeymoon Doesn't Have to Be Over

New lovers often avoid relationship conflict to hold on to the security and comfort of their romantic feelings toward each other. When disruptions occur, and they must, they have not built the resilience that productive conflict resolution creates. The inevitable "Honeymoon is Over" stage of the relationship can result in a failed relationship that might have succeeded.

Some Unique Resolutions for the New Year

Good intentions to change your life as the new year beckons are most often doomed to fail. That's because they don't get to the saboteurs that lurk underneath. These reflections and resolutions will help you get to where you want to be.

Is Your Relationship Dysfunctional?

All intimate relationships are dysfunctional in some ways, but the good must outweigh the bad if the relationship is going to survive. When couples can identify and correct their dysfunctional behaviors, they can focus more on what they love about each other and what does work.

Virtual Infidelity—Am I Being Unfaithful if I Don't Touch?

The advent of Internet technology has created new options for both men and women to engage in sexual interactions with people they may never touch or see. Does that mean that these secret encounters are not as potentially damaging to committed relationships as those with actual people? Using inclusion/exclusion as a way to define trust, it becomes apparent that they are.

A Fun Way to Improve Intimate Communication

Intimate couples often make hypothetical guesses about what the other is feeling and then act on them as if they were true. When these partners find themselves bickering about what seems to be senseless issues, they are most likely acting on these misunderstandings without realizing they are doing so. Number Span clarification can positively change the situation.

Emotional Land Mines

A childhood trauma often goes unrecognized in adult intimate relationships until one partner inadvertently triggers it. The trauma is most likely to be re-experienced when a long-term couple has established a deeper trust in each others commitment to the relationship and their protective walls have come down.

What is Your Relationship-Approach Style?

The way you present yourself to a new relationship will attract a typically reciprocal partner and most likely will have an all-too-predictable outcome. If you haven't been successful in finding the right person, you may need to change your relationship-approach style.

Emotional Reactivity—The Bane of Intimate Communication

Emotional issues are often confused and unresolved because intimate partners are too reactive initially and don't take the time to listen deeply. The underlying problem becomes buried in the intensity of the interaction and remains unseen.

What Keeps Me From Changing?

Many people try hard to change their lives but find that their goals are harder to accomplish than they thought they would be. There are nine clear barriers that get in the way. Recognized and identified, they can be challenged, allowing the potential for transformation to have a chance.

Who Owns Your Relationship Score Card?

From the time we're born, we are defined by the people who are important to us. Throughout our lives we have opportunities to revise our sense of self in each new relationship. Over time, those evaluations become our relationship score cards. If we don't learn to discern who is worthy to vote, we put our self-esteem at risk.

Relationship Disenchantment

New lovers promise to love forever, often not anticipating the challenges ahead. When they cannot continue their commitments in the same way, they often experience disenchantment with their relationship, the precursor to relationship burnout.

Are You Controlled by Love?

Too often new lovers hide any parts of their personalities that may turn their partners away. As their relationship matures, they find an increasing need to be real and to be loved for themselves. At that point, it may be too late to turn the relationship around, and they are locked in to being controlled by love.

Reflecting Before you Fight - Five Crucial Questions

Even well-meaning intimate partners can end up enemies when their arguments get out of control. If they learn successful options at the beginning of a disagreement, they have a better chance of successful resolution and less damage control. Recognizing that a bad fight is about to begin, there are five crucial questions that can change the outcome.

Communicating Emotions Online

The communication of emotions requires not only words, but four non-verbal modes. When intimate partners connect with words-only phrases online, they cannot experience body language, facial expressions, voice intonations, or touch. When they reconnect in real time, they often feel a gap between what they've texted or emailed and what they feel when they're together.

Seven Ways to Evaluate your Intimate Relationship

Committed couples need to reevaluate their relationship on a regular basis to make sure their love and devotion are intact. Seven dimensions of interaction are the most effective targets to explore.

How you say "Hello" and "Goodbye" - Evaluating Intimacy

Greeting and separation rituals are passionate and intense when love is new. How they are sustained in long-term relationships can be an accurate way to evaluate whether an intimate relationship is still treasured.

The Most Important Quality of an Intimate Partner

The most important qualities of people who consistently create meaningful relationships are not as obvious as they may seem. This is one of the most significant and core ways of being that partners must acquire to stay open to investing openly in love's possibilities.