A loving relationship can be an oasis in uncertain times, but nurturing it requires attention, honesty, openness, vulnerability, and gratitude.
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Cleaning up emotional pollution
Steven Stosny, Ph.D.
We can wipe away the footprints of injury by identifying with our innate resilience and ability to heal.
We need explanations to reduce anxiety, but they don’t have to be right. In terms of anxiety-reduction, a bad explanation is better than no explanation.
Because you’re likely to get more of what you project, be sure to project what you want, not what you don’t want.
Committed relationships have a foundation of common values, yet most arguments are about perceived ego offenses, not values.
Partners inevitably blame the guilt and shame of violating their values on each other.
Couples seem to be asking for submission from their partners rather than the cooperation they really want. Cooperation fosters connection.
Adults in love understand that their only chance of getting the partner they most want to have is to be the partner they most want to be.
It's almost impossible to see other people's perspectives when we blame how we feel on them.
Valuing gives a heightened sense of well-being, making you feel more alive.
The most damaging residual effects of intimate betrayal are secondary symptoms, triggered by the meaning one gives to primary symptoms.
There could be no civilization, enduring health, or mental wellness without trust.
The notion that we need to justify emotional pain probably comes from cruel social messages that painful and vulnerable emotions are signs of weakness.
Emotions tend to feel very different on the inside than they look on the outside.
The danger to families lies not in differences of opinion about policies and politicians. Love is not about opinions, it’s about compassion, kindness, support, and commitment.
While expectations should be realistic, lowering them sacrifices enthusiasm and enjoyment.
The tragic mistake so many people make in love relationships is confusing value with power.
Disappointment is about the way the house looks at a given moment; betrayal is a deep crack in the foundation.
Negative labels are used so frequently in public discourse, they’re now a shorthand for stereotypes, little more than code words or slurs.
While complaints have a minuscule chance of improving situations, expressions of contempt will always make things worse.
You have an anger problem if some subtle form of anger or resentment makes you do something against your long-term best interests.
If you judge how lovable you are based on reflections from someone who cannot love without hurt, you'll have a distorted view of yourself as a loving and lovable person.
The last time you got really angry, you probably got depressed afterward. The angrier you get, the more depressed you get once it wears off.
Relapse in emotional abuse is deliberately devaluing, demeaning, frightening, or trying to make partners or children feel bad about themselves. It's harmful to victims and perpetrators.
Compassionate and kind behavior constitute the only viable standard for love relationships. When partners uphold that standard, abuse of any kind is impossible.
If you live with a resentful, angry, or abusive partner, you probably have a vague feeling, at least now and then, that you’ve lost yourself.
The vast contagion of anger turns us into the very thing we despise.
The most frequent mistake in relationships is the illusion of sameness — assuming that events and behaviors mean the same, or should, to both partners.
Problem anger is so hard to control because, by the time we’re adults, it’s habituated — the product of entrenched conditioned responses.
As the most dangerous and socially controlled emotion, anger has mutated into many forms.
You may have heard the saying, "Love is easy; relationships are hard." The truth is, relationships are hard because love is easy.
Steven Stosny, Ph.D., treats people for anger and relationship problems. His recent books include How to Improve your Marriage without Talking about It and Love Without Hurt.