Better Relationships

6 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

6 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

If your “intimacy button” differs from your partner’s, you enter a perfect storm preventing both parties from getting what you want.

It’s like starting a weight loss program with Big Macs and supersized french fries on the menu.

Good luck with that!Continue reading Here

How Can I Spice Up the Romance in My Relationship? With Briana MacWilliam

Meaningful Love

In our last video, Briana and I discussed the question: “How do I communicate my needs in a relationship?

Today, we address a special question in honor of Valentine’s Day: “How can I spice up the romance in my relationship?”

Lasting romance is about acknowledgement and authenticity, and knowing how to cherish your partner. … Continue reading Here

Negative Emotions Offer Opportunities for Connection

Negative Emotions Offer Opportunities for Connection

Connection

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

War or Love: Flaws of The Human Brain in Relationship Conflict

War or Love: Flaws of The Human Brain in Relationship Conflict

Human Brain

Stan Tatkin, PsyD proposes that the human brain is built for survival first and love second. This means we are wired for war more so than we are wired for love.

Reactive Conversation Mature Dialogue
Chris: I get pissed off because you’re never listening to me.
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

Defensive

Defensive
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

Stopping the Pursue-Withdraw Pattern: An Interview with Scott R. Woolley, Ph.D.

Stopping the Pursue-Withdraw Pattern: An Interview with Scott R. Woolley, Ph.D.

Withdraw

The pursue-withdraw pattern is an extremely common cause of divorce. If left unresolved, it will continue into a second marriage and subsequent intimate relationships. As Dr. Gottman explains in Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, “This classical marital impasse is all too common—a wife seeking emotional connection from a withdrawn husband.”

How do couples fall into a pursue-withdraw pattern, and why are men usually the ones that withdraw?… Continue reading Here

The Habit of Criticism is Poisonous to Any Relationship

The Habit of Criticism is Poisonous to Any Relationship

Criticism

No one wants to stay in a relationship that makes them feel more judged than admired. Yet, it’s too common for couples to see the other person as the problem.

And since the other partner is the problem, the only solution is for them to change…right?… Continue reading Here