Emotional Connection

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Marriages Succeed or Fail, “This classical marital impasse is all too common—a wife seeking emotional connection from a withdrawn husband.”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

Have You Committed to a Contempt-Free Marriage?

Commitment

Commitment

The absence of delight in your partner creates an emptiness in a marriage that ruins love. According to Dr. Gottman’s research on long-lasting marriages, the number one predictor as to whether a marriage would last was the presence or absence of contempt.… 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

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

Passion

Passion

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

Understanding Each Other: Part One of the State of The Union Meeting

Understanding

Understanding

How you and your partner fight directly influences how emotionally connected and passionate your relationship is.

After four decades of research on thousands of couples, Dr. Gottman noticed that the Masters of relationships fought differently than the Disasters. The Masters focused on attuning to each other by seeking to understand before problem-solving, whereas the Disasters consistently devolved into the Four Horsemen: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.… 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