Relationships

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

How to Listen Without Getting Defensive in Relationship Conflict

Listening

Understanding your partner requires the capacity to listen. Really listen. Couples are advised to hear each other’s complaints without feeling attacked, and as great as this sounds, it’s often unrealistic.

When something you said (or didn’t say) hurts your partner’s feelings, there’s a strong impulse to interrupt with, “That wasn’t my intention.… Continue reading Here

Transforming Criticism into Wishes: A Recipe for Successful Conflict

Wishing

Wishing

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog.

In the heat of an argument, it’s far easier to say what we don’t want than what we do. Stan Tatkin, the founder of the psychobiological approach to couple therapy, proposes that people are better built for war than love.… Continue reading Here

There Are Two Views to Every Conflict and Both Are Valid

Conflict

Conflict

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog

Heather’s voice raises as she says, “How can you not see it my way? It’s the truth and you know it. You’re just too stubborn to admit it!”

Jason responds, “That’s not what happened at all.… Continue reading Here

This Pre-Conflict Warm-up Helps Couples Fight Better

This Pre-Conflict Warm-up Helps Couples Fight Better

Conflict

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog

Leo Tolstoy’s book Anna Karenina begins, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Dr. Gottman’s four decades of research tells a different story.

Following thousands of couples (some for multiple decades), Gottman found that the couples who would eventually divorce were more alike than different.… Continue reading Here

5 Easy Ways to Make Sex More Intimate and Romantic

Intimate Sex

Intimate Sex

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog.

Sex can be an uncomfortable topic for couples. Many of us feel embarrassed about our bodies or have been sexually rejected at some point. Not to mention our culture and life experiences which have created feelings of sexual shame, making romantic and intimate sex a scary endeavor to even talk about.… Continue reading Here