Couples Counseling Articles

Love

Sometimes Hope is Enough

I imagine some couples glide thru life and wake up cheerful every day. They agree on most issues, share everything, and use their energy in a perfectly harmonious division of duties. I’ve never met one of those couples but movies and magazines want us to believe they’re out there somewhere.

More human and more admirable is the couple who – when things are stressful – stumbles and struggles to find ways to reach for each other without blaming or defending, winning or losing. Those partners look for ways to understand and support. They lean into each other when the need is urgent; talk, hold hands or sit silently letting the other know ‘I’m here for you.’ That kind of warmth and reassurance takes courage especially when others would give up and walk away.

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Can I Be Sure?

05-24-15ArticleIntimate partners who want to spend a lifetime together usually profess unconditional love.

They long for it too – wanting certainty and affirmative answers to questions like:

  • Are you in?
  • Can I count on you?
  • Will you be there for me when I need you?

Problem is, certainty is binary and requires 100%.

Open / Closed
Up / Down
On / Off
In / Out

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Uh Oh! Here We Go Again

03-08-15ArticleYou know it’s coming. The dreaded argument. Not with anyone but with the person you love the most in the world.

It’s happened before and it’s happening again.

Something’s triggered your internal alarm system.

Maybe it’s the way s/he moves, a tone of voice, a facial expression.

It can be as subtle as a single word.

It’s real. It’s powerful. It feels like a trap. Sometimes it feels like quicksand and you vow not to get sucked in. Not this time.

But before you finish the thought – it touches a raw spot in you the size of Texas.

In one split second everything inside collapses or bubbles up in frustration, confusion and anger.

This moment of vulnerability is in all of us and we will do just about anything to avoid it; ignore, get busy, leave, defend, work late – build walls around our hearts.

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A Relationship Check-Up In Six Questions

happy-couple01-25It’s risky to check-in and reflect on an intimate relationship because when it’s good, it’s very good. You don’t want to rock the boat.

When it’s bad, all you want to do is fix, hide or move on and hope things get better soon.

If you step back for a minute, these six simple questions will provide a panoramic view of your relationship.

What is its purpose and does it guide you?

Love is essential and love is grand yet not enough. A 21st century relationship also needs purpose to survive.

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3 Things Happy Couples Do (Almost) Every Day

3 Things Happy Couples Do (Almost) Every DayHappy couples aren’t perfect the way you might imagine. They fuss and disagree just like everyone else. What’s unique about these couples is that partners are able to step out of negative situations fairly quickly and they do it together. They don’t brood, attack or stonewall each other.

Partners are available and engaged in affirming ways. If there’s a misunderstanding or hurt feelings, they tend to the hurt rather than blame or defend. Partners are able to reach out, connect and repair even when things are difficult.

These aren’t sweeping gestures. They’re tiny, courageous acts of love that have huge impact and bring lovers close.

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Love Power and Science

I believe in Love.Love Power and Science

I believe in its power and I believe Love is a source for all-good.

I believe in Loves’ ability to heal.

It confuses and appears dangerous at times, yet it is vital to our physical and emotional well-being.

Everyone needs it, wants it, longs for it and will do just about anything to get it.

Isn’t it odd then, that in this millennium, an age of non-stop social interaction, nuclear fission and living in space stations…..the world knows precious little about Love?

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Searching for Connection

Love and connection seem complicated and mysterious.Peaceful Happy Couple

With it, humans thrive. Without it – not so much.

Relationship distress is a little known and unacknowledged public health issue in the United States. As a culture, we don’t think of depression, anxiety and other health issues that way.

The good news is – relationship disconnect or insecure attachment – is rapidly becoming THE issue of the 21st century.

While a definitive answer to connection eludes us, last week, after years of research and collaboration, a groundbreaking study was released. It showed, for the first time, how the brain sees and responds to threat.

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Are You Feeling Stuck? Start a Movement

Humans have the capacity to see the world through a whimsical lens or a weighty one. As a result, feelings usually ebb and flow. But sometimes… I can get stuck – I mean really, really stuck.Get Unstuck

It’s a universal human experience and happens to everyone.

Stuck-ness creeps in without warning and… when it does…. it reigns supreme and colors everything.

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Are You Practicing Radical Self-Care?

Last week I met up with a friend and mentioned I was having a ‘Barbara Anne Day’. She was confused so I explained:

Barbara Anne is my full name — AND — I set aside one Saturday a month for a Barbara Anne Day. That’s when I turn my kindness floodlight inward, slow way down and practice 24 hours of Radical Self-Care.

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