Couples Counseling Articles

Marriage

How Do We Make Things Better?

We don’t think of it often but, culture defines nations, neighborhoods, families …and corporate entities.

Starbucks and Dunkin’ have different cultures, for example.

Families differ culturally too…

And, every marriage merges two cultures.

When we spent Thanksgiving with one of my relatives, my dad would grumble all the way home.

It makes no sense,” he would say with an eye-roll, “Why would anyone serve Jello at a holiday meal?”

Culture is a set of ideas that affect our behavior in certain ways.

It’s shared information and values….stored mostly in our brains.

(Yes, it’s also stored in libraries and museums.)

Some of these stored ideas are clear and explicit. Others, not so much.

They’re vague and few ideas last for long.

Most simply disappear.

But when an idea is exceptional (good or bad) it gets embedded and resistant to change.

Like long-lasting relationships, long-lived ideas start to shift too.

When the shift happens…and it always does…perhaps the most important question to ask is,

How do we make things better?

These Essentials Are The Solution… But They’re Not For Everyone

Problems are conflicts of ideas and perception.

I may have an idea and see things one way. That means something to me.

My partner sees things another way….. that means something to him.

There’s a good possibility we’ll fuss over it.

This kind of conflict happens to all couples and most often…..we move on.

Because most problems are uninteresting and work themselves out.

But there are times when a couple gets stuck in a conversation that goes around in circles.

It’s a never ending cycle and can be about something major….or seemingly insignificant.

A negative pattern can develop in the relationship that is so profound, it brings up dread.

Oh, no. Here we go again!

Once embedded in the relationship, this cyclical pattern can go on for years, even decades.

Try deflecting it with silence or politeness and it works for a while.

Then comes the inevitable jab.

It hurts.

For lots of people, it’s easier to just take the jab; stay quiet and wait.

It keeps things tidy. It also keeps things from getting better.

The ultimate solution requires courage; taking off the mask and stepping into possibility.

It involves taking risks and speaking up….simply….creatively.

These are the essentials that get us UNSTUCK and move things forward.

And this is where we find passion, connection, emotional safety and trust.

Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples – Charlotte, NC – September 28 & 29

How do you want to feel in your relationship?

Safe? Warm? Respected? Understood? Cherished?

Whatever it is for YOU…. if you’re trying hard to make things better – you’re not alone.

We’re all pretty good about attending to our children, homes and careers. Yet when it comes to our primary relationship, most of us wing it and hope for the best. STOP!

What YOU want for your relationship is more important today than ever before.

It’s time to dig deep and think about the ONE thing that’s likely to make everything better.

You know what I’m talking about….connection.

It creates the kind of closeness you experience when you have important conversations…. without slipping into that dreaded negative spin.

Connection is a must-have for 21st century relationships and exactly what you’ll experience in our couples workshops.

Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples

2 Days – 7 Conversations

Join us on September 28 and 29!

The Wellness Center Counseling Hold Me Tight workshop

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Continue Reading Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples – Charlotte, NC – September 28 & 29

Love and Loneliness

Creating emotional balance and safety in a topsy-turvy world seems impossible some days.

Intuitively, we know love, attention and connection are are key; everywhere present and scarce at the same time.

So we seek it. Crave it. Demand it.

While the essence of it all might just be about mastering how to give and receive it.

What we believe matters… now more than ever.

Moment by Moment / Grace and Gratitude

Just a simple reminder on how well you’re doing.

Those anxious moments you had a year ago are gone.

The problem was either resolved or it faded into the background. Something you live with but no longer think of as urgent.

Today there are other issues – for sure!

And, knowing you can get through every single overwhelming moment makes it easier to see what’s real.

When we give our attention to the important stuff instead of the panic within, we learn to build a cycle of goodness.

Continue Reading Moment by Moment / Grace and Gratitude

When Conversations Go Off The Rails – Bad Things Happen

Can you relate? It happens to all of us.

It’s that moment in your relationship when things are great and suddenly someone gets triggered.

The conversation goes off the rails and your partner makes NO sense.

Communication goes in circles and you both feel frustrated, hurt and confused.

Intuitively you know it’s a negative loop – one that’s almost impossible to stop.

You’ve been here 100 times before and you want to stop it………. but you can’t

You’d love to get your point across. But, what you want MOST is to be heard and understood.

Sometimes you’re left wondering what the heck the argument was even about.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

These negative cycles are UNIVERSAL and every couple has them.

Continue Reading When Conversations Go Off The Rails – Bad Things Happen

Registration is open and I’m super excited!

I’m thrilled to announce that Early Bird Registration (big savings!) is open for our 2019 Hold Me Tight® Workshops here in Charlotte, NC.

We have four 2-day weekends to choose from!

 

Yep. I’m that excited.

Most of us value our primary relationship and truly want to make it better – we read books and spend hours scouring the internet wondering how to make that special connection happen.

We carefully and regularly attend to our…

  • children
  • careers
  • cars
  • yards
  • mortgages and
  • home improvement projects

with LOTS of success.

But if you work your tail off and can’t figure out why things aren’t getting better between you and your partner — you are not alone.

(HINT: this is not something we’re taught in school. And people rarely recognize emotional closeness as a skill worth building and cultivating. Turns out, it’s as essential as oxygen!)

Make no mistake – the ability for a couple to have enough closeness and trust to have an important conversation (or any conversation for that matter!) without slipping into a negative spin – is a must-have for 21st century relationships.

And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in our Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples.

After 2 days and 7 conversations, you’ll walk away with concrete ways to communicate and pull your partner closer.

Talking, listening and being heard for the first time in a loooooong time is exactly what you’ll experience.

Click here and select the date that works for you……

Continue Reading Registration is open and I’m super excited!

Do You Want to Make Life Better and Easier?

I’ve always been amazed at how much easier life can be when you have a supportive partner and a great relationship. At least that’s the way it is for most people and, YES, you can have that in YOUR life!

Recently we’ve had a ton of inquiries about our 1-Day Couples Intensives and we always make it a point to be straight-up and let people know who’s best suited for them.

The Wellness 1-Day Couples Intensive may be a perfect fit for you if:

  • You’re a busy couple
  • You live locally
  • You love each other and want things to be better (Not necessarily perfect; just better.)
  • You’re ready to take that huge and courageous first step
  • You like the idea of walking away at the end of the day with homework and a clear vision of what’s next

The 1-Day Couples Intensive covers 4-5 weeks of couples therapy in one day, completes our assessment/discovery phase and primes you for ongoing work with one of our amazing, caring therapists.

Continue Reading Do You Want to Make Life Better and Easier?

What Are You Creating?

For as long as I can remember, most people I know fell in love and started creating the wedding. Who and how many to invite? Find the right venue. Live music or DJ? What kind of food and when do we taste the cake? Get these questions answered then swing into action.

The profits around organizing and implementing weddings are huge. It’s an industry that’s not going away. Just a quick Google search reveals there are more than 2.5 million weddings in the US annually valued at well over $50 billion. Yes. Billion.

Today, there’s a new kind of creating going on.

Over time, it’s likely to have more dominance and prestige because you cannot buy or duplicate it: Creating an intimate partnership that works.

How do we create an intimate partnership where we are doing great things AND still accessible, responsive and emotionally engaged with each other?

How do we show up in relationship in ways that serve our partner AND the world?

Happy couples of the future, the ones that want to be close 20 years from now, are asking these questions. If you’re aspiring to a happy 20+ year marriage, consider organizing an intimate partnership.

If you’re planning an average life by working harder, longer hours and making more money to build a bigger house, consider the alternative: gifting your partner and humanity with your brilliance.

After The Argument

Relationships don’t fall apart because of an argument. You and your partner both know mistakes happen. It’s what happens after the argument that can undermine your love for each other. How we repair the injury caused by our blunders is what matters most. That’s where the world of possibility lies.

If you’re available, responsive and engaged and you’re able to stay with your lover’s pain, a door opens to the possibility of building a partnership that’s even stronger than before. It creates a ripple effect that flows into other relationships and supports everyone around you – especially children.

More often than not, we’re focused on not making mistakes. We spend a life-time walking on eggshells and filled with so much shame and blame that we forget about the emotional labor of showing up and staying the course.

Continue Reading After The Argument