Clarifying relationship expectations

It is important to keep your relationship current in the present. The past is history and cannot be changed; the future is uncertain. A relationship thrives or withers in the present.

Sustaining positive relationship change and growth

Change is the one thing you can count on in relationships. The relationship changes as external circumstances change and as the needs, desires, growth and experience of the partner’s shift. At the same time, resistance to change is normal and should come as no surprise, even when a proposed change clearly makes sense. We resist…

Six questions towards a better relationship

Focus specifically on issues in your relationship that are important to you. It is useful to ask six questions in order to arrive at the issues you would like to negotiate. What do I want that I am not getting? What am I getting that I don’t want? What am I giving that I don’t…

The relationship contract

Most couples who are unhappy in their relationship feel disappointed, if not outright betrayed, that what they expected to find in the relationship either hasn’t happened or has stopped happening.

Power struggles

Power struggles are an attempt by one partner to dominate the other and are generally a self-esteem issue. Self-esteem is tied to winning. In addition, there is the fear of being controlled by one’s partner.  This makes for the classic one-up-one-down relationship, in which one partner dominates by intimidation and the other submits. In this relationship,…

Becoming non-defensive

What do we have to do to be able to hear complaints or criticism? We first have to be willing to know and to accept ourselves. We really have to believe that we are good enough, lovable, and entitled–entitled to be happy, to make mistakes, and to ask for help. “I am good enough” is…

Effective communication is a requirement for problem solving

Effective communication is a requirement for effective problem solving in an intimate relationship.  While most of us communicate effectively in our work, effectiveness has a different meaning in an intimate relationship.  It is important to explore those different meanings. How we communicate is the problem more often than what we communicate.  If the ways we…