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How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by on Dec 30, 2019 in Couples Counseling For One | Comments Off on How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time when people reflect back on the past year of their lives. Often, they think about what they would want to do differently in the New Year. More often they make resolutions about improving their relationships. The trouble with New Year’s resolutions is that many wrestle with following through on them.  I have seen, firsthand, people who have the best of intentions when it comes to fulfilling their resolution to better their relationship. Yet, those good intentions often get buried by the demands of daily life and dealing with the...

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3 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before You Commit

Posted by on Dec 15, 2019 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on 3 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before You Commit

It’s amazing how often people make a commitment to a relationship without seriously exploring the reality of what it will be like to be together long-term. All too often, couples get drawn into the excitement of a relationship without taking more than a superficial look at potential problem areas. This can cause a lot of hurt feelings and maybe even end the relationship. If you are considering making such a commitment, it helps to take a moment to do some serious reflection. Here are three important questions to ask yourself before you commit...

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Will Your Relationship Last, Part II: What to Do with a Conflict Mismatch

Posted by on Dec 13, 2019 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on Will Your Relationship Last, Part II: What to Do with a Conflict Mismatch

Most people have figured out by now that a mismatch between partners makes it hard to resolve conflict. Perhaps you are driven for you and your partner to work together to “fix” a problem while your partner would be perfectly happy if you never spoke of it again. Or maybe your partner prefers to passionately argue their point while you just want things to be peaceful between you. The end result is that the conflict escalates, and it doesn’t seem possible for the two of you to resolve your differences. Sadly, many relationships cannot...

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Will Your Relationship Last? Part I: How to Predict Relationship Success

Posted by on Dec 13, 2019 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on Will Your Relationship Last? Part I: How to Predict Relationship Success

A lot of times people will blame breakups on money, in-laws, the kids, etc. But the truth is that what couples fight about is not what predicts whether a relationship will last. What you really need to pay attention to is how a couple argues to determine relationship success. Conflict is unavoidable, and it’s not what you argue about but how you argue that can make the difference. John Gottman, a researcher who studies relationships and how they work, has identified three styles of conflict:  avoiding, volatile, and validating. Which...

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Why Couples Should Have a Shared Life Contract

Posted by on Oct 31, 2019 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on Why Couples Should Have a Shared Life Contract

Couples usually have some general plan for the future, but they don’t always anticipate potential unexpected events. Geographic relocation, layoffs, or a new baby can throw a wrench in those plans and cause couples to struggle with relationship problems. Couples who best navigate these issues have discovered and mapped out a plan for their future together. This comes in the form of a shared life contract. The contract explicitly outlines what their goals are and what direction they want their life to take as a couple. Designing a shared life...

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5 Truths about Relationships that Every Couple Should Know

Posted by on Oct 15, 2019 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on 5 Truths about Relationships that Every Couple Should Know

There are several truths about relationships that virtually everyone knows intuitively already. Owning and embracing these truths is much harder to do. Still, these basic truths can help provide couples with a solid foundation for strengthening their relationships. Here are five truths about relationships that every couple should know: Your Spouse is Not Perfect Having a perfect spouse is not the sign of a great marriage. All people are flawed and have their shortcomings. Dwelling on those shortcomings creates resentment which, in the long...

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When Your Partner Won’t Commit

Posted by on Sep 29, 2019 in Couples Counseling For One | Comments Off on When Your Partner Won’t Commit

Cody and Monica have been together for three years. Monica believes that the relationship is permanent, and has a strong desire to marry and start a family. Cody, however, doesn’t show signs of advancing the relationship. He sometimes alludes to moving forward, but he doesn’t commit to marriage. Yet, when Monica asks about his thoughts about the future, he replies back “Isn’t this good enough?” or “Why mess with what works?” So, obviously Cody and Monica are not on the same page regarding their relationship. Monica wants a committed partner...

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How to Recognize a Serious Problem with Alcohol

Posted by on Sep 15, 2019 in Couples Counseling, Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Recognize a Serious Problem with Alcohol

Alcohol use disorder, otherwise known as alcoholism, has reached epidemic levels in the United States. It’s potentially life-threatening and greatly affects one’s quality of life. One way this occurs is that alcohol abuse makes it very hard to be emotionally engaged and present in a relationship. It’s also equally difficult to make long-lasting changes in a relationship when someone is drinking heavily or excessively. Key reasons why this is true are that 1) alcohol impairs judgment and 2) it affects how one interacts with other people, even...

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Is Alcohol Causing a Problem in Your Relationship?

Posted by on Sep 1, 2019 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on Is Alcohol Causing a Problem in Your Relationship?

A disclaimer:  Alcohol use disorders are not the focus of this article. They are serious issues that require professional help. Alcohol use disorders will be covered more in the next article. With that said, think back on some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in relationships. Maybe it was something you said to your partner. Or, on the other hand, did you do something that you regretted later? Now consider whether you, your partner or both of you were drinking when those moments occurred. Was alcohol use a positive or negative factor in...

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The Number One Way You Can Protect Your Relationship from an Affair

Posted by on Jul 31, 2019 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on The Number One Way You Can Protect Your Relationship from an Affair

Sometimes people are in a committed relationship with their partner, and that partner also happens to be good friends with a coworker or their neighbor. On the surface, everything seems okay. Perhaps they eat together during breaks or are on the same neighborhood co-op board.  Yet, for their partners, there is still some concern. They may be worried that their partner is drifting away from them towards this other person in their life. Sometimes, they worry that there may even be a physical or sexual attachment to that relationship too....

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