I regularly see people in my office who are suffering from painful relationship situations and at least 50% of the time, the problems they’re having can be chalked up to something that one or both partners is doing to derail things.
Here are 5 ways I see people sabotage their relationships:
It’s a common problem: you’re having serious marital problems – usually problems that have been going on for a long time. You’ve got a painful history of fights, broken promises, mistrust, and anger. And now, your partner wants out. They’re done. You want to save the relationship, and you’re looking for an answer to the question: “How do I get my spouse to fall in love again?” Of course, the real question you’re asking is: “How do I get my spouse to stay here long enough for us to fall in love again?” After all, if they don’t stick around, falling back in love isn’t a likely outcome. (more…)
Relationships are full of tension. One of the biggest tensions is between safety and mystery. In the early days of a new romantic relationship, mystery predominates. We’re drawn in by the unknown parts of the other person. We’re curious about who they are, what makes them tick, and what it would be like to be intimately connected to them. The mystery that surrounds new love is one of the things that drives passions and keeps the early part of the relationship lively and interesting. And, although we love the thrill of these mysterious early days, we humans aren’t necessarily comfortable living in that place forever. (more…)
In the first few sessions of couples therapy, a lot of the discussion is caught up in who said or did what, and there can be a lot of blaming and pointing fingers – especially with high-conflict couples. Both partners usually have a laundry list of complaints and hurts, and invariably they each want to ask, “Why did you do those things?”
Marriage is a struggle. That probably sounds pretty pessimistic, but it’s actually the place where every newly married couple should start. Most couples, when they fall in love, imagine marriage as a way to bottle up and hang on to all the romantic, flighty ideals of love and infatuation that brought them together in the first place. But marriage is not a bottle, and there’s no good way to preserve those early feelings of giddiness and love that infuse the first days and weeks of a new romantic relationship. No. Marriage is a challenging, unpredictable, and sometimes frustrating journey of two people trying to understand one another and trying to fill in the gap of “enough” for one another. (more…)
We’ve had a lot of storms in the Houston area lately. Seems like every few days we’re getting another round of rain, and another round of flood warnings.
Last week, I used the metaphor of soap bubbles to talk about the pursuer-distancer dynamic in relationships. Today, I want to approach that same topic from another angle
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found it very difficult to ask for help. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, but somewhere along the way, I started to believe that to ask for help was to admit failure, and failure was never a good thing.
I’d like to say that it was my parents’ fault, or the fact that I was the youngest in a family where the siblings really focused intently on one another’s mess-ups. And yes, maybe that’s part of it, but (more…)
My son is almost four years old, so he still loves a good bubble bath. I’m not opposed to one now and then, myself. My son loves the soap bubbles because of all the fun things you can do with them: put them on your head, make a Santa beard, fill a cup with bubbles and pretend it’s icecream.
It’s tricky to hold onto bubbles. It requires you to keep a couple things in mind: