Nasty-Arguing vs. Worthy-Arguing: What’s your style?

Most if not all people I have counseled, don’t complain because they argue with their partner, they lament instead, they can’t argue well. I have yet to meet that person in my practice or personal life whom has ever proclaimed: “I like to end my arguments in full blown fights, the nastier the better, in fact, I enjoy the silence treatment I get or give after one of those. It is a pleasure to lose control over my emotions and say or do really hurtful things especially to those I love the most. My ultimate goal is to get childish […]

Nasty-Arguing vs. Worthy-Arguing: What’s your style?

Most if not all people I have counseled, don’t complain because they argue with their partner, they lament instead, they can’t argue well. I have yet to meet that person in my practice or personal life whom has ever proclaimed: “I like to end my arguments in full blown fights, the nastier the better, in fact, I enjoy the silence treatment I get or give after one of those. It is a pleasure to lose control over my emotions and say or do really hurtful things especially to those I love the most. My ultimate goal is to get childish […]

Want to strip your relationship(s) from harshness and contribute to purge it from the world? Face this question first.

No doubt we live in a world where harshness, the quality of being cruel or unkind, is often used to resolve conflict internally or otherwise. From our political world climate to our bedrooms, some of us tend to want to figuratively resolve issues “slap-cocking” it, one of the fastest methods used to draw the gun out of the holster and fire. Every time we do it or take it, we are polluting our human essence and creating a “gong” effect that if left unchecked, it sets the stage for unhappiness, discord and pain at best and relationship(s) chaos at worst= […]

4 must-have approaches for heart-to-heart conversations.

Conversations are the most direct, effective and evolved form of communication among humans, yet, just talking to each other is not enough for heart- to heart parleys. Heart- to-heart conversations require skill and when dialogues are laden with what renowned couples’ expert, Dr. Gottman, refers to as the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and/or Stonewalling) relationships either don’t survive or if they do, they exist in misery. If you are saying to yourself right now, “…it’s my partner’s fault our conversations either don’t happen or they have bad endings” you may be absolutely right!, hence, to have […]

Divorce your wound, not your spouse.

How old wounds derive in dead end conversations and how to divorce the cycle, not your spouse. Most of us in long term relationships, dream on (always!) getting what we need from our partner. This is not realistic, yet, one of those infantile longings that just refuses to die. For this reason, couples fight; often. The distinct ways couples fight, however, reveals whether one, the other or both are skillfully responding to a current issue or using adaptations wrapped around unhealed old wounds, inflicted during formative years by parents, parental figures and or other key influential people/factors. An unhealed old wound is like a […]

Want peace in your world? Tame your amygdala first and practice interactive peace.

Verbal aggression among ourselves is a form of abuse; yet, we all do it on some level, failing to gauge the immediate damage and the future imprint. However, for the most part, I have yet to hear: “I want to inflict harm“, rather, what I hear is: “I don’t know how to do it differently“.  This is true but would you do it differently if you knew better? As a relational therapist, I spend several hours a week coaching people how to effectively transform difficult conversations into productive dialogue to quash aggression and give way to healthy paths of communication. I do this by teaching […]

Ever wondered what “climate” you bestow upon your marriage?

Our relationships deserve to exist in an optimum relational climate and each one of us has the power and the responsibility to generate it.  One of the top 3 Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions of climate is described as: The usual or most widespread mood or conditions in a place. Ponder for a minute, how the synergy of several variables in the atmosphere delivers our moment-to-moment climate conditions and how vulnerable we are to it. We are perpetual hosts of the world-climate’s will, a deeply humbling experience, yet, a necessary one, to keep abreast of our surroundings and (un)predictable factors in check. Conversely, when […]

What’s your “BIG PICTURE?”: From Gloom to Joy

Hello folks, joyous 2016 to all! What’s your “big picture?”  As the buzz of the holiday season fizzles down and the first month of the year gets on its way, it is natural to want to regain perspective of our lives, find the “big picture” and readjust our bearings sort to speak. In my own family, marriage of 20+ years and in my work as a couple’s therapist, I am constantly challenged to do just that for both, clients and I alike: to find and live from the “big picture” first, down to the details, later. Making this simple mental […]

From Disharmony to Harmony; every (happy) couple’s journey.

Hello folks, autumn is in the air in this part of the world, bringing upon bright colors, clear skies, and in our home, an invitation to sit by the fire, talk, laugh, watch football, eat, drink and be merry. That is the fun part. Spoiler alert: In marriage, there are other parts too: closeness brings about disagreements and arguments. It is inevitable; it is part of the deal and peculiarly necessary (arguments lead us to the reason we picked our partners, mastering how to repair them heals us. Don’t worry; arguments, fights (excluding extreme dirty-fighting) and disagreements are not indicative of […]

When the rubber hits the road, whose need matters most?

In distress and disagreement whose need is more important, his or hers? Here’s a map to the mind-set needed to know each and every time. Her husband had an affair and now is over: she wants to talk more about her lingering pain; he doesn’t want to talk about it any more. Whose need trumps the other?: To talk or not to talk? Who is to say that her need to talk is more important than his need to stay quiet? The gravity of this particular scenario may make it easier for a third party to choose sides depending on which choice triggers him/her […]