The Top 6 Relational Handicaps That Break Relationships and Bonds

Part of the new series “Relational Handicaps” and How To Transform Them. As a couples’, family therapist and addiction’s specialist, I spend a significant part of the day, working with couples, individuals, business leaders, vets and others who are undergoing their own painful versions of relational fracture and conflict, currently wreaking havoc in their lives. Their underlying goal is to figure out how to repair that break so that they can find relational harmony. No small task. We live in an ever-expanding context of global relational mayhem and from boardrooms to bedrooms we seem to fumble with the most effective […]

Ever wonder why when in distress, we are more likely to lose objectivity?

A conversation turns into an argument and oftentimes, in the blink of an eye, into a tit for tat all the way to a full-blown fight. In those moments, self-control goes out the window and a relational war can ensue. Objectivity then, gets relegated to entitlement: It’s no longer that ‘I am disappointed” it’s that “You are a selfish bastard!”. At this time, there is no resolution, all there is, is one or more dys-regulated brains looking to be rocked back to harmony. This whiplash-move, from talking-to to fighting-with, is partially affected by how well we manage a phenomenon known […]

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 […]

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 […]