Counseling for Highly Conflicted Couples

Everyone longs to live in peace. We can have money, opportunity, a lovely home, and children, and yet we’re not happy if we don’t have peace in our marriage. I consider myself a seasoned marriage counselor. And, while I feel excited at the prospect of helping each new couple and working through the challenge ahead, high-conflict couples can sometimes strain my capabilities.
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Broken Before the Affair

An affair, physical or emotional, is a betrayal of the worst kind. The one to whom you’ve entrusted your life, who you’ve shared every intimate aspect of living with, now has shared those very aspects of their being with someone else—a place and part of them that should be reserved exclusively for you. You trusted someone with your heart, soul and emotions; you counted on them to keep you safe. An affair shatters the trust, safety, and honesty you believed in.
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Narcissistic Traits or Malignant Narcissism?

No one deserves to be mistreated by another. No one! To be insulated from mistreatment, however, we must always be on the alert for those who would mistreat us. First, let me be clear: any form of narcissism is destructive. Yet, it is one thing to experience abuse at the hands of someone with narcissistic traits and something altogether more debilitating if the abuse has been perpetrated by a malignant narcissist.
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Is Your Marriage Making You Sick?

For years researchers have championed the positive aspects of being married. Healthy marriages offer us opportunities to have a partner in facing stress, a mate for vacations, not to mention a companion in achieving many of life’s goals. Friend, partner, and even soul-mate. When a marriage is functioning effectively, even our bodies reflect the healing power of close and intimate friendship. But, what happens when your marriage is fraught with bickering and emotional abuse? Medical professionals are quick to inform us about the impact of stress on our bodies. We need to pay attention to what emotional tension does to
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What He Wants Her to Know

A while ago, I produced a series of videos called What She Wants Him to Know. I tried to capture the sentiment of what emotionally abused women desperately want their mate to know and understand about them—that they need to be seen as individuals and encouraged to find and speak their voice, to be empathized with and valued, to have their anger and hurt understood, and for men to go on their own journey of in-depth healing. They want the abuse to stop so healing can begin.
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Is emotional abuse contagious?

“I can’t believe the way I act toward my husband,” a client told me recently. “I speak in ways I never used to. I call him names, just like he does to me. I respond to him in the same angry tone he uses. I’m not proud of it, but it happens.” I often share with couples that “emotions are contagious.” Think about the last time someone spoke harshly to you. Did you speak harshly back or at least consider doing so? It is tempting to react to provocative behavior by acting in a similar manner. We’ve all done it.
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