You Don’t Need to Process Your Anger with Your Partner

When we’re extremely angry, physiologically we’re not a whole lot different than a child throwing a tantrum. We’re literally not in our right mind. Blood has moved away from our pre-frontal cortex (the seat of conscious thought) and filled our amygdala, where the fight or flight response is triggered. We call this state being “flooded” or “triggered,” a term coined by Daniel Goleman in his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence. Basically, when you’re in fight or flight mode, you’re in no position to think or communicate logically.
Continue Reading

Are You Setting Boundaries or Just Complaining?

One of the key issues I see in my work with clients is the inability to use boundaries and boundary-setting in a way that is healthy and productive for relationships. Boundaries are key! Why are they so important? Because if you don’t figure out how to set healthy boundaries, one or both of you will probably often be triggered, flooded, and unable to function well in your relationship. Without boundaries, you could (without realizing it) actually be feeding your relationship dysfunction instead of standing up for what’s best or right for you and the relationship.
Continue Reading

Is Anger Controlling You?

Anger, when it’s out of control, is an insidious beast that wreaks havoc in people’s lives. If rage is something that you struggle with, it’s important to understand the biology of anger, as well as learn techniques that will allow you to better mitigate it.
Continue Reading

Letting Your Spouse Have Their Process

Over decades of working with people in many capacities and from all walks of life, I have seen that people need time and space to struggle with and learn from their old habits and patterns and to integrate newer, healthier ideas into their lives. The key words here are space and struggle—concepts that often make a person’s spouse quite uncomfortable. So, why does someone need space from their partner in order to grow?
Continue Reading

Overcoming Financial Stress in Blended Families

Nearly 50% of families in the U.S. today are blended families (remarried or recoupled). According to Allianz, an insurance and investment company, many blended families tend to be more financially challenged than non-blended families, more likely to live paycheck to paycheck, and more likely to feel that their spouse/partner brought financial baggage to the relationship that’s hard to overcome.
Continue Reading

How Emotional Maturity Affects Your Relationships

Cut a tree open and count the rings—that’ll tell you how old the tree is. Each ring represents the amount of new wood produced during the growing season. Occasionally a tree will go a year without any new growth; sometimes it’ll produce two rings in one year. But, more or less, a ring equals a year. Chronologically, we humans work kind of the same way. Our outside changes—like graying hair or wrinkled and sagging skin—are all common signs of our age. Someone who is 60 years old usually looks around 60 years old.
Continue Reading

Communication 101: Part 1

Over the next few months, we’re going to be diving deep into the art of communication, which I see as the single biggest area of personal growth. Communication, when done elegantly and thoughtfully, can make us feel connected to others and help us feel understood. But, when done poorly, communication can contribute to conflict and alienate us from ourselves and our loved ones. Furthermore, among couples, while bad communication might not be the root of all conflicts, it certainly interferes with any attempt at resolution.
Continue Reading

Do you have the willpower to change?

Many of us have grown up with Oprah Winfrey, and we’ve seen her evolve from the young actress in The Color Purple to the powerful businesswoman, philanthropist, and activist that she is today. These days, she appears to be capable of doing pretty much anything she sets her mind to. But for a woman who seems to have everything, we have also seen her frequently struggle with her weight. We have watched her go from overweight to healthy to overweight again, time after time. Even with access to so many of the resources, we think necessary to stay fit, trim, and healthy
Continue Reading