How We Deceive Ourselves

Do you ever find yourself acting contrary to what you know is good or what you really want to be about? Or perhaps you know someone who says the right things and seems to present good intentions, but, in fact, they do not actually do much that is consistent with such beliefs. I call this self-deception.
Continue Reading

Can Marital Infidelity Cause PTSD?

Infidelity as Trauma No person has ever said, “I cannot wait to fall in love, give myself completely to my spouse, and then find out one day that he or she has cheated on me!” In marital relationships, sexual betrayal elicits a trauma response. Sexual betrayal is extraordinarily significant and causes deep wounds because it involves an offense against the body, mind, heart, and soul. In a conjugal union, each person is vulnerable and trusting. Because of this, the act of betrayal violates the recipient’s sense of safety and elicits a trauma response. It can destroy your ability to relate
Continue Reading

Is your anger covering up vulnerable emotions?

Ed sat across from me in an intensive session, not able to wrap his head around the idea that his wife desperately needed him to have some sort of feelings for her. A long marriage, kids, and financial success were in the balance, as she was ready to divorce him because he could not express any kind of deeper emotion and was stoic and cold. I could see him struggling with this notion that he had feelings and needed to share them. One of the first things I do in counseling is see where your deep feelings begin to come
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

Narcissism and Emotional Abuse: Paying Attention to Your Path

Many of our blogs identify the narcissist as “him” and the victim as “her.” While most of our content leans that way, and most of the couples who seek our help lean that way, the reality is, not all narcissists are men, nor are women the only victims. We are all, male and female, quite capable of being absolutely arrogant, carelessly emotionally destructive, and acrimoniously self-protective. And the outcome is the same: relationships marred by trauma, brokenness, and deep pain. We end up in relationships that are shallow, void of connection, and wracked with fear and confusion.
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

A Woman Scorned

By the time most couples seek help with their marriage, anger is a profound element of the relationship. I’ve also noticed, however, that it’s common for neither party to acknowledge their own anger, although they can often easily point out the anger within their spouse. Wives might bring up their husband’s outbursts, raging, or controlling behavior. Husbands tend to point out their wife’s lack of forgiveness, withdrawal, or depression. Each of them feels fairly justified in what they’re allowing to brew under the surface of their behavior, without recognizing how much damage their anger is doing.
Continue Reading