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
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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Can I Make You Change?

I frequently hear people say that we can’t make other people change. Objectively speaking, when push comes to shove, we certainly cannot force another person to change. If we could, we would have everything we wanted and that would probably not be good for us or the other person in the long run. It is within the individual to decide to change. But, do we sometimes use this concept as an excuse not to do everything in our power to help facilitate change in another person?
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How do I Know if he’s Really Changing?

Lisa had recently realized that her marriage wasn’t functioning well. She had wrapped her life around Joe, managing the house, the kids, and the schedule to cater to his expectations. Now, several years in, she was becoming aware of some important issues, namely (1) Joe’s “expectations” randomly changed, (2) he did not take her seriously, and (3) he had no real empathy or understanding of her, nor did he seem to want to.
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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.
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