Finding Sanity in the Age of COVID-19

You may never have looked at it this way, but relationships have personalities, just like people do. Some are calm, durable, steady, and comfortable; others are fiery and full of ups and downs. Some marriages contain partners who are joined at the hip and who live most of their lives in each other’s company, perhaps even managing to work together as well as live together. Others function better with more time apart, where each person pursues individual interests while still being able to come together over shared enjoyments. When you take the personality of the marriage and combine it with
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How Strong is Your Foundation?

One of the primary themes at the Marriage Recovery Center is the concept of “Healing Together”. This philosophy refers to the concept that a marriage can only heal if both individuals do their part in the process. We frequently ask husbands and wives to do individual work in addition to the growing they do together. Men, this one is for you!
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To Be Told or Not to Be Told: Why We Use a Directive Counseling Approach

The majority of people who come to see me say they have been to multiple counselors, both personally and for their marriage, and that most of them have been less than helpful, if not harmful. I think there are two particular elements impacting the effectiveness of their previous counseling: 1) the dynamics of narcissistic and emotional abuse on the victim and the relationship are unrecognized, and 2) the ineffective use of non-directive approaches to address the issues.
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Listening to Your Anger

Anger is often viewed as an emotion that will get us into big trouble if we’re not careful. Most of us have learned that we must “manage our anger.” But what if our concepts about anger management are a bit misguided? What if, instead of managing and suppressing our anger, we explored anger and the feelings lurking below the surface? What if, instead of corralling and suppressing our anger, we learned about the emotions that anger is covering up and how to talk about them?
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Do I really need to win? 7 Rules of a Fair Fight

As a younger man I often heard things like “winning is not everything, It’s the only thing.” Who wants to lose? Many men seem to equate being gentle and patient with loss. But the truth is, self-promotion is loss, and lifting others up is winning. Many of the men who join our program, The Core, think they’re always right; everything is and should be as they see it. They will say things like, “A good wife, a Christian woman, should just submit.” They often feel they’re being controlled and respond by blaming their wives for forcing them to do something.
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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.
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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.
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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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