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Help For Relationship Reactivity

I’m working with a young man related to success and performance. However, as part of our conversations, his relationship came up. He was feeling bad about his behavior. He had a lot of insight into why he behaves reactively at times. He recognized that when he gets insecure he loses his temper and becomes controlling as a way to try and stabilize himself. When angry, he feels compelled to behave that way and feels justified. However, afterward, he is filled with shame and remorse for his actions. He was feeling discouraged because he hadn't been able to change his behavior....

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Would You Be Happier If Your Partner Changed?

The Answer Might Not Be What You Think   We just celebrated the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S. It is a wonderful reminder to look at what we are grateful for in our lives. The results of this are so heart-opening. For me, it was also a reminder to look at how I am giving in my life. What ways am I being of service?    In the area of relationships, we are often preoccupied with what we should be getting from our relationship and from our partner that we forget to look at how we are showing up in the relationship. It is...

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Beyond Fear of Intimacy to Embracing the Wild

There is an incredible depth of feeling and love experienced in intimate relationships. As Bruce Perry’s book title highlights, we are born for love. We are all drawn to the experience of love. That is our natural state. That is who we are.   If this is true, why are intimate relationships hard for so many people?    Just because we are born for love on the psychological level and our essence is love on the spiritual level, it doesn’t mean we always feel love. Our personal experience can feel like the opposite of this at times and when it does we often believe that things...

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Releasing Contempt — It Is More Dangerous For Relationships Than Conflict

When people talk about relationship challenges people usually think about emotional volatility. High conflict couples let the fur fly as they navigate their differences. As challenging as these kinds of interactions are, this kind of conflict is not a negative predictor for relationship longevity. According to John Gottman and his research on marital stability, contempt is far more damaging to relationships than volatility.   Couples who have high levels of contempt in their relationship may not have high conflict. Often these are couples who say they don’t fight. Their relationships are often characterized by distance. There is frequently functional stability that allows the...

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Expectations Are Harmful To Relationships

Relationships are hard when we look to them to get our needs met. It is inevitable that our partner is not going to meet our needs in some areas some of the time and in other areas consistently. And it seems that couples pick the perfect partner for not meeting their needs, or perhaps, we react in such a way that it is inevitable that our partner will eventually respond in a way that doesn't meet our needs.   Rather than relationship work being focused on understanding each other's needs and increasing expectations that our partner will meet our needs, what about...

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The Myth of Happily Ever After

Angus and I are developing a free Rewilding Love challenge that will launch next year. As I reflect on what it is that allows love to be rekindled and to flourish in a relationship, I see more and more it is not about the other person. For me, it has been through having a deeper awakening to my impersonal loving nature that has allowed my marriage to thrive. This is something we can lose sight of as we become more and more focused on the personal nature of the relationship and our partner.   The myth of happily ever after links love...

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What Do Wall-Sits and Relationships Have in Common?

They can both be really uncomfortable.    I started doing the 7-minute workout recently and was sharing how much my legs shook when doing the wall-sit exercise. I was then told that being able to do the wall sit is linked to success in long-term relationships. I did look up this statistic, but could not find any corroborating evidence. However, the logic makes sense to me. The correlation is, if you can do the wall-sit, you don’t take discomfort seriously and are able to look beyond the experience and keep going.   This would indicate that long-term relationships have high levels of discomfort at...

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Try This Experiment If You Are Unhappy In Your Relationship

If you are unhappy in your relationship are you willing to try an experiment?    It is an experiment designed to reduce your suffering not to save your relationship. And whatever happens in terms of the outcome for your relationship, you will have the learning from the experiment. That goes with you even if the relationship ends.   Angus and I do our best to have no attachment to outcomes when working with our clients. We see our responsibility being to educate our clients so they can connect more deeply with their own wellbeing and see more clearly what gets in the way of...

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The Best Relationship Remedy

Relationship advice is usually focused on trying to cultivate more of a feeling of love that comes and goes rather than on waking up to your essence of love that is always there no matter what. It might seem counter-intuitive to focus on something that can only be found and experienced within when it looks like the issues are without involving two people not just oneself, but ultimately any experience of upset we experience comes from within.   It is the ultimate in empowerment, freedom, and liberation to see that what causes our internal experiences arises from our own thoughts and not...

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What Makes Relationships Work?

Angus and I are in the beautiful Pacific Northwest facilitating a four-day intensive with a couple. As I was reflecting on the intensive beforehand I was thinking about what it is that makes relationships work. Given that the content of each person’s experience is unique and each relationship is different, I was looking to see what is simple and unifying that applies to all relationships?   When I reflected on my own relationship, what occurred to me is that the less I am attached to my personal position the better my relationship is. The more I need things to be a certain...

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