Especially in the beginning of relationship, fantasy plays a big part. We meet someone, there’s chemistry, and within our head, we often imagine the person to be all we hope him or her to be. We begin to act as if he or she is that person. When that happens, we are engaging in fantasy. Before we know it, we can become embroiled in a relationship with someone we don’t truly know in spite of the long, heartfelt conversations and spark-firing chemistry experienced in the beginning. It is… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on February 27, 2011 at 10:00pm —
Pursed lips, silence, slammed cabinets or doors, and emotional and physical distancing are a few examples of how some people in relationship convey negative feelings, such as anger and hurt. In other words, many people convey their negative feelings in a passive-aggressive manner rather than directly…and it is not in the least bit helpful to the relationship.
It is your responsibility to speak openly and honestly about any negative feelings you have towards your partner. It… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on January 31, 2011 at 2:30pm —
Added by Cliff Roles on January 14, 2011 at 2:30pm —
Christmas is a time of giving and receiving, but are you a good giver and receiver? The gift exchange actually says a lot about your relationship. Many people are good at being either a giver or a receiver, but not both. Healthy relationships involve mutual giving and receiving -- cherishing others with special gestures and also allowing oneself to be cherished. This holiday, observe yourself to see how comfortable you are with both giving and receiving and look to see what it means about… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on December 20, 2010 at 4:00pm —
Once people have a landed a relationship, they often forget to use the skills that helped them attract their mate in the beginning. In the initial phase of love, people employ lots of positive relationship skills like giving compliments, arranging special dates, creating romance, being affectionate, keeping in frequent communication and planning surprises. Most people do these things in an attempt to win someone’s heart. Other people are charmers whose superficial charm soon fades. Yet even… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on December 11, 2010 at 10:13am —
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the abundance in our lives – a time for gratitude. Yet, when people count their blessings, they tend to generalize – such as being grateful for a spouse or loved one, but not taking the time to reflect on all the specific reasons. This week, take the time to make a list of all of the things in your relationship for which you are grateful. Consider all the tangible and intangible gifts your relationship has brought into your life – from the little gestures,… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on November 20, 2010 at 8:21pm —
Do you ever come across as knowing more or being better than your partner? Or perhaps you look up to him, giving him superiority to you? In healthy relationships, partners treat each other as if their value is equal. No one talks down to anyone else and no one looks up at anyone else. It is great to admire a partner’s qualities or achievements, but if you are looking up at someone, it doesn’t feel good because you are feeling inferior. It’s also painful to be the receiver when a partner (or… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on November 12, 2010 at 3:30pm —
When hope is lost about a relationship getting better, the relationship slowly withers. Hopelessness is deadly to relationships. Yet when people have hope for their relationships, they tend to make efforts in the relationship and stand up for what they want. When people don’t give up easily, relationships tend to prosper.
If you find yourself feeling hopeless in your relationship, ask yourself what is causing you to lose hope. Perhaps the hopelessness has to do with something else… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on November 7, 2010 at 12:16pm —
Make an effort this week to share something about your life that you haven’t previously shared with your partner. This tip is an exercise in sharing your self and your history. For example, disclose a childhood memory, something that affected you strongly and impacted your life. Sharing such events is a way of increasing emotional intimacy. It helps your partner to truly know you and understand you. Invite mutual sharing by asking your partner about events in his life that impacted… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on October 24, 2010 at 8:55pm —
I often hear people in relationship say things to each other like, “I was just trying to annoy you.” “I knew it would irritate you; I was only being funny.” What these statements are really saying is “I know the things that upset you, and I am purposely doing them.” That statement doesn’t sound loving, does it? And it’s not.
Healthy relationships are about cherishing each other. It is never cherishing to intentionally do something that you know your partner won’t like. Often such… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on October 12, 2010 at 9:05pm —
When you are upset with anyone, before you open your mouth to speak about it, ask yourself “Is what am I about to say or do likely to make things better or worse?” No matter how right you think you are, no matter how good of a point you have to make, if what you are going to say or do is going to make things worse, don’t do it. It’s not worth the fall-out.
There is always a different way to say things or a different approach to problems. Take the time to consider how to say things… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on September 26, 2010 at 11:07am —
Almost eight years ago, it was a serendipitous day both in my relationship and my professional life when the Psychotherapy Networker magazine titled “Bad Couples Therapy: How to Avoid It” arrived at my office. The magazine featured several articles on the subject by renowned therapists, but the one that struck a chord with me so loudly that I couldn’t help but hear it was by best-selling author and ground-breaking therapist Terry Real. I had never heard of him before, but I immediately knew… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on September 5, 2010 at 9:00am —
In the heat of the moment, people in relationship often make idle threats which they don’t end up following through with. Threats are usually made to get a spouse’s attention or to get the fight to stop, but these inadequate attempts to repair a situation usually only make matters worse in the long run. As is often the intention, feelings are hurt and anxieties are provoked. Retaliation is always a losing strategy. “I want a divorce,” or “You have to leave” are the worst of these threats; such… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on August 27, 2010 at 12:00pm —
Is he the ONE? How do you know? How much do you have to know to be sure? Is marriage a possibility?
In my newly revised book, Make Relationships Last: A Man's View (available on amazon) I cover attraction, intimacy, soul mates, chemistry, long distance relationships, and a provocative Q and A that helps understand many gender based issues. I also point out that there is a "fundamental relationship error" many of us make over and over again. There are some wry wisdoms about men,… Continue
Added by Doug Ross on August 9, 2010 at 10:38am —
Imagine your partner is right there beside you always. Whatever you do in life, act only as you would if your partner was present. When you live your life this way, you are unlikely to betray your partner. Betrayal isn’t just about infidelity. It is betrayal when you say or do anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing with your partner standing right next to you. It is betrayal to hide behaviors your partner wouldn’t like, belittle your partner or say things to others… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on July 13, 2010 at 12:22pm —
MOTH AND BUTTERFLY by Terese Weir
Ever look in an empty cocoon as a most glorious butterfly leaves it? I’ll bet there’s a mirror in it.
When a woman loses her hair, which for her has been a safe haven and the only part of her body she truly believes is spectacular, she desperately wants to trust that her husband loves her for who she is, not for the dead protein on the top of her head. But when rage replaces reason, no soft whisper or kiss at the back of her now hairless neck is… Continue
Added by Susan Beausang on March 17, 2010 at 12:30pm —
I don’t normally watch late night television, but after all the hoopla about NBC replacing Conan O’Brien as the Tonight Show host, I tuned in for his last couple of shows. What I viewed was an example what Relational Life Therapists like myself refer to as "relational living."On Thursday’s show, there was great fun at the expense of NBC. But on Conan’s last night as the Tonight Show host, he became serious. He expressed gratitude for his twenty year… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on January 24, 2010 at 11:00am —
Time around family over the holidays can sometimes create tension in relationships. If you are one of the unfortunate ones who have in-laws or parents who are critical or non-supportive of your relationship, be sure to put a protective bubble around your relationship this holiday season. By that I mean, make a conscious effort to prevent intrusion in your relationship. Remember that your relationship with your spouse is your primary relationship now. If your parents are saying or doing negative… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on December 20, 2009 at 9:22am —
If you’ve had a crisis in your relationship, make-up sex is not going to solve the problem. This tip doesn’t mean that reconnecting sexually isn’t necessarily a good thing. It does mean that if you don’t address the actions which damaged the relationship, the relationship will likely crash and burn.
Too many times, I’ve seen couples gain a false sense of security once they are back in the bedroom (so to speak). Whatever they’ve been doing to improve the relationship, such as couples… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on December 13, 2009 at 7:00am —
When your partner speaks to you about something he is unhappy about in your relationship, he isn’t trying to make the relationship worse. In actuality, he is trying to make your relationship better by speaking about the problem. Although since he may not be well-versed in how to speak cherishingly and relationally, it may come across as anger or sound like a complaint or criticism to your ears. But, instead of reacting with anger or defensiveness, let your guard down, look at it differently –… Continue
Added by Amy Warren, LMHC / WQ Mag Columnist on November 20, 2009 at 9:00am —