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Healthy Relationships: Three lessons from a tulip

Healthy Relationship HelpFor some reason, we have it in our heads that a “healthy relationship” means no conflict…no strife…no complications…no opposing ideas.

This is not true.

By definition, if you are in a relationship, you will have conflict. Our relationships are eco-systems and any evolving, dynamic, changing eco-system will encounter conflict. Conflict, which is simply, opposing ideas.

The yellow tulip bulb that has been breaking open, sprouting, and stretching to the top of the twelve-inch glass container on my dining room table has been in conflict with its tunic (that is its “papery outer shell” of the bulb — I had to look that one up) for several weeks. ...

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What’s your relationship response style? Toward, Away, or Against?

Do you turn:Relationship Therapy Denver CO

TOWARD, AWAY, OR AGAINST

your partner, friend, or co-worker during an interaction?

This is a significant factor in determining your relationship satisfaction and sense of acceptance and value with yourself and in your relationships.

Dr. John Gottman and his team have pioneered the scientific research of couples, marriage, and relationship in the last twenty years. Most of us know that healthy communication is a fundamental part of healthy relationships. Dr. Gottman’s research has taught us HOW we connect with our partners, coworkers, friends, and family is primary to WHAT we are connecting about.

What this means is that it is less important what we are talking about in ...

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Relationship Help: Three tips to healing through loss

Writer, lecturer, and Buddhist-meditation-guru, Tara Brach writes in this week’s Huffington Post article that if we defend against the experience of loss, we miss the opportunity to connectHealing Through Loss Denver CO with others. What she is talking about is how most of us push away those feelings of sadness, pain, and hurt covering them over with the “I’m fine” mask of the world. Loss comes in countless forms…there are the big losses of a death of a loved one, grief of an illness, loss of a relationship or marriage, home, or job…there is also the loss of a dream or hope.

If you have lived at all ...

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Relationship Strengths: What’s your highway?

Have you taken the StrengthsFinder test by Tom Rath? I took mine a few months back and it confirmed that my top few strengths include: connection, empathy, and relating to othersIdentify Relationship Strengths .

The cool thing about this strengths test and ones like it is that they point to places where we hold natural gifts…places where the road is well-paved and we can travel light and fast — like a highway. These highways are places that feel like they come easily for you like nurturing people, listening to someone, making people laugh, being the life of the party, or always keeping your word.

We all have these ...

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Learning to Speak Our Needs in Relationships

“Why don’t you LISTEN to me?!”Relationship Therapy Denver CO

“He NEVER talks about his feelings!”

“She punishes me by withholding sex.”

These are some of the most common statements that I hear from people who come to my office and who I work with online. Have you ever said or been the recipient of such a statement?

Where did you learn to speak your relationship needs?

Most of us learn to speak our needs through words that are pretty blaming of the other person. And most of us, when we feel blamed by someone shut down, pull away or fight back. Not the best recipe for a ...

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The “D”-Word — And by “d”-word I mean divorce

Divorce This week we have had a number of calls that have gone like this:

“Hi, I am looking for some relationship help…my husband and I are having some trouble…over the weekend, he actually brought up the “D” word. You know…divorce. I couldn’t believe it and frankly, don’t know how we got here. I’m wondering if you can help?”

When we get married we rarely think that we will be getting a divorce. Most couples have an unspoken understanding about the “D”-word…it is off limits and we just don’t go there.

Well…until we do.

And sometimes, we do go there.

Divorce

For most of the couples who I have worked ...

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Valentine’s Day TED Talk with Esther Perel

Esteemed psychotherapist and family therapist Esther Perel gave a discussion-provoking TED talk — The Secret to Desire in Long-term Relationships last week on Valentine’s Day in New York. Recommended watching for anyone willing to engage in an open and mind-expanding conversation of something that many couples don’t know how to talk about.

So…how does what Esther share change your perception of desire in long-term relationships? 

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