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So far michaeldawsonlpc@gmail.com has created 173 blog entries.

How Could My Expectations set my Spouse up for Failure?

2020-11-23T22:37:26+00:00Communication, Expectations|

One thing I see with couples, regardless of whether they’re recently married or have been together for years, is that they build up quite a few expectations and assumptions about each other. While some of that is okay, the majority of those assumptions are unrealistic and lead to a greater chance of disappointment and frustration that will hurt the marriage. A perfect example is a story I like to tell about a newlywed couple who both come from very different backgrounds. The wife grew up in a family where her father was Mr. Fit It. It didn’t matter if a door latch was broken or the lawnmower wouldn’t start. He [...]

Why Offer Forgiveness to Those Who have Hurt You Deeply?

2020-11-18T22:56:14+00:00Foregiveness|

When your spouse hurt you for the first time or broke your trust, what did you feel? We bet it was sadness, pain, shock, anger, and an oversized truckload of betrayal. But when the dust settled, and cooler heads prevailed, they expressed remorse for their actions, apologized, and asked for your forgiveness. Or maybe even, it didn’t happen quite that way. Ah, yes — forgiveness. The one thing we know that we should do but somehow remains one of the hardest things to do. Does that mean we should do the whole “forgive and forget” thing? By forgiving our spouse, does that really help the pain go away? Why should [...]

5 Steps to Repair Hurtful or Damaging Interactions

2020-11-12T21:49:01+00:00Communication, Personal Responsibility|

Since August, each blog post we’ve written has been another chapter in a journey we are taking couples on: how to create healthier marriages. And boy, have we ever used a step-by-step approach to get you there, too. We preached to always start with the heart, then take personal responsibility, practice self-care and self-talk, add good things into your marriage, learn how our differences don’t have to divide us, and look into ways to reduce hurtful or damaging interactions.  Now we're on to Repair Hurtful or Damaging Interactions. We hope you found value in those tips and put them into practice. But the journey isn’t over. No matter how hard [...]

Soft Start vs. Harsh Start and Improving Your Interactions

2020-11-03T22:33:50+00:00Communication, Conflict|

A wife is sitting on the couch as her husband walks in the front door after being at the golf course all day. Before he can speak, she says, “You are always golfing with your friends! I’ve been home alone all day, and you didn’t call once.” Naturally, the husband feels attacked — even though he knows she’s right — and an argument ensues. Sound familiar? Of course it does. But is there a better way of handling this? Absolutely. It’s a little something called soft start vs. harsh start.   Soft start vs. harsh start are two ways to go about getting your point across when you’re upset. But [...]

How to avoid hateful words and attitudes with your spouse

2020-11-02T23:20:27+00:00Attitude, Conflict|

Last week with the election just days away we talked about not letting our differences divide us. How we should be okay with us all being different and to learn to accept our partners for who they are and honor their differences. The election itself is over, but how did you do?  Did you honor one another? Or did the conflict go a different direction? When couples don’t see eye to eye on a particular issue, it is so easy to fall into the trap of using harmful words and attitudes to get their point across. Don’t believe us? Just think of all the times you’ve said these things to [...]

Divided on political differences? How to make this a Win-Win!

2020-10-28T01:30:51+00:00Difference, Safety|

With the election just a few days away, we thought it would be perfect timing to answer a very interesting question from the Mike and Susan Dawson mailbag. One follower asked us this: “What do you do when you and your spouse are completely divided on political issues?” What a great question! Let’s explore that a little bit. First things first, let me say that this is not a political post. We aren’t discussing candidates, hot-button topics, or even who is right or wrong. But there does seem to be a bit of division in our country right now. And while it is fine to have our differences, it seems [...]

Flooding-What is it and why is it so damaging to my Marriage?

2020-10-15T19:59:42+00:00Emotion, Flood|

We know what anger is. It’s our most volatile emotion. And while it’s natural to experience it, the damaging effects of too much anger (hurtful words, screaming, demeaning actions, aggressiveness, etc.) in our marriage can last for years and trigger intense emotions that sometimes lead to flooding. But wait. What is flooding, and why is it so damaging? You may not know the term flooding — yet! But in 70% of couples today, one or the other floods in the middle of conflict. This is very important because it is a fight or flight response to anger, which will only hurt our marriage more.   “I’ve had just about all [...]

How to have stress-reducing conversations: Removing Negative Things From Your Marriage

2020-10-12T13:02:55+00:00Communication, Conflict|

One thing many couples struggle with is knowing how to handle the stresses of life together. Granted, there are a lot of stressors out there — job loss, finances, horrible bosses, and chronic illness or injury being just a few. But just when you’d think we’d turn to our spouse for stress-reducing conversations, we don’t. Instead of talking, sharing, listening, and empathizing, we yell, argue, take our stress out on each other, and say hateful things in the heat of the moment.  There is a lack of stress-reducing conversations. We’ve all been there, right? The initial reaction for one spouse is to lash out, which isn’t the answer. The other [...]

Removing Negative Things From Your Marriage: The Power Of One

2020-10-07T00:15:18+00:00Care, Control|

Have you ever noticed that you spend so much time putting good things back into your marriage that you forget to do anything about the bad stuff that was already there? Of course not! Putting positive things in — generosity, fun, love, respect, etc. — should cancel out the negative stuff. Right? Well, not exactly. As much as we preach putting positive things into your marriage, it’s not enough. For every good thing that goes in, something bad must come out.  That's the Power of One - You have the ability to do this on your own. The good news is that we are here to help get you there [...]

Putting good things into your marriage: Rituals of Connection

2020-09-21T22:38:42+00:00Connection, Emotion|

Every couple and each marriage are unique. But having worked with and spoken to as many married couples as we have over the years, it is clear that the ones who are at their absolute happiest together — the ones who are continually putting good things into their marriage — share a lot of striking similarities and rituals of connection that ultimately help them feel safe and connected.   Display a healthy amount of fondness and admiration for one another.   Are in love and look for ways to have fun together.   They have more heart talk than work talk.   Meeting each other’s emotional needs is paramount to [...]

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