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So far michaeldawsonlpc@gmail.com has created 148 blog entries.

Healthy Marriage Patterns: Mastering Emotional Communication

2020-05-28T22:59:18+00:00Emotion, Heart|

We've covered a lot of ground on unhealthy marriage patterns in our last few blog posts. From introducing you to the fear dance to understanding the good and bad of building walls and the importance of genuinely caring for your spouse, we've learned that it's critical to break negative cycles — both as individuals and couples — to have a healthy marriage. At the heart of this entire conversation is the determining factor in our ability to make healthy choices — the ability or inability to understand each other and be better at emotional communication fully.   Emotions are the Voice of the Heart We love the saying above from [...]

Unhealthy Marriage Patterns: Building Walls

2020-05-11T14:43:59+00:00Connection, Safety|

If we asked Superman to stand in front of a brick wall and tell us who is on the other side, he could easily use his X-ray vision to see straight through, right? He’d be able to tell us all sorts of details, too, from something as simple as what that person looks like to quickly discerning if they are happy, sad, scared, or even in danger. And if necessary, he could break through the wall to help them. But what if we put you in front of the same wall? Could you match Superman’s feat?   Of course not! And in this scenario, you’d be okay with that. After [...]

Unhealthy Marriage Patterns: You Can end the Damaging Fear Dance

2020-05-10T18:43:33+00:00Emotion, Fear|

While sitting down to write this post about unhealthy marriage patterns, I was reminded of a movie scene where an overweight man was lamenting how big he had gotten. He said, “I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat. It’s a vicious cycle.” I bring this up because, as humans, we have a tendency to fall into all sorts of cycles or patterns in everyday life — many of which are not only damaging but can feel never-ending. A perfect example of an unhealthy marriage pattern is the damaging fear dance. As couples, we fall into well-worn patterns when our fear button gets pushed. We’ve written a [...]

4 Ways To Repair Broken Trust In Your Marriage

2020-04-22T18:49:23+00:00Relationships, Trust|

Married couples put so much time and effort into building and maintaining trust in each other that you’d think they could withstand anything life throws at them — including when one spouse’s trust in the other has been broken. But the reality is that even in the strongest of unions, trust is fragile. And once it’s broken trust is difficult to repair.   There are many ways for trust to be broken in a marriage. Some are big, and some aren’t. Yet they all feel massive. One spouse is caught continuously lying to the other A constant string of broken promises Infidelity or emotional cheating Not being there for your [...]

Trust in a marriage: How to build a friendship that lasts

2020-04-22T17:27:30+00:00Friendship, Trust|

We hear people who are deeply in love say all the time, “My spouse is my best friend!” Great! That’s the way it should be. We should be best friends, from the very early “puppy love” stage of our relationship all the way through our gray-hair years and beyond. Friendship is one of those core things necessary to build trust in a longterm, committed relationship. In our previous two blog posts, we touched on what trust is and how trust can be built and maintained — which includes exhibiting deep friendships. The goal of this article is to expand on the friendship conversation. There’s a lot packed into this post, [...]

5 Ways Trust is Built and Maintained in a Marriage

2020-04-15T23:11:52+00:00Relationships, Trust|

So, you’ve been together with your significant other for six years and decided last October to get married. Things are going great, and both of you feel like you have the trust game down pat. Trust is the foundation of any marriage, after all, so that must mean problem solved, right? Well, yes and no. While it’s great that you trust each other, it doesn’t happen once and for all. Trust is built and then maintained in a marriage.   Last week, we laid the foundation for a series of posts on trust by answering the question: what is trust in a marriage? Now that we know what trust should [...]

What is ‘trust’ in a marriage?

2020-04-15T22:17:25+00:00Safety, Trust|

My wife, Susan, and I trust each other. Granted, she may not always be able to trust me to take out the trash, and maybe I can’t necessarily trust her to pick out a television show we both want to watch on a chill Friday night at home. But when it comes to the important stuff in our marriage — what makes us both feel safe, connected, honored, valued, and loved — we trust each other implicitly. I trust that she’s there for me, and she trusts that I’m always there for her. This is a small snippet of what counselors like me mean when we talk about trust in [...]

Boundaries and Safe People: How they go together

2020-04-09T22:06:40+00:00boundaries, Safety|

Now that we have learned what boundaries are, how to set them, and their importance in terms of helping us feel safe and connected in our marriage, there’s one more thing to discuss: knowing the difference between safe and unsafe people and how boundaries and safe people go together.   We’re betting you read that sentence and said, “Well, Mike and Susan, I think I can tell the difference between a safe person and an unsafe one pretty easily.” We bet you can, too! But true character discernment — knowing who is good for us and who isn’t — can only be accomplished after you’ve established boundaries. It is then, [...]

Relationship Boundaries and Safety: How they go together

2020-04-01T00:09:27+00:00boundaries, Safety|

So, you’ve been reading our recent blog posts on boundaries and finally worked up the courage to pull your spouse aside to set a few long-overdue guard-rails. You were calm but firm, you were specific, you expressed why these limits are important to you as an individual, and the best part — your spouse was 100% receptive. Congrats!! Now the big question: have you noticed how safe your marriage is because you set those boundaries?  How do Boundaries and Safety Criss Cross?   God created us to be open and intimate with each other, so our focus is always on creating safe environments for ourselves and our spouse. But until [...]

6 Healthy Tips To Establish Boundaries In Your Marriage

2020-03-26T22:48:41+00:00boundaries, Relationships|

Having to sit with someone and finally get what’s been bothering us off our chest is never easy, especially when that person is our spouse. It’s funny because, in the back of our mind, we know darn right that all healthy relationships have boundaries. Boundaries keep the good in and the bad out. Yet, we agonize over what the best way is to establish boundaries in our marriage.   “Should I be assertive? But I also don’t want to offend my husband.” “How will my wife react?” “How will my words be perceived?” “I shouldn’t say anything. Maybe I should just leave well enough alone!”   Boundaries are characterized by [...]

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