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So far michaeldawsonlpc@gmail.com has created 236 blog entries.

Take a Professional Peek into Your Connection With Others

2022-03-05T21:02:35+00:00Mental Health, Perspective|

Have you ever noticed how some people are clingy and need constant validation or emotional connection with others they are closest to in their lives? That’s not to suggest that’s a bad thing, but on the flip side, maybe you personally don’t come across near as “needy.” Perhaps you’ve even accused yourself or been accused of being aloof, dismissive, and significantly less dependent on those connections. These differing attachment styles or ways we connect or attach to others come from what is called attachment theory. Attachment styles refer to how we each relate to others in relationships and what we need or don’t need in those situations. For example some [...]

Confidence and Self-Image? A Clear Point of YOU!

2022-03-05T19:25:37+00:00Mental Health|

How do you see yourself? It’s a random question, I know. But seriously — take a hard look at how you see yourself. Do you see yourself as a confident person or someone who isn’t quite sure who they are and who they want to be? Do you see yourself through God’s eyes? Who are you spiritually? While many people feel good about where they’re at in life, others have incredibly low self-esteem and bounce back and forth in terms of their general view of themselves. These are questions that I’ve asked many of my clients over the years. And a lot of times, they’re taken aback by them. Why? [...]

How would you grade yourself on Self-Care?

2022-02-20T01:38:51+00:00Self-Care|

We’ve written quite a bit about the importance of caring for yourself (or self-care) in previous blogs. And for good reason! In a marriage, caring for yourself means all the obvious things: eating healthy, getting enough exercise, being well-rested, etc. But on a deeper level, being intentional about self-care helps you achieve a healthy love for yourself so that you can then love others, too. Self-Care Caring for yourself first is not a selfish act! It’s actually the complete opposite. As you realize your feelings are being understood and matter to the people around you, you naturally relax and become more open and cooperative with others. Ask yourself right now [...]

Mind-Reading could be Destroying your Marriage

2022-02-18T23:54:13+00:00Assumptions, Blame|

Mind-reading and making assumptions about your partner’s motivations, intentions, and feelings can be enormously destructive. Wow — that was a pretty heavy way to open a blog post, but it’s true. And it’s something we couples do all the time. Clueless Mind-Reading It begins with a seemingly harmless decision by one spouse — for example, they choose to play golf with the guys or go on a walk alone. At first, it’s no big deal. But after it happens a few more times, the other spouse interprets it as, “Oh, he (or she) doesn’t want to spend time with me anymore.” The worst part is that none of these feelings [...]

Side-Step Miscommunication with Empathy and Generosity

2022-02-14T23:11:44+00:00Generosity, Heart|

Why is communicating with each other so difficult? Think about it: perhaps you’ve expressed a need that you want your husband to fulfill, and you think the message is clear. Yet he completely doesn’t get it or mistakes your tone for nagging. Meanwhile, your husband thinks his needs have fallen on deaf ears. You’ve essentially got two people who love each other but aren’t on the same page, and more often than not, this leads to plenty of conflicts. Miscommunication can be so overwhelming, and finding a solution seems impossible. But what I’ve found is that avoiding miscommunication in relationships starts with showing empathy and generosity. That sounds too simple [...]

Understanding your Spouses Real Desires that Lie Beneath the Surface

2022-02-04T22:00:40+00:00Heart|

James 4:1 tells us that our conflicts come from the desires that battle within us. So, if that’s true — and trust me, it is — then we should make more of an effort to recognize our spouse’s real desires and improve our communication. Not only would this mindset shift change how we talk to each other, but it would also improve how we perceive our partner’s intentions. As we continue into this new year, it’s important to recognize the many damaging patterns in our relationships that keep us from communicating and understanding each other better. They are dangerous cocktails that keep us from having a safe and connected marriage, [...]

The Curious Case of the Distancer and Pursuer Relationship

2022-01-23T21:23:40+00:00Communication|

As we wrote in a previous blog, it’s common for couples to get stuck in dangerous patterns. One, in particular, is where they draw conclusions about each other’s words and actions — simply because they see it every day. They think they know what each other “really means,” but in reality, they don’t. The result is poor communication, which leads to hurt feelings and fights. But this is just one of many patterns or cycles that couples get stuck in. Another is the distancer and pursuer relationship.   As we dive into another new year, it’s important to recognize the many damaging patterns in our relationships that keep us from [...]

Damaging Patterns of Communicating in Conflict

2022-01-23T20:38:23+00:00Communication|

Many of us like to think we’ve got our spouses figured out. After all, we’re around each other constantly, so it’s only natural that we listen, observe each other’s behavior, and remember things about each other simply because we see it every day. We recognize traits, patterns, experiences, behaviors, qualities, etc., and then draw conclusions that make us think we know what they “really mean” by their words and actions. We think we know each other better than anyone. But do we really? Furthermore, is this healthy, or are these dangerous patterns hurting our ability to communicate? Damaging Patterns As we dive into another new year, it’s important to recognize [...]

Positive Change: Protect Your Heart with Boundaries!

2022-01-11T19:59:17+00:00Heart|

We’ve talked about making sure the relationships you put the most stock in are ones that build you up. Rather than tear you down, they need to be safe, give you a sense of well-being and purpose, and lead you and the other person to be better for simply being in the relationship. Above all, they need to protect your heart. Hopefully, you have plenty of those types of relationships in your life.  But if you don’t, how do you learn to protect your heart in the meantime?   “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the source of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)   “We need to be responsible [...]

Positive Change: More Relationships With Safe People

2022-01-10T23:12:32+00:00Safety|

It should go without saying that one of the most important parts of a full, satisfying life is our relationships with safe people. Whether it’s with our spouse, friends, or family, these relationships give us a sense of well-being and purpose. And in many ways, they can lead to a longer, healthier life mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.   So a question you need to ask for the New Year:  How many of my current relationships are with safe people who build me up?   “Safe relationships draw us closer to God, others, and help us become the real person God created us to be.”   We could all use more [...]

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