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So far michaeldawsonlpc@gmail.com has created 197 blog entries.

Secrets to great couples communication: how to self-soothe

2021-03-22T23:59:50+00:00Communication, Self-Care|

Most people have heard the term self-soothing before, but very few of them actually know how to apply it to their lives. In fact, the majority of couples we work with — especially those with communication and conflict issues — simply don’t know how to calm themselves down when their stress levels are at their max and emotions are running rampant. Think about all the times this has happened to you. You’re in the middle of an argument with your spouse, and things are getting pretty heated. You’re both saying some pretty hurtful things when you literally lose it! You can’t think straight. Breathing is irregular and shallow. Palms are [...]

Self-care and knowing your deepest needs and beliefs

2021-03-03T23:31:28+00:00Self-Care|

As part of our ongoing conversation about good communication, we wanted to bring up self-care once again. You may remember Susan and me writing about self-care in August. And it’s just as important to talk about now because when couples find themselves arguing too much or not connecting quite like they used to, the odds are pretty high that one or both of them has stopped taking care of themselves. And it’s hurting their marriage. Self-care means eating healthy, exercising, being independent, etc. But on a deeper level, it involves taking control of your feelings, thoughts, and emotional well-being so that you not only love yourself but love others well [...]

6 Keys or Secrets to Great Couple Communication

2021-03-03T17:54:34+00:00Communication|

We’ve thrown a lot at you over the last few weeks and months about great couple communication. Specifically, what it should look like, how to talk through conflict when it inevitably happens, and, of course, how all of this fits into the bigger picture of having a safe and connected marriage. Say it with us one more time — positive communication is vital in marriage! It’s the only way we can truly get to know our spouse and truly respond to each other’s wants and needs.   “Two things can destroy any relationship: unrealistic expectations and poor communication.” — unknown author   Keys to Great Couple Communication Susan and I [...]

Our attitudes and How they Effect our Hearing Correctly

2021-03-03T16:41:05+00:00Attitude|

At some point, your spouse will come to you during a conversation or an argument and say, “you’re not listening to me!” The odds are high that it’s already happened to you a time or two.  These situations are confusing because you swear you heard every single word they just said.  But are you hearing correctly?   You were listening! But — were you hearing correctly? Many times, we think we are hearing our spouse communicate their feelings and desires when we really aren’t. And usually, what is standing in the way of good communication is our attitudes. As we wrote a few weeks ago, a good attitude, whether it [...]

Destructive vs. Constructive conflict styles

2021-03-03T16:00:14+00:00Attitude, Conflict|

If you haven’t had a chance to read our blog post from last month on conflict, we suggest you and your spouse take a quick gander. After all, conflict exists anytime two people interact. Even between the best of couples — it’s inevitable. The trick is how we handle it, which brings us to today’s topic on destructive vs. constructive conflict styles. Simply put, how we process or deal with conflict can make or break positive communication in a marriage.   Do you want to minimize issues or work through them? Conflict generally arises when our desires are blocked or hindered by someone or something. Maybe it has to do [...]

Compromise isn’t giving up my way – It’s Making our Relationship Great!

2021-02-18T20:50:06+00:00Connection, Control|

Susan and I believe there is a misconception among couples about the term “compromise.” They think it means they have to meet in the middle every time and that each will give up a lot of things to make that happen. As a result, they can’t help but look at compromise as a bad word. How they get there just … feels … yucky — and everyone loses. Honestly, folks, compromise shouldn’t be that way! You have needs. I have needs. We have needs together! So, let’s compromise! A compromise (or compromising) should be a win-win for both the husband and wife. It’s where both of you feel good about [...]

Improving Communication with Daily Dialogue

2021-02-18T20:10:22+00:00Communication|

Our good friends Steve and Leslie love each other very much. They’ve been married for over 15 years, and they can’t imagine life away from each other. They truly are a cute couple. But one thing they’ve been struggling with lately is communication — specifically, breaking away from the “daily task” sort of talk and mix in some quality daily dialogue.   We’re sure you know the feeling, which is why we were quick to tell them that they aren’t alone. Many couples get caught in a cycle where they stop talking to each other about anything meaningful. Instead, it’s a lot of the everyday stuff like: Typical Daily Dialogue [...]

Conflict Happens. How will you and your spouse handle it?

2021-01-26T23:08:23+00:00Communication, Conflict|

We’ve said time and again that when it comes to communication in marriage, it is imperative that we truly listen and understand each other’s heart and then honor those inner needs and wants every day. Not only will we have a safe and connected marriage as a result, but we will easily handle conflict when it inevitably arises. But wait? If we are doing all of those things, conflict shouldn’t exist. Well, not necessarily. Conflict exists anytime two people interact, and it is not bad in and of itself. How you and your spouse handle it is the important part. So, to continue our ongoing discussion on positive communication, let’s [...]

Positive Communication: Intent vs. Impact

2021-01-26T22:25:05+00:00Communication, Connection|

Wouldn’t it be great to know that when you’re talking to your spouse, what you’re trying to say is received exactly how you intended? Of course, it would! Communicating would be so much easier — no miscommunications, no arguments, no need to over-explain yourself to a spouse who you swear must have heard you wrong. Perfect, Positive communication! But we all know that usually doesn’t happen. And why is that? It’s because you speak through, and your spouse listens through different filters. We all talk through and receive through our own filters, and they are governed by our: Some of our Communication Filters Individual personalities The way we communicate Previous [...]

How to be Assertive with Wants and Needs in Your Relationship

2021-01-19T23:18:08+00:00Attitude, Communication|

A dear friend shared with us recently that he and his wife had a significant breakthrough in improving their communication. They’ve been married for 15 years, and both of them love each other very much. But his wife — she’s the most selfless person you’d ever meet — struggled with being assertive. Rather than ask for what she wanted and needed from him and their relationship, she stayed quiet, assuming he’d read her mind. Here’s the problem: he’s not a mind-reader, no matter how much he adores her. He was clueless about what she wanted, and she started feeling like he simply didn’t care. It wasn’t until they sat down [...]

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