5 Habits of Mind for Healthy Relationships! (Part 2)


Good mental health can be illusive! And our thoughts and perceptions of events or words strongly influence our emotions and behaviors Last week we said that how we interpret or give meaning to events, circumstances or conversations with others can determine how we feel and act. Our emotions and behaviors do not depend on these events by themselves, but by practicing healthy mental habits we can We also looked at the first 2 of 5 mental habits couples can practice in order to improve their relationships and influence their partner for a more positive and healthy connection:  Habit 1: Choices! Change the Self Talk Our choices of our thoughts about [...]

5 Habits of Mind for Healthy Relationships! (Part 1)


Good mental health! It’s a statement we hear quite often, but the reality of what really constitutes it is sometimes illusive. For most of us, the interplay of our thinking, emotions and behaviors must be taken into account for good mental health. It is often our misunderstanding of the interaction of these three that can cause some conflict, confusion, or distress.  People’s thoughts and perceptions of events or words strongly influence their emotions and behaviors. […]

Focus in the Right Direction for Relationship Influence


Remember Lucy in the cartoon “Peanuts” by Charles Schultz? She would always ‘tee up’ the football for Charlie Brown, convince him to try to kick it, and then pull it out before he did. Charlie Brown always ended up flat on his back. For all the times Lucy convinced him to try again, she always turned the blame back on Charlie Brown. It is often this way with couples and their relationship, the focus for change is in the wrong direction. Cade and Bea had difficulty talking, and when they did it would escalate and get negative quickly. They each had a laundry list of things the other did, didn’t [...]

One Essential Relationship Hack Everyone Should Know

2017-06-13T20:47:12+00:00Communication, Relationships|

Ask anyone what great qualities a healthy relationship has in common and they will give you a list such as honesty, kindness, love, trust, commitment, fun, and many others. The majority would say there is nothing more important for a couple than their communication. As a matter of fact, couples having difficulties will tell you “we just don’t communicate.”  Communication is a broad topic, and it is really the quality and type of information that is most important and how you say it to each other. Remember: How you talk with each other will always be more important than what you talk about!  Now there are communication tools and tricks [...]

Is Your Brain or Body in Control when you Fight?

2017-06-01T20:07:48+00:00Communication, Emotion, Relationships|

“We can’t even talk without fighting.” “I get so angry, I can’t see straight.” “It’s like we go from zero to sixty!” “I don’t even remember what we were fighting about, but I know it was ridiculous.” Ever said these words or felt this way about your spouse or partner? We hear from couples whose whole lives together have been characterized by these words and these kinds of scenarios. What should just be a simple conversation or discussion becomes a fight. Couples begin to live like they are enemies and adversaries rather than friends and lovers. The problem is likely “Diffuse Physiological Arousal” according to John Gottman, more commonly called [...]

Relationships are like a drink from Sonic.


I love drinks from Sonic. The cup is a perfect thickness, the soda is mixed just right, the red straw is fun and sturdy. But the ICE. It’s really all about the perfect chunklette that: cools your drink, but doesn’t melt too fast. hangs around a while in your cup so you can munch on it after the soda is gone. doesn’t stick together in the cup. This ice is the reason I go to Sonic to get a soda, or even just plain water. THE ICE IS THE INFLUENCER IN THIS WHOLE TRANSACTION. Relationships are kind of like a drink from Sonic. Sonic cup = relationship 2 Straws = [...]



We had another fight. There is no way I am going to meet this deadline. We are just waiting on the lab results. My boss has no idea what he’s doing. I missed another soccer game. I guess we can just put it on the credit card. Any of these statements catch your attention? Any one of these things could be the cause of significant stress. And most of us are probably dealing with multiple things like this, not to mention the day to day “insignificant” stuff like where we put our keys, and traffic, and kids who forget their lunch boxes. We all experience stress. When our life’s events [...]

Exponential Value in Long Term Relationships


The older I get the more I’m impressed with how long-term relationships enrich my life. This not only applies to my spouse of almost 35 years but many other people who I love and adore. I recently sat around a table with family, some long-term friends and some longer term friends. We were planning a Dawson family celebration and each person brought a unique talent and perspective on what might be fun and meaningful from the history that we had shared over the years. I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude and love for these special people who were once again pouring into the life of our family, [...]

10 Advantages to Using Assertive Behavior in Relationships


What is your approach to relationships? Most people don’t consciously think about their method or style of interacting with others. But I believe there are great benefits to making direct choices or decisions on how we communicate with others, especially if we want to have satisfying and rewarding relationships. Successful relationships are assertive relationships! When someone treats you unfairly, do you bring it to their attention? Do you generally express what you feel? Do you openly criticize other people’s ideas, opinions, and behavior? In assertive relationships each partner has the ability to express feelings and ask for what they want and need in the relationship. Assertiveness is an invaluable communication [...]

Are you just Existing Like Roommates?


Are you living like roommates instead of having the intimate, close relationship you want with your spouse? There are lots of reasons why we grow apart. When Mike and I were young marrieds with a little one it was easy to do the necessary communications (work talk) to make the household functional without stopping to talk about where we were emotionally. Expressing emotions can be hard for some people, especially when you’re stretched thin by the demands of work, family, community, and other responsibilities. Trying to carve out time with your spouse to talk about deep things may even make them nervous or anxious, which creates a barrier of its [...]

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