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 Avoid Disconnect with your Spouse, using Emotional Intelligence

2019-05-10T19:25:27+00:00Emotion|

OOPS! Your Feelings are showing! Ever been in a conversation with your spouse and before you know it the tears are just flowing. Or their face turns red and the anger and escalation just pours out! Maybe the shoulders slump, the face goes down and now your partner is leaving the room in a hurry. Can you relate? What’s happening? In situations like these we usually are aware of the actions or behaviors our partners are exhibiting. But we rarely perceive the emotions that are being experienced, much less understand what is really taking place deeper inside our partner. Often while working with couples, as they process difficult experiences together, [...]

Focus in the Right Direction for Relationship Influence

2017-06-29T21:03:41+00:00Relationships|

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 [...]

Communication Transformation

2017-04-20T18:13:43+00:00Communication, Emotion|

Frustrated by not being able to talk? Tired of finding that your attempts at problem solving just lead to negativity and high drama? Overwhelmed by conversations that always go south? We see this problem in both counseling sessions and in marriage groups. We hear all too often, “we just can’t talk without it becoming an argument or a fight.” Why do so many couples go down this road? Gary Smalley in The DNA of Relationships understands it exactly; and it’s exactly what we see with couples time and time again. He says there are four ways couples waste time and frustrate the process when it comes to having a conversation [...]

Are you just Existing Like Roommates?

2019-09-25T19:06:57+00:00Relationships|

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 [...]

Understand and Handle Your Anger for Better Relationships

2017-03-17T14:24:40+00:00Emotion|

Anger is probably the most misunderstood of all our emotions. We generally think of it as more of a behavior than an emotion. Words like screaming, throwing, intimidating, and even harming, all come to mind. But anger is first of all an emotion (one that we all experience!), and it is important to differentiate between the feeling of anger and the expression or behavior of it! Anger can certainly be a powerful, controlling, and even dangerous emotion when it is not understood and dealt with through appropriate behaviors. The effect of anger on loving, intimate relationships is especially dangerous. But anger in and of itself is not bad; it is [...]

All Emotions are Appropriate, but not All Behaviors.

2017-12-27T20:00:27+00:00Emotion|

“You’re just being emotional” “You’re so emotional,you’re out of control” “People just use their emotions to get what they want” “Just be rational and think about it” Sound familiar? Years ago it was commonly accepted that our brain had a reasonable side and an emotional side; and some still believe that today. The idea was that we can control our emotions using reason. It’s the emotion vs. reason idea. Not True. We know today that the brain is integrated with emotion and reason, even in the Cerebral Cortex. Without emotion, higher-level problem solving does not happen very well. John Gottman says the “sense of the matter” is essential in problem [...]

Falling Back INTO Love!

2017-02-13T22:37:24+00:00Relationships|

How often have your heard someone say, “I love him/her, but I’m not IN love anymore”? Or, maybe you’ve said this, and have gone through these thoughts and feelings yourself. Did you know that this is a common experience that many couples have in their marriage? Seasons like this can feel hopeless. And while we are in this state, because our feelings seem so strong, our emotions seem like the only truth; we can’t grasp that our feelings might and in fact can change. We cannot even picture being in love with this person again. It feels like and seems like our love is lost and it cannot be regained. [...]

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