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Holiday Obligations
This is the third of four articles about holiday relational stress.  We’ve previously looked at expectations and comparisons.  In this article, we’ll discuss those obligatory fam....
Holiday Comparisons
Many of us feel tension during the holidays and it seems that much of that anxiety comes from relationships.  This is the first of four articles looking at holiday relational stress.  We&rsq....
Holiday Expectations
This is the second of four articles about relational situations that cause stress during the holidays.  We previously looked at comparisons.  In this article, we’ll discuss holiday exp....
Holiday Drama
This is the last of four articles about things that cause holiday relational stress.  We’ve looked at expectations, comparisons, and obligations.  We’ll close this series by disc....
Why We Clash
This is the first in a series of three articles on the subject of people clashes.  In this first installment, we’ll look at why it is that people clash. Someone somewhere once said, &ldq....
What Happens When We Clash
This is the second in a series of three articles on the subject of people clashes.  Here, we’ll look at what happens when people clash. As explained previously, we all have buttons&mdash....
How Poorly Handled Clashes Hurt Us
This is the third of three articles dealing with people clashes.  We’ll close by looking the results of poorly handled clashes. As discussed, we clash when we get close.  We’re....
When Compatibility is Not Enough
Billy Graham, appearing once on Oprah Winfrey’s show, was asked to explain the secret of his long and successful marriage to his wife.  He replied, “Ruth and I have been happily incom....
Four Types of Problems
As stated in earlier articles, people clash when they get close.  Their imperfections are like rough edges that rub up against the rough edges of others and friction occurs.  There are four ....
Why Arguments Are Confusing
Does this sound familiar?  You get into an argument and forget what you’re arguing about.  Or it may be more accurate to say that so many topics get woven into the discussion that nobo....
Why Won't You Listen to Me?
We’re talking about several reasons why arguments typically get derailed.  Previously, we discussed the natural tendency to argue about so many things at once that nothing gets resolved.&nb....
Five Ways to Resolve a Difference
Problem-solving involves several steps.  We previously looked at the first two—solving one problem at a time and then understanding each other’s positions.  Once those two things....
OK. We Agree - Now What?
Meagan and Seth were stuck.  They couldn’t agree on who should do what around the house.  They’d been married a year and never thought such small issues could cause such big prob....
Plan B
In a previous article, we looked at a very common difference that has to be addressed between two people living together- who does what around the house.  In short, Meagan liked cooking but hated....
What To Do When The Love is Gone
 “Once the warm feelings have gone away, how do you ever get them back?”  A man with a troubled marriage asked that question one day as he sat in my office. It later became evide....
Rules
I once met with a couple for marital counseling.  They were both attorneys.  They were young, bright, attractive, and . . .articulate!  The way they argued, it would’ve been easy ....
The Mom and Dad System
Kids basically need two things.  On the one hand they need love, nurturance, and support—things that many moms are naturally prone to do well.  On the other hand, they need limits, bou....
What is THAT Supposed to Mean?
During World War II, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met to discuss war strategy.  They had an important decision to make that would impact the conduct and ultimate outcome of the war.&n....
Relationships and Health
“You make me sick.”  Did you know that statement can be literally true?  When we get close to someone, it’s inevitable that frictions occur due to our immaturities, short-c....
Knocking Off Rough Edges
Jim grew up in a family that placed a high value on being nice and accommodating yourself to those around you.  If there was a bumper sticker that captured his life slogan, it would read, “....
Three Things That Split Couples Up - Or Do They?
You’ve probably heard this:  The three big things that split couples up are sex, in-laws, and finances.  To be certain, these are emotionally laden subject areas that often cause big a....
Do not Wait Till It Hurts
I was sitting in the dentist’s office one day, waiting to be called back for my turn in the chair.  As is the custom in most doctors’ offices, I passed the time by searching for readi....
Working on a Marriage By Yourself
 Jeff sat in my office talking about his marriage--by himself.  He and his wife, Beth, had been married for a long time but the connection was rocky.  So rocky, in fact, that she refuse....
Elephants in the Living Room
Jack emerged from his family of origin with a lingering pattern—whatever you do, don’t rock the boat.  When he was growing up, it never did any good to bring something up to work it o....
Finding Your Soul Mate
“As soon as he walked in the room, I knew I’d found my partner for life.  We fit like a hand in glove.  We had so much to talk about.  Our minds were so in tune that we comp....
When Being Nice is Not Enough
Rick and Wendy were nice people and didn’t have what any of their friends would consider to be a “bad” marriage.  In fact, neither did they.  They had been married for 24 y....
 
 
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