Archives for Romance

Addictive Relating

The Neuroscience of Why a Child is a Model Citizen, 2 of 2

Luis Sarabia via Compfight

In Part 1 we looked at better understanding the behavior of a child who is a model citizen everywhere but home by examining what inner strivings, or emotion-drives, the child is attempting to meet in each situation. In this post, the two areas below pertain to questions of how thoughts drive behaviors.
2. What beliefs (or thoughts) does the child's behavior say the child has learned to hold regarding how to best fulfill their core...
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Addictive Relating

Self-Forgiveness: Checklists for Partners Seeking to Heal From Infidelity

When infidelity occurs, though the betrayed partner should not feel pressured to forgive, ultimately, forgiving is a key step to restoring their own sense of safety, peace of mind, hope and belief, ultimately, love and joy. Genuine forgiveness however is a series of steps, only possible when the partner that was unfaithful fully owns responsibility for their wrongful actions, and takes the lead to reconcile and steer the relationship to a safe harbor. (See post that outlines differences between "
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Addictive Relating

Restoring Safety: A Letter in Response to the Unfaithful Partner, 2 of 2

In Part 1 a letter template was included for one partner to write to the loved one they betrayed with infidelity. This post presents a letter for the betrayed partner to write in response.

While only one of many critical, the letter serves as an acknowledgement that the betrayed partner must also play an active role in opening their heart to essential processes for healing themselves, their relationship ... and yes, even the partner who betrayed them. The last part is...
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Addictive Relating

Rebuilding Trust: A Letter to Help Heal Your Relationship After Infidelity, 1 of 2

Informed by clinical research, as well as examples from the author's practice and personal experience, in the book After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring, , an expert on issues of trust, fidelity, and forgiveness, outlines specific steps partners can take to heal their relationship, and rather than give in to despair, grow and thrive as individuals and partners from the shattering crisis of infidelity.

One...
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Addictive Relating

Sex and Love Addiction: Five Ways the Dominance Factor Erodes or Blocks Couple Intimacy

Though dominance as a value may make sense on the battlefield, in love relationships, tactics of war are the problem. Dominance and tactics to enforce hierarchical relations are guaranteed to produce needless suffering in the form of win-lose competitions, pursue-withdraw dynamics, illusions of power, and toxic relating patterns.

Whereas dominance is a socially approved behavior for males (considered "norm" in many cases), the opposite is true for women. Regardless who starts the...
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Addictive Relating

Authentic Versus Romanticized Love, 1 of 3: What Love Is Not

What is authentic love in a couple relationship, and how is it different from romanticized love?

For one, by nature's design, authentic love is not supposed to be "easy" to realize. It is a challenging life experience in which nature stretches us out of our comfort zones, in this case, inviting two individuals to stay engaged, and be transformed, by a process that grows the individual capacity of each to love and be loved, to give and contribute to own and others growth and wellbeing,  bring the love and energy they aspire to realize. In contrast, if anything, romanticized love is easy.

Before looking more closely at the characteristics of authentic versus romanticized love, this post outlines what authentic love is not:
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Addictive Relating

Pornography: Ways It Blocks Healthy Sexual Relations, 2 of 3


A key block to healthy sexual relations, as discussed in Part 1, is that porn depicts sexual relations devoid of emotional intimacy as "the" norm.

Whereas intimacy is an emotional sense of safety and love, a felt state of mind and body that occurs when the love and safety chemical oxytocin is released into the blood stream, and that forms an essential foundation for healthy sexual relations, pornography makes...
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Addictive Relating

Sexual Reintegration Therapy: Healing Solutions for Sex and Porn Addiction

Couples dealing with the impact of a partner with sex and porn addiction, according to Drs. Bill and Ginger Bercaw, face considerably greater obstacles than those facing other addictions, such as substance abuse. Because of the trauma caused by repeated acts of betrayal, healing and rebuilding a relationship will require extensive efforts.

Authors of “The Couple’s Guide to Intimacy: How Sexual Reintegration Therapy Can Help Your Relationship Heal,” the Bercaws are psychologists who specialize in sex...
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Addictive Relating

5 Prerequisites to Unlock Your Communications — Re-Image Your Partner As Capable of Loving You, 5 of 5

Certain shifts in perception are essential to unlock your imagination to work for you in creating a healthy, vibrant love relationship. To summarize the first four:

The first shift (see Part 2) sees a commitment to individual healing, each participating fully in your own and one another's healing processes, as an essential aspect of relationship building.

Your relationship will make you happy, to the extent you are each open to grow, to learn, to stretch your capacity to love, to understand, and that often means to protect and know how to do...
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Addictive Relating

A Gift Guaranteed to Improve Your Love Life — and Brain? Make Your Relationship a Criticism-Free Zone

Here's a gift to add to your list of what to get him/her on that special day, which is guaranteed to boost your brain's capacity to work for you, and at the same time improve your love relationship. There's one condition, however: Both of you must give this gift wholeheartedly to one another to experience its life energizing effects.

What is this gift? It's the gift of making your relationship a criticism-free zone. There's perhaps nothing as corrosive to your physical health as well as your love relationship than criticism, at least certain types.

To clarify, expressing what you like or don't like are not criticisms per se. It is healthy to make descriptive observations of a problem, explore what actions or habits work or do not work, make suggestions or requests for something you'd like to see happen or stop occurring, and the like, for example. All of these, potentially, are relationship building actions.

In contrast, criticisms are detrimental to your health and relationship specifically because they are attempts to resolve issues through the use of words that attack or judge or label a partner's character in derogatory ways. What we're talking about here are words or phrases, such as shame-, guilt- or fear-inducing statements, which are purposefully designed to get the other to change or stop a certain behavior -- in other words, to give you the love you need, etc. They are also widespread because they consist of parenting practices most of us experienced as children.

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