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Archives for November, 2013

Commitment

Having a Conversation About Having a Conversation

Setting the stage: It’s more important than you think.


Linda: I had to learn this one the hard way. In the early years of my relationship with Charlie whenever there was something that I felt that we needed to discuss, particularly something that was bothering me, I would launch into a conversation, leading with my concerns, often before Charlie had any sense of what was going on. Not surprisingly, he often didn’t know what hit him. To...
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Attraction

Just Hang in There—But For How Long?

Knowing when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em.


The opening line of the chorus of the Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”, goes: “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em.” How true! Sometimes there’s a lot of wisdom in Country Western music. The same could be said about marriage. One thing that most traditions do agree on is that marriage involves a commitment between two people. But traditional vows notwithstanding,...
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Attraction

Is There (Marital) Life After an Affair?

There is perhaps no greater threat to a marriage than infidelity. Years or even decades of hard-earned trust can be shattered when one partner, for any of a thousand reasons, violates the vow of sexual faithfulness. It's hard to understand how we can engage in such potentially destructive behaviors when the risks are as high as they are, and yet, vast numbers of us (some say the percentage of couples...
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Attraction

Does Your Relationship Have IDD? Part 2

Six steps to reverse it.

IDD (Intimacy Deficiency Disorder) is an insidious relationship-threatening condition that if unaddressed can undermine and severely damage even the most loving partnerships. In part one we identified the most prevalent symptoms of IDD that manifest themselves in relationships. In this...
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Attraction

Does Your Relationship Have IDD?

The 10 Early Warning Signals

No, it’s not a typo. We really did mean to write IDD rather than ADD. While IDD is a serious and potentially relationship-threatening condition, you won’t find it listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). IDD or Intimacy Deficiency Disorder is...
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Commitment

The “I” Word

You don't have to be a Buddhist to become enlightened.

(Charlie) I've been thinking a lot lately about the "I" word. Maybe it's because I've been noticing the places in the lives of others and in my own life where it's been out. The 'it' that's out is "integrity." I've been noticing the ways that I make it OK, by rationalizing and justifying lapses of integrity that I am guilty of and how I judge and...
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Commitment

Non-reactive Listening


Communication is about more than speaking; it's about listening.


Jules and Sue came into marriage counseling clueless as to why there was so much pain and suffering in their relationship. After listening to each of them describe their situation however, it became quite obvious what the problem was. Neither of them could say anything about the other without having their statements laced with harsh judgments and negative criticisms. They were both brought up in families in which...
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Boredom

When He (or She) Just Doesn’t Want to Talk About It

Nasrudin was a mythical figure, a teacher from the Sufi tradition, who supposedly lived in what we now call the Middle East. One day one of his students walks into a room where Nasruddin was reaching into a bag of hot chili peppers and eating them one at a time. There were tears streaming down his face, his nose was running and his lips swollen and irritated. He was...
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