Make a request, but remain flexible

My last several blog posts have focused on how to make discussing relationship difficulties with your partner easier. I talked about how using “I” language and confronting yourself first can demonstrate to your partner that you are willing to take responsibility for your part of the work. Let’s turn now to another important skill when […]

Distinguish between thoughts and feelings

In last week’s blog, I introduced the topic of broaching relationship conversations with your partner. Over the coming weeks, you will see posts laying out specific tools and examples to help makes those conversations easier. The first one is essential to any communication with your romantic partner:   Differentiate between thoughts and feelings   Discriminating […]

Address the Interpersonal Gap

In last week’s blog, I offered some tips on how to approach difficult conversations with your partner. Beginning a dialogue with empathy is an important part of effective communication. It is equally important to recognize how what you say is received by your partner. Address the “Interpersonal Gap” The Interpersonal Gap is the difference between […]

Communication is the gateway to intimacy

Unfortunately, many couples struggle to communicate. They either fail to discuss issues of importance at all or hide behind manipulative questions and misrepresentation. When I work with clients struggling with communication, I generally offer three pieces of advice: say what’s on your mind, lay your cards down first, and allow yourself to be seen. Let’s […]

Real safety comes from honesty

In last week’s blog, I discussed the difference between vulnerability and openness. By being open, rather than vulnerable, you can be honest, present, and authentic with your partner while still protecting your safety. First and foremost, you are responsible for yourself. But as with everything in your relationship, your partner has a role too. Where […]

Open is better than vulnerable

A few words about vulnerability: it is common in both relationships and therapy to strive for “vulnerability.” Vulnerability is considered an asset and an aspiration by many people (speakers, writers, and clients alike), and when we are working to overcome challenges with our partner, it is a wonderful intention to be as real and present […]