Relationship Problems

Is My Self-Hatred Getting in the Way of Love?

The short answer is: yes! Hating yourself puts you directly at odds with someone who loves you. You each have diametrically opposed points of view about you: your’s being negative and your partner’s being positive. So what can you do to resolve this dilemma? And why does this dilemma exist in the first place? Let’s… Read more »

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Preventing Interpersonal Violence in Relationships

As a therapist, I want to help survivors of dating violence, domestic violence, and abusive relationships recover their sense of safety and self-fulfillment in life. And I want to do more. I want more people to know how grave the damage is to survivors of abuse and sexual assault. I want to see more action… Read more »

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The Secret to Staying Close to Your Partner

In the intimate quarters of a romantic relationship, the reactivity between couples can be electric, the slightest jolt from one person sending the other into sparks. As emotional beings armed with complicated attachment histories, we key off each other in complex ways. The chronic lateness of our partner can cause us to feel wounded and vengeful…. Read more »

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How to Deal with Rejection

Rejection is an almost unavoidable aspect of being human. No one has ever succeeded in love or in life without first facing rejection. We all experience it, and yet, those times when we do are often the times we feel the most alone, outcast, and unwanted. In fact, so much of the hurt and struggle… Read more »

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Are You Creating Your Own Nightmare in Your Relationship?

A few years ago, I was talking to my friend and colleague Dr. Daniel Siegel, a leader in the field of interpersonal neurobiology. We were discussing how and why people find themselves stuck in certain relationship patterns. Dr. Siegel explained that our brains are actually wired to recreate conditions from our past. Our early experiences… Read more »

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How Your Critical Inner Voice Gets in the Way of Love

There’s a nasty defense mechanism that undermines and sabotages your efforts to have love in your life: your critical inner voice. It comes at you from all sides; it goes after you, it badmouths your partner, it slams your relationship, and it attacks love in general. We are mostly unaware of this internal enemy and… Read more »

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What Is Your Role in Your Relationship?

Conflict between a couple can often feel convoluted and layered in ways that are hard to make sense of. But, there is one dynamic that may be a bit easier to wrap our heads around. Very often, couples get into trouble when one person takes the role of a parent, and the other, the role of… Read more »

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Why Some Men Give Up Their Identity in a Relationship

Over the past 30 years of working as a psychologist doing individual and group therapy, I have often seen men struggling to maintain either the romance or friendship or both in their intimate relationships. It’s a subject I’ve been investigating and exploring for much of my professional and personal life. I’ve often noticed my men… Read more »

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Love Addictions: Do You Have an Unhealthy Addiction to Love?

While the term “love addiction” may be controversial among mental health professionals, having an overwhelming or obsessive compulsion toward love or a loved one is not uncommon. Love addictions are formed as a defense against psychological pain. Love addicts have a fantasy of being rescued by their loved one and often believe that this one… Read more »

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Take Control of Who You Are in Your Relationship

I often speak to people who are in distress over the way their romantic partner treats them. They believe that they want to be close, but that their partner is preventing it by being “condescending”, “critical,” “irresponsible,” “distant,” or “rejecting.” This makes them feel terrible or forces them to take control, demand attention, or stand up for themselves. They… Read more »

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