When is it time to say “This relationship is over”?

WHEN IS IT TIME TO SAY “THIS RELATIONSHIP IS OVER”?

Michele Gruenhage

Frequently people come into my office unsure about whether their relationship is worth saving or if it is beyond repair.  As couples tell me the story of their relationship I hear them describe the ways they each feel hurt, lonely, and discouraged.  Sometimes couples come in soon after they recognize they need support in communicating with each other in better ways. They haven’t had much conflict and they feel terrible about the things they recently said to each other in the heat of the moment.

More often, however, couples have been coping with their painful dynamics for years, and their level of discouragement is high, and their hope is low.  They have ingrained patterns of fighting – yelling, screaming, name-calling, and/or silence. The Four Horsemen are running rampant. They feel embarrassed and worried about how all of the fighting is affecting their kids.  Maybe there has been an emotional or sexual affair. Maybe one or both partners struggle with addiction – gambling, pornography, drugs, and/or alcohol.

I often ask clients “Why do you stay in this relationship?”  Or “What is your commitment to working on this relationship?”.  These are some of the answers I hear regularly:

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The Risky Paradox of Love: The More You Give, The More you Feel

feel

THE RISKY PARADOX OF LOVE: THE MORE YOU GIVE, THE MORE YOU FEEL

Kyle Benson

Love is often perceived as this easy thing that everyone is capable of doing. I find this to be untrue. To love and be loved can create anxiety.

To have the faith that we are lovable and beautiful with our scars, not just temporarily, but permanently in our own heart, is a questionable endeavor for many. Even I am not immune to the protective armor we wear to guard our fragile bleeding hearts.

I remember sitting in my psychoanalyst’s office talking about a new relationship I was starting. I told my analyst that my mind was jumping to conclusions. “Maybe she wants children right now and I’m not ready for that,” I said to him. “She doesn’t text very often because she’s busy working an amazing job. I don’t think she has time for me.”

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The Death of Love Isn’t Natural: The 7 Steps to Separation

Separation

THE DEATH OF LOVE ISN’T NATURAL: THE 7 STEPS TO SEPARATION

Kyle Benson

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source, it dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds, it dies of weariness, of witherings, or tarnishings, but never a natural death.” – Anais Nin


Marriages rarely end overnight. They tend to unravel over time, in ways that are now fairly predictable thanks to research by Dr. John Gottman. In 1986 Dr. Gottman and his colleagues built a Love Lab to learn the secrets of lasting love and understand why love dies.

By studying couples for over 40 years, Dr. Gottman could predict with a 90% accuracy which marriage would fail, and which would succeed. These are the factors he found most often contribute to the dissolution of a marriage:

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The Psychology of Arrogance

Dana Tentis / Pixabay

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ARROGANCE

Glenn Geher

5 reasons that arrogant people (regrettably) often succeed

Raise your hand if you like arrogant people?! … Just as I figured – no hands! Hey, I’m with you!

I work with a lot of people and, over the years, I have come to truly believe that there is at least a splash of good in each and every person. And that we all have a ticket on the same ride. I try to be forgiving and I try to respect others as best I can.

This said, if there is one quality in others that gets my goat, it is arrogance. In an article summarizing a provocative set of studies, Johnson, Silverman, Shyamsunder, Swee, Rodopman, Cho, and Bauer (2010, p. 405) define arrogance as “stable belief of superiority and exaggerated self-importance that are manifested with excessive and presumptuous claims.” Sounds about right. We all know one. He or she might belittle you without warning in any context. This person almost definitely talks behind your back. And you go out of your way to avoid having to have interactions with this person as you fear that such interactions may leave you feeling bad for any number of reasons.

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Why a woman needs to be prayerful

WHY A WOMAN NEEDS TO BE PRAYERFUL

In Luke 7, Jesus observed a huge funeral procession in Nain. The entire town was present. He observed the young men and women weeping. He observed the pastors and apostles weeping. He observed the elders weeping. He observed the fathers weeping. He observed the children weeping. He observed the sadness on people’s faces.

Nothing seemed to move Him, until HE SAW THE MOTHER. The Bible says He had compassion when He saw her and immediately raised her boy from the dead. (Luke 7:12-15). It was the cry of a mother that moved the Heart of God.

Still today, Mothers who cry before the Lord for their families, for their marriages, for their homes, move the Heart of God. When MOTHERS stop praying, their families (especially their children) perish. Satan gets a foothold and starts to destroy the home, yet when they return to their rightful place as the anchor of the home, demonic strongholds get demolished.

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Debunking 5 Myths About Premarital Conflict

DEBUNKING 5 MYTHS ABOUT PREMARITAL CONFLICT

Liz Higgins

Life experiences, family dynamics, and the influence of society generate many ideas of what a marriage should look like, especially when it comes to wedding planning and handling conflict. What people often forget is that the wedding itself is a symbol of something much greater: a marriage.

Young couples are often thrown off when conflict arises during the wedding-planning process. Isn’t this supposed to be the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship? It certainly can be. But sometimes, people choose to completely deny and avoid any premarital conflict in order to “keep the peace” and convince themselves that they have found the “perfect” partner.

The reality is that tension and stress (hello, wedding planning) will often become the fertile ground for conflict and your differences to emerge. It’s essential to have a grasp on what some of the damaging myths are that our world continues to hold about conflict, and what that means for your relationship.

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Self Care: Cherishing Yourself And Your Relationship

SELF CARE: CHERISHING YOURSELF AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Ellie Lisitsa

In Wednesday’s posting on The Gottman Relationship Blog, in which we shared a recent study out of UC Berkeley on the relationship between sleep and relationship conflict, we brought up the importance of cultivating good habits in self care, one of the most critical tools in maintaining healthy relationships. This weekend, we offer you a few of Dr. Gottman’s tips for goal-setting and stress management! We hope that the following lists will help you as you work to find balance and create a healthier lifestyle, both for yourself and for your relationship.

DR. GOTTMAN’S TIPS FOR GOAL SETTING:

  • Make your goals specific and measurable. Rather than telling your partner that you would like to talk more, suggest that you go on a date every other Saturday. Leave the kids with the babysitter and find some time for just the two of you.
  • Think about the pros and cons of making healthy changes. If we stick with the example above, we could imagine that a pro would be the ability to feel closer to each other and relax (at a favorite dinner spot, on a jaunt through a beloved park, in a cozy cafe), and a con could be the price of the babysitter.

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‘PANTS’ Rules

Image result for Picture of a lady's underwear

‘PANTS’ RULES

Please every parent and guardian should teach their children and wards, especially toddlers, very early about ‘PANTS’ rules. Times have changed and the world has become a very sick and pathetic place to live. There are many paedophiles and rapists out there. Be careful, and note that everyone is a suspect here.

We must prayerfully protect our children by arming them with the right information:

PANTS

P – Private parts are private. Nobody is permitted to touch them.

A – Always remember that your body is yours and yours only.

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A Dad’s Letter to His Son (About the Only Good Reason to Get Married)

A DAD’S LETTER TO HIS SON (ABOUT THE ONLY GOOD REASON TO GET MARRIED)

Kelly Flanagan

Dear Son,

It seems like yesterday you were blowing poop out of your diaper onto your mother’s lap. Yet here we are, on the verge of the birds-and-the-bees conversation. The poop was way easier.

Before we talk about sex, though, I want to talk about marriage. Not because I’ll shun you or shame you if you don’t put them in that order—although I hope you will—but because I believe the only good reason to get married will bring clarity to every other aspect of your life, including sex.

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Choose Meaning and Live Better

CHOOSE MEANING AND LIVE BETTER

Mollie Teitelbaum

When should we tune out (and into) our biases?

We have a bad habit of focusing on people’s superficial, negative qualities. Happiness and fulfillment can be gained by giving weight to what should ultimately guide our behavior: people’s profound, positive qualities. Appreciating these aspects of individuals fosters meaningful and mutually beneficial experiences.

Understanding and Combating Biases

Bias has been getting a lot of attention lately due to a growing understanding of the influences it has on our actions and attitudes outside of our awareness (Banaji & Greenwald, 2013). A phenomenon called negativity bias makes us far more sensitive to negative things than to positive ones. If two disparate events are of equivalent strength, the event that is negative will elicit much greater psychological activity and will impact behavior more (Baumeister, et al., 2001). Evolutionarily, this makes sense as it protects us from harm, but if our default is to dwell on the negative and to ignore the positive, then how can we hope to be happy, optimistic people?

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