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Working On Your Relationship – By Yourself

Posted on: December 13, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

You Can Create a Successful Relationship – Even If You Must Do It Alone

Conflicts can be expected to arise in even the strongest of relationships. Two people who attempt to create a relationship always bring their own issues, backgrounds, expectations, personalities, and inner difficulties into the interplay that occurs between them. It is not at all unusual that the two people might find themselves, at times, in a deadlock. They see no way to break the impasse and to recapture the spirit of good will that they once had and would like to have again. Each party’s personal conflicts come into play and stifle the communication, sharing and love that seem necessary for harmonious interaction. Rather than confronting our own part in the problem, we may resort to blaming our partner – “If only she (or he) would change, then we could be happy.”

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Communicating When You Have Conflict

Posted on: November 27, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Conflict between people is a fact of life – and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, a relationship with frequent conflict may be healthier than one with no observable conflict. Conflicts occur at all levels of interaction – at work, among friends, within families, and between relationship partners. When conflict occurs, the relationship may be weakened or strengthened. Conflict is a critical event in the course of a relationship. Conflict can cause resentment, hostility and perhaps the ending of the relationship. If it is handled well, however, conflict can be productive – leading to deeper understanding, mutual respect and closeness. Whether a relationship is healthy or unhealthy depends not so much on the number of conflicts between participants, but on how the conflicts are resolved.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

The Crisis of Infidelity

Posted on: July 26, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

“There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

The single most destructive threat to a committed relationship is when one of the partners engages in a sexual relationship with another person. This is not an uncommon event. Conservative estimates suggest that about a quarter of women, and a third of men, have violated their marital commitment to their partners. About 65 percent of marriages struck by infidelity end in divorce.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries in Relationships

Posted on: May 14, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

A successful relationship is composed of two individuals – each with a clearly defined sense of her or his own identity. Without our own understanding of self, of who we are, and what makes us unique, it is difficult to engage in the process of an ongoing relationship in a way that functions smoothly and enhances each of the partners. We need a sense of self in order to clearly communicate our needs and desires to our partner. When we have a strong conception of our own identity, we can appreciate and love those qualities in our partner that make him or her a unique person. When two people come together, each with a clear definition of her or his own individuality, the potential for intimacy and commitment can be astounding. The similarities between two people may bring them together, but their differences contribute to the growth, excitement, and mystery of their relationship.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

The Committed Relationship

Posted on: April 29, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

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Emotionally committed relationships bring excitement and passion into our lives, especially when they are new.  Over time, however, we come across roadblocks, for example, our personal issues or family experiences, that can distance us from our partners.  When we first enter into a committed relationship, we may think that we have found the answer to life’s problems, that we have a partner to share in the turmoil of daily life, that we will never be alone again, that it will be smooth sailing from here on out. If we base relationships on these assumptions, however, we may be sorely disappointed when our partner fails to live up to these expectations. There is a strong probability that if we look to another person to provide fulfillment, we will begin to focus on the failings of that person as the cause of our own disappointments in life. This pattern is the reason for a great deal of discord in committed relationships. Many people who come in for relationship therapy actually hope that the therapy will change their partner because they are convinced that the partner is the source of the problem.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Relationships and Manipulation

Posted on: April 9, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

We are all vulnerable to being manipulated in relationships, whether between romantic partners, friends, parents, children, employers, coworkers, or neighbors. When we allow another person to manipulate us, we are colluding with their desire to control our feelings, motives, and even our thoughts through deceptive, exploitative, and unfair means. A manipulative relationship is one-sided and unbalanced, advancing the goals of the manipulator at the expense of the person being manipulated. These relationships become troubled over time. If you want to change this kind of relationship, you must first recognize the features of manipulation and then look within to understand your contribution to the manipulation. There are effective ways to stand up to manipulation and bring balance back into the relationship.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

When Your Partner’s Feelings Don’t Show

Posted on: March 21, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

“Fasten your seatbelt. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

– Bette Davis

When we commit to a relationship, we usually expect that our partner will reciprocate with roughly the same level of emotional involvement that we put into it. Many of us hope to find a soulmate, a partner who can share and understand our feelings and ways of thinking on an intensely personal level. Others don’t expect such an intense level of involvement and feel more comfortable maintaining personal privacy within a more boundaried relationship. Conflicts may arise when the two partners differ in their expectations of how close they should become. One partner may feel emotionally stranded, feeling abandoned and craving more closeness, while the other partner may feel smothered or pressured into providing more of his or her emotional self than can possibly be given. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Finding Intimacy

Posted on: March 7, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Many people search for that special intimacy in their relationship

Some of us search our entire lives for a feeling of oneness with another person. It’s hard to describe, really, what we search for, but we know it when we finally achieve it. Maybe we tire of that dark feeling of being ultimately alone as we struggle through life. If only there were someone else here, we say to ourselves, who could understand and share these burdens. Then it wouldn’t be so lonely. It wouldn’t be so hard. Or perhaps, in our more positive moments, we want to share not just the burdens but our pleasures too, our strength and beauty. We want the powerful impact of our internal experience to have an impression on someone else, as if to say that we count, we are whole, and we want to impart this feeling to another person. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

The Lasting Relationship

Posted on: January 29, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

A Successful Relationship Takes Work, Insight, and Commitment – and the Rewards Can Be Priceless

One hallmark of success in life may be the ability to sustain a long-term relationship. People in lasting relationships tend to live longer and stay healthier. Research shows that they report more happiness in life, more rewarding social interactions, and lower instances of substance abuse. Maybe the most important aspect of living within a successful permanent relationship is that a person not only feels loved, but also is able to share love with somebody else. Sharing love with a partner allows us to experience trust, nurturance, and a feeling of belonging. When we spend our years with another person we have a feeling of continuity in our lives which may otherwise be difficult to attain. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Sometimes It Takes More Than Love

Posted on: July 25, 2018

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

When we make a commitment to our partner, our usual expectation is that our relationship will last for life and that our love will see us through the inevitable hard times. Yet, when reality sinks in, we have to acknowledge that while love is one of the components of a relationship’s longevity, it really takes more to make it through the long haul. It takes community and family support (which isn’t as available as it once was in our society) – and it takes skill. Many of us have failed to learn how to negotiate our way through relationship difficulties to build a lasting connection. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling