Can You Mend This Relationship?

In a lifetime, we all have several relationships and partnerships. Some we choose to leave; for some, the choice is made by the other. In either case, the end of what most often started with good intentions and excitement means a sense of loss leaving a hole, whether small or large. At times, one has a sense of relief that the misery is no longer on the radar screen. But even then, there is some leftover emotional upheaval. Then, too, we may have tried to stick it out, to put up with what didn’t make us happy in the hopes […]

Relationship Expertise

What does your resume show? If you’re an employer and see that an applicant for an IT job has worked at one position for five years, is that a positive? If you see that the person has been at Google for four years and at LeggMason for five, does it add to the qualifications? This is a definite generalization but often, t, the sentiment goes the other way: A relationship failure! How does one learn what makes for a strong and healthy relationship? The self-help industry in all aspects of media makes a mint telling us how to, what to […]

Anxiety in a Relationship

Every human being – and animals, too – experience anxiety. It is the physiology’s method of notifying that there is some perceived danger to the survival. While centuries ago it may have been seeing a wild beast that evoked this response, in today’s world, it is usually some kind of threat that we see to our psychic self. A critical remark, a challenging response, or a disapproving look can touch that nerve. Then there are differences in temperament that bring anxiety into the world of the two people. John is always on time or even early. Ted is typically 30 […]

Relationships: Can They Survive Political Disagreements?

Have you seen the many defriending and blocking of friends that has taken place in the recent past? Add to that warnings of not to discuss anything political prior to family dinners, celebrations, occasions, and parties, and one gets a discouraging picture of the polarization and tribalism in the US and maybe, all over the world. I don’t want to get into how and why this is happening, but to delve into how we can deal with it without offending our loved ones and creating discord in our relationships. There is no doubt that we all acknowledge there will be […]

Relationship Builder: Positive Mood

There are many self-help books on how to improve your relationships, love life, or friendships. Let’s take a look at what we can do for ourselves because how we feel definitely affects those in our lives. I just listened to a couple who realized that some mornings, one of them got up in a foul mood and then the whole day went downhill for both of them because the other person resented having to deal with this which he saw as no fault of his own. So how was the first person dealing with his negative mood? According to psychologist […]

Relationship Buster: Egocentric Bias

Do you know a person who thinks everything that goes on around them is about them? Or is it possible you are one? This is the trait referred to as “egocentric bias” when we feel the world revolves around us, so we take responsibility for it all. Not in the positive sense of owning our role in it but in a way that refers all events personally to us. If when you tell your friend or partner that you are getting a promotion, their response is to tell you they are also scheduled for one or the last time they […]

Security or Adventure?

Human beings have contradictory needs and wants. It’s our task to reconcile these, so we can lessen conflicts within ourselves and with others. A long time ago, it occurred to me that I could not eat everything I wanted and look the way I wanted. What to do? The child wants it all and does not want denials or boundaries. Hopefully, by adulthood, we start to accept that we have to make choices. This issue is so crucial in our relationships. Think of when you first met your beloved. The stars in the eyes, the strong chemistry, the connection that […]

No Sex in Relationship? Continued

There were several responses to the previous edition of this column so I wanted to continue on the subject. The frustration this situation brings on can take different forms. The ones who want more sex definitely feel the lack and see it as rejection. That, in turn, creates more obstacles to intimacy. Often this is the start of a cycle of anger and resentment that adds another layer to the distance the other partner feels so even when they want to get close, they sense (or know) the anger and feel immobilized. On the other hand, the partner that feels […]

No Sex in Relationship?

Increasingly, I hear from couples that after the initial few years, the sex drive of one or the other starts to wane and then comes a period of feelings of rejection on the party that wants more and pressure on the one who wants less. What is going on? I have met people who haven’t been physically intimate in years. Of course, it’s possible that there may be physical issues or illness that prompt this kind of a situation. Regardless of what the reasons are, some of which may bring on more resentment than the others, how do you deal […]

Infidelity – Take 2

If there’s an affair involved in your relationship, at which point do you decide to end the involvement, whether it is you or your partner who has been unfaithful? To be clear, I am talking about relationships where there is an understanding of commitment, be it in a monogamous, or a polyamorous context. Even in open marriages, there seems to be an expectation of boundaries. So being unfaithful is about going beyond those boundaries and expectations. How do you even start to sort through the feelings and the back and forth arguments? In the distant past, there were some common […]