Category Archives: Conflict

Early Marital Stresses

WHEN THE HONEYMOON IS OVER   When the champagne is all gone, the wedding flowers have long since wilted and the honeymoon is just a romantic memory, the real work of marriage begins.  In this stage, conflict can seem to … Continue reading

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Don’t Fight with Your Teenager

POWER STRUGGLE DANGEROUS WITH TEENS   If you have a rebellious adolescent in your family then you know how frustrating parenthood can be.  If this is your first teenager, I feel for you.  You’re in for a rough ride. Holding … Continue reading

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Achieving Serenity in Marriage

SERENITY IN MARRIAGE   God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So goes the famous Serenity Prayer.   It’s most well … Continue reading

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Can a Marriage be too Harmonious?

TOO MUCH HARMONY?   What is a “good marriage”?  How good does it have to be? And what does “good” mean, anyway.  Can a couple fight a lot and still have a “good marriage”?  What if they don’t fight at … Continue reading

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Marital Crisis–and Beyond

MARITAL CRISIS—AND BEYOND       There comes a time in most marriages when the bottom falls out.  The entire relationship is called into question.  Usually, one partner feels this more strongly than the other. The less affected partner feels puzzled and … Continue reading

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Everybody Needs a Little Harassment

EVERYONE NEEDS A LITTLE HARRASSMENT   In coastal China the people are fond of a small eel they catch in the open ocean.  Because they’re so small, it takes a lot of the eels to fill the boat and the … Continue reading

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Growing up with Violence

GROWING UP WITH VIOLENCE Living in a violent family affects children in characteristic ways.  In my therapy practice I have worked with many individuals and couples who have grown up with violent parents.  I have learned that family violence, even … Continue reading

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Normal Struggles of Marriage

NORMAL STRUGGLES OF MARRIAGE   One of the most discouraging and, ultimately, destructive ideas people have about marriage is that it’s supposed to be easy.  It’s not easy and there are many good reasons why. For one, we always come … Continue reading

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The Argue-Proof I-Statement

THE ARGUE-PROOF I-STATEMENT       When you have a discussion with your loved one, you want them to listen to you.  You want them to understand you and to know how you feel.  Your goal is not to have them fight … Continue reading

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Preserve Emotional Safety in Conflict

PRESERVE EMOTIONAL SAFETY IN CONFLICT   When you feel safe you are free to play, nourish, make love, work and be creative in your relationships.  When you don’t, you are likely to fall back on primitive defensive behaviors designed to … Continue reading

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