One of the most powerful relationship skills you can have is knowing what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. Most people know what hasn’t worked for them, but have a hard time defining and feeling confident picking a healthy relationship. This is especially tricky because we know that healthy relationships are not “perfect” relationships!
Dr. Judith Wallerstein did some fantastic research about the commonalities of healthy relationships. She was the first researcher to ask what healthy relationships actually felt like to the people in them. Her primary finding was that a healthy relationship feels like a unique, co-created world that the two partners share. Every “world” is different, but this qualitative presence exists in all of the healthy relationships she studied.
How do you know if you’re in a relationship that has this quality, even when it’s hard? Or if you’re beginning a relationship that...
Let’s face it, ending any relationship is difficult. But, if you add toxic elements to one, it becomes even harder. Now this may seem counterintuitive because upon reflection, ending a relationship with someone who is not good for you may seem like a no-brainer, but actually, the surprising reality is that ending a toxic relationship usually involves more mixed feelings and doubts that ending a healthier one.
The reason for this lies in our healthy urge to mend, repair, and make peace with people we are bonded to. In a toxic relationship, this instinct is thwarted.
If two people in a relationship treat each other fairly, they are actually able to come to a reasonable understanding of why they should end a relationship. This conclusion is harder to come by when the relationship is unhealthy.
Why? Because in a toxic relationship, nothing is clear. There is a great deal of manipulation, often involving gaslighting, denial, and...
Absolutely, Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence. In fact, emotional abuse is the most harmful form of domestic violence that people report experiencing.
There are several risk factors making emotional abuse so harmful. For one, many tend to rationalize or normalize emotional abuse, because you can’t “see the bruise.”
However, there is a very real bruise. Chronic abuse is internalized by the victim as a negative sense of self esteem, which lasts a lifetime, unless treated. Further, many do not get treatment for emotional abuse because the scars are not visual or physical, so they do not know that they have been harmed or need help. A further risk factor is the fact that emotional abuse is often a precursor to physical abuse.
Many people do not understand this,...
A committed relationship’s most important quality is its uniqueness! The bond between two different people is the beating heart of the relationship: what makes it a living, breathing, exciting entity unlike any other.
However, there are standard, tried and true components that go into the formation of a committed relationship and allow the differences of two people to remain connected through time.
Like every square has four sides, the “frame” of a committed relationship is the boundary within which the creativity and dynamism of the relationship can occur. Without the frame, the relationship could not exist over time, because it would not have any shape or form. The heart of the relationship would simply bleed out into a dysfunctional non-shape!
I’ll share with you a parallel frame to give you a...
Introverts, despite their relative tendency to thrive on and need alone-time to regenerate and feel healthy, also need love, connection and commitment -- like their extroverted counterparts! The reason is simple. We’re all human. Humans’ primary need is for warmth, connection, belonging, understanding, and the meaning of a role in one’s world. But, introverts go about connection differently, and so it stands that there shall be dating advice for introverts!
To divide the world into introverts and extroverts is certainly an oversimplification, but the concept is useful if we understand ourselves on a spectrum of introversion and extroversion. If you are an introvert, you will necessarily need time away from others to recharge your energetic battery. This is the most profound way to understand introversion and extroversion.
Extroverts, on the other hand, need social contact to recharge their batteries, and never quite feel refreshed without this. Most...
The short answer: NO.
More specifically, your capacity to love another is directly proportional to your capacity to love yourself.
If you don't love yourself, you can certainly idealize someone, long for someone, or even seduce someone, but this is not the same as actually loving someone else.
But, can you actually define self-love?
Would you like to know what self-love is, why it determines your capacity to love another, and more importantly, how you can use this knowledge to increase your self-love and your capacity for fantastic, loving relationships?
You likely thought narcissistic behaviors were proportional to self confidence, that’s actually not the case.
Let’s start with an understanding of the term “narcissism.” This term is commonly misunderstood with most people thinking of Narcissistic Personality disorder....
We all know that there are self-care practices and understandings that help us become better daters. However, there are a lot of mixed messages and, in my opinion, un-useful clichés about personal self-care and dating that aren’t helping anyone. For instance, what does it mean to “love yourself first”?.....
When I talk to my patients about self-care they often go to ideas of spa days and bubble baths. Sure, those things can be a form of self-care, however the self-care I find transformative centers around the practice of self-compassion. Now, if your next thought is associations of pity, letting yourself off the hook, anything goes, you are "Way Off Base!"....
Welcome to Relationships RE-Wired