Linda's Relationship Counseling Blog


Can We Believe We Are Good?

Some of us didn’t get a chance to figure out what our feelings meant when we were little. If our caregivers couldn’t read their feelings it is likely they couldn’t teach us ours.

If we didn’t learn what was going on inside of us we might have a couple of different behavioral responses. In my case if I was upset I would blame the one who upset me. Since I didn’t learn otherwise, I just used this habit well into my forties.

You can see as I write this that blaming someone for my difficulty is not effective. In fact it usually makes the person you blame react with some kind of defense or their own anger…

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How Our Healing Starts with Us

Healing starts within us, from the heart, as shown by the man pictured.

When we get mad at our mates, we fall into one of three different categories. We might yell or get mad and stomp around; we might stuff our feelings and not say anything; or we might simply leave.

Each of these methods express our disappointment with what happened. It’s likely that we learned these habits when we were young, and now that we are mixing it up with our partners, we use them often.

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Is Anything Really Perfect?

Many of us are trying to find the perfect mate, or have the perfect relationship. This is something many of us strive for in our lives. If I only had this then it would be perfect, we might say to ourselves.

But let’s look at this for just a few moments. What in our life is ever really perfect? And if for the moment something feels exactly as it should be, how long does that feeling really last?

Nothing ever really stays the same, but many of us want the things to go back to the way they were and then it would be “perfect.”

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Let’s Celebrate Our Differences

I was reading something yesterday about the yin and yang. This is a Chinese symbol from the 3rd century. It can relate to how couples work or how they don’t. Here is how I understand it. The yin is the female: caring and nurturing. The yang is the male: hard, strong, fast.

They depend on each other and when they are in balance, they create harmony. I was thinking about this concept recently as it relates to most of us who are in relationships.

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Feed the Right Wolf

You may have heard the story about a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson. The grandfather told the grandson there are two wolves inside of him having a war. One is mean and angry. The other is kind and loving.

Curious the grandson asked, “Who will win?” Grandfather replied, “The one that I feed.”

I have heard this story a few times and every time I nod to myself that I too want to feed the right wolf. I want to be kind and loving, not angry and mean. And I bet if you are reading this right now you would agree with me.

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When We Feel We Have to Fix Our Mate

When We Feel We Have to Fix Our Mate

Many of us in this world are fixers. When someone has a problem, we just imagine all the ways the problem can be solved. This is really the way some of us are wired. Nothing wrong with this. The world needs fixers.

But when we are in a relationship and we see what our partner could do better and we use our fixing skills to help them, well it might not go so well.

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When We Analyze Instead of Connecting

Does analyzing in your relationship help bring you back together or kick off blame games like the couple fighting here?

It’s not unusual to describe what happened after an argument occurs. Many of us do this. We think about who said what and how we responded and we explain that what was said was not helpful and we talk about what might have been better and we do this with complete confidence that we see things the way they are.

I have worked with couples where one person is excellent at detailing what went wrong and how those things could be avoided. I listen to the explanations that are extremely detailed and I think to myself, “But how does this help?”

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It’s Not How You Fight; It’s How You Come Back to Each Other

It's not how you fight, it's how you come back.

All couples on the planet sometimes misunderstand each other. This is normal. After all we are in our heads and our partners are in theirs. They think their thoughts and we think ours. And sometimes we don’t read each other right and then you have a misunderstanding.

This is common among couples. Ask any couple you know and they will tell you that sometimes there are challenges understanding each other. In fact, try looking into your own life and see if you can tell me that’s not the case. I can look into my relationship and know in my bones that sometimes we just don’t read the other right or they don’t read us right.

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Do You Keep Your Heart Open?

Do you keep your heart open? Or is it under lock and key?

One of the first lessons we learn as humans is about protecting our hearts. We probably learn this when we are very little people. Something hurt us and we close up and we can’t come out until the pain stops.

If this sounds like something you do as an adult, then you are doing what every human on the planet does. Everyone who gets hurt has some sort of mechanism to shield the vulnerable parts from more pain. This is just the way humans are designed.

And even though you learned this skill as a child you are probably still using the same techniques now as an adult. You may have some different words and you may even get mad at your mate when you get your feelings hurt, but all these behaviors do one thing. They close down your heart.

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