Want A Relationship Boost? Try This

Several years ago I recall working with a couple Jeff and Eileen (not their real names). In a session just prior to Father's Day, Eileen and Jeff were discussing their concerns about getting together with Jeff's parents for a family dinner to celebrate Father's Day. Jeff's sister and her husband would be there as well as his brother and partner. as well. It turns out that what happened that day changed Eileen and Jeff's relationship in a profound way, providing an impactful boost in intimacy, closeness, and trust.

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What Happens When Fun Gets Dropped in Relationships?

Margaret and James used to have a good time together, then life and responsibilities seemed to loom larger and the fun times seemed to fade. They rarely fought during the times they had lively conversations filled with laughter and fun activities, they both saw this time  as a time to bond. As less time was dedicated to spending some fun time together, not coincidentally, their relationship satisfaction dropped.

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My Partner Is In Denial: Part 2 – What To Do

In my last blog, My Partner Is In Denial: Part 1 The Problem, I address the impact of a partner's denial, When we care about somebody who is in denial, and that denial has an impact on our own wellness, feelings of isolation, anger, resentment, fear, and frustration typically follow. Initial steps should include a focus on self-care, letting go at least initially, of what to do about the partner. In this article, I suggest some strategies to consider in addressing your partner's denial.

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My Partner is In Denial: Part 1 – The Problem

At first glance denial might seem like an immature behavior, like pretending something isn't a problem when it clearly it is and others seem to see it for what it is. In a closer look, consider how psychology defines denial as a defense mechanism to avoid painful realizations. This inability to take in the reality of what is happening is actually an unconscious mechanism to protect the individual from painful or uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Typically, the stronger the denial, the more is at stake emotionally for the person.

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Read more about the article Is Codependency Really A Thing?
Am I Codependent?

Is Codependency Really A Thing?

Codependency is an ever-present concept in the language of recovery. Partners, family members, and friends of people who struggle with problematic substance and behavior are typically automatically assigned this label. It is assumed that anybody in a close relationship with a person with an addiction is, by definition codependent.

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How Can I Heal From My Partner’s Addiction?

Initially there’s a collective sigh of relief when a partner or loved one gets sober. Partners feel hopeful that a sense of normality can find its way back into family life. However, relief is almost always followed by increasing levels of resentment, anxiety, fear, anger, and a host of other negative emotions. Making sense of these co-existing oppositional feelings is confusing. You’re probably thinking, “Shouldn’t I feel better now that my partner is finally sober?” But often, it’s not that simple.

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Redefining Codependency

In my article, "Trauma is Not Codependency: Learning the Difference", I address the importance of acknowledging and understanding that active addiction creates trauma for both the person with the addictive disorder as well as for partners and family members. It is important for couples to recognize and accept that the impact of addiction often follows couples and family well into recovery. This is normal and to be expected in most most circumstances.

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Couple Recovery: Looking Ahead

I remember as a kid we would be on vacation. At scenic observation areas on the way sometimes there were those coin-operated binoculars. I also remember being absolutely fascinated with those things thinking how cool they looked. They were all metal and indestructible. Those beauties, made by Tower Opticals, could swivel to move the viewing area vertically and horizontally. All it took was an available binocular and 25 cents. 

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