This isn’t the typical advice column, so you are duly warned. It’s a two minute read, so no excuses, to learn five ways to boost your relationship happiness. Read more
The secret to having the best relationships is self differentiation. This is a fifty-cent term for knowing who you are, what you like, and having the ability to express this clearly, without hesitation, to another person. It requires insight, emotional intelligence, authenticity, transparency and assertiveness. It is a BIG concept that we can and should strive for throughout life in different circumstances with different people. It is essential for healthy relationships.
I will break it down for you in three simple parts.
Have you ever wondered why your partner triggers such an immediate response in you? Would you like to get curious not furious? Understanding your attachment style, or the way you related growing up to your primary caregiver, can provide a clue to the immediate, visceral reactions you have at times in your current relationships. Instead of getting furious, you can get curious!
Connection or protection? How are you wired? Did you know that love wires us for connection but trauma wires us for protection? Sometimes over-protection. Sometimes under-protection. Here’s how.
What is the secret sauce to a long and happy marriage? I recently had my own personal physician ask me this. She said she asks every patient this. I have to assume she meant every long-time married patient!
Here’s a thought: You can be “blessed” and still be hurting. Don’t give in to polarized thinking, that if you’re fortunate then you’re wrong to feel bad about anything. I also think of it as binary thinking, or thinking in polarities. You’re finding yourself saying it’s either this or that, when in fact most things occur on a spectrum.
Sexual health problems within a relationship are very complex to sort out. It helps to have a sort of matrix or template you can overlay on any particular issue. This may help you pinpoint the real issue of concern more accurately. The six principles of a healthy sexual relationships I offer here are meant to serve in that capacity. They are taken from Doug Braun-Harvey’s work from the Harvey Institute in San Diego, California (see resources below).
In addition to my degree in clinical social work, I have a masters degree in public health. We prevent. That’s what public health is about. In this post I want to help you see the hidden costs of poor boundaries, and prevent those costs for yourself. First you need to understand that prevention is often invisible unless you first look at the prevented costs. Here’s an example of that.
Your children are like so much wet cement according to Time Magazine, in that they are impressionable at an early age. Your words and actions make impressions that will ‘harden’ over time and guide their sense of identity. A large portion of our job as parents is to guide, shape and correct them. When shaping behaviors, it is important to guard how much you criticize vs praise those you love. The same thing applies to your partner. Is complaining your habit? So what is the magic ratio?
Money fights are a hot spot I am asked about frequently by couples. Money has a lot to do with power in relationships. Here’s an example.
PAGE RUTLEDGE, LCSW, CHt | Anxiety Therapy
5006 Randall Parkway (close to UNCW)
Wilmington, NC 28403
Free parking at office