Growth Mindset in Love

Oct 18, 2018
Last year, for a brief time, I took on a small job writing for an entrepreneur and professional speaker. During that time, I scoured articles on the virtues of failure and success. While reading, I noticed a theme that was echoed by CEO executives, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, and personal development coaches. Fail Forward was their mantra. 
I have come to know that every single one of us will struggle on and off throughout life. Two steps forward, one step back, seems to be the way.
But here is where things get interesting. 

After a setback, some will fall and never get back up. 
Others, use the struggle itself to propel forward and recommit to learning and growth after the fall. What makes this difference? 

What I believe about myself when I fail, fall, or take a step back matters.

Do I believe I am inherently capable, so I get back to it, and keep going? Or do I believe that I don’t have...
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It is OK to need others

Aug 28, 2018

A fear of being weak or needy is fairly pervasive in our individualistic society.

But the truth is, we need other people as much as we need food, water, and shelter. Human beings will not survive for very long without close contact with other human beings.

We are social beings and herd animals.

Think about it. If you end up on a desert island alone, you will lose touch with reality or die. There is a reason why solitary confinement is considered the most severe form of punishment. Being separated from others is a form of torture.

The bottom line is that you and your partner do need each other and this is healthy and normal.

Research shows that individuals in healthy partnerships, and those with close friends and a sense of community, have lower levels of stress and stress-related health concerns. Our nervous system regulates most efficiently and quickly when we have other people to turn to, co-regulation.

As adults, we have the capacity to regulate on our own, and it is helpful...

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Re-thinking "the one"

Aug 28, 2018

People talk about searching for their soulmate and twin flame. Or finding that one special person they are meant to be with, who is ultra compatible, and ultimately, “the one”.

I can see how it may be important for two particular people to come together. I like to believe that my partner and I have come together for a reason far greater than ourselves. But the idea that there is one perfect partner out there - someone I will never fight with, someone with whom I will experience nothing but bliss with - is where “the one” thinking goes wrong.

What happens if, after years of being with my partner and raising kids with him, we stop all intimacy and start fighting all the time?

Do I conclude that my partner is not the one after all and start searching for someone new?

Or, do I stay in the relationship and use the challenge as an opportunity to look inside myself and re-create love?

The reality is that unless I explore the cycles and struggles I face in my...

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What would it mean to never take personally anything that your spouse says or does?

Aug 22, 2018

What would it mean to never take personally anything that your spouse says or does?

In my last two posts, I recommended one of my favorite books, "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" by Don Miguel Ruiz. There is no better place to practice the Four Agreements than in your love relationship.

When applied specifically to your spouse or partner, the four agreements would be:

1. Be impeccable with your word when speaking to or about your spouse or your relationship.
2. Don't take anything personally that your spouse says or does.
3. Make no assumptions about what your spouse is thinking, feeling, or intending.
4. Do your best in the relationship.

This post will focus on the second agreement. What would it mean to never take personally anything that your spouse says or does?

Ruiz writes that when you take something personally, you are implicitly agreeing with their position, giving them power over your inner state, and traping yourself in "the dream of...

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Want a better marriage? Stop doing these four things!

Aug 18, 2018

All couples have their rough moments. Fights, missteps, and miscommunications will happen. Clearly is unrealistic for our relationships to be blissful 100 percent of the time. Yet, some relationships dip into the negative too often. This can leave both partners with ongoing stress which is not healthy or satisfying.

 John Gottman, PhD and author of “What Makes Love Last” has dedicated his career to research and working with couples. Gottman tells couples to aim for having a ratio of five positive moves to every one negative one.

The 5 to 1 ratio is not an arbitrary formula. Gottman came up with this ratio after spending years researching what leads to divorce and what leads to a long-lasting marriage. It turns out that couples who hit the 5 to 1 ratio are more likely to stay together happily, while those with more negativity are more likely to divorce.

When couples are moving toward distress there are several common negative moves that show up. If you are frustrated...

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How to stop fighting and starting connecting with your spouse

Jul 30, 2018

All couples fight from time to time

Yet, the way couples fight, and what they do after a fight, is important. 

Some couples have created a relationship that is a primary source of soothing and support. They turn to each other for comfort when having a rough day or feeling stressed. If they fight, they know how to repair their relationships afterward. They are also able to reflect on past struggles in an effort to learn and grow. 

For other couples, the relationship itself is a large source of stress. They fight often. Negavity dominates their interactions. When fighting, they are focused on winning or standing their ground instead of working together toward a mutual understanding. They do not know how to mend the relationship or reconnect after they fight. Eventually, they may avoid bringing up certain topics, or avoid each other, just because they want to avoid fighting. 

Most couples fall somewhere in between. But I can tell you that most couples could...

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When you want to work on your relationship but your partner doesn't

Apr 18, 2018

If you are facing challenges in your relationship, it would be logical that you would want to work on your relationship.

But what do you do if your spouse is not interested in working through the problems you are having in your marriage?

Maybe you have suggested couples counseling, but he does not want to go. Or perhaps you have tried talking about your concerns, but you end up in a fight, or he refuses to have the conversation.

Does it take both individuals working on the relationship to turn things around?

The ideal scenario is that both individuals will take the time to address the difficulties in the marriage. And that both individuals will work on improving the marriage. 

However, if your spouse is not willing to do this at the moment, there are many things you can do to start creating a more positive relationship. Keep reading to learn more. 

1. Stop blaming and start empathizing

When couples are unhappy in their marriage, it is very common to blame the other partner...

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Let's talk about sex

Feb 22, 2018

Let's start an honest discussion about sex
So much connection can happen during sex: it feels great, happy brain chemicals are released, and healing skin to skin contact occurs. For highly attuned couples, sex becomes a potent exchange of mind, body, and spirit which creates bonding and the experience of oneness. This is good stuff I tell you!
Yet, after years of marriage and kids, and being with one partner for a long time, some couples say they have lost interest in having sex with each other. 

On the other hand, other couples who have been married and monogamous for decades or more say sex gets better and better. 
Studies show that couples are the most satisfied with their sex life, talk about sex...
What they like
What they don't like
What they want to try
What they don't want to try
What makes them uncomfortable
And what their fantasies are.

The focus of this blog post is centered on how to start talking about...
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How to get her in bed (after marriage and kids)

Feb 20, 2018
What happens when one partner wants sex and his or her long-term partner is rarely in the mood?
A healthy sex life is a part of what makes up a thriving relationship. When one or both partners are feeling unsatisfied in this area, this can trigger the beginning of a downward spiral that does not end up very well.
A Newsweek article stated that 15% to 20% of couples who are married with kids have sex less than 10 times a year. This translates to around 20 million couples who are not having much sex.

Many couples report wanting a better sex life. With children, careers, lack of sleep, endless household duties, financial pressures, and all of the other energy drainers that come with modern family life, sexual desire can begin to fade away. This is normal. But normal does not necessarily mean acceptable.

Problems arise when one wants it more or the other wants it less. And if you become complacent, your sex life is unlikely to change.

No more keeping score

Outside of role...

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What is attachment theory and why does it matter to couples?

Feb 20, 2018

Attachment Theory is one of the foundational theories of psychology and human development.

It was developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth in the mid-1900s and shaped the way we understand development, parenting, and relationships today.

When specific to the parent-child relationship, in short, the theory states that optimal development occurs when a child is emotionally bonded to his caregivers through receiving nurturing, responsive, reliable, and predictable care. It also states that children's attachment needs (for affection, touch, comfort) are just as critical to thriving as basic survival needs (food, water, shelter, rest).

Although the development of attachment theory was centered on the parent-child relationship, over the last decade, researchers have been studying how attachment applies to adult love relationships.

What we know about attachment and love relationships is this:

Attachment and bonding needs are lifelong. 

This means, that even though we may be...

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