Are you an Explorer or a Climber?

Are you an Explorer or a Climber?

blogs
Not all mountain climbers start from the same place Some people have to travel a long way just to get to the mountain Learning how to be the kind of person who can have a successful long-term intimate relationship is a big mountain to climb.  There are many ups and downs along the way and it requires bravery and persistence.   We face similar dangers - anyone can be swept off the mountain by some avalanche of external circumstances (illnesses, injuries, losses…).  And yet, although we all have to climb the same mountain, the journey is very different for us all. Some people come from wealthy mountain-climbing families.  They have athletic genetics and all the right gear. They start their journey being helicoptered in (by secure attachment and healthy differentiation in…
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Being “logical” isn’t always rational

Being “logical” isn’t always rational

blogs, Communication, Relationships, Self-awareness
Do you try hard to stay “logical” or “rational” when talking or disagreeing with someone?  On the surface this looks like a good idea – we want decisions made on factual information, not just emotions.  But, as fans of Star Trek will know, this is a doomed enterprise (pun fully intended, with apologies). What we usually acheive is the exact opposite of being rational.   When I talk in an “unemotional” way, what I actually do is disown and deny the feelings that are the motivation for my opinion.  Emotion researcher Karla Mclaren (https://karlamclaren.com) stresses that emotions are a fundamental part of our cognitive system.  In other words, emotions are another way our brain sends us messages just like our senses do. We can’t think without feeling. When we present our…
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What is “couple time” for?

What is “couple time” for?

blogs
MAKING TIME FOR COUPLE TIME IS A GOOD IDEA Like a business or a garden or a vintage car, relationships need constant maintenance; frequent and consistent attending to. If you are not attending to your relationship by investing time and effort in it, you can't expect it to work well. Lots of people have got a handle on the notion that it’s important to schedule couple time into their busy lives.  Which is great.  If you’re a busy person and something is important to you, it needs to be in your diary. But we often find that couples don't talk about what the time is FOR. It can be useful to think about three key categories of communication that couples need to put time into: 1. PRAGMATICS AND LOGISTICS Coordinating…
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Getting to resolution: In praise of persistence, persuasion & openness

Getting to resolution: In praise of persistence, persuasion & openness

blogs, Communication, Intimacy, Relationships
For many of us, it’s hard to know what we want, let alone express it to our life partner.  If we are brave enough to actually tell our partner our preference/desire/fantasy, it can feel crushing when this is not met with immediate and enthusiastic acceptance. Yet, the truth is we are always attracted to someone who is different from us.  An inevitable result is that our partner will see things differently, will have different preferences, and organise their priorities in ways that are alien to us. This creates conflict.  It doesn’t mean there is anything going wrong. This is where we need to be persistent.  To hold on to what we think, want, or feel and keep treating it as important and worthwhile.  Yet, just to make the business of…
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