Monthly Archives: July 2013

Why Argue? Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

A minor disagreement can get out of hand very quickly or a simple conversation can suddenly turn into a shouting match.

Why?

Because your fear of being abandoned, or disappointing your partner makes itself the primary consideration in the conversation.

Hearing another person’s opinion or point of view can trigger the feeling of being invalidated, and for many people, it’s a signal that ridicule, criticism or judgment is on the way!

Good communication is telling your truth about YOU to others and being congruent—within yourself.

Being congruent is a process in which you value yourself; you take ownership of your thoughts and feelings, and your resources and choices; honor and express your deepest knowing about yourself and be sure that what you say and how you say it match what you are feeling.

There are three major reasons that men and women don’t communicate effectively.

First and foremost, most people do not identify their feelings accurately.

Secondly, it is very difficult for most people to find the right words to express how they feel.

Lastly, if they do know how they feel and if they have a few words to accurately express how they feel, most lack the courage to let anybody know.

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Old Rules Don’t Work Anymore!

We have powerful desires to belong and to connect with a special someone.

In the U.S. we inherited a model for marriage and relationships that has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years. That traditional model was never intended to integrate our individual needs with the needs of the partnership. The traditional way promised physical and financial security, a sense of belonging, continuity and comfort. The old model has been deeply ingrained in all of us by watching our parents and grandparents.

The old rules don’t work anymore! We cannot continue to depend on traditional, deeply ingrained beliefs, expectations and assumptions about relationships. We need to stop building the most important relationships of our lives on outdated beliefs, destructive myths, unrealistic expectations, faulty assumptions and un-negotiated roles and responsibilities.

Modern partners are concerned with:

  • Living their vision
  • Love of self
  • Deepening emotional intimacy
  • Having shared values
  • Commitment to living in authenticity
  • Willingness to honor the fires of passion that burn inside

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Making and Keeping Agreements and Commitments

Making and keeping agreements and commitments is a fundamental ingredient of any relationship. It is one of the cornerstones of a committed love relationship. It is vital that partners know in the deepest part of their being that they can count on the promises and assurances offered by their beloved.

Not honoring the agreements or commitments you make is a betrayal of your partner and of your relationship. It constitutes a breech of trust.  In a long-term, primary, monogamous love relationship we make agreements and commitments to each other AND to the relationship.

Think of the relationship itself this way:  When you and your partner join the many facets of your lives together, you create a third energy, the relationship, that lives and breathes as its own entity; an entity that you are entrusted to guard and protect, nurture and care for. Making and keeping agreements and commitments is one of the ways couples make that happen.

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Understanding and Resolving Conflict

Conflict is inevitable and a normal part of life.  Healthy conflict can lead to positive changes in personal relationships.  Negative conflict can be very destructive and can sap energy from everyone around.

Causes of Conflict

Searching for the causes can be helpful in resolving the conflict. Here are some common causes to be aware of:

  • Misunderstandings
  • Personality clashes
  • Differences in values or goals
  • Unclear responsibilities
  • Needs or wants are not being met
  • Values are being challenged
  • Boundaries are being violated
  • Perceptions are being questioned
  • Assumptions are being made
  • Perceived lack of resources
  • Dissatisfaction or disappointment
  • Change of any kind
  • Awareness or knowledge is minimal
  • Expectations are too high/too low

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Honor and Respect Your Partner’s Feelings As If They Are Your Own

I want to focus on an essential relationship behavior that you will want to practice, become good at and use frequently with your Honey:

…Honor and respect your partner’s feelings as if they are your own

Our feelings are the barometer of our outside existential lives.  Our feelings let us know how things are going for us inside ourselves.  Feelings exist because they do, in and of themselves.

We cannot choose to change, modify, not feel, or otherwise positively or negatively affect our feelings.  The only choices we have are directly related to our behavior.

Feelings are as normal as hunger and fatigue.  When we dismiss, diminish, ridicule, criticize, mock, belittle, disparage or demean anyone’s feelings we are acting in the most disrespectful and unloving way.

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Dr Jackie Black Newsletter


Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at DrJackieBlack.com