Couples In Conflict

Relationship Deal BreakersResolving conflict in relationships may require overcoming many obstacles, including money problems, feeling disconnected, balancing work with family life, communication, and decision-making. The articles below may help your current situation or you can suggest an article or get help by contacting Susan Saint-Welch HERE. She does not provide psychotherapy by email or outside California.


Understand Your Mate – Fight Less and Love More! Build a context.

When you more fully understand how your mate ticks, you build a context of that person. This understanding allows you to use that context during those times when you feel hurt, misjudged, or unheard (which is inevitable in relationships). When you understand how your mate thinks and feels in various experiences you can apply this context to other situations and more accurately interpret what your mate really means. This can help prevent those misunderstood feelings or “disconnections” from occurring. For example, as a newlywed, I often felt my husband would ignore me. One time I was in the kitchen, just…

Continue reading

How Much “Me Time” Do You Need? How Does This Fit with Date Time and Family Time?

Parents often feel guilty having me time or even date night we time. They feel they don’t spend enough time with their kids as it is. Or they also report missing their kids so they don’t want to give that time away for “me time” or even date night. Then I also have parents that see family time as the same as date night. Date night is between husband and wife, not the kids. So how do you maintain a healthy balance between me time, we time and family time? Let’s discuss the importance of each element and what each does for…

Continue reading

Getting Out of the “Perfect Picture” Trap in Disagreements/Negotiations

A negotiation will fail if one or both participants insist on their “Perfect Picture” of the solution. This forms a trap or a stalemate in the negotiation and a failure to resolve a disagreement. However, there is a way to avoid this trap. Inside each “perfect picture” really are various factors that have become “musts” in the person’s head that represent what they need. Actually, when you take a closer look, not all “musts” or wants are equal. Some are truly what we feel we must have to feel safe, or happy or secure. Others come from “preferences” which do…

Continue reading

Relationship Checklist – Part 2

In Part 2 of the Relationship Checklist, we continue discussing the factors that contribute to a secure and lasting romantic relationship. These same principles can be modified to apply to ANY relationship – family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. I will come back to this in future articles. 6. Feeling Like a Team: being on the same page together in terms of both daily activities and common goals. Does not come out of power or control You have my best interest at heart and I have yours Examples: helping one parent pick up the kids for soccer games…..helping get tasks done……helping with…

Continue reading

Relationship Checklist for Couples – Part I

Relationships are like a Greenhouse: You have especially chosen your flowers and plants because they are appealing to you and they give you joy. But just like a greenhouse relationships need loving care. They need to be nourished in order to grow. You need to care for them in ways that are healthy and promote growth. And like a greenhouse they require a lot of work and maintenance in order to flourish. And this maintenance never stops. If it does……you get weeds! What attracted you to the person to begin with? Most often we are attracted to those qualities we…

Continue reading

RELATIONSHIP CHECKLIST FOR COUPLES- Intro

What goes into making a relationship successful? Relationships are a lot of work and that will never change. It is about wanting to have a close, loving, emotionally safe relationship with someone we are attracted to, value, respect and with whom we want to share our life. It is a garden that must always be nourished or it will grow WEEDS. (Although this discussion focuses on Couples, with modification it can be applied to all relationships.) Relationship skills are most often not taught in school. So how do we know how to be in a relationship? Our knowledge of relationships…

Continue reading