Be Kind – Unwind the Contempt

couples kind

If you are a couple who is wound tightly into a ball of negativity – winding tighter and tighter – until you feel you’re going to strangle to death, you must listen to these words: Be Kind – Unwind I can almost predict what you’re thinking right now, “You just don’t know how mean my partner is.” or “You can’t expect me to be kind to him/her.” Or something like, “Yea. Easy for you to say. I bet your partner has always loved you and been there for you!” Sure. I get it. I’ve heard these statements before when I’ve… Continue Reading This Article

Combating Contempt in Couples


If you’re a couple where Contempt is a regular part of communication, you are feeling pretty miserable. Your relationship is stuck in negativity and loneliness. Your marriage is most likely on the way to a divorce or a living death. You may remain legally married. You might even choose to live in a “We’re married forever even though our marriage could be a case study for “Zombie Marriage: The Walking Dead Married of America!” Either way, if Contempt is an ongoing behavior, your marriage has definitely “Lost that Loving Feeling!” Bob and Kate were there. We began writing about the… Continue Reading This Article

The Why’s of Contempt for Couples


Hey, there. We’re continuing on in figuring out how couples can let their relationships deteriorate and slip into some Destructive Dances of relating to each other. We started at the Marriage-Relationship Saga. We’re going to keep walking together – persevering – learning about the Destructive 4 Horsemen Dr. John Gottman researched. It’s hard, isn’t it? Sometimes looking at the ways we have treated each other in the past, or are treating each other currently, is truly painful and lonely. My hope is you will be encouraged. So- Remember how I said in the last blog that I was going to… Continue Reading This Article

How to Notice If Contempt is Part of The Couple


We’re going to return to the Marriage-Relationship Saga again. Back on the range with the Couple of the Hour, Bob and Kate. As they assess the way they’d been riding together, their focus turns to the Disaster Ride of Calico Contempt. Contempt sounds like such a nasty word, doesn’t it? I mean, you’d have to be a pretty mean person to actually practice contempt, right? And being a couple who had contempt? Well, that would never happen to them! After all they were the couple who marched down the aisle to “Happy To Be Stuck With You.” Their wedding day… Continue Reading This Article

Bursting the Defensiveness Bubble for Couples

The destructive ways of relating couples get into is tricky. Finger pointing often becomes a way of life. The reason why you’re unhappy is certainly because of your partner. The reason why your partner is unhappy is certainly because of you. And so it goes. Dr. John Gottman’s research determined Defensiveness to be one of the Four Horsemen used by couples in trouble. Defensiveness becomes part of the couple’s Dance of Disaster. It is destructive. It can become a natural rhythm of the relationship. The Defensive Two-Step: Criticism/Defense – Comment/Defense – Action/Defense. Twirl your partner and dosey-doe as down the… Continue Reading This Article

Reviving the Couple With 3 Easy Moves


If you’re part of a couple who needs reviving, the task can feel daunting and overwhelming sometimes. It took time to build the distance in the relationship and it is definitely going to take time to turn the beat around! This series, The Marriage-Relationship Saga, is hopefully going to give you insight into the behaviors in your relationship that got you to ‘not-so-happily-ever-after.’ But focusing on the behaviors and trying to change them can really get tedious. Face it, sometimes it is B.O.R.I.N.G. Come to find out, the focus is just what needs to change in slowly improving a relationship!… Continue Reading This Article

How to Handle Couple Criticism

Are you a part of a couple where it is starting to feel like you can’t do anything right in your relationship? You make a decision with the kids and get second-guessed. You wear something, only to hear, “You’re not wearing that, are you?” Sometimes it might feel like whether you eat, breathe, or move there’s always a negative comment coming from your partner. We’ve talked about Solutions for the Culprit of Criticizing. Now, let’s talk about How to Handle being the Criticized. How do a lot of people handle the “drip, drip, drip” of a critical partner? And how… Continue Reading This Article

Solutions to Couples Criticizing

Couples often get stuck in destructive habits with each other. Criticism is one of these habits. Criticism often starts a spiral downward for the couple. One partner criticizes. The other Partner defends. One partner ramps up the criticism to contempt. The other partner stonewalls. And so it goes. The negativity cycle of destruction spins a couple into loneliness within the marriage. The once happy and carefree couple often wonders if they will ever be able to get out of the walking deadness of their marriage. There are solutions. There is hope. Criticism has antidotes to it. Whether you are the… Continue Reading This Article

Ways we “Accidentally” Criticize

Criticism is one of the 4 Horsemen couples need to watch out for in their marriage. I began writing  about Dr. John Gottman’s 4 Horsemen of miserable marriages in my previous blog, The Marriage-Relationship Saga. According to Gottman’s research, Criticism will take the “happy” out of the ever-after in no time flat.When one partner gets in the habit of expressing the negative or the “just a thought,” the other partner will begin to feel discouraged. Discouragement easily leads to feelings of resentment and hopelessness. Thus starts the negativity cycle in a marriage.We all have thoughts about things others are doing around us. It’s… Continue Reading This Article

Reining in Criticism

Chapter 3 in the Marriage-Relationship Saga has Bob and Kate becoming aware of the reasons behind the unhappy ride of their married lives. They started to research Dr. John Gottman‘s books about Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. Gottman had studied couples for 35-years. He discovered if a couple has a 5 to 1 ratio of positive interactions versus negative interactions, the chances of that couple riding off happily into the sunset of their lives is much higher. Both Bob and Kate realized they had developed habits in their relationship unintentionally that had produced even more unhappy habits and both were… Continue Reading This Article