5 Destructive Relationship Patterns

Listed below are five distinct types of harmful relationships.  As you read through this list, you might find that your relationship with someone contains all five characteristics, or you may identify with only one or two.  Please understand that if you experience even one of these patterns consistently in your relationship with someone, the behavior will cause harm to both you and your relationship if left unaddressed.


  1. One or both parties commit physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse upon the other.
  2. One person is regularly overprotective, overbearing, or both toward the other.
  3. One person is overdependent upon the other to affirm his or her personal value and worth, to meet all of his or her needs, and to make most of his or her decisions.
  4. One person demonstrates a pattern of deceiving the other through lying, hiding, pretending, misleading, or twisting information to make something appear other than what it is.
  5. One person exhibits chronic indifference, neglect, or both toward the thoughts, feelings, or well-being of the other.

Keep in mind that we are all capable of doing these things.  What makes these actions destructive is their repetitive pattern, as well as lack of awareness, lack of remorse, and lack of significant change.  This distinction should not minimize the destructiveness of […]

5 Healthy Break Up Do’s and Don’ts

Most people have experienced a break-up in their lifetime.  Recently, the entertainment news spotlighted Kim Kardashian’s break-up after 72 days of marriage and Zooey Deschanel split from her husband of only two years!  Break-ups can be traumatic and difficult to get over for most people, so just how can individuals move through a break-up in a healthy way?

5 Healthy Break Up Do’s and Don’ts 

1)  Do break up in person vs. Don’t break up via text or e-mail

  • Address your partner face-to-face so he/she can have a clear understanding of why you want out of the relationship.

2)  Do be honest and direct vs. Don’t lie to him/her

  • Don’t beat around the bush on why you want to call it quits.  He/she deserves to know exactly why you’re unhappy.  Plus, you may help him/her change a behavioral pattern down the line.

3)  Do break up before you stray vs. Don’t drag it out

  • Avoid jumping from one relationship to the next and avoid the guilt and drama that come along with cheating by recognizing when it’s time to let go, and then actually letting go.  It’s also a good idea to give yourself some space before you move on to the next one.

4)  Do express your feelings in “safe” ways vs. Don’t try to get rid of the feelings through destructive ways (i.e. drinking, etc.)

  • Don’t run from your feelings, feel your feelings and process them with “safe” people.

5)  Do celebrate your self-worth vs. Don’t do too much

  • Remind yourself about all of your accomplishments.  Remember not to be defined by your breakup.


The Characteristics of Poor Communication

Are you facing struggles in your relationships with your friends and loved ones?  Do you feel like the other person does not understand you or never listens to you?  Are you having a hard time communicating with other people in general?  The main reason couples struggle in their relationships is because of poor communication.  Many couples, and people in any other relationships, have a hard time communicating in an effective way.  Most likely, it is not always the “other” person that is in the wrong but you yourself as well.  It can be hard to acknowledge that, because that means we have to give in and agree with the other person but always being right is not what this is about at all.  Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that lead to poor communication.


  1. Truth– You insist that you are “right” and that the other person is “wrong”.
  2. Blame– You say that the problem is the other person’s fault.
  3. Martyrdom– You claim that you are the innocent victim.
  4. Put-down– You imply that the other person is a loser because he or she “always” or “never” does certain things.
  5. Hopelessness– You give up and insist that there is no point in trying.
  6. Demandingness– You say you are entitled to better treatment but you refuse to ask for […]

How To Fight Fair

Arguing is inevitable in relationships but whether disagreements kill a marriage or make it stronger is dependent upon how a husband and wife fight.

Successfully married couples have mastered the art of argument by following the 10 ground rules for fighting fair:

The meaning of your communication is the response you get

  1. Stick to the issue.  Don’t let disagreements over Billy’s bedtime become debates over conflicting theories of child rearing, or disgress to include whose job it is to take out the garbage.
  2. Avoid verbal abuse.  Name calling and personal attacks obscure the subject of the disagreement and create a bitterness that lasts long after the immediate problem has been resolved.
  3. Don’t use accusatory remarks and blanket condemnations.  Marriage counselors suggest prefacing objections with “I feel bad when you…” instead of “You never…” or “You always…”
  4. Bury past transgressions.  Don’t keep bringing up old arguments or past sins. Deal exclusively with the problem at hand.
  5. Disagree as a team, not as opponents.  When winning is the objective, the subject of the disagreement gets lost, fighting dirty increases and the marriage as a whole loses.
  6. Employ compromise and tradeoffs.  Compromising means that both sides give a […]

Four Ways To Make Relationships and Finances Work

Is money causing conflict in your relationship? Money fights and money problems have been the leading cause of divorce for decades. Being in agreement about your finances is essential to a happy marriage. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes couples make in regards to money and the ways that these problems can be fixed.

1.  Avoiding the “Money Talk”

Before you decide to enter into a relationship with someone or especially choose to move in with someone there are a few things that you should consider. Do you know how much debt your partner is bringing into the relationship? Do you know how much debt you are bringing into the relationship?  Who will be paying for household expenses? Will you have joint or separate accounts?  What are your spending habits? What are your spending priorities? These are just a few of the many questions you should consider talking about with your partner. Remember that talking about money in your relationship is an ongoing discussion. Keeping your finances on track is definitely going to make your life together much more enjoyable.

2.  Hiding Money From The Other

Keeping secrets from your partner altogether is never going to help out your relationship. Whether it relates to money or not, a secret never has a good outcome. If you and […]

Three Ways Jealousy Is Good For Your Relationship

Jealousy is a common topic for most intimate relationships.  Jealousy is an emotion involving fear, anxiety or apprehension about losing your loved one to someone else, or of being replaced in some way.  Since this is a fear-based emotion, it can often bring up other negative emotions like worry and anger.  These can be counterproductive and damaging for relationships.

When someone is jealous in a relationship, he or she can become reactive, assume the worst, fail to notice how his/her partner shows him/her love and appreciation, and instead pay attention primarily to things that confirm his/her negative assumptions.  In saying that, can jealousy be good for a relationship?

There can be unhealthy jealousy which can come from a place of insecurity or from past baggage that you rolled into the new relationship.  However, when there is healthy jealousy it can help a relationship rather than harm it.

What is healthy jealousy?  Healthy jealousy is that concerned, protective feeling that surrounds both parties in the relationship.  Healthy jealousy guards and supports a relationship.

Three Ways Jealousy Is Good For Your Relationship 

 1) Warning Signal – It can be an alarm to let you know that something needs attention in your […]

Five Facebook Dating Rules

Where technology, Facebook and connecting online can all be good things, they also have the potential to create a false sense of security and cause us to lose our real sense of intimacy. Think about some of the things that you post on Facebook and then consider if you would say those in person? This is not to say that Facebook is a bad thing at all, just keep in mind how much of what we say can really impact our relationships and try not to lose the personal touch of face-to-face interactions and communication.

Here are five important rules to consider carefully when you are dating and interacting on Facebook:

1- Relationship Status – Relationship status is a mutual decision.  You can create lots of problems when you make a unilateral status change. Unless you have some kind of commitment and/or have been dating for a while, discuss it in person first before changing your status.

2- Do not tag the person you’re dating in photos – If he or she wants to be tagged in your pictures, let them tag themselves.  After all, they may not want everyone on their friend list to know they hung out with you at the beach all weekend.

3- Do not Facebook your dating partner’s ex – this will not help you keep tabs on him/her or to find out if he/she is really over the ex.  This will only […]

Five Signs of A Perfect Match

Are you dating or single?  Are you also wondering what the signs are for finding your best match in a relationship?  Often time, individuals haphazardly enter the dating world without knowing what will increase the chance for long-term success in a relationship!

In starting the journey to finding that “perfect” match, it is first beneficial for individuals to allow themselves to experience singleness for a time frame before creating their online dating profile.  This can potentially put them in a better position by “wanting” a partner versus “needing” a partner.   Furthermore, if you want to find your best mate, you have to stop being involved with people that are not good fits for you.  After all, would you rather be single or settled?

Below are five signs that you are a PERFECT MATCH!

1 – You both are ready to be in relationship – Wanting a relationship is not the same as being ready for one.  You both come to the table with having handled any unfinished business that might have otherwise sabotaged your relationship – such as legal, financial, emotional baggage, kid issues or problems with former partners.

2 – You both desire a long-term relationship and you have discussed long-term goals without either one of you becoming uncomfortable or […]

Three Dangers In Couples Sleeping Apart

Different Schedules, snoring, restless leg syndrome or the kids? More and more couples are saying good night before going their separate ways to different bedrooms!  Is this new trend healthy for couples?  When couples make a decision to sleep in separate bedrooms, they most likely did not come to that choice lightly.  However, if couples are not being intentional about keeping their relationship alive, there can be some hazards to the relationship as a result of sleeping separately.

Below are three dangers in couples that sleep apart:

1)   Disconnection: Sleeping apart can contribute to distance in the relationship.  It can become easier to avoid each other in situations where connection and physical contact can benefit in bringing and keeping the couple closer together.

2)   Less Intimacy: Bedtime isn’t just for sleeping! This can be a time of cuddling or closeness that can lead to a time of physical intimacy for the couple.  If you are sleeping apart, sex will have to be intentional and perhaps scheduled to make sure this part of the relationship does not get neglected.

3)   Communication: When the day comes to an end, this is a great time for couples to turn work and other responsibilities off and have uninterrupted time to connect and check-in with each other.  This does not have to be a long drawn out conversation before bed, but rather a quality time to connect (try to keep it under 20 minutes nightly).

When individuals are rested, they are more likely to be focused and less moody with those around them.  Therefore, if you are sleeping apart due to medical reasons, different […]

Facebook: Three Ways To Prevent Divorce

Did you read the recent headlines that Facebook is to blame for 1 in 5 divorces in the United States?  According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) 81 percent of the country’s top divorce lawyers all agree that there has been a significant increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years!  They have also stated that Facebook is the unrivaled leader for online divorce evidence with 66 percent stating it is the primary source!

What can you do to prevent Facebook from being a reason for your relationship difficulties?  Below are three ways that you can prevent Facebook from being the center of a relationship breakup!

1) Avoid the Danger Zone! You want to decide who can potentially be a danger to your current relationship. Most people do not plan to have an affair unless they intentionally are on the hunt to do so, otherwise, it is important to realize that most inappropriate relationships start with innocent conversations or getting updated on what each other has been doing over the years! If your partner has an issue with a certain friend, be proactive and just delete them from your friend list! Is it really worth the fight and distance in your real life relationship?

2) Don’t air your relationship dirty laundry! […]