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we are never so vulnerable as when we love

- Sigmund Freud

Couples & Relationship Resources

Our attachment style plays a large role in how we interact in relationships. Relationship conflict often escalates because of how we manage our attachment needs during stress.

Learn about your attachment style

Do you know your attachment style and how it motivates you to behave during stress? Here are some free online quizzes that could offer some insight into that.

 

If you are interested in learning more about attachment in relationships,

  • This workbook offers helpful insight into your attachment experience [Amazon website]

  • This book offers some insight into how that affects your relationships [Amazon website]

  • Relationship expert Sue Johnson explains why attachment is so important in relationship in her book Hold Me Tight [Amazon website]

Learn to identify common challenging relationship dynamics

In this video, Esther Perel discusses some of the common dynamics in couple relationships. [YouTube video]

  • Behind every criticism is a wish.

  • Your partner is the one who has the power to harm you the most.

  • Avoiding confirmation bias and attribution error.

  • How do you turn around a bad fight into a useful exchange?

When a person has an anxious attachment style, they can resort to complaints and criticism in what's actually an attempt to connect with their partner. Unfortunately, that backfires and reinforces their anxious fear that their partner is not really there for them. Read more about this common relationship dynamic in this interview with emotionally-focused therapy expert Scott Woolley. [article]

Improve your communication

"How a conversation starts predicts how it will end." Based on the decades of marriage research by John Gottman, this article gives practical tips on how to adjust your communication. A healthy marriage involves disagreements; it's how you talk to each other when you disagree that separates those who have successful marriages from those who don't. 

John Gottman discusses what factors predict the future of a relationship. [YouTube video]

  • The 5:1 ratio of positives to negatives.

  • How to use the negativity in a relationship for good. 

  • Continuing courtship in marriage and developing a habit of mind.

  • The 4 horsemen of the apocalypse: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. 

The Fair Play book and card deck help couples structure their conversations about how to split the chores as well as manage the emotional load of running a household.

Additional Resources

Under Stress, We All Regress [article]

  • It's normal to revert to older behaviors when we are stressed. It's not a failure, nor a move backwards if you or your partner regress. Use it as a learning opportunity, and most importantly, repair with your partner as soon as you can. 

Articles from Michelle Mays, licensed professional counselor, on healing after infidelity [blog]

Dealing with conflict about the holidays. [article]

Resources on increasing relationship health, navigating blended families, and healing from divorce [American Psychological Association website]

Faith-Based:

Marriage Missions Podcast [website with podcast links]

A Word About Online Resources

My hope is to share resources here that are useful. Although I do my best to keep information current, it is possible for links to become outdated or for material to change. A link is not an endorsement of a particular person or organization, nor do I receive any incentives from them.

 

Keep in mind that these resources are not specific to your situation and therefore are not therapy or a substitute for mental health services. Please consult your therapist, physician, or other professional support for advice that is specific to you, and call your local 24-hour helpline (988) if you are in crisis.

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