I’ve known so many people over the years who really seem to all believe one thing: As long as you don’t complain about something aloud, you aren’t really upset about it. And because you’re not really upset about it, nothing will happen.
And most importantly, they won’t have to deal with the fact that you were upset. » Read more
I used to be a big believer in a cardinal relationship rule: Never go to bed angry.
The idea of this was that if you get into a relationship argument, no matter the time of day, you should resolve your disagreement before you and your loved one retire for the night.
Depending on the time of day, » Read more
“I’m sorry,” he says. “I was a jerk.”
“It’s okay,” I say. “I don’t think you’re a jerk. I didn’t like what you said, but I’m glad you’ve apologized.”
He smiles. “I’m going to work on not snapping like that in the future. Not saying something hurtful I don’t mean.”
“Thank you,” » Read more
I published an essay here recently that compared a rough spot in an otherwise happy relationship to a freak cold day in a warm climate:
I’ve had a lot of long-term relationships. Some of them were rocky, some were much more even keel.
Nevertheless, all of them had conflict every once in a while. » Read more
“God, stop trapping me!” he says. It’s very loud. He’s raising his voice.
I’m starting to feel very small. Very scared.
“Trapping you?” I say. “I just asked you a question.”
“A trick question,” he says.
I’m honestly confused, have no idea what he’s talking about. » Read more
We don’t talk about how easy it is to trap someone.
And by that, I mean that we don’t talk about how easy it is to drive someone we love into a corner. Without even meaning to.
A double bind is when a person sends out two different messages, » Read more
As it happens, I was bopping around the Internet the other day, not exactly minding my own business but instead throwing open every door I came across and rifling through for treasures, a bit like a video game protagonist looking for stray gold coins in NPC closets. You know, what people used to call “surfing the web.” » Read more
PQ 14.4 — What will happen if someone breaks the agreement? Do we have a path for reestablishing trust?
Consequences and Accountability
“I guess I just don’t see the difference between setting a boundary and making an ultimatum,” the young man says. He’s come up to me after the class I’m teaching.
You’ve clearly had experiences that make you feel that way, » Read more