An X-ray, or CAT scan, is designed to show what’s invisible to the naked eye. An X-Ray of a couple, in the therapeutic setting, exposes the anatomy of the couple, revealing what’s beneath the surface in the relationship. Sometimes the patient doesn’t like the results.
Therapists tend to be good at being kind and patient with difficult people and they know how to put up with their patients’ demanding and outrageous behavior. Too often the demand for good manners persuades therapists to compromise their integrity in the attempt to maintain the relationship and to make their patients feel worthwhile. But compromising integrity interferes with the effectiveness of therapeutic work.
Here’s an inside look at what makes marriage both incredibly challenging, and, potentially, the most enriching experience of a lifetime.
(This is a re-posting of one of our early Oldies but Goodies) The Early Contract of A Couple Dave: Romance begins with excitement. Love probably begins with shared pain (I sense your need for me). Romance is a game-like shift into another sphere, a mini-psychosis. Romance embodies sex and sex’s more poetic, ritualized version, eroticism. Love, which includes sexuality and […]
Difficult Husbands seem to come in two brands: The Overly-Cautious Guy and the Know-It-All. These guys often look good on the surface, but they can spell trouble in a relationship. Here are some thoughts on what makes these guys tick, and how they inadvertently stand in the way of real intimacy.
Amy: In this Op-Ed from The New York Times, writer Jared Sexton beautifully captures what he calls the “toxic masculinity” of Donald Trump. Sexton, who became familiar with this version of “masculinity” in his childhood, writes movingly about the self-protective function of this kind of bravado. He captures the emotional fragility underneath the posturing, while noting the dangers–to self and […]
Amy: I love this little post from Alain de Botton’s The School of Life. He talks about the importance of honoring the Baby in all of us. From a personal perspective, my best coach on this matter is my husband, who’s pretty good at letting himself whine when he’s got an emotional boo-boo. I’m slowly getting better at it.
Here are my reflections on a rather subtle, yet insidious family pattern characterized by invisible (unconscious) demands for false togetherness, the demand that all family members pretend to think the same. This enforced “togetherness” has a formidable, unyielding tone, suggesting it is not to be questioned.
Amy: Part of my attraction to the video “What Nice Men Don’t Say to Nice Women” (see post from 9/5) was that this was the first time I had seen […]
Dave and Raluca Jacono (Raluca is a wonderful therapist/ friend of DK): We both responded similarly to the Nice Man video. ( See video “What Nice Men Don’t Say To Nice Women” from […]
Amy: Here’s a rather provocative post from Alain de Botton’s “School of Life”. We were a bit ambivalent about posting it. I don’t like the ending; it’s too literal. It […]
The “Cool” Guy and the “Needy” Woman: It’s not what you think Here’s what this couple looks like under the mask.
Check out this riff from Louis C.K., the comic/philosopher of our time. He talks about the problem of “straight” for “straight men.”
Often sex is more than just sex. The sexual relationship between intimate partners has a way of exposing some of the underlying satisfactions and tensions between the couple. If the sexual relationship isn’t working, the relationship probably isn’t either.
Here’s another clip from Alain de Botton from The School of Life. Enjoy:
“Compliance carries with it a sense of futility for the individual and is associated with the idea that nothing matters, life is not worth living…”