• How we learn to love and hate…what to do about it.

    When understanding how people relate to each other and identifying the specific influences of their beliefs, thoughts and behaviors, the family we were born into or the “family of origin” has a major impact into how we learn to understand ourselves, others and the world around us.  Let’s look at a few examples of how family, for better or worse,…

  • The Number One Killer of Relationships

      What is the biggest killer of healthy happy relationships? The answer may surprise you. As a divorce mediator, I can tell you the biggest problem is the lack of self-awareness? Let’s explore this topic a little closer.  Recently, I posted a meme on my Facebook page that read, “If you desire to have a healthy, loving relationship, you must first…

  • Manipulation and Your Family

    Sadly, family is where we also learn about control and manipulation. When we are children, we want and need the approval of our parents and close relatives, for survival. If we worked really hard and finally received praise and approval from our parents, we were likely to associate hard work with gaining praise and approval. This can put us on…

  • How Gender Roles Impact Relationships

    The interactions of our parents set an example for who handles which responsibilities in order to make the family system run smoothly, but over time, how a family looks and operates has undergone a major makeover. While gender roles have changed drastically in the past 100 years in the United States, everyone hasn’t adjusted simultaneously, which has led to a…

  • Are you just like your mother?

    Have you ever had someone say “You’re just like your mother?”  How did that make you feel?  Would you take her characteristics as a complement or a slam? Research into family relationship dynamics have been able to better understand and explain how we can end up just like our parents.  Sometimes, we pick up on the wonderful traits like a…

  • Can You Choose Who You Love?

    When you take read books about the science of love science and interpersonal psychology, you might feel powerlessly resigned to love whomever you’re drawn to, whether they’re what’s best for you or not. How is any person supposed to make a rational decision about anything with all these feelings and whatnot running through the veins? Take that, add to it…