Does Relationship Anxiety Ever End?

Among the many questions that dart through the mind plagued by relationship anxiety, the one that can cause either hope or despair is, “Will this anxiety ever end? The short answer is yes: the acute anxiety that you’re experiencing – the one that wakes you in the night and causes you to lose your appetite, will end when you receive accurate information and can douse the flames of “What’s wrong with me?” with a good splash of truth-water. But the shelf-life of deeper layers of the anxiety are directly correlated to your ability and willingness to pull the projection off your partner and take full responsibility for your well-being. The equation is simple: if anxiety is a call from soul to wake up and heal then the depth of our healing is in direct proportion to the depth of our willingness to hear and heed the call.

That said, every … Click here to continue reading...

Pregnancy Anxiety

As I’ve written about before on this blog, one of the privileges of being the position of guiding people through the darkest aspects of their psyche and soul is that they share thoughts and feelings with me that they wouldn’t share with anyone else. Part of the reason why they share openly about these shadow regions is because they trust that I rarely take these thoughts and feelings at face value. So when I hear, “I’m scared I’m going to harm a child” or “I’m scared I’m with the wrong partner”, they know from reading my blog, even before we speak, that I’m interested in unpacking the metaphor that’s coded inside these common intrusive thoughts. In other words, they implicitly trust that I’m not going to assume that they’re a terrible person for thinking the thoughts that have plagued them with shame for as long as they can remember.

Perhaps … Click here to continue reading...

Live the Questions

I recently came across the following in a book called “The Middle Passage” by James Hollis:

“What the frightened individual wishes above all is the restoration of the sense of self which once worked. What the therapist knows is that the symptoms are helpful clues to the place of injury or neglect, pointing the way to subsequent healing… As Jung asserted, ‘The outbreak of neurosis is not just a matter of chance. As a rule it is most critical. It is usually the moment when a new psychological adjustment, a new adaptation is demanded.’ This implies that our own psyche has organized this crisis, produced this suffering, precisely because injury as been done and change must occur.” pp. 36-7

You can see the philosophy from which I hail, yes? James Hollis is a Jungian analyst who writes from the depth psychological tradition, a field of psychology developed by Carl Jung … Click here to continue reading...

The Unsung Ingredient of a Healthy Relationship

We worship passion. We equate love and longing. We lay prostrate to the belief that “chemistry” is at the heart of sustaining a relationship. We chase after the golden idol of attraction in all of its forms. And yet, we live in a cultural that has an abysmal success rate for healthy, loving, longterm marriages. Clearly, something is terribly askew in our understanding of what makes love last.

There are many components, of course, that comprise a healthy relationship: shared morals, values, and vision are essential; a true and basic desire for the others’ well-being; a willingness to grow and learn together, especially when the going gets rough.

But the one that stands above the rest is so simple: friendship. If you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, doesn’t it makes sense that you would actually like the person?

Yes, yes: I can hear the … Click here to continue reading...

Is There a Better Match for Me?

Alongside the thoughts, “Maybe I’m just trying to convince myself to stay”,  “I don’t know if I love my partner enough”, and “Do we have a strong enough connection?“, the question of finding a “better match” is at the top of the relationship anxiety list of questions. The culture encourages the belief, of course, that there’s one person who is your perfect match, but the thought also plays directly into the mind of the anxious-sensitive-perfectionist psyche. After all, thinks the anxious-perfectionist mind who’s looking for a fail-proof person with whom to take the risk of committed relationship, if I’m going to marry or am already married, shouldn’t I wait for my perfect match? This thought can be particularly debilitating when you’re already married and you think, “Maybe if I had just waited a little longer…”

As always, there are many spokes to the wheel of an intrusive … Click here to continue reading...