Relationship Anxiety and the Million Dollar Question

It’s the question that wakes you up on the middle of the night. It’s the question that gnaws at your gut and makes your stomach drop with roller-coaster fear. It’s the question that Googled you to many sites and articles that confirmed your biggest fear, and ultimately led you here, to my virtual doorstep. It’s the question: Is my anxiety/doubt a evidence that my truth is that I’m with the wrong partner or does it mean something else?

The culture says: Doubt means don’t. It’s as simple as that. The culture, by which I mean mainstream films, articles, blogs, and the ephemeral message that travels through the ether of the collective unconscious, says that if you’re feeling anxious about your relationship – anxious that you don’t love your partner enough or don’t have that magic spark or aren’t attracted or… – it’s clearly and obviously because you’re with the wrong person. … Click here to continue reading…

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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…

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

A client sent me a link to a brilliant article by the wonderful Brené Brown, where she clearly illustrates how it’s the stories we tell ourselves more than actual events that create our anxiety and negative reactions. She relates the story of a couple busily getting ready for work:

“Steve opened the refrigerator and sighed. “We have no groceries. Not even lunch meat.” I shot back, “I’m doing the best I can. You can shop, too!” “I know,” he said in a measured voice. “I do it every week. What’s going on?”

“I knew exactly what was going on: I had turned his comment into a story about how I’m a disorganized, unreliable partner and mother. I apologized and started my next sentence with the phrase that’s become a lifesaver in my marriage, parenting and professional life: “The story I’m making up is that you were blaming me for not having groceries, that … Click here to continue reading…

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Every Living Creature


“Mommy, come quick! Hurry! Run!” my six-year old yells one summer morning as we’re playing outside.

“What is it?”

“Just come! Run! There’s a dragonfly drowning in the pool!”

Upon hearing the reason for the alarm, my ten-year old runs over as well. “Mommy, hurry! Get the skimmer!”

I rush to get the skimmer and quickly pull the poor creature out of the water. I gently tap it onto the grass, but can see that it’s not moving. Slowly, after a few moments in the sun, it starts to clean its face with its antennae. But I can see that two of its wings are stuck together, and without those wings it won’t be able to fly. If it can’t fly, it can’t survive.

“Is it going to be okay, Mommy?” my boys ask, with true distress in their voice.

“I hope so. Hopefully the sun will dry out its … Click here to continue reading…

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When You're Irritated With Your Partner


A client told me a few weeks ago that she’s been feeling irritated with her husband. Then, in the hushed tones I’ve come to identify immediately as shame, she asked, “Is that normal?” At which point I told her that my post entitled “When You Feel Irritated with Your Partner” receives the most hits of any blog on my site.

“Really?” she said, audibly relieved. “So it’s really normal?”

“Yes, really. Completely normal.”

The next day, synchronistically, my e-course moderator directed me to a deeply insightful post that one of the members wrote called “The Progress I’ve Made in Six Months”, which focused largely on getting underneath the irritation. With grateful permission, I’m sharing it here:

***… Click here to continue reading…

In the past six months I feel like I have made quite a bit of progress. I am starting to understand my fear cycle and I’d like to share it with . . . → Read More: When You’re Irritated With Your Partner