Where do we begin to repair if we’ve damaged a relationship?

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Where do we begin to repair if we’ve damaged a relationship?


Today’s topic is “Where do we begin to repair if we’ve damaged a relationship?”  Let me define our basic goal: to build TRUST.  Every day we need a trust level that’s higher than the day before.  Trust is the fuel that runs each relationship.  Trust is like the gasoline in the car.

Trust is made up of four main ingredients:

1.  LISTENING AND RESPONDING  — We must learn the skill of Active Listening.  First we set aside their agenda, we listened very carefully so we can repeat back what has been said, then we check and see if we’ve left anything out.

2.  OPENNESS AND HONESTY — a meaningful relationship needs to be an open book.  “We’re only as sick as our secrets.”  It is a growing honesty, we are more honest each day than the day before.

3.  KEEPING AGREEMENTS — in order to keep agreements the agreements must be clear.  Any confusion makes it hard to keep an agreement.  It’s also very helpful to have a “Plan B,” in case the original agreement needs to be changed. (more…)

What About Substance Abuse?

Years ago, when I began marriage counseling and family therapy, I saw immediately that the underlying problem for 75% of couples was Substance Abuse.  And the suffering is awful!  The only pain that compares to addiction is the pain of the death of a loved one.  And the irony is that many times substance abuse ends in death.  So if there’s a drinking or drug problem, that’s where we have to start.  What About Substance Abuse?

We first figure out IF there is a problem.

We first figure out IF there is a problem, and if we find one, (more…)



Sally hears the garage door hum up, hum down, then nothing. She remembers, “He used to come in straight-away from the garage. What is he doing out there?”

Finally Benny emerges, “How was your day, Benny?”  She asked the same way for six years; she got a response every time, until six months ago. Then ice.

“Is he trying to freeze me out?,” she wonders.

“Is there someone else?”  He denies it.

What do you do when you’ve tried everything?

Sally thinks, “I’ve tried cooking more, cleaning more,


How To Forgive

Forgiveness? Unimportant? Impossible?

Forgiveness—the most misunderstood principle. Some think it seems impossible. Others deem it unimportant. But, in my 30 years as a family therapist and coach the question “How to forgive” has come up many, many times.

So, whether you’re asking how to forgive a friend, how to forgive your family, or how to forgive your boyfriend or girlfriend; the process is always the same.

Unfortunately the person damaged then beats themselves up.

Here’s the deal—when trauma occurs, we have double trouble (more…)

When To Divorce?

The question “when to divorce” is one that almost everyone thinks about, either for themselves or for someone you love. Kids think about their parents: when to divorce? Parents think about their grown kids: when to divorce? They see people they love suffering, month after month, year after year. When is enough, enough? If you’re thinking about this question,

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Help Me With My Wife…

I’ve had so many guys come for coaching and say, “Help me with my wife…” then proceed to tell me about the trouble they are having with their spouse.

I know and you know that marriage is a lot of work. Men and women see things differently. But I have an advantage here—after 30 years helping couples and families, I’ve talked to a lot of men and women.
If you find yourself saying “Help me with my wife” believe me, you are not alone.

We also know that it’s hard to understand women. But face it; we don’t understand that much about electricity either, but that doesn’t keep us from turning on the lights so we can see where we’re going after dark.

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Why Divorce?

If you are asking the question “why divorce” my heart goes out to you. The question “why divorce” is the product of pain.

If you have started thinking about divorce, you have probably tried everything you can think of. And this is the perfect time to get an unbiased point of view to help you. There are many things you have not thought of. So let’s start, let’s think this through together, “why divorce.”

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