Relationship Insights

June 10, 2017
Hugs and Kisses: the oxytocin connection
Oxytocin calms you, and counteracts your stress hormones.  Oxytocin is the mysterious glue that brings you and your partner together in the first place, and keeps you together. The more oxytocin you and your partner have, the stronger your bond. Not only that, but oxytocin is a continually renewable resource!
July 29, 2017
Courageous Conversations with your Partner
I often do a much more extended version of Courageous Conversations when I work with couples, when the issues are much more deep-seated or complex. In my example in this post I’ve set the scene for approaching conflict with a friend, acquaintance or service provider rather than an intimate partner. Often it is easier to learn how to front up with a courageous conversation with someone you know less well. Then you can proceed with your partner in confidence that you have a process that will help you get to the difficult issues.
December 19, 2017
Managing conflict with your partner
Conflict is like exercise, and both conflict and exercise lead to growth. Too much conflict and you and the relationship will be hobbling along, disabled by the conflict.  Not enough and you will stagnate. Just enough, and you will be growing, or at your "growth edge." A well-managed exercise programme is like well-managed relationship conflict.  You will grow, and be better able to act when further exercise (or conflict) demands are on you.
December 25, 2017
Pick up the “dropped stitches” of relationship
Making repairs, going back to tend to the dropped stitches/opportunities, is ALWAYS worthwhile, although it is harder the further back in the work they are. The sooner you spot the dropped stitches, the more accurately you name them, the earlier both you and your partner pick up the stitch, the sooner your relationship will be back knitting up a storm. It is truly disappointing when I have to spend a lot of time going back over my work to find the problem and correct it. But pretending nothing is wrong will not make the dropped stitch go away.  Denial never works.  Sooner or later the flaw in your relationship will show up.  Not only that, it will get bigger over time if it is not corrected.
January 28, 2018
Tunnel vision? Look wider! Renew your appreciation.
Some everyday examples of how you filter your awareness happen like this. You've never noticed pregnant women before, but now that you are pregnant, you see so many pregnant women down the street!  Or you get a new car and lo and behold you can't believe how many of that model you see on the road. Things which you now value and relate to were invisible before. Learn how your Reticular Activating System work in relationships. You can train your brain!
February 21, 2018
Want to change, but don’t know how? Here are the steps.
This website is all about change. Because you are here I acknowledge that you want to change - in yourself, and in your relationship. The Insights from the Relationship Doctor are instruments of change. Knowing the 6 stages of change can help you make change. From pre-contemplation, to contemplation, through determination to action, then winding back to relapse, finally arriving at commitment and maintenance. Maintenance is the evidence of your commitment. Knowing the stages of change prepares you for setbacks. Maintenance is when the commitment sticks. Maintenance is the boring bit where you actually show up day after day, achieving what you set out to do. It is a new habit. You have won your change!
March 3, 2018
When distraction stops a fight
Distraction during an argument can halt a regrettable escalation. We settle, regroup, and get the prefrontal cortex to run the show. An Uber driver in Melbourne has the console between the back seats filled with Tic Tac containers. When a couple are arguing during the drive, he says, “Open the console!” Laughter. Wow! It takes real presence of mind to know when you or your partner need a distraction during a fight. Learn to know when you are flipping your lid. Learn to employ a soothing and calming behaviour rather than escalate that fight.
March 11, 2018
Good relationships are good for your health
Build good relationships through skilful relationship advice. Learn the secrets, principles and strategies that enable you to build healthy, happy, rewarding and lasting relationships. Set healthy boundaries and treat each other respectfully even when you disagree. Learn to love, and to love better.