The therapy mantra is that the pattern is more powerful than the people. (Try sitting in someone else's seat at dinner tonight and see what happens – just make sure all the knives are out of sight). So rather than wasting your time worrying about who is right, use it to try and decode the dysfunctional pattern. Once you do, change it. A good way to do that is to talk about it (the pattern) rather than the people: "I notice that a lot of times that when if I ask if you could pick up your socks you say you will but then don't, and then I get annoyed and nag you and then you blow up. I'm wondering if we can do this differently." But even if you can't do that, for whatever reason, just try changing it and if you can, let the other person know your intentions: "I'm doing this because I'm worried that ________." The beauty of patterns is that if you hold your ground, the pattern has to change. You, all by yourself, become the change agent of the relationship. Certainly a good and important start. 
Hi. I have never posted anything online about relationship problems but I am confused and would really love some advice. I have been with my boyfriend for over 8 years. Those 8 years have been amazing. We have always loved spending time together and could never get enough of one another. We have never lived together but we would see each other at least 3 times a week and would always call and text each other when we were apart. But two weeks ago, I noticed that he was upset all of a sudden. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he didn’t know. So he took some time to think about it and he told me that he thinks he doesn’t feel the spark between us anymore. He said that he felt as if when we were hanging out that he was just hanging out with a best friend. So naturally I was very upset because this was a major surprise to me. I thought we were fine and doing great. After he told me, he said that he did not want to break up and that he would do anything to fix this. Before I left his house, we hastily decided to stop seeing each other as much and would go out on dates once a week. He also told me that he would always call at least once a day. The week that followed was one of the worst in my life. I felt rejected and couldn’t understand why he would feel that way. During that week even though he did call everyday, I still felt there was this major distance between us. I ended up canceling our date that week in order to reflect on our relationship. When I thought about it, I realized that we haven’t done anything romantic for one another in a long time and I believe that we took each other for granted. He seemed like he was fine when I cancelled the date, but later on he admitted that he was actually really upset but he didn’t want to show that to me. He has been better this week about communicating with me more. He has texted and called more. He even brought me dinner one day and we ate together. He has also still shown major interest in me sexually, but we both agree to wait on that until we figure some things out. Even though this week has been a little better, I still feel as if there is a major distance between us. When he sees me, he doesn’t want to kiss me because he said that he would feel like he is betraying me and he has stopped all together saying that he loves me. So I don’t know what is the best action to take in order to help mend this relationship. I was thinking of possibly seeing each other another day a week in order to reconnect and communicate about our relationship and so our dates can be for having fun. Or I don’t know if it would be beneficial to see a couples counselor. So any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
And should even these small steps seem too overwhelming to take within the relationship, try building up your skills and confidence in easier environs. If, for example, you are trying to be more positive or more open or more assertive, road-test these behaviors with friends, strangers or coworkers where there are fewer emotional triggers to derail you. Once you get your sea legs there you can move on to the heavies like your partner or parents. 
I am engaged to a man that I love with all of my heart. He went through a very difficult phase in his life, that changed him totally. He flirted with my best friend and my sister, but denies it. I caught him watching pornography, and he did try to deny it, but eventually confessed. Then we moved to another city and started a business together, and I thought he will show me the love and affection that he used to, but he doesnt and because of this we always end up fighting. I am not blind for his faults, but I love him so much. I have been fighting for this relationship for over a year. When is it time to give up and just move on???
Absolutely. Why would u even bother with somebody like that. Everybody needs space and that applies to women also but that doesnt mean that u have to distance urself from each other to an extreme where u feel unloved and insecure in the relationship and why should any woman accept that its ok for a man to do this. Imagine if the woman did it…….different story then.
I’m in a casual relationship with the grounds of monogamous, enjoy yourself, no lies or withholding information and if feelings change tell the other with my ex. When I mentioned that I feel like it seems like it’s just for sex and I’ll be left in the dust in future, he always reassures me that it’s not just for sex. His view on this type of relationship was “i’m not saying I just want a fwb/booty call. The way I see it a casual relationship is the middle ground between the two (fwb and serious).” And that there was potential of getting back together but no guarantee. Do you think that this is slowly on track to us getting back together or am I just setting myself up for hurt in the long run? He broke up with me and I also found out later on he started ‘kinda’ dating my ‘friend’ who I always confided about the relationship and knew everything. Prior to breakup it felt as they had an emotional affair. They’re broken up and they both tell me they haven’t talked since, this interaction with my ex is kept down low and secretive as we just want to chill back for awhile after all that has happened. I understand that we’re not ready to jump back into how things were but I like the feeling of commitment and security (?) one has with the label of girlfriend and boyfriend. Do you have any advice to offer me? I asked him if he trusted me he said there isn’t anything not to trust me with and he knows that I’m still building trust with him but I’m taking the chance of slowly trying.
We broke up so sudden. I said one thing he didn’t like and it was like a switch. He had flipped just like that. Then all of a sudden all these problems he’s been thinking about has came up. I’m still trying to understand them. I’m still trying to understand which reasonings he said are actually true and which aren’t. It’s been 4 days, ive texted him once. No reply. I havent tried again, and I refuse to. I would hate to push him away further.
None of the articles – or the report about when men pull away – seem to address a man pulling away/refusing to talk or see you after an argument or altercation of some kind. Last week after sex which was really great, he wanted to stop for some reason I’m not sure of, and I got teary and upset. (Looked it up since and it was probably post-coital dysphoria) I was upset and confused and kept asking why he had wanted to stop and said I felt rejected… anyway after about half an hour of me spiralling, confused, he said,… Read more »
Hi Sherry, 2 months does not feel right. You’ve been very patient and kind, but 2 months is a very long time. Yes, there ARE some men who can still be committed even though they’ve been absent for 2 months (maybe he’s meditating in a cave or experiencing deep trauma, or dying) – but this is rare. just because he knows what it’s like to be abandoned by his exes too, doesn’t mean he shares the same visceral fear and pain of being abandoned by you as you do with him. I recommend that you read this post, because in… Read more »
But process too follows patterns. You and your partner each have your own ways of dealing with tension and conflict. Your overall way of handling stress and emotions – withdrawal, anger, passive accommodation – invariably and consistently triggers the M.O. of the other person, which in turn fuels yours. Quickly you both get into a negative loop that becomes your combined standard way of dealing with conflict and tension: anger/withdraw, withdraw/withdraw, anger/anger, etc. Your goal again is to break the pattern.
Act on your issues immediately. It is not enough to simply talk about your issues together. You need to do something to address them. Once you’ve figured out what is wrong between you, each one of you should come up with at least 2 things that you are going to do to address the issues. Tell your partner your solutions and ask them to hold you accountable– the only way to mend a broken relationship is to commit to healing it.
If a man is honest and tells you he does not want a relationship, then as a woman you should honor his truth in telling you this and take a moment to reflect and understand that you may need to pull away. Not to mention, if he also gives you the popular one-liner by saying, “I’m just seeing where things go,” proceed with caution. This is not a committed answer, so why would he want to commit to you? This is just an answer to lure you away from the truth in hopes to keep you around for what he is in search of pleasure and attention.
Two months ago I met a man. We were so attracted to each other that it all happened so fast, on the first date. He warned me that he didn’t want a relationship… I did my best to listen to his feelings, show understanding and get some intimacy and we eventually got close and started meeting every week. I was sleeping over at his house, we were having good time, having sex, doing normal things like cooking and spending the whole weekend together. I knew he had a very problematic past – a father who never married his mother or took any responsibility, a brother from another mother who caused him problems, personal problems with drugs in the past and two broken relationships with 1) bulimic anorexic girl and 2) a girl who cheated on him 10 months ago. I was so good to listen, give him the peace he needed and be very patient with him.

i successfully completed my no contact rule.after that i sent my first text.he was so excited to respond and he was responding like crazy.i tried to end up the conversation many times bt he was keeping on texting.atlast i managed to say goodnight by saying i was sleepy.as chris told i decided to put a gap for 3 days after first text.bt the very next day of first text itself he texted me asking something.should i reply or do i have to wait for the completion of third day?
But when do men ever take responsibility for their actions? At some point you guys need to realize that you play an equal role in the deterioration of relationships. I always take responsibility for my actions so when do men admit, “Hey, I’m also to blame as well.” Society has taught me that their behavior is excusable. The focus is always on women learning to adjust and change her behavior and blaming women for men pulling away but its never the other way around. It’s sad that men are taught that a woman being concerned about a man disappearing means… Read more »
I met this guy just 2 weeks ago and he was my dream come through….He is everything I needed In a man,he calls 5:30am everyday for the first week,and changed after we both had sex after our second date,now I will call him to tell him he has changed he keeps on saying he is busy…..Although he is the busy type ,but am just a little bit confused,was it the sex we had that got him pulled away, or his he really busy?each time I call him he will tell me he is going through some hard times now that we will talk wen things gets settled?should I stop calling him or still continue to call him?
I didn’t realize it then, but I don’t think I should’ve jumped back into the relationship so quickly. Because very soon afterwards, I started to fall into another slump after I lost two jobs within two months. I was stressed again, and started to feel depressed without realizing how much I put on his shoulders. He never complained. He was there for me. I feel like I took it for granted a little bit.
I am having a really hard time with my fiancee. I’m from europe and he is not here with me right now, we have been away from each other for almost two months now. I love him and I want to keep this relationship going, I have tried everything but it doesn’t seem to be working. We fight a lot and it’s really hard and stressful, I would like some advice please!

I met a guy whilst travelling in Australia, and we dated for four months and travelled together the whole time. He said he loved me many times, that I made him feel things he never felt before and couldn’t stand the thought of me being with anyone else. Things felt so perfect. He made me feel like he wanted me so much. We are both from the same area in the UK and planned to carry things on when getting home. The last time I saw him at the airport, he told me he loved me and would be waiting for me when I got home in 2 weeks. However, as soon as he arrived home, he told me he changed his mind and didn’t want to commit to a relationship because of work and because his life is too busy. In the same phone call he also told me that he didn’t want me to get with anyone else. I love him so much, I started no contact as soon as he broke up with me and we haven’t spoken since (its been 10 days). I accepted his decision and told him that I couldn’t be friends right now as it was too hurtful, and that he had no right to expect me to wait around and not get with anyone else. He got very angry at this and called me bitter and childish. I don’t understand how his feelings changed so quickly. We still stayed friends on social media. I upload photos of me having a great time with friends, never post anything negative (although deep down i’m really suffering). I’m focusing on me, have taken up a new hobby and started hitting the gym more often. I just love him and miss him so much, every morning I hope today is the day he will message to say he made a mistake and wants me back. Is there any chance he will come back soon? or eventually? I don’t know what to do to make this happen. Any advice would be great.


I am having a really hard time with my fiancee. I’m from europe and he is not here with me right now, we have been away from each other for almost two months now. I love him and I want to keep this relationship going, I have tried everything but it doesn’t seem to be working. We fight a lot and it’s really hard and stressful, I would like some advice please!
So it’s been a couple months since the last time I wrote on here. The good news is that I’m succeeding with becoming the Ungettable Girl and… well my friend Linda (who is also friends with my ex) gave my ex my phone number (he never had it before as we were just long distance friends) last month without telling me and he texted me around midnight “hey. This is *Paul”

In addition to the pulling away he is very cruel when he drinks. Calling me horrible names and tries to make me feel beneath him. I know this is huge red flags but love makes us do crazy things. We’re both sexually open minded but he tells me I’m a liar about talking about having another woman intimately. I feel him and I aren’t ready for this. At least I’m not ready. It’s a unhealthy dysfunctional relationship and while he has his faults I know I push him to the limits. (Blowing up how phone etc)


This article was co-authored by Jessica Engle, MFT, RDT. Jessica Engle is a relationship coach and psychotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded Bay Area Dating Coach in 2009, after receiving her Master's in Counseling Psychology. Jessica is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist with over 10 years of experience.
Y’all are making this too complex. Look, a guy falls in love through sex, he needs sex to fall in love, but he’s got to want to have sex with you and thats more than just being hot. It comes down to what you make him feel about himself when he’s around you. Do you make him feel competent, powerful, benevolent, like he’s capable and attractive and trusted? Or do you make him feel he cant do anything right, like a child, stupid, worthless, weak?

Some arguing is normal in a relationship. You may go through phases of fighting due to outside factors, which is also normal. The important thing is how you argue, how you deal with arguments after, how you heal together, and the way you communicate. The best way to avoid a fight getting out of control is to walk out of the room and not escalate the situation.


But process too follows patterns. You and your partner each have your own ways of dealing with tension and conflict. Your overall way of handling stress and emotions – withdrawal, anger, passive accommodation – invariably and consistently triggers the M.O. of the other person, which in turn fuels yours. Quickly you both get into a negative loop that becomes your combined standard way of dealing with conflict and tension: anger/withdraw, withdraw/withdraw, anger/anger, etc. Your goal again is to break the pattern.
Typically, men love to see their woman as a prize that they need to work for. They see the woman that they choose to be with as an accomplishment and as someone that took work to earn. It might sound a little silly but it’s true. Men love to know a woman has a mind of her own, is confident, and isn’t easy to get. So, men pull away when women get too clingy. Do not start canceling all your plans to be available to him every day all day.
Keep him on his toes a little to make him wonder where you stand sometimes. Asking him what he is doing every minute of every day and planning things to do without giving him the opportunity to say yes or no can be signs you are becoming clingy and falling too easily for him. As we all know, it should be a mutual chase between the man or the woman. If the balance is off, it becomes too easy for him to take you for granted.
Hi. I dated this guy last year , but unfortunately it didn’t work out between us cause I was unreachable and shy. We pretty much texted the whole time and met a few times. I fell for him and he said he had feelings for me too . But all of a sudden he wanted to be just friends. We had 5 months long an emotional relationship/friendship and 5 months a non-emotional one. I kinda acted out there. He started giving me less atttetion day after day and we started fighting every now and then and I got super jealous when he talked about this other girl he liked. Eventually he called the friendship off. I asked him to block my number and social accounts so we wouldn’t have contact . It’s been 4 months now and I miss him everyday. I’m madly in love with him . Haven’t heard of him for 4 months and I want him back. I can’t get over him being gone from my life. Please help. What should I do ? Why am I feeling this way.
Regardless of how a relationship ends, all breakups result in the same thing: Every guy on the planet -- seriously, every f*cking guy -- will wait until their exes have moved on from their relationships to want their exes back. This fact is so universally predictable that women anticipate and LIVE for the day when they have moved on and feel unaffected by their ex-boyfriends' efforts to win back their love. We basically fantasize about it.
Hi! So I have been snapchating with my ex for some time now. The problem is that if I send him a snap he might respond with some emojies or sometimes a comment, but we never actually get a conversation out of it. Should I text him instead of sending him a snap even though we usually only snap? Or should I respond to any of his comments and start a conversation from there? Thanks!

Hi! I'm Nicole Schwarz, imperfect mom to 3 girls and a Parent Coach with a License in Family Therapy. I believe there are positive alternatives to timeouts, spankings and never-ending arguments with your kids. I also know that parents can use some encouragement to take a deep breath and try again. If things are out of control in your family, or if you've done your research and things still haven't changed, Parent Coaching may be a great resource for you.


To improve your self-esteem, concentrate on your strengths in all areas: emotional, social, talents and skills, appearance, and any others that are important to you. For example, you might have natural empathy, the ability to make people feel understood, a talent for baking, and gorgeous hair. Focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative can help you to feel adequate and valuable as an individual, especially when you connect the best parts of yourself to helping others.[9] If you feel useless, make yourself useful! Take your natural empathy and talent for baking and bake some fresh cookies for your elderly neighbors.
Advice from a male perspective anyone? I am dating a man who is 11 years older, I’m 26 and he is 37. He works out in the ocean and a lot of times we have minimal conversation via text/call. But when we are together everything is great and we get along very well. When he doesn’t have to wake in the wee ours or work out of town, he is with me every single weekend. We have been together six months and I have met all his close friends and friends kids. I have done well so far in respecting his space and he respects mine also. When he’s a weekend away with his guy friends, I am understanding and just ask him to contact me once when he is back in town so he feels he is not missing out on what he loves. However, this past weekend he had a sailboat race on the weekend which he let me know in advance and we made had plans for friday night. He reached out friday night saying that turns out he had to be at the venue in the wee hours so he would not be able to make our plans. I was emotionally unstable that weekend due to some work stress and family leaving so I needed him the most that friday. I did not think of my actions and instead of politely rescheduling for Monday, I blew him up – sent him various texts showing how I did not appreciate he canceled although it wasn’t his fault. I called numerous times in the weekend and texted many times while he was supposed to have time with his friends in the tournament. On Sunday I was so desperate that I passed by his house. His roommate was there and told me he hand’t come home yet. Since I blew him up friday, I have had no response to any of my texts nor has he answered any of my calls. I am very afraid that I scared him away and threatened his freedom. I also came out as desperate for going to his place. Today is Wednesday and I hadn’t reached out till Sunday. I sent him a very short/casual text today apologizing for taking out my stress on him and for not letting him have his space, to which I got no response. I am going to wait a few days and hopefully he will come around, as our relationship has matured and he’s told me how much he cares for me. Did I blow this up completely since it has been 4 days with no response?
Some arguing is normal in a relationship. You may go through phases of fighting due to outside factors, which is also normal. The important thing is how you argue, how you deal with arguments after, how you heal together, and the way you communicate. The best way to avoid a fight getting out of control is to walk out of the room and not escalate the situation.
my ex and i broke up a couple of months ago. He broke up with me because he did not want a relationship anymore and i cheated on him. We dated for almost two years..After our break up he wanted to be friends and i didn’t. i want to be more and this kept going back and forth. We did hu a couples of times and he would say i love you. He said he wanted something more but not a relationship and not exclusive. I told we can talk to be something or we don’t talk anymore so we agreed on not talking.. We were on good terms and we said i love you and stop talking for a few days. But i texted and he said he doesn’t want to talk to me and he doesn’t want to be friends anymore.. so i need advice should i just give him time and see what happens? what should i do? I still have feeling for this guy and i don’t know if he even does.
Every single woman on the face of this earth wants to feel wanted. They want to feel protected and cared for. One of the things I have always been impressed with is how caring women can be. Any girlfriend I have had is always there to remind me when important stuff is about to come up. While most men may be a little annoyed with the constant reminders I am not. I kind of like that there is someone out there watching out for me.
I met my friend online about 5 months ago. At first he kept in constant contact with me. Then his contact became less frequent. I realized I was the one doing most of the initiating so I stepped back. After 8 days he contacted me saying I dont love him anymore. He explained the problem was not me. He schedule is very busy cause he has a 9-5 job plus an evening contract plus he own several propertyies. I thought he was lieing to me and he was a player. I found out he eas telling the truth. Most times he is extrememly tired. He made a way to spend time with me twice. We had a really good time and he was totally relaxed and he displayed his feelings for me. Both times we met he shut down afterwards and became distant. The first time he came out of it after a week and told me he was in love with me. The second time he shut down. He make sure he text me goodmorning everyday but that is it. After the first week askec if he enjoyed his visit and he said he enjoyed me, but it has been 2 weeks since then and he keeps his contact to a minimum. I reply ro his good morning text and occasionally I will ask how is he doing and he will respond but no additional test after. I have been very quiet trying to give him his space. Yesterday I asked if I offended him in any way and wanted to know why I asked. Confused I just said, “i can’t figure you out but and i want to give you your space. Nut I dont need to be in your head I just want to make sure we are good. Your word is good enough for me. He said we are good and texted an emoji kiss. I said okay.

The rule here is that process always trumps content. When emotions heat up, the problem in the room is the emotions, not whatever you are arguing about. Unfortunately, when emotions kick in, we’re tempted to ramp up the content as a way of dealing with emotions – you want to get the other person to understand, damn it, and you’re likely tempted to fight to the death to make your point. Anything you say is like throwing gasoline on a fire – it's likely to be misheard, misinterpreted.
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