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Relationship Healing Toolbox

Author: MA RSW RMFT

Use My Relationship Healing Toolbox To Build A Healthy Connection With Your Partner

Just as physical exercise can improve your muscles, so too, with guidance and practice you CAN build your emotional muscles — you can improve your attitude and behavior for increased relationship success.

relationship toolbox

My Couples Counseling Books, Videos, and Worksheets Provide the Guidance. You Provide the Practiceall in the privacy of your home or place of work.

  • Professional Advice
  • Easy To Read Books
  • Self-Hypnosis Audio Books
  • Insightful Videos
  • Couples Therapy Worksheets

Love Connections Vs. Emotional Rejections

A successful marriage or committed relationship is built on 16 scientific principles. These principles are scientific because they have the same outcome with every couple. Just as mixing yellow and blue always produces the color green, so too these principles, when applied to a committed relationship, will always produce the same outcome.

  1. PEACE AND HARMONY VS. RELATIONSHIP-FIGHTING AND CONFLICT
  2. ACCEPTANCE VS. ANGER
  3. INVESTING IN THE RELATIONSHIP VS. WITHDRAWING FROM THE RELATIONSHIP
  4. TRANSPARENCY VS. KEEPING SECRETS
  5. COLLABORATION VS. UNILATERAL-DECISIONS
  6. LOYALTY VS. DISLOYALTY
  7. COMMITMENT VS. RESPONSIBILITY-AVOIDANCE
  8. LIVING IN REALITY VS. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
  9. ACCEPTING OF PARTNER’S BIRTH FAMILY VS. REJECTING OF PARTNER’S BIRTH FAMILY 
  10. ROLE NEGOTIATION VS. ROLE-DISLIKE
  11. EMOTIONAL SELF-MANAGEMENT VS. EMOTIONAL VOLATILITY
  12. RESPECT VS. ABUSIVE CONTROL
  13. SELF-CARE VS. SELF-HARM
  14. SOBRIETY VS. ADDICTIONS
  15. FIDELITY VS. INFIDELITY
  16. ROMANCE AND SEX VS COLDNESS AND DISTANCE

When you have 16 Love Connections with your partner your relationship is extremely healthy. Everything feels right about your relationship, you have no complaints or concerns, and this is your normal state of marriage. The same is true when your body is healthy, you have no pains or concerns. When your body is unhealthy, it grabs your attention by producing pain or dysfunction.

The same is true with your emotional health or commitment. When it is healthy, you feel content and fulfilled; when it is not healthy, you feel lonely, anxious, and unhappy. These negative feelings tell you something is wrong in your relationship that must be corrected.

Below are the 16 relationship ‘mistakes’ that interfere with a loving, caring, and long-lasting relationship and what you can do to ‘correct’ these mistakes and build strong and lasting Love Connections with your partner.

Examples: Arguing, punishing, threats, and resisting reasonable requests.

If you live with relationship conflict and animosity, this will be emotionally painful for you and your partner. You may even contemplate divorce or separation!

If there is fighting in your relationship, you and your partner will feel lonely, unloved, misunderstood, and fearful about the future of your relationship.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Both you and your partner must take the position that you are responsible for your behavior. This means the only way to stop the fighting is not to blame one another for the conflict.

It is necessary to learn communication skills so you and your partner can comfortably talk with each other and differences of opinion can be expressed calmly and respectfully without leading to arguments and anger.

Professional help

Find a qualified and caring relationship specialist who can teach you effective communication skills, what reasonable expectations are, and how to care for and show love to one another.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Couples therapy worksheets:

Examples: Sarcasm, passive-aggressive anger, shaming, teasing, and ignoring.

If your partner is frequently angry, you will feel unsafe, fearful, and resentful. If you are the one angry, this is exactly how your partner will feel.

An angry person injures three people: the person the anger is directed at, those present during the anger outburst, and the person expressing the anger.

Anger outbursts create a toxic home environment.

The angry person uses fear and emotional pain to get his or her way. A relationship governed by fear is unhealthy and causes relationship damage. When strong anger is present, the committed relationship will eventually break, and the two individuals will part ways — sometimes by emotional polarization and sometimes by separation or divorce.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

The partner who has repeatedly been angry needs to take full responsibility for his or her behavior. Blaming anyone else for getting angry eliminates the possibility of stopping expressions of anger. Simply, when a person blames somebody else for their anger, what they are really saying is they cannot control it themselves. Such a person will never learn to be calm and respectful.

Professional help

Some people can stop being angry by asserting their willpower to stay calm.

Sometimes, an anger management specialist or program is required to teach the angry individual how to stay calm and contribute to a safe and loving relationship.

If needed, the angry person should be willing to participate in relationship therapy if requested or required.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Printable relationship expectations worksheet:

Examples: No romance or sex, no talking, staying away from home.

Partners need to stay invested in one another. If your partner withdraws from you either emotionally or sexually, it will likely devastate you. You will feel alone, rejected, unwanted, and sad. If you withdraw from your partner, he or she will feel the same.

Relationship withdrawal violates the understood contract between the two individuals who choose to live together and share their lives in meaningful ways.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

The partner who withdrew needs to make amends by reversing course and begin sharing their life with his or her partner. 

If the primary area of withdrawal is romantic and sexual, it is necessary to figure out why and fix the problem.

Professional help

A professional therapist can help devise a plan to build emotional and sexual intimacy. 

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Couples therapy worksheets:

Examples: Romantic cheating with an illicit person, purchasing items behind a partner’s back, and secretly viewing pornography.

If your partner has a secret life that exists without your knowledge, he or she is building a wall between the two of you. 

Secrets are expressed and maintained with lies and misleading words. In either case, this hurts the individual who has been excluded.

When a secret is discovered, it erodes trust, safety, respect, closeness, and love between partners.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

First and foremost, the individual who has been keeping secrets needs to stop their bad behavior and transition to a more open and honest relationship with their partner.

The keeper of secrets should give the excluded partner opportunities to ask questions they may have regarding the withheld information.

If the secrets have disrupted the harmonious partner relationship, a practical plan needs to be made to make sure that there will be no secrets in the future.

Professional help

There may be a need for a professional therapist to help the person who keeps secrets to understand doing so is ‘wrong’; to take responsibility for what he or she has done, to recognize how lying injures his or her partner, and to establish future accountability to the excluded partner so secretive behavior will not happen again.

Self-help

Power books:

Insightful videos:

Toxic relationship couples counseling worksheets:

Examples: Without consulting one’s partner, purchasing expensive items, moving the family to a new location, and selfishness.

Should you or your partner make important decisions without consulting one another, the overlooked partner will feel unsafe, anxious, and lonely.

Making unilateral decisions leads to mistrust, suspicion, and arguments.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

The offending partner needs to recognize that making decisions without consulting their partner, who is an equal, will seriously injure their relationship.

Professional help

To learn good communication skills, equitable and reasonable expectations, and for some individuals, gender equality training.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Printable relationship expectations worksheet:

Examples: Committing adultery, being insensitive, and prioritizing the wrong people.

If your partner is disloyal to you, you will feel betrayed, unimportant, abandoned, and mistrustful. If you are disloyal to your partner, he or she will feel the same as you would had you been betrayed.

You and your partner must make each other the #1 person in each of your lives. Disloyalty occurs when there is repeated prioritizing of extended family members, friends, or even children over and above one’s partner.

Disloyalty occurs when an unfortunate partner is abandoned due to the loss of your money, success, or health.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

The disloyal partner must be willing to consider his or her partner’s legitimate needs and have his or her back should they be under attack.

Professional help

Participation in relationship counseling to better understand the importance of loyalty and the injuries caused by disloyalty.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Toxic relationship couples counseling worksheets:

Examples: Laziness, an unwillingness to consider problems and how to fix them, unwillingness to earn a living, unwillingness to take care of the home, and neglect of the children.

Being in a family requires each member to behave responsibly, which includes making efforts to contribute to the well-being of each family member.

Suppose you or your partner is unwilling to participate in a responsible way contributing to the legitimate needs of each family member. In that case, the responsible partner will feel the situation is unfair and that he or she is being taken advantage of, and he or she will be resentful.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

The offending partner who is unwilling to behave responsibly must recognize that as an executive in the family, he or she must participate in the well-being of every family member and recognize that not participating is unfair and hurts others.

A family is like a small community. Each person has to do his or her part.

Professional help

If your partner is not responsible because of depression, anxiety, or resentment, they must get help from an appropriate professional to overcome these obstacles to full family participation.

The partner who needs to become responsible is willing to participate in relationship therapy if requested or required.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Couples therapy worksheets:

Is your husband immature and irrisponsable?

Examples: Disappointment in one’s partner, anger, criticism.

If your partner expects too much from you, he or she will feel resentful, angry, and disappointed with you. If you expect too much from your partner, he or she will feel the same.

Unrealistic expectations can lead to arguing, expressions of anger, nagging, and in general, dissatisfaction with the relationship.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Whoever has ‘unrealistic expectations’ needs to learn how to be accepting, eliminate feelings of entitlement, develop humility, and express gratitude.

Professional help

If necessary, your partner should be willing to engage in personal therapy to understand where their feelings of entitlement come from and what are reasonable expectations. The offending partner should consider a spiritual practice as a way of acquiring non-physical values and goals to reduce unreasonable expectations.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Printable relationship expectations worksheet:

Examples: Criticizing and unwillingness to visit or entertain in-laws.

Coupled individuals need to support their partner in having a comfortable and healthy relationship with their birth family members.

If you or your partner resist efforts to integrate extended family members or a particular member of the extended family into your family, the partner whose extended family is being shunned will experience significant emotional pain and disappointment.

Forcing one’s partner to be distant from their birth family members causes embarrassment, lost opportunities of belonging, and leads to resentment toward the offending partner.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Acknowledging that each family member has the right to have an active relationship with his or her birth family.

Each partner should let their other partner take the lead regarding social activities with their birth family and should take part in a cooperative and pleasant way.

Professional help

Use a family therapist to help build harmonious relationships with all extended family members.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Toxic relationship couples counseling worksheets:

Examples: Bullying to force a partner to do something against his or he will, and insensitivity to a partner’s feelings.

Role dislike is an unwillingness to acknowledge the legitimacy of one’s partner having increased authority in an area of specialization.

For example, a man unwilling to recognize his female partner’s natural instincts to take care of their newborn infant and competing with her over what is the best care.

For example, a woman trying to control her husband’s business by giving unwanted opinions and demanding specific procedures be carried out.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Recognize that each individual has unique aptitudes and competencies. Respecting these differences and taking a supportive role rather than a leading role.

Professional help

Using a therapist to help develop a clear understanding of some of the differences that exist between two people.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Toxic relationship couples counseling worksheets:

Examples: Being depressed, anxious, angry, insensitive, and hateful.

Expressing strong emotions freely and without limitations will have a negative effect on the relationship. The more subdued partner will find the strong emotion overwhelming and off-putting.

Excess guilt, anger, anxiety, worry, and obsessing about particular topics can make building a close and comfortable relationship difficult.

Unrestricted emotions can lead to partner avoidance and anger.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Understanding that ‘relationship fitness’ is not automatically acquired. If you or your partner behave with uncontrolled emotions or immaturity, a solution to correct this problem must be found.

Professional help

Find a good psychotherapist to help the overly emotional or immature partner develop personal relationship skills.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Printable relationship expectations worksheet:

Examples:  Emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, mental abuse.

When a person believes they have a right to control their partner and make efforts to do so, this is called abuse.

The abuser achieves control using hostile emotions such as anger, shaming, criticizing, gaslighting, bullying, and physical violence to assert his or her authority.

Such behavior severely injures the victim of abuse and cripples the relationship.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Recognize that all forms of abuse are wrong. The abuser must acknowledge that every person is equal and entitled to independence and freedom — no one has a right to control another person.

Professional help

Find a good relationship specialist who can explain the reasons abuse is unacceptable behavior within a relationship and create accountability in the future. The professional can teach anger management and engage in psychotherapy if needed. Join a group to help overcome abusive behaviors is also a valuable resource.

The abusive person is willing to participate in relationship therapy if requested or required.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Toxic relationship couples counseling worksheets:

Examples: Substance abuse, over-eating, self-cutting, attempts to kill oneself, not caring for oneself.

Ingesting unhealthy substances or engaging in risky or harmful behavior hurts the person who is harming themselves and everyone else in the family.

Self-harm can lead to a minor injury, disability, or death.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

An honest recognition that self-harm and other risky conduct are unacceptable behaviors.

The person engaged in self-harm is willing to take personal responsibility to correct the situation and engage in a practical action plan to remedy the problem.

Professional help 

Get professional help from a qualified mental health specialist. Through therapy, the person will be able to recognize that self-harm and risky conduct are unacceptable behaviors.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Couples therapy worksheets:

Recover from substance abuse

Examples: Pornography, alcohol, drugs, gambling, unhealthy exercise, unhealthy eating.

If you or your partner live with an addiction, know that it hurts everyone. Depending on the addiction, it can lead to a decrease in the family’s finances, and stability, and cause illness or death.

Addictive behavior excludes responsible behavior. A person addicted to something cannot control his or her life. Because of this, they cannot responsibly and fully contribute to their family community.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Being honest that one is an addict and being responsible for seeking treatment.

Professional help

Using a therapist or finding a therapeutic group to get the necessary treatment and support to stop the addiction.

The addict is willing to participate in relationship therapy if requested or required.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Toxic relationship couples counseling worksheets:

Examples: Having an outside lover, visiting a prostitute, partner’s reaction to viewing pornography.

Lies, deception, and betrayal are all part of infidelity. The victimized partner naturally loses all confidence in their partner.

Should the cheating stop, security and trust in the offending partner will not return on its own. A deliberate program of Infidelity Recovery is necessary for the relationship to return to its original pristine state.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Remorse, sensitivity, honesty, and cooperation by the partner who cheated.

Professional help

Taking part in an Infidelity Recovery Program conducted by a qualified and caring mental health professional.

Self-help
Power books:

Insightful videos:

Toxic relationship couples counseling worksheets:

Examples: Always declining romantic and sexual invitations, not enjoying sexual contact, thinking being sexual is wrong or bad.

Romance and sexual contact are essential to a healthy, committed relationship.

Sexual love not only builds positive regard between two committed individuals, but the pleasure shared overrides negative interactions that often happen between two people.

TREATMENT

Personal responsibility

Acknowledge that an important part of being married is engaging in a romantic and sexual relationship with your partner and when this is not happening or is very infrequent, this is a loss for you and your partner.

Professional help

Seek medical or psychological assistance to increase desire and libido. Often, low sex drive is because of an unhappy relationship. If this is the case, see a caring and qualified relationship specialist.

Self-help

Power books:

Insightful videos:

Couples therapy worksheets:

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abe kass

Abe has helped thousands of individuals, couples, and families for twenty-five-plus years. When it comes to relationship expertise — Abe is the real deal and can be trusted!

abe kassProfessional Therapist Abe Kass MA RSW RMFT

Abe has helped thousands of individuals, couples, and families for twenty-five-plus years. When it comes to relationship expertise — Abe is the real deal and can be trusted!