Archive for December, 2010


What is it about  marriage that calls upon us to stretch and grow? It is the frustration and the problems that emerge that require of us new approaches and behaviors within ourselves. Instead, we often find ourselves trying to “fix” or to change the other guy. This will not work.  McLaughlin once said, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

Pain and frustration can be great teachers. If one bends into problems instead of turning away and making it about the other guy, one can get a lot more bang for one’s buck in terms of personal growth and emotional development.  Long lasting, satisfying marriages reflect two partners who have the emotional maturity to “stay with it,” even during the stormiest of times.

Every relationship has a dynamic, a vibe. It is always co-created. We are either in sinc with one another or in reaction to one another, depending on the day and/or context. If relationships are co-created, they can be compared to dances. If you change one step, you have the possibility of changing the dance. This notion of infinite choices in terms of how to respond is a hopeful idea. It means there is always something else that can be done to change it up.

To learn more about my model of marriage counseling, please visit me at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.comor call 619 9906203 for a complimentary telephone consultation.

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Steven and Sybil Wolin (1993) researched how survivors of troubled families rise about adversity. They identified 7 clear qualities of resiliency. These qualities include: 1.) humor; 2.) relationships; 3.) initiative; 4.) morality;  5.) creativity; 6.) insight; and 7.) independence. Think about which resiliency most dominates your personality and build upon it. Your partner’s? Recognize it as well. And then validate it.

Resiliency is what happens when people thrive, don’t just survive, after adversity. Instead, you bounce FORWARD, not in spite of the problem, but BECAUSE OF it!

When resilience is looked at in terms of love and marriage, it is easy to see how these seven qualities might present great opportunies for  a couple to reach for one or two of them in an effort to get their connection even safer and more solid. For example, if one had the resiliency of intiative, one would not wait for one’s partner to pay them a compliment. Instead, they would be proactive and pay a compliment themselves. Get the idea? See what other examples you can come up with in looking at each core resiliency named by the Wolins. I would love to hear your responses. Take a look at the resiliency of creativity and see what you can do here. Have fun!  Onward!

If interested in my resiliency-based marriage counseling practice in San Diego, do visit my web site at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com or call for a complimentary phone consultation @ 619 9906203.

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