Reading Corner

Links related to the weekly posts.


This week, we wrote about why sitting on your hurt feelings only makes it worse. Here are some suggestions on what to do to avoid such problems.

Transactional Analysis Theory and Practice “Psychological trading stamps are the currency of transactional ‘rackets’. Escalated feelings of anger, hurt, guilty, scared, inadequacy constitute ‘stamps’; so do feeling stupid, baffled, surprised, righteous or triumphant. Psychological trading stamps are generated by sexualising a racket feeling. Given here is Berne’s list of observations concerning Psychological Trading Stamps in the Hello Book.”

How to Complain to Your Partner “The following might meet the definition of ‘fighting fair rules’ that are often asked of me as a therapist, but I think of them as suggestions for making fighting ‘satisfying’.”

How to Communicate When Something Bothers You “‘Communication is key.’ – Everyone ever, in every book, movie, and real-life situation. That piece of advice is constantly reiterated so why do we have such a hard time communicating about our problems? Why do we bottle things in rather than hash it out? Why do we hate confrontation so much that we would rather stay upset inside and play pretend that everything’s cool?”

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This week, we wrote about the way we use special occasions to take a longer view of our relationship and the larger themes in our lives. Here are some posts with suggestions on how to do this.

Making These Resolutions Can Improve a Relationship “To help improve intimacy and romance with your partner in the new year, here are four key strategies to consider, according to relationship experts.”

23 Of The Best Relationship Goals To Nurture Intimacy “Have you ever considered creating real relationship goals to protect and enhance your love with your spouse or partner? Ask anyone who is married or in a committed relationship what their number one priority is, and the majority of people will say, “My partner/spouse.” But as important as our love relationships are to our health and happiness, it is curious how little time we spend taking care of them.”

15 New Year’s Resolutions Couples Can Make As a Team! “Resolutions are great because they gives you a chance to clear your mind, reflect on what’s important to you, and move in a positive direction, provide concrete goals that can give you focus and stability, and show others that you are striving towards your dreams. You can’t imagine the number of people that will be positively impacted!”

This week, we said that every relationship has shared stories at its heart. We found some interesting articles discussing this; some suggest that writing is a powerful way to find your story.

How to Use Writing to Radically Improve Your Relationships “According to Stephen Covey, author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, the reason why most relationships fail is because we focus on changing our superficial behaviors and attitudes before addressing the way we perceive the relationship itself. We tackle the leaves of the problem instead of touching the roots.”

How Storytelling Can Help a Troubled Marriage “In a loving relationship, we can reevaluate our own stories and create new ones. Couples who feel most connected and hopeful together are those who can tell a story of their relationship—what therapists call a “we story”—that emphasizes loving elements such as empathy, respect, pleasure, and acceptance. The question is how do people do it? What is involved from moving toward a shared narrative that can serve as an inspirational vision of their relationship, even while going through a rough patch?”

Why Your ‘Love Story’ Could Make or Break Your Relationship “We all swoon over a good love story. We are inspired by movies and novels that highlight love’s powerful ability to overcome all obstacles. We cry at weddings. We enjoy telling people how we met our significant other. And let’s face it, we’re captivated by the beginnings of love. But, what about after the beginning? Do you see your relationship as a story—the whole of it, from the start until now—as an ongoing narrative that makes you both ever-developing characters?”

This week we wrote that finding balance in a relationship is challenging for some people because of the different habits that each has developed through experience. Here are some other authors writing about how to handle differences.

We’re Total Opposites! Can Our Relationship Work? “You’re in love with your total opposite. Is this your true love? Can your relationship last forever? Do you guys stand a chance? You’ve heard “opposites attract” and you’ve definitely felt that attraction, but you can’t deny how opposite you are either. (Your friends and family constantly remind you…) Then, maybe in quiet moments, the nagging questions creep in…”

11 Hints for Resolving Relationship Irritations “Dirty socks left on the floor — the fifth time this week — texting during your dinner date, forgetting to take the trash out — again — and what seems like endless interruptions when you talk. These are just some of the irritations couples deal with on a day-to-day basis. But while we’re taught not to sweat the small stuff and to pick our battles, it’s these tiny transgressions that can build and become big stumbling blocks in a relationship.”

Can You and Your Partner Agree to Disagree? “In my 30-plus years of doing therapy, I’ve found that helping couples learn to truly accept their inevitable dissimilarities—and to take them in stride—serves not only to protect marital harmony in situations of potential conflict but, even more, to help the relationship reach its full potential.”

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In this week’s blog, we wrote about how you can see differences in your relationships as welcome additions. Here are a few articles discussing how to handle differences in your relationships.

Me and my partner have very different values “Some people worry that having different values or ideas to their partner – on, say, things like religion, politics or morality – means it’s likely they’re going to run into problems further down the line. And while it’s true that having opposing opinions on big subjects can create friction, it’s by no means a sign that you can’t work as a couple. One thing counselling tries to help people understand is that differences aren’t usually the problem: it’s how you deal with them that matters!”

How The Differences Keep A Relationship Together “When it comes to relationships, it’s easy to feel that like goes with like: people with similar interests, careers, backgrounds and life views are attracted to one another and stick together. Wrong. In fact, more often than not, it’s been argued that our differences make us stronger. Think about it: if we end up with people just like us, we won’t be exposed to new activities or ways of overcoming challenges. Our relationship won’t have quite so many nuances. And we won’t have to get out of our comfort zone.”

How the Differences in Your Relationship Can Be Gifts “It’s in our nature as humans to gravitate towards those who have interests similar to our own. And in many ways, this serves us well. On the other hand, it doesn’t leave much room for experiencing all that life has to offer…. By opening ourselves up to another way of living and being, we can make more educated decisions about what we want our own lives to look like. These varied life experiences allow us to express ourselves more fully and be more authentically present in the world.”

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