Tit-For-Tat Doesn't Work In Marriage
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
5d ago
In the close-knit journey of marriage, complaints can either help us grow closer or push us apart. When one partner complains about something, it’s super common to want to hit back with a complaint of your own. However, this kind of reaction can really mess with the health of your relationship. Let’s dive into why firing back with your own complaints when your spouse raises an issue can hurt your bond, come off as defensive, make the conversation way more complicated, and often leave the original problem hanging. Getting Defensive Picture this: your partner calls you out for being too wrapped ..read more
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Own Your Pain. Even If It Hurts.
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
1M ago
American Culture is rife with “grin and bear it” missives. People see it as a point of pride to ignore pain (especially emotional pain) and “push through.” But how you handle this emotional discomfort can profoundly impact the intimacy and durability of your bonds. Often, out of fear, embarrassment, or a sense of protection, you might choose to disown your pain. You silence your hurt, thinking that by doing so, you're avoiding conflict and preserving peace. However, this is a misconception. Owning your pain is not just significant; it's essential for the health and authenticity of your relati ..read more
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No Unconditional Love In Adult Relationships
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
1M ago
I tell my clients all the time that there is no unconditional love in adult relationships. “What'? Mike, I thought you really want people to feel loved in their relationships? I thought you really want people to be vulnerable? I thought you really want couples to be happy?” All of that is true. But having no conditions takes away the value that you bring to relationships through your loving kindness, effort, and vulnerability. This also opens you up for abuse. Let me explain. Relationships, especially long-term intimate relationships like marriage, are a “built thing.” Anyone who has been in ..read more
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Zero-Sum Game: How To Make Your Marriage Reliably Terrible
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
2M ago
A zero-sum game is when one person's win is exactly the same as another person's loss. In simpler terms, it's like thinking that for you to get something good, someone else has to give something up. When you look at relationships this way, it can cause some pretty big problems: Turning into rivals instead of teammates: Imagine seeing your partner as someone you have to beat instead of someone you're teaming up with. This could mean arguing over who spends what money or who does more chores, making everything a competition. Forgetting to be there for each other: Relationships should be ab ..read more
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Raising Kids: Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
2M ago
Raising kids is like being on a rollercoaster that doesn't have a pause button. It's thrilling, scary, and a bit chaotic all at once. And just like any wild ride, it's way better when you have someone by your side, especially when that someone is your co-parent. Getting on the same page about how to handle the ups, downs, and loop-de-loops of parenting is pretty much the secret sauce to cutting down on family drama. Here’s why teaming up is your best move to keep peace at home and make sure everyone’s on track for a smooth ride. How Being a United Front Helps Keep the Peace Kids Know What’s ..read more
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How To Self Calm After Being Triggered
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
2M ago
When we speak of being "triggered," we're referring to those moments when something in our present environment closely resembles an aspect of our past that once led us into a fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response. These triggers can be anything from a tone of voice, a particular phrase, a sound, or even a smell that catapults us back to a moment of intense emotional response. Recognizing these triggers and learning how to self-calm is essential, not just for our emotional well-being, but also to ensure that we can engage in productive conversations that address our hurts or fears without in ..read more
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Understanding the Pursuer in Relationships: Insights from Emotionally Focused Therapy
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
3M ago
Everyone has a “go-to” behavior in their part of the relationship dance. Sometimes people are “withdrawers” that recoil from difficult emotional conversations. Sometimes people are “pursuers” who seek the resolutions of these difficult emotional conversations. We’re going to delve into the experience of someone who typically assumes the role of a pursuer in relationships, exploring their attachment style and what Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) reveals about them. A word of warning, this is written from the perspective of an EFT trained therapist. The Pursuer in Relationships: A Closer Look ..read more
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How Do Withdrawers Experience Relationships?
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
3M ago
In the intricate dance of relationships, different individuals bring their unique rhythms and steps. As a couples therapist trained in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), I often talk to clients about Pursuers and Withdrawers (sometimes called distancers). Withdrawers in relationships exhibit a specific attachment style and face unique challenges and experiences. Today we’re going to look at some of the challenges and experiences unique to withdrawers in relationship. What is a Withdrawer in Relationships? The concept of a withdrawer in relationships stems from attachment theory, which categor ..read more
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Understanding Triggers in Relationships: A Perspective from Evolutionary Psychology and Modern Therapy Approaches
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
3M ago
A significant concept that often surfaces in therapy is the idea of "triggers" in relationships. These triggers, which evoke reactions such as fight, flight, freeze, or fawn, are deeply rooted in our evolutionary past. They were essential for our ancestors' survival but can be detrimental in modern romantic relationships. I’m going to be examining these triggers, drawing insights from Relational Life Therapy by Terrence Real and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) by Susan Johnson. The Evolutionary Roots of Triggers The four primary triggers - fight, flight, freeze, and fawn - were critical sur ..read more
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A New Inspiration In the New Year
Heartfelt Counseling
by Michael Kosim
3M ago
Re-architecting your relationship is hard work. Sometimes you're learning how to do your relationship in a way that you never contemplated. When you are in middle-age and yet feel so immature in your relationship, it can feel really discouraging because you haven't been this bad at something in a long time. So it can help to find inspiration from people doing hard things. My new inspiration is children. When a baby is learning to walk, they get up, they try they fail, and they try again. There may be periods where they are overwhelmed, and cry. As adults we give them comfort, but we don't pre ..read more
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