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Kathy D. Infeld Blog


At a recent conference that I attended, authors and researchers John and Julie Gottman talked about turning toward your spouse when difficult issues arise rather than away. I can’t agree more. This takes a willing attitude, persistence, hope, and openness . For a minute, imagine the image of facing toward your spouse rather than way. Then do that every day with each other and see how powerful it can be..As a married woman my husband and I have committed to always facing towards each other with our issues. I know that this has been key to our loving and successful forty year marriage.

Recently in my office, I have been challenged by clients in this area. They don’t turn towards their spouse in difficult times, they won’t, or they won’t look at what is inside themselves that is keeping them from doing this. If I can’t get these clients to try these, they may end up divorced. Sometimes people come to me after their second, third even fourth divorce and are finally ready to try facing toward their spouse instead of not dealing with issues

So let me mention a few reasons why you or someone you love may have trouble facing toward . Maybe in yours or their family growing up, people didn’t talk about anything deep. For example not talking about making a team (hurt, disappointment, self doubt , comfort and support), being rejected by your best friend, needing more time with your mother, problem solving about Mom or Dad’s drinking,etc. Another example could be speaking to each other respectfully instead of tolerating speaking in a thoughtless or demeaning manner. Many clients describe to me that as children either they or their parents were so busy that no one took the time to connect. This can happen even in very active sports families where someone is always at practice,a meet or a game. Take a few moments to recognize how it was for you in your family growing up. Whatever the reasons ,maybe you didn’t learn or practice turning towards each other and dealing with issues, start practicing this now.

When challenging as well as joyous issues arise, I wish for you to have the relationship that can offer comfort , problem solving, support and love. Don’t let it be too late. Start turning towards each other now.



Having a successful relationship requires doing everything you can to learn about yourself, your partner and how to have a successful marriage. People think that commitment is just not giving up. Well I have seen many couples who held on tight to a very dysfunctional relationship until they couldn’t stand it anymore or went numb.

Of course I recommend you being persistent, but persistent with helpful action. Read books, research on line,take classes. workshops, seek counseling, couples therapy, religious education on marriage etc. If the therapist you see isn’t helpful, keep searching until you find one that is.

To begin, take an inventory of what is working and then not currently working in your relationship. Lovingly start a discussion with your spouse that doesn’t make them wrong. It is about making it better. What if they are shocked, thought that everything was fine? Well they were numb about their needs . If one partner is feeling unhappy, it has to spill over onto the other. They maybe have just been unwilling to step out of their comfort zone. Work on a relationship can sometimes be stressful, tense, challenging and yet satisfying. The real fear is whether you will be able to make it better and move forward together.

I have as many husbands who resist the changes as the wives. Who ever is the unhappiest is going to have to start the momentum. I say don’t fear, rejoice that you are working towards something good. If your partner is unwilling, you have a big decision to make.” Am I ready to be a stand for a healthier and happier relationship or will I bury my feelings”. If you bury your feelings and needs , resentment will pile up and the relationship will die or be very unsatisfying. I recommend that you speak up, stay strong , loving and committed, and do the work together. It will be the best Holiday present you could ever give each other.Good luck.



As kids we had experiences where we felt wanted and included. Then we had those times when we weren’t . We ended up feeling jealous of those who were chosen. The point of this talk with you is that often we didn’t understand the situation. Maybe that kid had just been in trouble with his teacher and wanted to take his upset out on someone else. Maybe the coach was getting pressure to choose someone else. Maybe your Mom was too busy for you but really had her own worries that she was consumed with. You didn’t know what was the real situation.

The key is to realize that we saw an interaction in a certain light and that perception can be changed. Maybe you were jealous of your older sibling because they had so much more freedom. What you didn’t recognize was that they had so much more responsibility having to watch over you as well. As adults we get to take a second look.

When we grow up these same familiar mis-perceptions can happen in intimate relationships. Someone may think that their partner is doing it to them- doesn’t contribute as much to the relationship, Ignoring them, not touching them enough, talking to everyone else, only paying attention to the children, just cares about the money, doesn’t give them what they need . The road to giving up these mis-perceptions in relationships as an adult begins with looking at all sides of a situation and talking about what really is taking place.

These mis-perceptions are often the cause of divorce. A person once came to see me and they were on their 3rd marriage. They were beginning to see the pattern after they have ruined their previous committed relationships. There was regret, wounded children, financial loss, and pain. Don’t wait until your marriage is ruined by these mis-perceptions. Look at your past, work with a good therapist, and get to have your first marriage work.

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