Anger and Disappointment
   Anger Quiz
   Audio Tips
   Blame Games
   Client Stories
   Conflict Quiz
   Fighting and Making Up
   Power Struggles
   Revenge and Punishment

Latest Articles

    Conflict Recovery Style Determines Whether Couples Stay Together
   *(How to Avoid Conflict With A Dose of Curiosity)*
   *(How To communicate that you really care)*
   *(How to deal with complaining loved ones)*
   *(How to deal with negative reactions you didn't intend to cause!)*
   *(How to deal with the regret of the "I wish I had said...." feeling.)*
   *(How to get through to loved ones without repeating yourself!)*
   *(How to get your own way, avoid guilt and still feel lovable!)*
   *(How to get your partner to love you the way you want!)*
   *(How to manage when your partner loses interest in you!)*
   *(How to Speak Your Mind Without Feeling Monstrous!)*
   *(How to tell if loved ones mean what they say!)*
   *(How to turn nagging into loving connections)*
   A Proven Way To Stop The Stress Of Conflict And Reconnect With Your Loved One
   Are You And Your Partner Together On What ‘Togetherness’ Means?
   Are you ashamed of your relationship and hide it from family and friends?
   Are you dying for affection but cringe when it comes?
   Are you motivated by the stick or the carrot?
   Are you motivated by the stick or the carrot?- part 2
   Are You Ready For Couples Therapy?
   Are your personal goals likely to save your marriage or break it up?
   Breaking Up Doesn't Have To Be so Hard To Do!
   Complimenting Your Partner Can Cause Relationship Problems!
   Conflicting Secret Wishes And Motives Threaten Your Marriage Big Time!
   Continual Separating and reuniting doesn't have to threaten your relationship!
   Dealing With a Loved One Who Refuses To Talk When You Want To
   Dealing With a Partner Who Cannot Trust You and Insists You Are a Cheater
   Dealing with someone who won't own hurting you!
   Develop Good Communication Skills and Solve Marriage Problems
   Do You Feel Abandoned When Your Partner Is With Family And Friends?
   Do you fit the four point profile of a cheater?
   Do You Have To Choose between Romance and a Good Mate?
   Don't Ruin Your Marriage With Thorny Relationship Rules - part 3
   End Those Dreaded Fights And Enjoy Peaceful Relationships
   Expressing Hurt Saves Relationships While Anger Causes Relationship Breakups
   Fear Based Rules About Feeling Secure in Your Relationship Can End It! Part 6
   Fear of Intimacy - Five Tell Tale Signs
   Five ways to breach a misunderstanding with your partner
   Four LOVE steps for singles to turn dates into long term relationships
   Four Ways To Deal With A Hostile And Aggressive Partner
   Four ways to make sure your partner values your help
   Four ways to manage the excitement and dread of family reunions
   Four ways to reconnect when your partner snubs you
   Four Ways to Share Feelings and be Empathic -part1
   How a bladder infection can save intimacy in your marriage!
   How being unselfish is really selfish!
   How bitterness and self-blame makes you sick and depressed
   How Do You Build Trust in a Relationship When You are Repeatedly Let Down?
   How gender differences in handling stress affects intimacy
   How perfectionism turns you into a liar to yourself and your loved ones
   How To Avoid Feeling Attacked When Your Partner Is Venting!
   How to avoid the same mistakes after a break up
   How To Avoid The Stress When Your Spouse Nags At You For Being Unresponsive
   How to bargain successfully with your loved ones!
   How to be happy in a relationship by tuning into your partner's needs
   How to be independent and still be loved!
   How to deal when you want commitment but your partner is hesitant!
   How to deal with a loved one who texts others while in your company!
   How to deal with a partner who is down when you are up!
   How To Deal With a Partner Who Lies And Cheats
   How to deal with being blamed for everything!
   How to deal with controlling people in your relationships
   How to deal with people who want your advice but don't take it!
   How to deal with the "damned if I do, and damned if I don't situation!
   How to deal with the “ if you really loved me you would……..” syndrome!
   How to deal with verbal attacks from your loved ones.
   How to do your thing without risking rejection from loved ones
   How to enjoy a relationship and protect yourself at the same time!
   How to get more by working less at relationships
   How to Get Your Boyfriend Back After Throwing Him Out
   How to get your partner to talk when you want!
   How to handle the loss of hope that you will be loved the way you want
   How To Join In The Conversation Without Fearing Being Shut Down
   How to make peace without eating humble pie!
   How to make that decision you have been putting off!
   How to Make up After a Fight and Find Intimacy
   How to make up after a fight without giving up!
   How to make your partner want to be physically intimate with you!
   How to manage conflict in a relationship so you don't feel prejudged
   How to manage rejection sensitivity and be more open to love!
   How to manage the frustrating urge to prove you are right!
   How to Manage The Guilt Of Saying 'No' To Your Partner!
   How to manage the pain of jealousy
   How to manage two parts of you that want different things!
   How to prevent bitterness and blame from making you sick!
   How To Prove That You Are Not The Same As Your Partner's Exes!
   How to regain control and self-respect when you feel betrayed
   How to relieve stress in a marriage by sharing jobs
   How to Repair Family Relationships That Get Broken With Repeated Hurts
   How to rescue your marriage from roommate status!
   How to share what's going on with you so it gets through to your loved ones!
   How to stop a conversation turning into a fight!
   How to Stop Anger From Ruining Good Times
   How to stop explosive bursts of anger
   How to stop feeling used in relationships
   How to stop others from making your stuff all about them!
   How to survive a betrayal by a loved one
   How to trust loved ones so you don’t have to do everything yourself!
   How to turn a volatile conflictual marriage into a happy validating union.
   How to use lies in relationships as catalysts to improve communication
   How Your Dating Rules Make Sure You Never Find The Partner You Want - part 2
   Is Co-Dependency the Currency of Your Family Relationships?
   Is Family Conflict Making a Friend Out of One Loved One and an Enemy of Another?
   Is fear of being impactful depriving you of intimacy?
   Is relationship stress making your skin dry out?
   Managing co-dependency in a marriage - the second five steps in learning to support rather than rescue
   Managing family co-dependency - the first five steps in learning to support rather than rescue
   Passover troubles and resurrect good times during the holidays
   Positive affirmations can damage your relationships!
   Procrastinating About an Ambition May Be the Key To Authentic Success!
   Rules About How You Should Express Your Needs Can Rupture Your Marriage- part 4
   Rules About Being Your Partner's Savior Harm Your Relationship - part 7
   Rules About What Makes Relationships Last Stop Them From Ever Starting -part 8
   Save Your Marriage By Avoiding Relationship Rules About Your Partner's Behaviour - part 5
   Save Your Marriage By Letting In Your Partner's Support
   Self-Compassion Makes You the Partner You Want to be Toward Your Loved One
   Self-help For Couples That Actually Works!
   Should you apologize after an explosion of anger?
   Should You Leave Your Partner or Stay Hoping They Will Love You One Day!
   Sibling Rivalries in Adulthood May be Due to Invisible Childhood Trauma
   Solving The Hurt Of Family Problems
   Ten Ways to Manage Holiday Family Stress
   The Main Barrier to Communication in Marriage is Fear of Listening Empathically
   The second secret to being empathic and boosting your relationship
   The Third Magnet That Attracts You Towards The Wrong Life Partner
   The Two Most Serious Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
   Three ways to manage the anxiety about pleasing your loved ones
   Three ways to share your stuff without fear of upsetting loved ones.
   Three Ways To Stop Being Invisible To Your Partner
   Two ways to get your partner to accept that they need therapy to deal with their problems
   Understanding Your Panic Attacks - part 1- Facing your dilemmas
   Understanding Your Panic Attacks- Part 2 - Getting Past Shame
   What makes an exciting relationship turn into a heavy burden?
   What makes you happy - people or accomplishments?
   What Makes You Push Your Partner Away and Choose Depression and Loneliness?
   What makes your partner break promises?
   What type of self-sacrifice benefits intimate relationships?
   What’s the right combination of commitment for harmonious relationships?
   Where Is Your Spouse When There Is No Response To Your Texts And Calls?
   Where to Find a Boyfriend When the Current One is No Good?
   Who controls your energy levels, you or your loved one?
   Why 9 out of 10 Apologies Fail to Improve Relationships
   Why does your loved one believe a stranger and not you?
   Why men shut down and women ramp up in conflicts!
   Why protecting your partner may be the worst move you ever make!
   Why Women Take Longer Than Men To Cheer Up After Getting In A Fight or Bad Mood.
   Why you don't feel understood when your loved ones say "I understand."
   Why Your Ideal Of A Perfect Marriage Causes Your Finance To Break Off The Engagement
   Why your partner falls short of your ideal partner characteristics!
   Why your Sex Life Goes from Fantastic to Boring in the blink of an eye!
   Why your sex life is non-existant part 2- and how to get it going again.

Conflict Recovery Style Determines Whether Couples Stay Together

November 14th, 2012 No Comments
Posted by

Relationship Advice Tips from Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles, santa monica, venice, marina del rey couples counseling

Late on Saturday night thirty-year-old beautician Elaine sat alone in her apartment after a terrible fight with her thirty-two-year-old boyfriend Dave. She was horrified when Dave lost his cool and accused her of keeping her whereabouts a secret. They had a big fight resulting in her telling him to leave.

Two hours later Dave was frantic with worry.

Why wasn’t she calling to make sure he got home okay? After all he was in a mess and shouldn’t have been driving. Did Elaine care about him or not? He replayed everything that led up to the fight over and over again trying to find the point at which things turned south. He couldn’t sleep or focus on the next hour, let alone the next day. Dave texted and called Elaine every 20 minutes trying to find a way back to her but she didn’t respond. He was stuck in the quick sands of the conflict unable to get out by himself, praying for Elaine to call and rescue him from his fast sinking state of mind.

Three hours after Dave left Elaine was confirming arrangements for a girl’s night out with her friends. She had cried with anger and sadness after Dave left, but then she thought about the good times they had together. The memories brought her a bitter sweet comfort. She needed space to get over the shock of their hurtful fight, but she was otherwise at peace with herself. She fixed herself a snack, watched some TV and connected with friends on Facebook before checking in with her parents about their anniversary celebration the next day.


brentwood, westwood, malibu, pacific palisades, century city, mar vista marriage counseling

By Sunday night Dave was fretting about Elaine’s lack of response. He had stayed awake all night hoping for a text message or  call. There was no voice mail, no text, no email, no nothing. He was like a zombie not knowing what time it was or whether he had showered and eaten that morning. One minute he thought he should clean up and look good because she would be expecting him at her parent’s party. The next minute he was seething with rage at her callousness and utter disregard for his anxiety. Why didn’t she just say something to let him know where he stood?  Why didn’t she let him explain how scared he felt when he didn't know where she was.

Elaine got through the conflict sad and hurt and functioned well, but Dave remained tied up in knots, unable to get on with his life.


west los angeles, hollywood, culver city, miracle mile couples therapy


Can they recover from the conflict and transition to a more comfortable place?

Or will this pattern lead to them breaking up for good?

Research evidence reported in Psychological Science, 2011, suggests that couples who stay stuck in a conflict and can’t move on are likely to break up because they don't have access to a sense of security that the moment will pass and good connections will be restored. That all important template is developed via a secure attachment in infancy that teaches the child to manage bad feelings. If both members of the couple have no such secure templates it is challenging for them to get past the conflict. They can't find a way out of the bad feelings.

However if one member of the couple had the benefit of a secure attachment during infancy where they learned how to navigate and regulate the bad feelings, they can help their partners in adult life and keep the relationships in tact.

Elaine’s ability to step out of the conflict by remembering good times and focusing on her friends and parents helped her put things in perspective and take care of her hurt and pain. She used her template of security that she got in her infancy and dealt with the bad feelings, and then moved on. She grounded herself by talking out the bad feelings and remembering the good ones she shared with Dave.

Elaine can help Dave and restore their relationship if she shares her ability to transition out of the conflict zone. The researchers found that when one partner like Elaine disengages from a conflict fairly rapidly, her partner Dave will follow her example.

Elaine didn’t forget about Dave or finish with him after the fight. She just stepped out of the conflict and found a more satisfying connection with him through her good memories. That’s what she can show and share with Dave to help him develop his inner security. Their relationship will deepen and weather all the storms that their future fights will bring.


Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 You might also like:

Avoiding conflict with a dose of curiosity

Managing anger that comes from feeling unwanted and insecure

Is your relationship breakup permanent, or just a shift in gears?


Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have while reading the article or implementing the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond



Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply