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“What one really needs is not Nobel laureates but love. How do you think one gets to be a Nobel laureate? Wanting love, that’s how. Wanting it so bad one works all the time and ends up a Nobel laureate. It’s a consolation prize. What matters is love.” — Dr. George Wald, Harvard biologist who won the Nobel Peace Prize

Linda: To become a great lover requires being able to acquire the voice of love. Some people are quite inhibited about giving voice to the love they feel inside. But it is possible to stretch even though it may feel…


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Linda: No matter how hard we try, there are sure to be breakdowns of all kinds, misunderstandings, broken agreements, not having our needs met, unhealed wounds that get activated, and other provocations that send us straight into conflict. It’s not the negative interactions themselves that are the problem; it’s how we respond to them that makes the biggest difference. Couples with high-performance relationships are champs, because they know what to do to repair the disconnection quickly after it occurs.

Consider the following examples of repair:

1. Acceptance: First of all, they don’t fear conflict to the point where they…


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Charlie: On the verge of my fortieth birthday, I was going strong and fulfilling my life vision. I had a loving marriage, three beautiful children, a large comfortable home, a good income, and work that I loved. I was on the fast track to success, leading personal growth seminars all over the country and enjoying the good life. The thrill of the attention of being in the spotlight and the excitement and stimulation of the training room made the days and sometimes weeks at a time that I was away from home seem worthwhile. I told myself that I was…


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Linda: It’s an old saying, but it’s still true, that when it comes to relationships: “differences are inevitable, but conflict is optional.” Differences have to do with varying points of view, styles, or tendencies. Conflict results when one or both partners attempt to coerce another to adopt their perspective. We are drawn toward people who are different from us out of our innate drive to experience wholeness. As many of us have noticed, the existence of these differences often activates anxiety that can show up as judgment, anger, or the impulse to control.

What drives conflict is always fear. Conflict…


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Linda: A need is anything that is an essential component to promote well-being in our lives. Although these needs are not essential to your survival, they are essential to experience happiness. You can’t have a high level of well-being unless all these needs are being fulfilled. Take a few minutes to assess which of these needs are being met and which may need more attention.

1) The Need for Sustenance

Sustenance is whatever is required in order to sustain life on a physical level. Our fundamental basic needs for food, water, sleep, and shelter for protection are our primary…


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One day in the not-so-recent past, Linda and I dropped everything, turned off the computer, called the cat-sitter, packed our bags, and boarded a flight to Mexico. It wasn’t quite that spontaneous: We had made the plans several weeks before but since we worked right up until the day of the flight, it seemed kind of last minute. It felt to me like the vacation actually began after we boarded the plane, put our carry-on bags in the overhead compartment, buckled our seatbelts, held hands, and said “Yes” to each other. …


Linda: There is an old Buddhist story about a man who wanted to drink crystal clear water. He was a rich man, who owned a lot of property. One day he gathered his workers together and set out for that part of his land where he thought it likely that there would be water. Arriving at the designated spot they began to dig. Sure enough, at ten feet, they hit water. The man was overjoyed and he drank the water. In about three days, however, the well ran dry. So they went to another part of the land and dug…


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We are attracted to people for many different reasons, some of them conscious, some unconscious. Some of the conscious reasons have to do with how the person looks, how they act, the sound of their voice, the sensation of their touch, and other sensory cues. These are things we can identify and recognize; they are obvious and self-evident. Yet lying below the surface of our conscious awareness are subtle, less apparent factors that contribute to the degree of attractiveness we find in others. These factors relate to unspoken, even unknown wishes and desires for what we might be able to…


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Integrity is about being a man or a woman of your word. Having your life be an embodiment of your deepest values, in other words, walking your talk. Keeping agreements is an important part of integrity. Integrity is the foundation of good relationships and successful life. If you don’t keep agreements it will damage and seriously diminish your level of integrity. You can honor your values through your words and actions to live in a way that is vitally important, be a leader, and be an important person in your work. …


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When our kids were small, we frequently took advantage of a time-honored means of averting potentially explosive interactions. It’s called a time-out. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this mechanism that has come to be a tried and true instrument in most parents’ tool bag, a time-out is an interruption in an interaction that is threatening to disintegrate into a destructive or explosive outcome. …

Linda & Charlie Bloom

Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW, married since 1972, are experts in the field of relationships and have published four successful books. bloomwork.com

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