“You Are SO Exasperating!”

Do you ever find yourself really exasperated in a relationship—at home or at work? What do you think produces that exasperation? You know that you don’t cause it, because you really don’t like being exasperated. You would never be exasperated if it were up to you. So...

What Legacies Are Your Relationships Leaving in Their Wake?

Eventually, most people give some thought to the inheritance they’ll leave when they die: the money, property, possessions. Maybe you’ve thought about how you, as an individual, want to be remembered when you’re gone—an intangible legacy that you’ll leave with others....

Is Your Relationship a Private Island?

 A reflection from Carol and Paul ...  Our love affair began with an unofficial motto: “We get to make it up.” That triumphant insight came from the 56 years of life that had flowed under the bridge before we found each other. Marriages, divorces and bereavement had...

Why Relationships Don’t Last?!

Recently we came across an article titled, Divorce Counselor Reveals Reasons Marriages Don’t Last, written on a popular blog website, some of the reasons given were: Love is not enough for a successful marriage. Marriage is a business contract (not a love affair)....

Is your relationship stuck in reverse?

Are you trying to move your relationship forward while putting it in reverse? It doesn’t work when driving a car, and it doesn’t work in relationships either. Most people are unaware of putting their relationship in reverse precisely because it happens automatically...

Transforming Relationships

At Relationship By Design, our work is based on the premise that transformation occurs when you confront reality exactly as it is. Once you stop resisting reality and attempting to fix or improve it, you experience peace, freedom and an opening for creativity in your...

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it

Have you ever heard someone say “He always…” or “She never…”? Another phrase you may have heard is “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” When you put the two together you get a brew that’s toxic to relationships. “Always” and “never” are obvious exaggerations....

Where are we now?

As of this month, we are beginning our 14th year of creating, designing, producing and leading workshops and events that transform relationships and families. For the most part, it's been a wonderful and challenging adventure. Sometimes, we've found ourselves a bit...

Seeing when you’re stuck in ordinary

As you begin this new year we wish you lots of experiences of freedom, ease and fulfillment in your relationships in 2017. Our wish for you includes being aware of what’s actually going on when you are not experiencing peace and joy in your relationships – when you...

Relationships get in the way

Do you have too much to do to be able to make time for your relationships? Most of us have more than enough to do to keep us busy. We live in busy times. We have so much to do that we don't attend to our relationships. One participant in a recent Exploring...

Is it all really about me?

A couple of weekends ago Paul and I were leading a Relationships: The Real Deal workshop here in Washington, D.C. One of the issues we addressed was the recurring complaints that partners often have about each other. About a week later, I caught myself complaining to...

Time to retire?

Do you love to play amateur psychologist, probing your partner’s childhood story for the causes of behaviors that you consider detrimental to your relationship? Or probing your own story for explanations of your own behaviors in your relationships? It can be...

Turning your partner into furniture

Have you ever described your partner as being a particular way – e.g. “He is stubborn.” Or, “She is forgetful.” Or, “She is always thoughtful.” Or, “He is never really interested” – even when he or she may be somewhere else and you don’t really know how he or she is...

Purpose for relationship

Is the purpose of your relationship to have someone who will provide you with some of what you need and want in life, and to help you get from others the rest of what you need and want? This is a common default purpose for being in a relationship. It's quite ordinary...

What’s happening right now?

Paul:   The other day, Carol was complaining. I was sitting on the couch with her, listening to complaints about what this person had done, what that person had said, and how an elderly relative was getting fretful and forgetful.  Carol complaining is such a rare...

The language of relationships

Last week, we were privileged to lead a presentation with another couple, Peter and Phyllis Sheras, at the National Convention of Couples Coaching Couples in Hunts Valley, Maryland. We named the presentation The Natural Language of Couple and Community. We asked the...

Promises and Consequences

In the Relationships: The Real Deal workshop, you learn that the foundation for relationships is promises. Love, affinity, shared values and/or interests may be the background or space for relationships, but it is promises that relationships stand on. Promises are...

Relationship: simple but not easy

There are things in life that are simple, but that doesn't mean they are easy. Have you ever tried losing weight? It's simple: Eat less and Exercise more. Was it easy for you? Probably not! It's difficult to take those actions over a long period of time. Creating an...

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