Are you and your partner stuck?
You keep having the same problems—sometimes for years. No matter how much you try to talk about them, they persist. Maybe you’ve even tried to ignore them, hoping they’ll go away.
Best-selling author and co-creator of the six-step Inner Bonding process
Meanwhile, the lack of connection between the two of you is painfully obvious. You don’t feel close to each other, and you’re definitely not excited about each other anymore. Keeping your relationship going has become trying, tedious work.
If you fight, things can get ugly. Your partner may have said things that feel like a stab in the heart. Even when things are “good” between you, these painful words might linger within you like a dark cloud.
Perhaps your partner tries to make amends with you, but when you’re still hurting the last thing you want to do is be close—or let them think you’re okay with what has happened.
Maybe you’ve said more than a few things you regret. You’re well aware that you can’t take them back, and yet in the heat of the moment you become so enraged with your partner. Later, you feel ashamed by your own lack of control.
You don’t like yourself in this relationship. You don’t like who you’ve become—unfulfilled, depressed, anxious, angry. And maybe you’re feeling guilty, too—on the outside it looks like you have it all, yet you’re so unhappy.
You thought you had gotten it right with your partner—things were so good at the beginning—but now you’re in a crisis. You feel so disconnected from your partner, and you don’t know how to move forward.
Often, you think it might be easier to just start over with someone else.
But, unless you’re in a truly abusive relationship, leaving is the biggest mistake you could make.
You’ve probably heard that about half of first marriages “fail.”
What’s even more alarming is that 60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
This may be surprising to you, but it’s not to me.
See, I’ve worked with couples in crisis for over 50 years.
When someone comes to me and says they’ve fallen out of love, they typically believe it’s the other person’s fault, and they think they’ll leave and find something better.
But here’s the little detail they’re missing:
They take themselves with them.
And so do you.
No matter what the problems are in your current relationship, they will be in your future relationship too, even though you are partnered with someone else.
That’s because you carry your issues from relationship to relationship. This means you will keep repeating similar painful patterns, no matter whom your partner happens to be.
In other words, you’ll never be truly at peace and happy in a relationship unless you recognize and heal your wounds first.
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This is the reason why people leave a marriage only to feel defeated in the next one. They keep picking new partners thinking that “this one” will make everything alright.
They start off with high hopes, only to eventually hit a wall and feel stuck yet again—because they never resolved their own issues in the first place.
When you have two people coming into a relationship expecting the other person to make everything alright, you have the recipe for relationship dysfunction.
“I must have made the wrong choice.”
“He’s a jerk.”
“She treats me badly.”
“If only he would change, we would have a chance.”
“I’m further along than my partner is.”
These are the kinds of statements I hear all the time from clients, and perhaps you’ve said a few of them yourself.
All of these statements are placing blame for the problems in a relationship squarely on the shoulders of the other person.
But the reality is that when both people come into a relationship with unhealed issues, they BOTH create painful relationship dynamics.
That means that regardless of the particular problems in your relationship, both of you are creating the problems AND keeping them alive. Each of you are playing a part in a finely orchestrated dance, as dysfunctional as it may feel.
For example, one person may appear to tyrannically wield all the power: making decisions unilaterally, minimizing what the other partner wants, taking over the finances, etc.
Meanwhile, the other partner feels dismissed, intimidated, and taken for granted. But what’s not so obvious here in this common scenario is that this partner is contributing to the dynamic by not speaking up, by going along, and suffering in silence. (I’ll explain why this happens below.)
When partners realize that they are both contributing to the problems, they can then stop judging and blaming each other. Instead, they can move into the intention to start LEARNING about exactly what is causing their issues in the first place.
But here’s the really exciting part:
It’s tempting to see how your partner is causing problems. You think things would be so much better if only he or she would change.
But if you’re in a relationship that is not working, you need to examine your end of the system and commit to healing it—ESPECIALLY if you think most of the fault lies in your partner.
In fact, when someone tells me they’re “further along” than their partner in their growth, I immediately know this isn’t true—and that they still need to heal.
Because someone who has truly evolved beyond their wounding doesn’t feel superior to their partner and isn’t looking for deficits in him or her.
When you have uncovered and healed your own issues, you stop playing your part in the painful dynamics that exist within your relationship. You effectively interrupt the pattern by removing your dysfunctional part in it.
When one person stops fighting, withdrawing, or resisting, there’s nothing for the other to fight against, complain about, or resist. It’s not always about fighting—withdrawal and resistance are just as common in a struggling relationship.
At this point, one of two things will happen:
The painful problems in your relationship will resolve, or it will become evident that your partner isn’t capable of creating the kind of healthy relationship you want.
This is why you should never leave a relationship (unless, as I've said, there is abuse) until you’ve healed your part of the dysfunction.
Once you heal your end, the relationship might heal. If you don’t take full responsibility for your own healing, you’ll simply go on to repeat similar patterns in your next relationship.
If you’re in a relationship that’s not working, it’s not because of fighting, financial problems, incompatible sex drives, anger, addictions, or even infidelity.
It’s not even because the couple misjudged each other at the beginning of the relationship and were driven by lust rather than compatibility. Or because people just grow apart.
It sure may seem this way on the surface. But beneath each of these issues is one common issue that creates them all:
A need for CONTROL.
Wait, you say, but I’m not controlling!
But the control I’m talking about—and the one that sabotages so many relationships— isn’t the kind of control you might imagine.
Control can be overt and obvious, like being domineering, jealous, demanding, and a bully.
Or it can be covert and much harder to spot. This is the much more subtle form of control, and most people don’t even realize they are doing it.
While the overt forms of control are associated with having power over somebody, the subtle forms of control are really misguided attempts to get love and feel safe. Let me explain.
First, all of us control. There’s no blame in trying to control. We ALL do this.
We learned it when we were children, when we were much too little for the big feelings we felt. No matter how great your parents were, you would have experienced a lot of pain when you were young. Most of us did.
Heartbreak, loss, anger, disappointment—it happened, and we were too little to manage it. These feelings scared us, and we tried whatever we could to feel better.
Some of us rebelled, thinking that if we caused a fuss we would get more attention from our parents.
Some of us conformed, making as little fuss as possible in the hopes that this would buy us the love and comfort we needed.
Either way, we were trying to control other people in order to feel loved and avoid pain.
Back then, we just didn’t have tools to handle our emotions, and so we coped by learning other ways to get the love we craved.
These old ways don’t serve us now. Problems happen in our adult relationships when we carry forward the control mechanisms we learned as children.
Some people grew up and became possessive and jealous—if they keep close tabs on their partners and demand they spend all their time with them, they think they can control their partner into staying with them or behaving in a way that makes them feel safe.
Some of us, like myself, wanted to control whether or not people rejected us by becoming people pleasers. Caretaking others in spite of losing ourselves, we felt it was safer to ignore our own needs if it meant we wouldn’t be rejected.
Others became overly accommodating—they think that if they don’t make waves or speak up about what they want, people will want to love them and stay with them. It may look very agreeable on the outside, but it’s still controlling behavior—it’s being nice in order to get something in return.
Still others will withdraw, shut down, and withhold affection—they are so afraid of being engulfed in a relationship that they control by keeping their partner at bay.
Anything that has an agenda attached to it (“If I do this, he’ll do that”) is a form of control.
And every time you are in the intention to control, you are actually trying to get love from someone else in order to feel safe.
If, for example, you keep looking for your partner to prove their love to you in order for you to feel safe, you will always feel at the mercy of him or her. You are relying on someone else to make you feel good, rather than knowing you are lovable and will be okay no matter what anyone says or does.
And this is a very scary, precarious place to be.
Another person, no matter how much they love you, can’t fill you up completely.
What’s more, when you place responsibility for your feelings on someone else, it’s an impossible burden to bear, and you end up pushing away the very love you want.
Instead, you must learn to do this for yourself and find your own unending source of love within.
I was in all kinds of therapy for years when I was younger, and not one therapist told me my problems stemmed from me trying to manage my feelings by controlling others. They also didn’t tell me a basic truth: that I was responsible for my feelings, NOT my husband.
At the time, I was completely oblivious to the fact that my excessive caretaking and over compliance was not a selfless act of love. I didn’t realize it was all attached to an agenda—and that was my need to feel needed. If I felt I was needed and indispensable, then I was lulled into feeling that I would not be rejected. Then I’d be safe, or so I thought.
Meanwhile, all my doing, doing, doing kept me busy enough to avoid the uncomfortable feelings associated with thinking I was unwanted and unloved. These were false beliefs I developed when I was a child and was brought up in a highly dysfunctional family.
Yet here they were, fully alive in my adult relationship. And they created even more problems. The more I attempted to control by caretaking (in other words, “giving to get”), the more resentful and taken for granted I felt. Gradually, not only did my relationship fall apart, but my health deteriorated significantly.
It wasn’t until after years of struggle that I realized I had been overcomplicating things for myself, and placing impossible expectations on my partner. It was obvious all my efforts to feel better weren’t working, and they were making things worse.
So I went the other way. I stopped looking outside myself—to my therapists and my husband—and went straight to the source of it all: me.
It turns out all I needed to do was give myself the permission to stop the caretaking, which would free me up to take responsibility for my own feelings. Only then could I learn how to feel loved, wanted, and safe—no matter who was around.
What I learned then, and what became my mission in life to teach others, is that when you take responsibility, you stop trying to control and instead learn to take loving care of yourself.
That’s when you can tune in to your higher source of truth and stop blaming your partner for not giving you what you are not giving yourself. That’s when you can truly HEAL. And that’s when you discover the greatest love of all.
It really is possible to have a wonderful relationship—even if your relationship right now is far from that, or even if you’ve never been in a great relationship.
We always have good reasons for our behavior—including all the ways you and your partner try to control each other.
That’s why I call relationships the PhD of personal growth.
When things get triggered, it does not mean you’re in the wrong relationship (unless, of course, there is physical or emotional abuse), but rather that it’s time to heal the false beliefs that led to the self abandonment and controlling behavior.
Some people are very good at learning to take care of themselves when they’re by themselves, but then they find a partner and everything goes to pieces. Being in a relationship brings up everything within you that needs to be healed, so a relationship is the real test of whether or not you’ve moved beyond your core wounding issues.
That’s why I’ve created my program Wildly, Deeply, Joyously In Love —to show you how to take care of yourself within the context of a relationship, so you can finally have the connected relationship you’ve always wanted AND feel deeply at peace and loved.
The program is based on a six-step process I developed together with my friend and fellow therapist, Dr. Erika Chopich, and it has helped thousands of people stop the painful—and often subtle—control patterns that keep them stuck and unhappy.
This process, which we call “Inner Bonding” allows you to take complete responsibility for the depressed, anxious, angry, and empty feelings that come up within you. Since 1984, Inner Bonding has helped thousands finally find emotional relief where other therapies have failed.
You’ll be able to soothe your own feelings—all by yourself, which means you’ll be able to heal the roots of these feelings once and for all.
By doing so, you no longer need to engage in controlling behavior—and you essentially break your end of the dynamic within your relationship. No longer will you need to work so hard and feel defeated. Instead, you’ll discover the incredible experience of freely sharing love because you feel deeply at peace and secure within yourself.
This process, if you follow it, always works.
And it’s why people who have tried other forms of therapy finally have real breakthroughs. Especially in their relationships.
Once you go through this program and learn how to do Inner Bonding within your relationship, you’ll find that even long-standing, difficult issues melt away—and incredible closeness takes their place.
Typically, couples in crisis are in a fruitless dynamic: even though both people are trying to control the other to feel loved, they invariably push each other away.
But if even ONE person becomes aware of how they are trying to control, and they heal their end of the dynamic, everything can change.
Power struggles are replaced with compassion and understanding.
Adversaries become allies.
If once there was jealousy and hypervigilance, there’s now a boundless sense of freedom, trust, and security that makes the partners want to get closer.
Where before there was an intent to blame and find fault, the couple now sees the higher good in each other.
And if every decision felt like a negotiation and lackluster compromise, the partners learn to rally together and create solutions that feel good to both of them.
The most delightful surprise of all: when partners are no longer controlling to get love, and they feel boundless love within, they naturally want to SHARE it.
THIS is what you really want—this sense of overflowing love you’ve been fruitlessly trying to feel through attempts to control. You’ve been going around in circles when there’s a shortcut, and it’s right inside you.
You just need the right tools to address your need for control at the source, learn to soothe your own feelings, and create the space for love to flow within you, so that you can then truly share it in an intimate relationship.
In Wildly, Deeply, Joyously In Love, you’ll learn all six steps of the Inner Bonding process AND experience a 30-day course where you will get to practice Inner Bonding within the framework of your relationship.
A 9-12 minute video every day for 30 days—that’s over 5 hours of content where you’ll learn the teachings in bite-sized pieces you can really absorb. Each video includes a “loving action” which will allow you to put your new learning into practice.
A 200-page eBook with a lesson for each day—with client examples that build on the video and expand on the principles.
A 7-day Inner Bonding course—this 40-page PDF will guide you through the same six-step process that has helped so many men and women find inner peace and joy in their relationships. (I suggest you read this first!)
You’ll also receive ongoing support and inspirations through our Free Flourish Newsletter. It’s packed with advice, insights and practical strategies from our curated community of experts.
Our EXPERT ADVICE NEWSLETTER will give you regular insights and practices to help you stay committed on your journey.
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Place your order and get full access to Wildly, Deeply, Joyously In Love in a matter of minutes. Take a full 7 days to examine the program, and implement the loving action steps that will allow you to heal yourself and be at peace in your relationship. Leaving a relationship before you’ve healed your end of the problems is a waste of time—unless you’ve decided you want to be alone. So don’t delay in starting your own healing.
If, at the end of the 7 days, you decide this isn’t the right solution for you, simply let me know and I’ll refund your investment in FULL, no questions, no hassle. This is my promise: You’ll find outstanding value from this program after putting it into practice for a full week or pay nothing!
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The most joyous thing in life happens when you and your partner learn how to take loving care of yourselves, and stop seeking to get love from each other. You are so filled with love that you just need to share it. Love is literally overflowing.
This is the most fun you can have in a relationship. You feel wildly, joyously in love.
Neither you nor your partner is keeping score or keeping tabs. You are never worried that you will be unloved, rejected, or taken for granted. Each partner knows, deep inside, that there’s always more where that came from.
This is what it feels like when you’ve done the work in Wildly, Deeply, Joyously In Love. You generate an abundance of love and joy that fills your days together.
Suddenly, your relationship is better than it ever was:
The passion has returned, and it’s more on fire than ever—you love being with each other and you want to care about and support each other.
There’s more laughter, more fun, more time to just BE with each other and enjoy life as an adventure, because you’re no longer wasting time and energy in fruitless control.
Most of all, there’s no longer that nagging feeling that this is just too hard, that you’re gasping for air, and that you want to push the eject button.
Instead, you feel so free to be yourself in this relationship that you have no need to run from it. You feel truly at home.
There truly is nothing better, and I believe it’s what we’re all aching to experience—for ourselves, for our relationships, and for our entire world.
It is my purpose on the planet to teach everyone to fill themselves up with love so they no longer have to look for it on the outside.
When you know love is always with you, then you realize the most beautiful thing: you ARE love. So is your partner.
Compassion and connection overflow as both of you always look for the highest good in each other and know there’s no other place you’d rather be.