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Newsletters by Wendy Allen


February 2012


  1. Learn to ask for your wants and needs
    Articulate these to your partner in a friendly, reasonable way.

  2. Instead of criticizing a behavior, make a specific request of your partner to change a specific behavior.
    Take what you get and let go of what you don't.

  3. Remember, you and your partner are two different people
    You probably have two different perspectives on many things and that has to be o.k with you. (See #8)

  4. Be aware and take responsibility for your challenging feelings.
    Learn to calm yourself down from your anxiety, anger, and resentment
    Learn to calm yourself up from shame, acting small, and acting victimized.

  5. Let your partner trust that you have good, clear boundaries and that you will never be too rigid or a push-over.
    Let your partner rest assured that you have firm, flexible and reasonable boundaries around everyone, (including your mate) and that you will always have these boundaries. Ask your mate to do the same. If you want trust, act trustworthy.

  6. Practice the strength of moderation.
    Learn to shift your reactions to moderate responses. Speak and feel in moderation.
    Self-soothing is very helpful.

  7. Practice mutual friendship.
    Learn to treat and speak to your partner in the honest, kind ways friends do with each other. Tell the truth and cultivate sharing and compassion.

  8. Do your part to practice mutual respect:
    Your partner has a valid point, too. You may not agree with your mate's perspective, but your mate gets to have one. Listen to understand..Each one of you is responsible for bringing something good to the table.

  9. Remember what you loved about your partner in the beginning?
    Look for that now and re-create those moments. Reclaim romantic space. They are contagious and soon will be running amok.

  10. Cherish your partner
    Appreciate your partner at least once a day. Make a request that your mate does the same. Take what you get and let go of the rest. You will not feel like lovers unless you behave like a lover.

            In short:

  • Shift from negative/past-focused complaints to positive/future-requests
  • Speak your truth with love ans savvy
  • Respond with a generous heart
  • Help empower each other.

What if your partner isn't on board? Do your part, stay centered and healthy, and invite your mate to join you in therapy.


Monday, February 13, 6-7:30: Wendy will conduct a free class to practice some of these skills. Contact her at or call her at 805-962-2212 to sign up or for more information.

1207 De La Vina
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Wendy Allen, Ph.D, MFT is an expert in couples and marriage therapy. She has been practicing in Santa Barbara for almost 30 years. She is the only Marriage therapist in the tri-counties using the Real Relational Living model, from which all of these ideas are based upon.