Got Conflict?

Most, if not all of the arguments you have with other people stem from one or both of you trying to get the following needs met:

  • You want to be understood and validated.
  • You want to be right.
  • You want to get your way.
  • It’s a simple as that.

There are four quick and simple steps that prevent arguments from continuing to go around in circles or escalate to mean and hurtful fights.

These are

  1. Seek understanding of the other person’s position first.
  2. Validate the other person’s feelings and thoughts first.
  3. Find out why it is important to other person that you believe them.
  4. Find out why it is important to the other person that they get what they want.

As hard as this may be to do when you feel passionate about your own needs, perspectives and feelings, do your best to put your needs on hold and focus on the other persons’ needs first. Doing so creates the space for your feelings, thoughts and needs to be heard next. Once both of you feel heard, understood and validated, it becomes much easier to find a solution that works for both of you.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Be well,


P.S. If you or someone you or someone you know is experiencing too much conflict with others, don’t hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the support and guidance you deserve. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today.

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About your relationship: Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at

5 Tips to Help You Let Go of Your Anger

People get angry. Usually our anger passes. We get over it. We’ve either expressed our feelings, forgiven another, or thought it through and let it go. However, there are times when our anger doesn’t easily dissipate or we thought we let it go, only to discover that something has triggered the old anger once again.

I receive a lot of emails from spouses complaining that their other half is always angry—angry at them, angry at the world.

Here are some questions to ask yourself (or your significant other) when your anger doesn’t seem to go away or stay away very long.

  1. What resolution am I still waiting for--an apology, justice, a different outcome, agreement, or simply getting my way? Sometimes you just can’t get what you want. Having the grace to move forward in your life instead of getting trapped in a temper tantrum is what separates the victims from the victors. Which one do you want to be?
  2. Am I willing to accept that I may not get what I want? Am I able to let go and surrender to what is? Acceptance is the doorway to making powerful choices and creating the life you want.
  3. Can I forgive? Forgiveness is the antidote for anger. It brings you peace and allows you to move forward in your life with power.
  4. Can I choose to make a different choice and take a different action that will result in a different outcome? It may not be what I wanted in the first place but it is something I can live with.
  5. Can I settle into being with the unknown and letting things work out naturally? Sometimes the universe has a better plan in mind. When you’re patient and able to sit with the unknown, magical things begin to happen. Give it a try.  

So the next time you find yourself or your significant other stuck in their anger, take the time to see what you’re willing to consider. And if you choose to stay angry, then own it as a choice. There’s power in that as well.

If you or someone you know needs help in understanding what their anger is all about and letting it go, don’t hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the support and guidance you deserve. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today.

Be well,


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About The Pathway to Love at-home program:

About your relationship: Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at

What Are You So Angry About?

Anger is both a cause and symptom of trouble. Anger is neither a good or bad feeling. It's simply a feeling. Having said this, anger is a powerful emotion. It has a lot of energy. How you channel this energy is crucial. There is definitely an upside and a downside to anger.


The upside of anger is its ability to mobilize you into action--to change, remove and protect yourself. Your anger may lead you to addressing a problem rather than avoiding it, leaving an abusive relationship, finding a new job, moving from a bad living situation, setting stronger limits with others and taking care of yourself better. 

The downside of anger is that it is easy for anger to take over. You can lose control. When anger runs the show it is easy to alienate others and make poor choices. You may say things you regret, act out in malicious ways or seek revenge. If you don't have a handle on your anger, it can destroy relationships, create financial and legal problems, and wreak havoc on your physical, emotional and psychological well-being.


The opposite is just a true. Understanding and managing your anger well can lead to restoring your personal power and integrity, setting appropriate limits with others, making positive changes in your life, and clearing up any misunderstandings with others. In the end, you have the possibility to strengthen your relationships and your overall well-being.


So what are you really angry about? Here's some "real" reasons why you get angry.

  • You're scared
  • You're hurt
  • You feel disrespected 
  • You feel unappreciated
  • You didn't get what you want
  • You can't get what you need
  • You feel victimized and violated
 What to do?


  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Test reality 
  • Take a look at the situation from all possible perspectives
  • Own what is yours
  • Confront what is not
  • Seek mutual understanding
  • Find forgiveness
  • Take action that moves you and your life forward in a positive direction.


Simple enough?


Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Learning to manage your anger is a lifelong process. We never attain perfection. So give yourself and others a break when anger runs amuck. Clean up the mess and resolve to do better next time.

If you or someone you know is struggling with managing anger, please reach out and contact me. I'm here to help. Sometimes it only takes a session or two for powerful shifts to occur. You and your loved ones deserve it. I work via Skype or telephone for those that are not in the Los Angeles area. Email or call at 310-379-5855310-379-5855  to schedule your session today.

Be well,


About me:

About The Pathway to Love at-home program:

About your relationship: Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at

5 Predictors of Divorce (and what you can do about it)

I have worked with thousands of couples throughout the years. I have seen and heard it all. But when it comes down to relationships and marriages ending, there are really 5 basic reasons that exist. And while some marriages are better off coming to a close, most marriages could have been saved if the couple had only been able to shift these 5 things. Please share this information with others. It just might save their marriage.

  1. You and/or your spouse need to win or be right. I can’t tell you how destructive this is to a marriage. It is far better to seek understanding rather than focusing all your energy on being right. We’ve all heard “It is better to be happy than to be right.” But most couples continue to dig deeper holes during arguments. Learn how to approach conflict differently. Once you learn how to deal with conflict effectively, you will find yourself feeling satisfied and connected, not frustrated and angry.
  2. You and/or your spouse spend significant time soliciting agreement from friends and family on making the other spouse “the bad guy.” Friends and family will typically support you and your take on how things went down. The more you get agreement from others, the less likely you are to look at things from another perspective and take responsibility for your own actions and feelings. You are destined to become the victim; and unfortunately, this may also mean a victim of divorce.
  3. You and/or your spouse are committed to finding evidence that the other is and will continue to hurt, betray, disappoint, and abandon you. When you have decided that your spouse is ____________ (fill in the blank), you may become too attached to making this true. When this happens, you will look to the past, present, and future and will inevitable find evidence for why this is so. You will skew history, distort the present, and see only what you want to see. In these cases, you truly are committed to a failed marriage.
  4. You and/or your spouse express contempt. This can take many forms. It can be an overtly nasty comment, a lack of responsiveness altogether, or a passive-aggressive behavior such as neglecting responsibilities. When you begin to deal with marital problems in this way, you immediately give the message that the marriage and your spouse hold little regard. This quickly causes irreparable damage. Too much contempt over a long period of time may be cause for divorce. Staying in a contemptuous marriage too long eats away at the soul of everyone involved. Change the behaviors or get out.
  5. You and/or your spouse engage in outside activities that destroy trust and workability. These activities include extra-marital affairs, addictions, and keeping other serious secrets. A healthy marriage is all about openness, honesty, and trust. When this is broken in a significant way, it takes a long time with consistent sustained effort to rebuild that trust. Yes, it can be done. However, if these activities continue to show up time and time again, the marriage will always be broken and empty, even if you decide to stay together. Furthermore, you can count on a lot of pain to carry you through the years.

If you recognize any of these behaviors in your marriage, get help now. The earlier you set out to do things differently, the better your chances for turning things around. Early intervention is the key. If you feel like you’re on the brink of divorce, there may still be a chance your marriage can be saved. While changing the dynamics of a marriage is never easy, it can be done. I can help you make a paradigm shift in how you relate to yourself and your spouse. Once you get the process down, you just might find yourself in a whole new relationship with the person you fell in love with and decided to marry. One phone call may just change your life. Don’t wait. Do it now! I can be reached at 888-99PATHS FREE or

As always, I’m here to support you in creating strong and powerful relationships.


Be well,

Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at

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5 Ways to Get Your Power Back and End Emotional Abuse

If you've ever been in a controlling relationship, you know how easy it is to get caught in its web.

It usually starts out with a simple suggestion like, "Do you think that outfit is the best you can do for the banquet tonight?" or "I think you're better off ordering the salad," or "You should get a real job and stop all that nonsense about making it as an artist."

At first, you take the suggestions as a reflection of love and concern. After all, the comments are not that far off base, and you certainly don't want to appear unappreciative or defensive.

At this stage of the relationship, you want to please your mate, not alienate him or her. It's more important to appear receptive and understanding of your partner's opinions than to challenge them. You don't consider what he's doing emotional abuse.

Some time goes by. You now notice that your significant other's opinions of you continue to be critical. Only now, there is an emotional undertone that suggests if you don't abide by his opinion, he will be angry, punitive and emotionally manipulative. The scariest times come when you believe the threats of rejection and abandonment.

The cycle has repeated itself in such a way that somehow, you've become sucked in and are believing the rhetoric. Or, at the very least, you've been trying to manage the critical outbursts.

You're now so consumed with keeping your partner's emotional judgments at bay that you have trouble considering if the demands have crossed over into an abusive and inappropriate arena. Your judgment is clouded.

You continue to ask yourself, Is it me or him? You feel anxious around him, believing that somehow you can make things right again; you want to feel the love you did when the two of you first got together.

Deep down, your biggest fear is that his opinions of you are right ... that there really is something wrong with you, and you just may not be lovable the way you are.

The bad news? You are now caught in the web. The good news? There is a way out. It is so important to understand what control is really all about. Let me show you the way.

Here's what controlling behaviors are really all about:

  • His own sense of helplessness and powerlessness.
  • Getting someone else (like you) to make him feel OK.
  • Wanting to hand-off his own anxieties so he doesn't have to deal with them himself.
  • Ensuring that you will never abandon or reject him/
  • Projecting his deepest fears of being inadequate and unlovable.

Note: His controlling behaviors are never about you.

Here are five steps to getting out from under his control:

1. Get your power back.
The quickest way to do this is to be willing to walk away from the relationship if need be. This enables you to move forward with the next steps from a place of power, not a place of fear.

2. Set limits on his criticism and emotional outbursts. 
Let your partner know that you are open to hearing his concerns about your actions and how they affect him, but will no longer engage in conversations that attack who you are as a person.

3. Consider your partner's concerns.
What are you willing to do for him? What is completely off the table? Make sure you align these requests with your personal well-being and integrity. Don't agree to do things simply in order to keep the peace or save the relationship, especially if deep down you know it isn't right for you.

4. Be clear and honest with yourself first, then your partner.
Consider your values, goals and needs. Make sure your decisions are in alignment with your highest self, needs and all. Let him know what you can and can't do for him. Whatever you do, do not be intimidated. Have a powerful "no" and make it clear that he will need to accept the "no." If he can't, then it may be best for the two of you to part ways.

5. Find people and experiences that celebrate who you are.
Find ways to reconnect with the powerful person you truly are, i.e. someone that would never tolerate being treated in such a manner. Engage and connect with other people that support and love you for exactly who you are.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if his controlling behavior is something you are willing to live with or not. Relationships should be something that supports your growth, not something that diminishes it.

Love celebrates who you are; it does not put you down. You deserve to have a powerful and loving relationship. So start with yourself. Love yourself enough to take the first step in reclaiming you.

If you or someone you know struggles with emotional abuse in their relationships, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

Be well,


Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at

A Classic Relationship Issue that Stands the Test of Time

It’s a classic difference between men and women that inevitably causes friction. And if this issue is not acknowledged and worked out, it can and has threaten many a relationship. So what is it? Let me give you an example with a story about Diane and Bob, a married couple.

Diane comes home one day and starts to tell Bob about the horrible day she had at the office. She tells Bob that her manager called her in and began to blast her for submitting a report that was lacking necessary data. She goes on to say how her manager was out of line and rather nasty when it was her co-worker, not her, who was responsible for that part of the report. In addition, her manager completely dismisses her rebuttal and says that she is still holding her responsible for the final project. Diane thinks that her manager is secretly “in love” with her co-worker as she always lets him slide on things and never gives her a break.

Bob listens attentively. When Diane takes a breath, Bob responds.

Bob starts to first ask questions like, does Diane have a document that states what part of the report is her responsibility and what belongs to her co-worker. Bob asks a few more clarifying questions and then goes on to give multiple suggestions on what Diane should do in regards to dealing with her co-worker, her manager and her job. His suggestions are reasonable and sound. But after Bob finishes his response, Diane is annoyed.

Diane goes on to say “Well, that really isn’t the point. I don’t think you understand.” Bob replies with “Of course I understand. I think you’re missing the point.” And the friction continues until Diane storms out of the room declaring how Bob is insensitive, arrogant and always thinks he knows what’s best. The argument has now turned into a competition over who is right, who is smarter, and who knows best.

Sound familiar?

So if you’re a typical woman, you know exactly where Bob went wrong. He went straight into trying to solve Diane’s problem before lending an empathetic and sympathetic ear. Diane was really needing Bob to listen and empathize with her, not solve her problem.

And if you’re a typical man, you know exactly where Bob was coming from. He loves his wife and doesn’t like to see her unhappy. He’s had lots of experience in these matters at his own place of work and wants to help Diane solve the problem so she doesn’t get more grief from her boss. His intention is to be helpful to his wife. He feels sideswiped when she responds with anger and annoyance as if he was the bad guy. His annoyance builds as he feels his wife doesn’t appreciate his intentions and instead attacks him for trying to help.

Here’s my advice to Diane and Bob.

I suggest that Diane let her husband know what she needs from him before sharing a story. If she only needs him to listen and support her emotionally, she should make that clear from the get go. If she would like both empathy and advice, then let that be known.  It will also be helpful for Diane to remember that her husband means well. He’s just being the man he is, and that is one who wants to fix the problem so she will be happy. He truly has her best interest at heart and if he misses the active listening part, it isn’t because he doesn’t care or thinks she can’t solve her own problems, it’s simply because that’s how he’s hard wired.

In regards to Bob, I suggest that he ask what Diane needs from him as she shares her frustration. Does she want advice or does she simply need to vent. I also suggest that he work on being an active listener first and problem solver second. Until his wife feels heard and validated, she won’t be very open to his advice and ideas anyways. Once she feels heard and has experienced am empathetic response, her emotional state will subside and her rational brain will be open to hearing your perspective and suggestions.

Whether you relate to Diane or Bob, I invite you to take a look at how you and your significant other communicate and implement the suggestions listed above. A warning—it is easier said than done. We all operate from our default position and it takes time and conscious effort to change patterns and automatic responses. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some help. A few sessions may do the trick!

Be well,


P.S. If you or someone you know struggles with communicating in their relationships, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at

What Does Forgiveness Do For You?

It’s been about a year since this video was featured in my weekly articles. As the topic is so important, I wanted to revisit the topic of forgiveness. We often stop ourselves from forgiving because we think that in doing so we will be condoning the behavior that hurt us. We also think we can somehow hold on to our power and protect ourselves when we hold on to our righteous indignation, anger and hurt.

In truth, the opposite is true. Through our forgiveness we gain back our power, find compassion and connect with love and respect for self and others. It is through our forgiveness, that we win.

So enjoy this encore of Love and Relationship Q&A w' Julie Orlov "Why is it so difficult to forgive?" Today's question deals with how difficult it can be to forgive someone who hurt or disappointed you. Listen as Julie Orlov talks about the power of forgiveness, how to move from defensiveness toward forgiveness and why it will set you free!

You can view this video on YouTube at or click read in browser to watch it on my website along with many other videos and articles designed to help you create strong and intimate relationships in every area of your life.

Why Those Same Old Issues Never Seem to Go Away

Every couple has their core issues. Some are relatively minor, some are quite serious. Some issues can be handled easily and resolved quickly. For example, a couple may have different needs when it comes to spending time together. One person may require a lot of time on their own, while their partner needs more together time. In this case, couples may find a middle ground that works for both of them. With love and understanding, this couple can find the compromise that works. They may need to tweak their agreement from time to time, but overall, this issues does not wreak a lot of havoc—they understand and handle the differences without taking it personally.

Other issues are more complicated. There are deeper wounds attached and behavioral change is not so simple. These issues create a domino effect as one partner's behavior creates a reaction in the other that triggers more acting out in one’s partner that then creates even more distress for the other and so on and so on. I'm sure you can relate to having this kind of issue in your current or past relationship. It may involve an addiction, a destructive way of handling feelings, or other preferences and coping skills that cause negative consequences for the relationship.

We all have developed coping skills. Some work well for us but not for others. Some are overall healthier than others. Regardless, deeply ingrained coping strategies are hard to change. Thus, these issues tend to come up again and again in relationships. They have to. It takes time and repetition for someone to release a maladaptive way of coping and create a replacement strategy. This involves a lot of self-awareness, commitment and discipline in making a change. In all honesty, some people can do this and some cannot. Even with the best of intentions, the results aren't guaranteed.

So if you are experiencing an issue in your relationship that continues to come up again and again, understand that this is normal. Both you and your partner need to know that change occurs slowly over time and a commitment to see this through is required from both of you. Even under the best of circumstances, breakdowns will occur.

For example, let's say your husband (or wife) has a temper. He deals with his frustration and anger in ways that you find hurtful and unacceptable. He yells and demonstrates contempt for you when he's angry. He personally attacks you and finds ways to make sure you know that you are the problem, not him. This causes you to feel utterly belittled, hopeless and resigned. Eventually things calm down, you do what it takes to reassure your husband, point out what doesn't work for you, work towards normalizing the relationship again. Sometimes he will apologize and sometimes not. He understands he has a temper but has difficulty controlling it and reining it in once he's "lost it."  You have gone to counseling for this and continue to work on the issue as a couple. Progress has been made. Your husband understands why he gets angry and is working on calming down before saying anything. However, he still loses his temper every now and then in ways you find hurtful and damaging.

You wonder if your husband will ever change. You wonder if you can live with this for the rest of your life. Every time he slips you forget all the times he has been successful in managing his anger in more constructive ways. You feel hopeless instead of remembering that both you and he committed to dealing with this issue, understanding it will take a long time for him to truly integrate a new way of being. You forget that even under the best of circumstances, people are human and under stress, primitive ways of coping can take over.

So what can you do to deal with the same issue that still haunts the relationship? Here are things to remember when those same old issues come up again.

  • Remember, as long as you are both committed to making things better and take action to do so, progress is being made.
  • Expect breakdowns. They are a part of life and no one is perfect. As long as they are occurring less and less, you can relax and know things are moving in the right direction.
  • Always make sure that you are attending your end of things. Even if your partner's issues have nothing to do with you, you are responsible for how you deal with them. Make sure you work on you.
  • Focus on what your partner does right and how he pleases you. Give your partner credit for his intentions, efforts and progress made. It's the best reinforcement for continued change.
  • Lastly, know that dealing with each other's imperfections and woundedness is part of the deal. Relationships provide fertile ground for healing. In doing so, this requires ongoing patience, forgiveness and love. It also takes a willingness to take responsibility at all times for one's actions and continuous recommitment to do better next time.

So you decide if there are reasons enough to hang in there for the entire ride. Know there will be up hill climbs, steep vertical falls and lots of thrilling curves along the way. Buckle up. No one said relationships were straight and level roads--but that's the very thing that makes them so worthwhile.

If you or someone you know needs help in dealing with your relationship challenges, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

As always, I’m here to support you in creating strong and intimate relationships. 

Be well,


Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at

5 Things To Do When The Rug has Been Pulled Out From Under You

You think you know your significant other. You feel secure in this relationship and believe that all is well. That is until one day, you get the rug pulled out from under you. You discover your significant other has a sexually transmitted disease, you discover your spouse is addicted to porn, you discover your partner was really married twice, not once before you met.

You feel like you've been hit in the stomach--not only because of what you've learned but also because your ability to trust has been shattered--not only the ability to trust your loved one, but your ability to trust yourself.

These kinds of upsets happen and they happen when you least expect it. Last week, I described all the reasons why people may not disclose everything about themselves to their partner. One of the reasons is they feel shame around the issue. Another reason is they know the relationship would be at risk. So when their worst fears are met and the secret is revealed, you must deal with the painful truth about who your partner is and what he or she has done.

Dealing with these kinds of surprises is complicated. There are many feelings and issues to address and work through. So while I am giving you an abbreviated version of what those things are, I encourage you to seek support if and when you find yourself on the floor with the rug pulled out.

Here are 5 things to help you get back on your feet.

5 Signs Your Marriage is At Risk

You and your spouse just had another fight about money. You have argued about money for years, never agreeing on spending and saving habits. This time, the fight turned uglier than usual. There was a lot of name calling and threats of divorce. You both have had it. You just don't believe you will ever see eye to eye and are burned out. At this point, you aren't sure you want to stay married. And although you have had these kinds of arguments many times over the past 12 years, this time you believe the marriage is at risk.  But is it??

Arguing is normal. Conflict is inevitable. Ups and downs are part of a long-term marriage. So when does an ebb run the risk of becoming the beginning of the end or the end itself?  Here are five signs that indicate your marriage is at risk. Click Read in Browser to access the full article now!