Are You Really In a Crisis?

People in relationships panic easily. The thought of losing your significant other can send you spiraling down an abyss of anxiety. No one likes the idea of loss. It triggers all our abandonment issues, fears and insecurities. So when you hit an obstacle in the road it can feel like a wall. But is it?

You may be panicking for no good reason. Your relationship may not be in a crisis after all. Instead, you may simply be experiencing the effects of phase two in your developing relationship.

Phase two is full of conflict, disappointment, anxiety and heightened reactivity. This is because you're working through the realization of who your significant other really is and experiencing a slew of disappointments. You're confronted with your own issues and past wounds. You're confronted with your partner's issues and past wounds. Your commitment to protecting yourself from another hurt or betrayal causes you to be hyper-vigilant and react in ways that ensure your safety and survival. Most of the time our reaction is over the top and a bit irrational. Other times we are right on target. Sometimes we can make the distinction and other times, not.

So what is there to learn and do during this challenging time in your relationship? Here's a simple formula for you to follow. Do the work and you will discover there is so much more to learn about yourself and your significant other. Commit to the process and you will find deep love and intimacy on the other end.

  1. When you have a reaction to something your significant other did or said, stop and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Take the time to calm down and think about what it is that you are so upset about. Is the behavior familiar? Does it make you feel disrespected, scared, and unimportant? How much is your reaction based on this specific situation versus other situations that have happened in the past.
  3. Let your significant other know what it was that she did that created your reaction. Help your significant other understand why this situation affects you so deeply. Explain your beliefs, values, past, and expectations.
  4. Ask your significant other to clarify his intentions. Do some investigative work. Maybe your significant other really meant to hurt you, maybe not. Maybe your assumptions are correct, maybe not. Check things out.
  5. Lastly, make a request if necessary. For example, maybe you need to let your significant other know you don't like to be teased about your crooked teeth; maybe you need to request that your significant other refrain from looking at other women while you're out together; maybe you need to request that your significant other listen rather than defend when you express a concern and feeling. And so on and so on.

Let it go and give it some time. See if your request is honored. It may not be honored a hundred percent of the time, but if your partner is trying, then you're on the right track. Don't be surprised if this process needs to be repeated several times in regards to the same issue. Rarely do people change their natural style and habits overnight.

Remember, experiencing conflicts from time to time is normal. Hitting bumps in the road is inevitable. And while it may feel like a crisis, it usually isn't. It really is just another day in the life of relationships. Another misunderstanding that needs attention. One more opportunity to learn and grow together. Isn't that what it's all about?

If you'd like more information on understanding what it takes to navigate through the four phases of a developing relationship, visit .  If you'd like more information on how to work with me personally, please contact me directly at or call 310-379-5855310-379-5855.

Get the support you deserve. Get the help your relationship wants.

As always, I'm here to support you in creating strong and intimate relationships in every area of your life!

Be well,


About me:

About The Pathway to Love at-home program: 

About your relationship: Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at,

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 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!

What to do When You Hurt the One You Love

You know you f#@%ed up. You said something horrible to your mate or betrayed your mate in some way. You get it. You have acknowledged your wrongdoing and have apologized. You believe forgiveness is warranted and are ready to move on.

Your mate, however, is not ready to move on. She is still angry, hurt, and wounded. Trust has been broken and she is not ready to forgive. She is still hurting and still needs to make you understand just how hurtful your actions were. She’s still trying to understand why you would say or do what you did. She is still bleeding, emotionally that is…

You feel you’ve been punished enough. You don’t want this mistake to haunt you for the next two months or years for that matter. You’ve had enough and are ready to move on. You resent this continuous admonishment and want her to stop. You shut her down, saying “no more—I’ve apologized and that’s all I can do.”  Or is it?

Every couple will experience a situation like this from time to time. So what lessons can we learn from the scenario above. How can you move through a crisis in a way that promotes healing? How can you move through your crisis without causing more upset and delaying the healing process?

Here are 8 things you can do to to help you and your partner move past crisis toward healing and intimacy.

Click read in browser to access full article

Love and Relationship Q&A Video with Julie Orlov – “Why is my husband so critical of me?”

Get relationship help! Watch as Julie Orlov answers your questions on love and relationships. Today's questions addresses why your spouse is overly critical of you and what you can do about it. Just click on the read more in browser and it will take you there!

Get your questions answered by sending them in today at  or leave it on this blog's comment section. Your questions will be answered this Friday, March 22nd LIVE on “Pathways to Love w’ Julie Orlov” at 2:30pm PST on .  Or call in with your questions and comments during the show at 323-473-3100! Can’t catch it live? No worries—you can always watch the recorded show anytime at!

You can also view this video along with all my other videos on my Youtube channel at

Love and Relationship Advice – Julie Orlov Q&A – Help, I’m involved with a married woman!

Relationship Help! Watch as Julie Orlov answers your questions on love and relationships. Today's question addresses reasons why someone may get involved with a married person, why married people have affairs and what you can do about getting caught up in an affair. Watch at

Don’t forget to join me for my LIVE Create Your Pathway to Love Workshop on February 23, 9am-1pm in Hermosa Beach, California. For more information and to register, go to

Love and Relationship Q&A – Julie Orlov – “Why do we argue about the same issue over and over again?”

Relationship Help! Watch and listen as Julie Orlov answers your questions on Love and Relationships. Today’s question is “Why do we argue about the same issue over and over again?” It is very common for couples to revisit issues. Unresolved issues lead to frustration, disconnect, and resignation. Find out why this is happening and what you can do to resolve your issues once and for all! Watch at

Love and Relationship Q&A Julie Orlov – “My Wife Can’t Keep a Job!”

Relationship Help! Get marital and relationship advice on how to deal with a spouse who doesn't keep her word in securing and maintaining employment. Watch as Julie Orlov answers your questions on couples in trouble. In today’s economy, it is not uncommon for couples to fight about money and employment. People are having more difficulty securing and maintaining employment and this results in a lot of fear, anxiety, and conflict. Learn how to approach this sensitive topic and ways to resolve the issues in your relationship.