The Secret to a Good Relationship is to Know Thyself

You may be asking yourself, “What is the secret to a good relationship?” Well, it all starts with you. The secret to a great relationship is knowing who you are and making new discoveries into how you interact with the world and those around you. And while I’m sure some of you are thinking you know who you are already, I am here to tell you that you don’t know yourself as well as you think. I’m referring to a phenomenon known as our blind spots. The more you become aware of your blind spots, the more you can take responsibility for your actions and reactions. In doing so, you create less destructive conflict with others and create the space for understanding, connection and problem-solving. Here are some tips to help you expand your self-awareness and shrink your blind spots. 1. Notice when you have a strong emotional reaction. Stop and reflect before you react. Take the time to assess if you need to set a limit and/or understand your emotional vulnerabilities. 2. Test out your assumptions. You may discover that you jump to similar conclusions that reflect more of your past and less of what is happening in the here and now. Practice making these distinctions. 3. Pay attention to what the world is showing you. Do your friends become defensive around you? Do you have trouble sustaining long-term relationships? Do you have financial problems? Before you choose to be the victim in these circumstances, first look at yourself and see how you might be creating or at least contributing to your life events and circumstances. 4. Be willing to consider what others tell you about how they experience you. If they say they find you angry, be willing to look at your anger. If they say you party too much, be willing to look at your lifestyle. If they say you don’t speak up enough or tolerate too much bad behavior from others, be willing to search for the “why this may be so.” 5. If you feel like you are stuck in one or more areas of your life, own what is stopping you—fear, lethargy, lack of knowledge, insecurities, ambivalence, etc. The most important aspect of creating strong and intimate relationships lies in knowing thyself. The more you understand who you are, the more you can manage your emotional reactions, share yourself authentically, and develop meaningful relationships. If you are someone you know is struggling around relationships, don’t hesitate to reach out. 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. Contact me at 310-379-5855 or email me to schedule an appointment and start creating the life you choose today. Be well, Julie

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

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at

5 Words That Will Ruin Your Marriage

Here's another article I published on YourTango a couple of months ago. It received thousands and thousands of hits and was syndicated on many other [...]

Too Scared to Leave, Too Painful to Stay

You've tried everything. You've seen counselors and therapists. You tried agreeing with your spouse. You tried ignoring your spouse. You tried arguing with your spouse. You tried to be the best partner you can be. But you are still miserable. You know that this marriage is not working. You know that your spouse is not the right person for you. You've spent years trying to fix, deny and ignore the problems.  You've done everything but leave. Why? Because you've been just too scared.

People stay in bad relationships and marriages longer than they should because they're scared. They're scared of

Being alone
Financial destitution
Retaliation from their spouse/partner for leaving
Going through the pain of separation and divorce
Putting their children through separation and divorce
And mostly, The Unknown.

It takes courage and a commitment to living your best life to leave a marriage. It takes a willingness to jump off the cliff (metaphorically speaking) and trust that you will land on your feet, all the while not knowing how far you will fall before reaching solid ground. It takes believing in yourself and knowing that you have what it takes to survive anything and thrive because of it. It takes a leap of faith when you don't believe in yourself and your future. And lastly, it simply takes taking that last step away from the cliff and allowing yourself to "fall."

There's no special trick in taking that last step into the unknown. It only takes you. No promises, no guarantees. It just takes that one moment when you say "Enough is enough; I'm done."  

What will it take for you to choose you? Who will you go to for support and guidance along the way? When will you decide that an unknown future is better than what you have today?

Your life is now. You choose.

If you or someone you know is scared to leave a marriage or committed relationship, 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.

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!

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.