To Control or Not to Control?

Control is the most common source of anguish in our lives. Most of us secretly would like to control the actions and choices of those who impact us the most—our spouses, parents, children, ex-spouses, bosses, co-workers, etc. If we could just convince them that our way is the best way, our lives would be so much easier. If we could just get others to behave in ways that make sense to us, our problems would diminish. If we could live in a world where people accommodated our needs, life would be great. And then, there’s reality. I know you’re thinking, “I don’t want to control everything and everyone. I know that’s not possible.” I know you think you are the reasonable one. The one that understands what you have control over and what you don’t. I know you believe that it is those other people who are so controlling. But guess what? You are that person. We all are. Whether you are conscious of this or not, you spend a lot of time and energy trying to control people and things that are completely outside of your control. You leave notes for your husband in hopes that he will remember to complete your “to do” list today. You lie to your wife to avoid her anger. You threaten your kids so they will complete their chores and stay out of trouble. You spread gossip at the office about your co-worker so you will get more recognition and she will get less. And so on and so on. We are all busy squiring about trying to control our world. Sometimes we win but most of the time our strategies lack integrity and end in conflict, disappointment, frustration, or outright war. So what can we do instead? I’m certainly not suggesting you live your life in a way that relies on chance alone. You don’t want to be a victim of circumstance or someone who does not act to achieve your goals and create your life. You do have power. While you will never have control over what others think and do, you do can influence others and take actions that impact situations and interactions. Here are five golden rules to help you manage your need for control. Identify what is most important to you. What do you want to create or impact and why? Understand where you have control and where you do not. Be honest with yourself. Get your emotions under control first. While you are entitled to feel frustrated, worried or angry, good decisions always come from a place of balance. Remember, you do not live on an island. You will always need to consider and work with other people’s agendas and needs. Avoid power struggles whenever possible. Take time to consider your options. Look at the short-term and long-term risks, rewards, and unintended consequences. See what actions are in alignment with your intentions and goals. Make sure your personal integrity is intact. Consider where your motivations lie and course correct as needed. Focus on where you do have control and influence, and act accordingly. This may take the form of communicating with others, decision-making, accommodating, withdrawing, compromising, motivating, inspiring, and taking actions that move your life forward. So, the next time you struggle with wanting control, taking control and losing control, follow the five golden rules. In doing so, you will retain your personal power, be more effective in achieving your goals, and build positive relationships with those around you. If you or someone you know is struggling with the issue of control, 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. Contact me at 310-379-5855 or email me to schedule an appointment and start creating the life you choose today. Be well, Julie The Pathway to Love at-home program: Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at

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

The Power in Speaking from The “I”

Communication is the lifeline for relationships. It is the way we understand one another, ask for what we need and want, and express how we feel. We resolve issues, generate understanding and create intimacy through our words. And yes, our words matter. How we communicate can make the difference between a conversation resulting in connection or conflict.

Here is one communication strategy that will help you diffuse defensiveness and move the conversation toward resolution and intimacy.

When you find yourself disappointed or judging your partners’ actions (or inactions), talk about you instead of focusing on your partner and what they did or didn’t do. Speak from the “I”. 

For example, instead of saying,

“Why would you park in an isolated parking structure rather than on the street where there are restaurants and people around? This is just stupid!”


“I worry about your safety and feel anxious when you park in places that I believe are unsafe. And when I’m not with you, I feel frustrated that I’m not able to ensure your safety.”

Feel the difference? When you speak from the “I”, you let your partner know more about who you are, how you feel and what’s important to you. It is less about judging or shaming the other person. In doing so, your partner will feel less defensive and more empathic toward you. Generous listening is easier. Responding with understanding and compassion increases. The ability and desire to find a solution that makes both parties comfortable increases. You set the stage for a win-win.

Let me give you another example.

Instead of saying,

“That idea is just crazy. You will never be able to get all that done and still be on time for my family get together.”


“I’m worried that you will not be able to get to my family’s celebration on time. It is a big deal to be on time in my family and when I am unable to control this or feel like you may make us late, I get very anxious.”

Picture yourself on the receiving end of both examples and see which one you would rather hear. How differently do you react based on hearing the different versions? When we speak from the “I” we communicate something about ourselves. We don’t assume or judge another. We create the space to receive support and understanding. We communicate in a way that leads to cooperation and problem-solving as opposed to power struggles and defensiveness.

Take some time this week to practice speaking from the “I” and let me know how it goes.

Be well,


P.S. If you or someone you know is struggling with communication within their relationships, 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.

About me:

About The Pathway to Love at-home program:

About your relationship: Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at

Make Sure Your Relationship does NOT Become Another Post-Holiday Statistic!

Did you know that the highest number of people filing for divorce or ending their relationship occurs each January? People often hold out until after the holidays before breaking up or filing for divorce. I don’t want this to happen to you!

If you find yourself getting ready to file for divorce or throw in the towel, you might want to wait until you’ve taken the time to really understand what is happening in your relationship. Make sure your relationship is truly un-fixable and not the victim of post-holiday disappointment and drama. It is definitely worth it to take one more look and see if there's any possibility to turn things around. 

To help you in this endeavor, I am offering The Pathway to Love program at a 20% discount for the month of January. So don’t wait and order your copy today!

The Pathway to Love at-home program is not about getting your partner to “do” anything or “be” a certain way. Without a deep and profound understanding of both your partner’s internal motivations and your own, all you’ll be doing is addressing the symptoms. The fight over one thing will become a fight over something else tomorrow. The contempt won’t really disappear. It’ll just get buried until the next time something triggers you or your partner. The only way to address the core of what’s really wrong is through discovering who both of you really are and what it is that each of you needs from your relationship.

I walk you step-by-step through this process, in the privacy and comfort of your own home! 

Here’s how it works:

The Pathway to Love book will teach you about all the challenges and opportunities in the four phases of a developing relationship, helping you identify which phase you’re in right now, and illustrating how couples evolve their relationships to greater levels of intimacy. 

The Pathway to Love Workbook will take you, step by step, through a series of questions and reflections that you can do on your own or with your loved one that will move you from your “stuck” state of conflict to resolution and understanding. You’ll have an opportunity to deeply explore your true fears and desires and to learn things about your partner you’ve never known before. You’ll feel your love and trust build with every exercise and question.

The Pathway to Love Audio Guide is a candid recording of real sessions with real clients as they work with me to move through their specific struggles. You’ll hear me advise a woman who is distraught over a boyfriend who stops returning calls, help a wife and mother decide whether to stay married after her husband had an affair, and offer guidance to a couple who can’t seem to agree on how much closeness and affection is enough. By listening to these real sessions, you’ll see The Pathway to Love program “in action” and be able to apply the core lessons to your own situation.

The Pathway to Love program will also enable you to:

  • Go from struggle, fighting and disappointment to feeling deeper love, deeper trust, and more security in your relationship
  • Explore the truth about yourself and your partner so you can fully accept yourself and your partner and stop feeling “triggered”
  • Redefine, reignite, and breathe new life into your relationship, no matter how long you’ve been together or how much distance you’re feeling now
  • Create the right conditions from which you and your partner can heal, grow, and transform

If you...

  • want to feel secure and loved in your relationship,
  • Have understanding and acceptance from your partner,
  • End the fighting and struggle so you can experience peace of mind,
  • And enjoy having your partner listen to and care about your needs,
  • So you can stop feeling so alone in your relationship…

Then The Pathway to Love will help you on the journey to transforming your relationship from one of struggle and pain to one of true intimacy and profound love.

Let me show you how to work through what you’re experiencing and get more love, more affection, and more understanding from your relationship. The key to your well-being and happiness lies in how well you are able to navigate the challenges and opportunities in love. Let me show you my unique, step-by-step method for transforming conflict into greater intimacy.

ORDER THE PROGRAM NOW And receive a 20% discount - download the PDFs and MP3 files, and be reading and listening within minutes! As a bonus, I’ll also mail you a regular hardcopy of both the book and workbook.  I’ll even include a download of my interview on Carol Allen’s Interview with Enlightening Experts as well as my live presentation on The Pathway to Love recorded during my talk at The Center for Spiritual Living.

Wishing you a year of profound love and transformation,


P.S. Here's what people are saying about The Pathway to Love program and how it changed their lives...

“Insightful, practical, heartfully and psychologically sound, The Pathway to Love provides the steppingstones to creating genuine love in your life.  It is a must-read for those who value honesty, authentic commitment to self and other, and appreciate relationship as a vehicle to self-actualization.”

—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation~Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential

“The Pathway to Love, for those who did not experience love as a child and fear relationships, is a journey of self-discovery.  You will acquire a whole new appreciation for who you are and what you can bring to your relationship with yourself and others. Orlov demonstrates not only how we affect and create our relationship with ourselves and others but how they can affect us in return on the creative journey of self-discovery and self-love.”

— Bernie Siegel, M.D., author of 365 Prescriptions For The Soul and 101 Exercises For The Soul

“A mercifully easy read, when love certainly isn’t, the book describes the ‘Four Phases of Love.’  Assessing at which level of development sample relationships are floundering, Dr. Orlov shows us the keys to the next door to intimacy with the encouragement that self-discovery will be the ultimate prize.”

—Melanie Chartoff, Actress, Writer

“A little book with a gigantic message... The Pathway to Love is an outstanding guide to building strong and intimate relationships in your life. I give this book a hearty cheer and found it not only informative but very enjoyable.”

—Rhonda Kendle, Spokane, WA

“You will wonder at times how she knew about you and a particular significant other because she seems to describe you and the relationship to a T. And, when you read the last page you will wish you had read it years and a number of relationships earlier.”

—Irene Conlan, Ph.D.

Julie is a great communicator and facilitator. I am still amazed at how her program, The Pathway to Love, is impacting my life on a daily basis. Her approach to understanding and improving relationships is easy to implement and I noticed results from the very first time I used some of the tools – and I’m just beginning the process. Thank you, from one Julie to another – I am now confident that I can have a better relationship with my husband, and I am grateful!

  –Julie Jennings, Partner, Shirlaws

“Knowing is not doing! This workbook is your path to actually doing what Julie teaches. Like any great guide, the workbook takes your hand and shows you the step-by-step, self-discovery process to reach your relationship destination. I encourage you to start your journey today.”

—Dave Jensen, Executive Coach and Educator,


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 has hurt or disappointed you. This video Q&A talks about the power of forgiveness, how to move from anger and defensiveness toward forgiveness and why it will set you free!

Click “Read in Browser” to access the video. And for those of you that rather read than watch, enjoy my article on the topic entitled “The Art of Forgiveness” right below the video.

To view on YouTube, go to

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

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at

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

What Do You Do When Your Spouse Can’t Keep a Job? Julie Orlov’s Q&A Video Response Awaits!

Given that the economy is still on the mend, I thought it would be helpful to do an encore presentation of my video Q&A "Help, My Wife Can't Keep a Job!"  This video explores how to deal with a spouse who doesn't keep her word in securing and maintaining employment. 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 that help resolve this and similar issues in your relationship.

Remember, things are rarely black and white. There are typically multiple factors affecting and at the effect of relationship issues. This video offers you a process from which to explore and uncover what is taking place and why, and what you can do to move forward toward a satisfactory resolution.

To watch this and other Julie Orlov videos on YouTube, click

To watch this video and access other articles on relationships, click Read in Browser and enjoy all the resources offered at



P.S. If you or someone you know struggles with on-going conflict 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

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.