Why Are Relationships So Mysterious, Difficult, and Wonderful?

All serious relationships are fraught with mystery and promise. For instance, are you in a committed relationship? Do you know if you're with the right person? Know the test for the first question is whether or not you're struggling. If you are, then you in one. If you're not, then you're not. Not every minute of course. But regularly and frequently. Know this struggling is not dysfunction, nor is it anyone's fault. Rather it's the test for the second question. The test? The "right partner" always provokes our unfinished childhood business. If you're struggling, then you're with the right person.

Does this viewpoint sound like something you'd have a hard time admitting to? Then perhaps you need to remember, courage is the word of the day when it comes to having relationships. To wit, to be in relationships which make you feel alive, you need courage. Pounds and pounds of it. As well as persistence, an open mind, and a willingness to share only your half of the burdens.

Of course, you also need to know when enough is enough. Including too much of a good thing.

Relationship Addiction ~ Is It Love? (the power of extraordinary moments)

Friendship or Romance ~ Which Will It Be? (how your character type determines connections)

Ask fifty people to picture the word "love" and you'll get fifty different answers. Obviously the word "love" is a vague and nebulous term. This said, there is something which can always improve your ability to love—learn to interpret less, and learn to observe more. This series of articles recaps a series of seminars I held in 2012 and 2013. What was special about this series was that these seminars were filmed in a studio with five cameras. Each successive seminar then included clips from the previous seminar, ultimately mimicking the experience of looking into a mirror in a mirror in a mirror.

I call this work, "layering memory." Never have I seen so many people make significant personal changes. Unfortunately all these articles can do is put you on the path. There is no substitute for the experience of layering your memory. This said, the principles expressed here are all you need to improve your relationships. So the more you take away, the better your relationships will become.

The Secret to Better Relationships (Observation and Interpretation)

The Two Kinds of Interpretations (Native and Synthetic)

The Most Important Observation of All (Blankness)

Observation, Mistakes, and Memory (You Can’t Change What You Can’t Remember)

Connecting to People in Business Relationships (the Six Universal Principles of Success in Business) 2003

On Working with Men in Groups (brief thoughts on various aspects of men's workshops) 2003

Can Parents Avoid Wounding Their Children? (a father's story) 2006

On Taking On the Pain of Others (healthy vs. unhealthy empathy) 2004

On Distancing Oneself From Others (escaping aloneness and self centered fear) 2005

Arguably some of the worst parts of human nature exist in the outer four layers of personality; urges to resent, blame, and punish. What is also there though is one of the courageous acts we humans can do; damage control, restraining ourselves when we feel resentment and want to blame and punish.

The Circles of Blame (the connection between blame and healing) 2002

Blame and non Blame (identifying judgmental behaviors) 2002

On Blame, Innocence, and the Chaotic Nature of Hurtful Acts (conversations with Marty) 2000

Sexual difficulties are a common problem in romantic relationships. Being molested as a child can be a big part of these difficulties. The thing is, assuming that being molested is the source of these difficulties can also cause problems. People can be molested and not end up with sexual difficulties. Up until 2005, I did not think this possible. But in 2005, several of my clients who had been molested claimed they did not have problems with sex. I was skeptical. But in the end, it turns out, this is true. It all depends on if or when they got startled.

How the Timing of Sexual Assaults Affects the Symptoms (introducing the three girls)

"I Can't Face Men" (wounds that occur before the assault begins)

Her Father's Mouth (wounds that occur after the assault is over)

The Woman Who Hated Hospitals (wounds that occur during the assault)

Recap (how the timing of sexual assaults determines the wound)

Coping with Memories of Being Molested (suggestions on how to begin)

P-Curves are a powerful healing tool. This series of stories documents how one man used them to heal his lack of guilt and self-righteousness in and around infidelity.

Healing Infidelity ~ Session One (the "green man")

Healing Infidelity ~ Session Two (women who squint)

Healing Infidelity ~ Session Three ("I can't trust women")

Healing Infidelity ~ Session Four (discovering the root of his infidelity)

At the time I wrote this series, I was trying to help a woman to heal her relationship with her mother. At the time, I was still using traditional language like narcissistic and neurotic, as I had yet to discover a blameless way to describe these characteristics. Later that year, when I discovered the personality fractal I call "character type," I realized how pejorative these traditional words are. This said, these drawings do describe the developmental sequence in which children develop connection skills. Thus language aside, they still have value, especially as a way to test for your own developmental interpersonal skills.

Introduction (the four basic views)

the First View (the Personal Indirect view)

the Second View (the Personal Direct view)

the First Integration (the Narcissistic Competitive view)

the Third View (the Inter-Personal Direct view)

the Second Integration (the Healthy Competitive view)

The Fourth View (the InterPersonal Indirect view)

the Third Integration (the Healthy non Competitive view)

the Fourth Integration (the Blame Free View)

the Four Mental Views (mental PD, PID, IPD, IPID views)

the Four Emotional Views (emotional PD, PID, IPD, IPID views)

the Four Holistic Views (holistic PD, PID, IPD, IPID views)

When I first learned about the Pythagorean Theorem as a boy, I had no idea that Pythagoras was the head of a whole spiritual community.

The Paradox of Fussy and Fussy (holes and what's around holes)

Spirituality & Holes 1 (you cannot see holes)

Spirituality & Holes 2 (you can only see what's around the hole)

Spirituality & Holes 3 (holes do not exist in the physical world)

Spirituality & Holes 4 (square holes)

Spirituality & Holes 5 (squares do not exist in the physical world)

Spirituality & Holes 6 (moving from the hole to what's around the hole)


On Working with Men in Groups (brief thoughts on various aspects of men's workshops) 2003

Gareth's Corner ~ Short Stories about Being a Man

~ Three Times a Lady

~ Crematorium

~ Fisty-Cuffs

~ From a Smile

~ What Defines a Man?


On the Differences Between Warriors and Guides (a letter to a warrior)

The Wounds of the Father are the Blindness of the Sons ~ Men's Workshops

These workshops took place between 2002 and 2005. I've included both the fliers and the workbooks. Please feel free to use them for your men's event.

My Brother's Keeper - Exploring the Power of Aloneness

(Men's Workshop Flier - My Brother's Keeper - Exploring the Power of Aloneness)

the Aloneness Men Rarely Talk About: the Things We Don't Tell Women

(Men's Workshop Flier - the Aloneness Men Rarely Talk About - the Things We Don't Tell Women)
Workbook - the Things We Don't Tell Women


Men and Aloneness IV: What Our Mothers Thought of Men
(Men's Workshop Flier - Aloneness 4 - Mothers and Men)
Workbook - What Our Mothers Thought of Men


Men and Aloneness III: Exploring Infidelity
(Men's Workshop Flier - Aloneness III: Infidelity)
Workbook - Exploring Infidelity


Men and Aloneness II: Connecting to Others
(Men's Workshop Flier: Aloneness II: Connecting)
Workbook: How We Connect to Others


Men and Aloneness: the Heart of the Matter
(Men's Workshop Flier - Aloneness)
Workbook - Exploring Aloneness


Exploring Beneath the Mask of Strength: Asking for "Needs"
(Men's Workshop Flier: Asking for Needs)
Workbook: Asking for Needs


A Journey into the Dark Side of "Competition"
(Men's Workshop Flier - Competition)
Workbook - the Dark Side of Competition



  • Is this what happened in your house?