Finding 8-cow moments

“8-Cow Moments” – the stories of when your partner made you feel valued and loved.

“8 Cows” is a term referencing the short film “Johnny Lingo”. In the movie, Johnny Lingo is a respected and successful Polynesian trader who returns to his home island to bargain for a wife. The woman he desires is Mahana, a timid and unkempt woman who is mocked by neighbors, and even her own father.

According to island tradition, a suitor and the woman’s father come to an agreement on the number of cows to be exchanged for her hand in marriage. Mahana’s father, Moki, says she is not even worth a single “three-legged cow” and that he would gladly pay Lingo a cow to take the girl off his hands.
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Recognize and counter three types of harmful betrayals

According to marriage research expert Dr. John Gottman, betrayals can be either the “deception of not revealing your true needs in order to avoid conflict or a yearning for emotional connection from outside the relationship.”

A betrayal is anything that violates a committed relationship’s expectation of mutual trust, respect, protection and caring because it can lead to pain and disaster. Three of the hard-to-spot, yet common, types of non-sexual betrayals are:

  • Emotional Cheating
  • Emotional Withdrawal
  • Shallow Commitment

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Stress of police work on marriage

The heart of law enforcement is “to protect and serve” the community. To do this effectively, and handle a range of situations and risks well, extensive training is a necessity.

Yet few people, including those in police work – and other careers that require intensive training – invest the same kind of education mentality toward the most important part of their lives: their marriages.

A lack of relationship “training” can particularly compound divorce risks for police due to a number of job hazards, including:

  • Rotating and long shifts
  • The intrusive nature of work demands into personal time
  • A partner’s inherent worry about officer’s safety
  • Symptoms of Post – Traumatic Stress.

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Defensiveness is offensive

Defensiveness is one of the “4 Horsemen” that are predictors of relationship dissolution, according to marriage expert Dr. John Gottman.

Defensiveness appears in one of 2 ways:

  • Righteous indignation (how dare you! I don’t have to take this!) or
  • Innocent victim-hood (why can’t you see all the good I do?).

Defensiveness is a way of shifting the focus away from addressing the problem or complaint; Defensiveness shifts focus toward blaming your partner.

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Training Workshop for Therapists and Counselors

Our Certified Therapist Caralee Frederic will be a co-presenter at a two-day training workshop in Portland for therapists and counselors who provide private treatment sessions for couples.

The workshop, created by The Gottman Institute, is hosted and presented by my colleague Dr. Jack R. Crossen. Details are below.

March 7-8, 2017 (Tuesday-Wednesday) 8:30 am – 5 pm

“Bridging the Couple’s Chasm”
Gottman Method Therapy: Level One

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5 Gifts ideas for holiday romance

Rituals are at the core of the holiday season, and social scientists suggest rituals have two important biological functions. 

Rituals “helps coordinate group behavior and it teaches the young how to behave,” and, thus, rituals become a “cognitive imperative,” according to a 2013 article on

In other words, a ritual is a healthy adaption essential to humankind’s survival. As you perform rituals, your brain rewards you with neurochemicals that signal “keep doing this because it may save your life someday.”

Here is my list of suggestions to create shared meaning, or rituals, in your relationship:

  1. Give the gift of appreciation
  2. Give the gift of intimacy
  3. Give the gift of understanding
  4. Give the gift of happy memories
  5. Give the gift of planning

These rituals, or shared experiences, strengthen friendship with meaningful connections to one another, by creating memories, and defining the “story” of your relationship.

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Partner Council Meetings Strengthen Your Union

Happy relationships occur when family members physically and emotionally “Turn Towards” each other. This concept is buttressed by research by The Gottman Institute, which is world-renowned for its science-based methods to discover what couples in happy, long term relationships do, and to develop exercises based on their findings.

Unfortunately, many husbands and wives get caught up in the busyness of life and put off regular date nights, let alone heart-to-heart councils together. Demands on time and not knowing where to start are the primary obstacles.

While each couple will have to navigate their schedules to prioritize couple time, the link below will help you get started.

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