Whether you are in a good relationship or a dysfunctional one, there will always be conflict. What matters most is how you manage the conflict. In the Gottman's research, they found that 69% of problems in a relationship weren't solvable. What this means is you need to work on understanding one another in your relationship.

When couples come in for counseling, they want to solve their problems and move on. They aren't usually that happy when they find out most of their problems aren't solvable. Going for a solution now can actually hurt the relationship. This also means you don't have to fix everything. Which I find as a relief. When I was younger I was a strong problem solver and now I'm not. This has changed my attitude on life tremendously, and in a good way.

Don't worry if you are trying to solve your relationship problems, you aren't alone. Many of us have done it and may still try to in the future. Couples tend to get stuck in their problems. This leads to a lot of conflict and misunderstanding. We have found at the Gottman Institute, that these are the four ways to ruin a perfectly good relationship:

  1. Criticize (Attack) - Using "you" statements.
  2. Defensive - You attacked, so I will defend myself. (We've heard Donald Trump use this one) This is…

Read more: How To Fix The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems

The Four Most Common Relationship Problems And How To Fix Them

Whether you are in a good relationship or a dysfunctional one, there will always be conflict. What matters most is how you manage the conflict. In the Gottman's research, they found that 69% of problems in a relationship weren't solvable. What this means is you need to work on understanding one another in your relationship.

When couples come in for counseling, they want to solve their problems and move on. They aren't usually that happy when they find out most of their problems aren't solvable. Going for a solution now can actually hurt the relationship. This also means you don't have to fix everything. Which I find as a relief. When I was younger I was a strong problem solver and now I'm not. This has changed my attitude on life tremendously, and in a good way.

Don't worry if you are trying to solve your relationship problems, you aren't alone. Many of us have done it and may still try to in the future. Couples tend to get stuck in their problems. This leads to a lot of conflict and misunderstanding. We have found at the Gottman Institute, that these are the four ways to ruin a perfectly good relationship:

  1. Criticize (Attack) - Using "you" statements.
  2. Defensive - You attacked, so I will defend myself. (We've heard Donald Trump use this one) This is also known as, righteous indignation
  3. Contempt…

Read more: The Four Most Common Relationship Problems And How To Fix Them

The Gottman's research has found that couples with a strong friendship, have a better relationship. Your friendship affects every part of your relationship, including intimacy. This is true for both men and women.

These days people separate the idea of relationship from friendship. This is an interesting idea. When you think about it, don't you have fun with your friends? And, don't you want to have fun in your relationship? Having fun together is important in any relationship, whether you are intimate or not.

When you start to treat your partner like your BFF, you will start to see your relationship change and grow in healthy ways. Take a genuine interest in your partner. Friends stay together during the tough times. This can also be true in a relationship. The best way to improve the intimacy in your relationship is to work on the friendship. Here are five tips to help you do so:

  1. Express appreciations about your partner regularly. It's easy to forget this when you have been in a relationship for a while. Write down your appreciations on a piece of paper and stick it on the mirror, text your partner during the day or tell them when you are departing in the morning. An appreciation can be something as simple as 'I appreciate your smile.'
  2. Say Thank you regularly. Tell your partner what…

Read more: 5 Tips That Will Help You Rebuild The Friendship In Your Relationship

3 Tips That Will Help You Put The Spark Back In Your Relationship


"If you want to have a harmonious relationship you must learn to communicate and compromise." Milana May

Is it time to bring mystery back into the bedroom?

You may wondering how or when the spark left. It's easy in our fast paced society to put our relationship last. Think back to when you first started dating. You made time for one another and couldn't wait to see one another. Then, came marriage, a house, children and work. Which doesn't leave a lot of time for relationships.

America prides itself on efficiency, we are a goal oriented society. We are raised to believe we are what we make and that our bank account defines us. So, what does this mean, can we ever have enough? I hear this all the time in counseling. 'I wish I had a bigger house, a better car, more clothes or more in my savings account.' I tell my clients you can't always define success by your back account, and believe it or not this can affect what happens in the bedroom.

What this all means, is that we have been socialized to control our sexual urges and our appetite for sex. I know, many of you are thinking, we've rented videos, taken baths together, and have been committed to our weekly date but we still have a dull sex life. Passion…

Read more: 3 Tips That Will Help You Put The Spark Back In Your Relationship

"If you want to have a harmonious relationship you must learn to communicate and compromise." Milana May

Is it time to bring mystery back into the bedroom?

You may wondering how or when the spark left. It's easy in our fast paced society to put our relationship last. Think back to when you first started dating. You made time for one another and couldn't wait to see one another. Then, came marriage, a house, children and work. Which doesn't leave a lot of time for relationships.

America prides itself on efficiency, we are a goal oriented society. We are raised to believe we are what we make and that our bank account defines us. So, what does this mean, can we ever have enough? I hear this all the time in counseling. 'I wish I had a bigger house, a better car, more clothes or more in my savings account.' I tell my clients you can't always define success by your back account, and believe it or not this can affect what happens in the bedroom.

What this all means, is that we have been socialized to control our sexual urges and our appetite for sex. I know, many of you are thinking, we've rented videos, taken baths together, and have been committed to our weekly date but we still have a dull sex life.…

Read more: 3 Tips That Will Put The Spark Back In Your Relationship

Contact Information

Office Location 
Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

Phone Number
(650) 892-0357

Map & Directions


Contact Us  Get Directions