It's that time again. In this issue, check out my article on using what John Gottman calls, "The Marital Poop Detector" (yes, I know, yuck!), a book recommendation (love it, love it, love it!!) and announcements about upcoming classes.

Also, if you're a client who has used my services, please also checkout my request for referrals and to take a short online survey about ME! Thank you in advance!

Tools & Tips: Detecting the Poop in Your Relationship!

My favorite marriage researcher, John Gottman, outlines a list of observations that help couples detect potential problems in their relationship and head them off BEFORE they become BIG problems.

This is especially helpful for us "conflict avoiders" out there (ahem) who tend to bury things under rugs and not deal with things. I prefer, of course, to say that us "avoiders" are just really good at managing our emotions and not letting things bother us (which is sometimes true but also is sometimes just a big fat lie we tell ourselves!).

So - here's the list*. The trick is that if you notice any of these things, you need to deal with it within THREE days (the sooner the better).

1. I have been acting irritable

2. I have been feeling emotionally distant.

3. There has been a lot of tension between us.

4. I find myself wanting to be somewhere else.

, 5. I have been feeling lonely.

6. My partner has seemed emotionally unavailable to me.

7. I have been angry

8. We have been out of touch with each other.

9. My partner has little idea of what I’m thinking.

10. We have been under a great deal of stress and it’s taken a toll on us.

11. I wish we were closer right now.

12. I have wanted to be alone a lot.

13. My partner has been acting irritable.

14. My partner has been acting emotionally distant.

15. My partner’s attention seems to be somewhere else.

16. I have been emotionally unavailable to my partner.

17. My partner has been angry.

18. I have little idea of what my partner is thinking.

19. My partner has wanted to be alone a lot.

20. We really need to talk.

21. We haven’t been communicating very well.

22. We have been fighting more than usual.

23. Lately small issues escalate.

24. We have been hurting each other’s feelings.

25. There hasn’t been much fun or joy in our lives.

*Taken from Gottman, J.M. (1999). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Three Rivers Press, New York.

Upcoming Couples Class

Next Couples Class starts June 1st! If you know any couples who might be interested forward this newsletter!

Couples Class

Build a relationship you love by learning the skills you need. We'll talk about communication, learning to see each other's perspective, creating closeness, and identifying those relationship killing behaviors.

Tuesdays, June 1, 8, 15 and 22nd from 7:00 to 8:30p.m.

4155 E. Jewell Avenue, Conference Room Denver, CO 80222

Call (720) 210-5452 or

Click here for more information or to sign up!

Book Recommendations!!

Okay, I just finished a really great book about marriage. It's called Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. You know, the author of Eat, Pray, Love? If you enjoyed that book, you'll love this too. It doesn't matter if you're married, getting married or never want to get married. She offers a funny, insightful exploration on the strange and wonderful institution we call marriage.

What I loved most was her exploration on the history of marriage (I was completely surprised - and I'm supposed to be some kind of expert!)and the exploration on the nuances of commitment. What makes up commitment and happiness over a life time? The answer seems to be as varied as the people who choose to get married!

Don't miss this wonderful book!

Want Even more Advice on Relationships?

Subscribe to my blog and read at your leisure. Topics range from date night, to what we can learn from sitcoms, to what to do with anger during arguments.

There's lots to read these days and certainly not enough time to read it all. Tuck this blog away for those times when you really need to read something to get perspective on your relationship.

Click here to read my latest blog entry entitled: Emotional Spring Cleaning

Request for Referrals & Client Feedback

As always, I'm looking to expand my practice so if you come across couples or individuals looking for a counselor, please pass along my name. I do pre-marital, couples and individual counseling. You can forward this newsletter or refer them to my website.

And....I would LOVE your feedback. Please take a moment to answer these few questions about me and my services. I would greatly appreciate it as I'm always looking to improve my skills so that I can be more helpful to you all.

Click here to take survey

I hope you enjoyed reading. I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks.


Karen Holland, LMFT 4155 E. Jewell Avenue, Ste 703 Denver, CO 80222 (720) 210-5452/office & fax

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