The most essential of ownership manuals

Couples Counseling and Therapy in Centennial

Some couples only need minor “tweaking” to enrich and enhance their already strong relationships. However, many couples encounter deeper seated problems which have fostered resentment and have eroded their connection over time.

Bitterness can undermine the dreams we hold for our romantic relationships. It can prevent us from expressing our true selves. It can make us tend to minimize or downplay our emotions and the emotions of our partners and sweep them under the rug. Or maybe we are getting very angry with one another for reasons we don’t fully understand.

When resentment is deep, a Band-Aid approach to healing will not work, and may even further damage already strained and fragile ties.

If maintaining a strong, lasting and secure relationship is the goal, it is important for us to agree to dig deeper and develop an accurate and true understanding of the emotional pulse of our partner and for them to do the same for us.

What are our partner’s (and our) yearnings? What makes them (and us) happy? What makes them (and us) angry? What scares them (and us)?

What can we do to calm and soothe each other? If we can slow down, observe, listen, genuinely learn and respond with kindness and compassion, we have won a very large part of the battle.

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT and couple therapist, wrote an audio book called your brain on love: The neurobiology of healthy relationships. ( in which he talks about the importance of partners keeping an ownership manual for each other.

As Stan describes it, an ownership manual in this case is not a book about possession of another person. Rather, it is about keeping important mental notes on our partner to help us to learn what exactly makes them tick. It enables us to tune in accurately and to gauge our response appropriately, which provides an essential magic bullet during times of distress.

Likewise, when our partner agrees to do the same for us, toxic emotions tend to untangle and dissipate and a new window of opportunity for growth, healing and fun remarkably opens.

When we agree to accept our partner’s true ownership manual just as it is and honor it without edits or corrections, we can fully realize the influence we hold to help restore what may have been lost, heal in a meaningful way and build the kind of relationship in which we have always longed.

To see if counseling might be beneficial to your relationship, please feel free to call or text me at 303-475-2757, email me at or click on the schedule option at the top of this page to schedule a free 20 minute no charge phone consultation.

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