Are You Grounded Enough In Your Relationship?

Are You Grounded Enough In Your Relationship? Are you grounded enough to even be in a relationship? Groundedness is about stability. It’s about being in your functional adult, rather than the “adaptive child” (aka your inner child) who reacts emotionally. Groundedness means that your functional adult is able to be neutral in terms of opinions and perspective when it comes to both yourself and others. Groundedness comes from knowing who you are and what you want. That comes from being fair, not critical, having good judgment, and listening calmly to the other side. True groundedness offers stability, equality, and neutrality.

Are You Grounded Enough In Your Relationship?

Do you know what you want? Often when I ask my clients what they want, they say they don’t know. I’m not surprised to hear this. I’ve been in their shoes, thinking the same way. Concentrating on yourself develops your sense of “me.” Without a good sense of “me” you may not ab able to find the “we” that best suits you. The world is full of all kinds of people we can love, but not all align well with your “me.”

Alex (30 y.o.) and Andrea (31 y.o) together since they were 22 years old, come in for affair recovery only to find out that the affair is a symptom of the underlying problems. Those underlying problems stem from Alex’s low self-esteem and confidence. In counseling we determine the affair represented attention-seeking behavior. The woman he was seeing gave him much attention that stroked his ego. Albeit, during any honeymoon stage, attention is a given and the “high” from that when you aren’t receiving it from your partner is addicting.

Are You Grounded Enough In Your Relationship?

Alex is struggling with career and developmental issues. In life we individuate and differentiate developing a sense of self. The developmental stages help with that process. If you don’t meet emotional and psychological milestones you could be stuck in a younger developmental stage despite your chronological age. So as you grow old, your emotional where with all may not be congruent with your chronological age. Meaning you can be a man of 30 years old and feel like a child or teenager when trying to figure out what to do in life. This is the case for Alex. He states he loves his wife but doesn’t feel much intimacy. They are great friends with so much in common.

Rather than continue in marriage counseling they are now doing individual work with me. I explain their relationship is like the cart in front of the horse. For Alex, the cart represents his poor sense of self and needed work developmentally to understand he needs to meet his needs first and not the needs of other. In doing so he will become the individual he is to become and be more differentiated in healthy ways from his relationships.

In doing the individual work a healthy relationship can be yours. In my book entitled, Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship is utilized to guide Alex and Andrea as they give themselves the opportunity to learn and understand that knowing what you want will get you the relationship of your dreams. You won’t have to settle.

For more information about my services in working with couples please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website



Do You Know What You Want In A Partner?

Do You Know What You Want In A Partner? When your relationship is in trouble, it affects every part of your life. But it doesn’t mean you have to accept things as they are — or give up and walk away. Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship is all you need to be in a healthy relationship.

Do You Know What You Want In A Partner?

You can have a healthy, happy relationship. It starts with taking charge of your own thoughts and actions, and learning to be your own person. With a better understanding of self, a firm foundation of healthy communication skills, and the insight to make better choices, you’ll know how to interact positively with others. You’ll be able to create the healthy, loving, supportive relationship you know you deserve.
#marriages #relationships #couplestherapy #couples #wellbeing #happiness


Is It Your Husband’s Autism Or Personality?

Is It Your Husband’s Autism Or Personality? When a couple is aware that their relationship is affected by autism it can be quite difficult to decipher what traits are caused by personality and what are due to being on the autistic spectrum. I’ve been married to a man with Asperger’s for over 20 years. During the first 13 years he displayed some behaviors that looked pretty much like he was being a jerk. His lack of consideration and thoughtfulness made him appear self-centered and self-serving. Not all differences are due to your partner being on the autism spectrum, and not all personality traits can be attributed to or blamed on autism.

Is It Your Husband’s Autism Or Personality?

I’m working with a couple whose Asperger (AS) husband is talkative with anyone and everyone. He is also quite flirtatious with the ladies. He flirts with waitresses, grocery store clerks, and women at the bank. He states he just wants to be personable and doesn’t mean anything bad by it. This bothers my neurotypical (NT) client (his wife) as it is a trigger for her due to trauma from past relationships where there was cheating. With tools they’ve acquired during counseling he shows her the empathy needed so she feels seen and heard. Some think people with Asperger’s have a difficult time with filter and being impulsive when interacting.

I have another client who discovered her Asperger husband had been having an affair for the past eight months. They were in counseling with me during that time which makes it even more horrific and disappointing for this neurotypical wife. Her husband states he thinks he’s a sex addict and manages his anxiety with other women. He blames his Asperger’s for his inappropriate behavior. I point out being unfaithful is not a trait caused by being on the spectrum.

Traits caused by being on the autism spectrum:

  • Highly focused
  • Single minded
  • Obsessive
  • Clumsy
  • Logical

  • Rigid/inflexible
  • Reactive to noise
  • Reactive to smell
  • Reactive to touch
  • Reactive to taste
  • Reactive to light
  • Pendantic



Traits not caused by being on the autism spectrum:

  • Flirtatious
  • Unfaithful
  • Inhibited
  • Frigid
  • Promiscuous
  • Verbally abusive
  • Boring
  • Reliable
  • Emotionally withdrawn
  • Withholding
  • Unsympathetic

  • Stingy
  • Unhygienic
  • Unkempt
  • Intuitive
  • Passionate
  • Irrational
  • Impulsive
  • Defensive
  • Critical
  • Opinionated
  • Religious
  • Political
  • An unloving parent
  • Forgetful
  • A loner
  • Generous
  • Extravagant

When a couple is aware that their relationship is affected by autism it can be quite difficult to decipher what traits are caused by personality and what are due to being on the autism spectrum. Not all differences are due to the partner being on the autism spectrum, and not all personality traits can be attributed to or blamed on autism. Knowing whether a trait is caused by having autism or personality is confusing for both in a relationship, especially the neurotypical partner. It’s confusing because everyone on the spectrum is different, that’s why they call it a spectrum. All will have their own unique personality with their own childhood history. We are products of our upbringing which has moulded who they are now and will have encouraged certain beliefs, behaviors, and opinions.

When working with neurodiverse couples in neurodiverse couples counseling, I emphasize any kind of abuse is not a trait of having Asperger’s. Sometimes bad behavior is just bad behavior and should never be tolerated. I work with the couple through a neurodiverse lens where I help them recognize, understand and treatment the problems in their relationship. When we are able distinguish what is an Asperger trait versus a personality trait, both can see more clearly where the work needs to be done.

For more information on neurodiverse couples counseling please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or my website

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s. What exactly is Asperger’s? Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder characterized as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that impairs development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. The precise causes of autistic disorders have not been identified, although an inherited (genetic) component is believed to be involved. Supporting this idea is the fact that Asperger’s syndrome has been observed to run in families. Based on my clinical observations of my husband and his parents, he may have inherited it from one or both of them. Does your husband ever display these types of behavior. I know mine does.

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s

Signs My Husband Has Asperger’s:

  • Is your husband not thoughtful?
  • Is he forgetful?
  • Does he appear to have no self-awareness?
  • Tends to be late all the time?
  • Shows little to no Empathy?
  • Seems Antisocial?

My husband is a kind, generous, and intelligent man. We’ve been married for over 20 years. Often quiet in his demeanor and less animated than myself, my friends thought we were an unlikely match. I know now what I didn’t realize then is my husbands’s comments and behavior offended some and made others feel uncomfortable. As the years went by I started to observe and experience a dynamic between us that consequently lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and irritability. He behaved in ways that were almost hurtful and rude.

Situations I now understand:

  • We were in Bora Bora on our Honeymoon. After a long flight, we were escorted to our beautiful over-the-water bungalow. As we were settling in I heard a knock at the door where room service brought my husband a refreshing Mai Tai cocktail. I asked where mine was and he said he didn’t order me one. I thought that was strange and nicely called him out on it. He said he didn’t think to ask me. (Aspie’s are often times not thoughtful)

  • When our daughter was 5 years old he forgot to pick her up from school after being reminded several times. (Memory problem)
  • Whenever I had a conversation with him he wasn’t able to show empathy and continued to talk about what was of interest to him. (Lack of Theory of Mind or Mind Blindness)
  • He could go on and on about a topic that was of interest to him and fail to recognize facial expressions denoting I was becoming uninterested or even bored. (No self-awareness)
  • He can go MIA (missing in action) for long periods of time working on his computer and not realize it and is often times late. (Time management problem)
  • I made a lovely Brunch one day and when we sat at the table to enjoy it he didn’t talk much and appeared troubled. I asked him later what was up as I was angry, more hurt, actually as I was expecting him to appreciate my efforts. He later told me the sun was brightly shining and hurt his eye. (Sensory Issues)
  • Unable to show compassion. My dog was bitten by a rattlesnake and the Vet said he may not make it. (No motion to comfort me as I was breaking down crying)
  • Doesn’t like change. Our daughter was part of a carpool. When parents made changes to the schedule, which benefited my husband he would become aggravated and unappreciative.

As a Marriage Counselor who is married to someone on the spectrum, I work with Neurodiverse Couples (one partner has Asperger’s AS and the other does not, Neurotypical NT). Because I’ve lived with my AS husband for over 20 years, I am able to help women who suffer from what is referred to as Cassandra Syndrome where the NT partner experiences psychological trauma from attempting to have a close personal relationship with a person who has deficiencies in interpersonal relationships, in areas such as reciprocity, compassion, empathy, recognition of facial expressions, putting themselves in another’s shoes, and a constellation of features known as “mind blindness.”

During the first decade of our marriage, I was experiencing psychological and emotional distress. The daily trauma of living with an AS can best be described as ongoing traumatic relationship syndrome (OTRS) aka known as Cassandra Syndrome. Even if someone comes into a relationship with a strong sense of self-esteem, it can still be demolished by a partner who has difficulty showing empathy. During the years before we obtained an unofficial diagnosis, I was quite troubled. I was so unhappy I wanted to leave the relationship. I didn’t like the way I felt as I was acting out emotions where I was angry, unreasonable, hurtful and verbally abusive. There was either something terribly wrong with me or there was some psychological challenge with him.

As I didn’t want a divorce I started to educate myself on this syndrome and acquired coping skills to manage my emotions more appropriately, while getting my husband the tools he needed to be more relational. We acquired a process and put systems in place for better communication. With the commitment to moving forward, I can honestly say I am so much happier. There was never any doubt I loved him but the Asperger’s was making for too many challenges to want to stay. 

For more information on being able to move forward with your Aspie husband please contact me at (858) 735-1139. I know I can help.

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce. It takes a lot of work to keep a marriage going. After the honeymoon stage, life is one big conflict resolution stage. If you don’t have coping skills for good conflict resolution you may end up divorce whether you want it or not. As a marriage and family therapist, I’ve worked with couples for over 25 years. There are those who can acquire communication skills and those who cannot. Those who cannot, possess a reality of their own which is not conducive to healthy relationships.

Signs You’re Headed For Divorce

Signs that a couple is likely to divorce:

  • Any abuse – physical, verbal, emotional, psychological
  • Infidelity
  • They give each other the silent treatment (or other inappropriate acting out behavior) – likely due to inner child issues which need to be identified and resolved as immaturity blocks success
  • They have contempt for one another – contempt is acting as though your partner is beneath you or not worth your time. It’s disregarding someone else’s thoughts/opinions or actively displaying scorn for them. (beyond angry)
  • Their sex life is vanilla – sex is important and healthy in romantic relationships; “missionary” position all the time (lackluster sex life) and/or no sex for years.

  • They don’t have much in common – night owls and early birds tend to make unlikely bedfellows; opposites due attract but there needs to be something that keeps them connected.
  • Their careers come before the family – workaholics; low priority on spouse and children make for breeding contempt.
  • They don’t respect each other’s love language – Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages are game changers with troubled couples.
  • They are not honest about their spending of  money – little transparency on how money is being spent and saved. Not being honest about purchases.
  • They never fight – when couples are conflict avoidant they create conflict; expressing oneself in a relationship is healthy utilizing conflict resolution skills.
  • Overall immature behavior and unwillingness to resolve conflict in appropriate ways.


Throughout my years as a marriage counselor, I am happy to say I have worked with couples who have beat the odds for divorce. These couples have the desire to love and make each other happy. When things get tough they manage their acting out behavior and understand that consensus and compromise is key to growing old together.

For more information about my services please visit my website or contact me at (858) 735-1139