160: The Four Noble Truths of Love and Relationship – with Susan Piver

160: The Four Noble Truths of Love and Relationship – with Susan Piver

How do you apply ancient Buddhist wisdom to your relationship in a way that helps you connect with your partner? How do you build the intimacy even if you’re not feeling the love? One day, as Susan Piver was experiencing what felt like an unsolvable problem in her relationship, she heard a voice say “Begin at the beginning – the four noble truths”. And much like the four noble truths of the Buddha, which identify the cause of suffering (and the cure), Susan Piver’s new book The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships can help you identify not only why relationships can be challenging – but also what to do about it. Along the way, you’ll also learn some powerful strategies for getting centered, finding your own sense of balance, and building the strength and resilience of your relationship – despite all the complexities.

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159: What Is a Realistic Expectation for Change in Your Relationship?

159: What Is a Realistic Expectation for Change in Your Relationship?

What’s realistic to expect in terms of things improving between you and your partner? When you’re trying to change something in yourself? Or when you’re hoping your partner will change? Once you’ve identified a place where you want things to be different (or see those things all around you), you can sometimes feel an overwhelming sense of urgency. How will all this get done? Can’t it all just be fixed – NOW? This week we’re going to continue the process we started in Episode 157, where we took stock of our relationship – identifying the things we want to celebrate and also the things that we’d like to improve. Today you’ll discover a simple process that will help you relax, prioritize, and know exactly what the next right thing to do is in terms of improving the way things are.

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158: Loving Completely – Integrating Science, Heart, and Spirit – with Keith Witt

158: Loving Completely – Integrating Science, Heart, and Spirit – with Keith Witt

Do you ever feel like there’s a barrier between what you know about how to have a good relationship, and what you actually do? How do you take what we know about the science of relationships, combine it with the wisdom of our hearts and our quest for deeper meaning, and integrate it into something practical? Today we’re going to get practical, integrated, and Integral with a return visit from Keith Witt, whose new book Loving Completely: A Five Star Practice for Creating Great Relationships was just released. Keith Witt has conducted more than 55,000 (!!) therapy sessions, and is also often featured on Jeff Salzman’s The Daily Evolver podcast. He is truly gifted at taking the “big picture” and making it useful for a daily lives. Loving Completely is a manual for how to not only set a higher standard for what’s possible in your relationship, but you also get simple steps that get you there.

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157: Celebrating and Taking Stock

157: Celebrating and Taking Stock

Do you ever feel like you’ll never quite reach your ideal in your relationship? And does it bring you down? How do you take stock of how things are going in a way that helps you not only improve things, but also identify what your strengths are – what needs celebrating? On today’s episode, you’ll learn a simple process for assessing things in your relationship – and how to celebrate the things that are celebration-worthy. And you’ll uncover a way to hold your ideal vision without it becoming something that teases you by being continually out of reach. How do you hold your ideal, while celebrating along the way? That’s what’s up in this week’s episode of Relationship Alive – which also happens to mark the 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the podcast.

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156: Rethinking Narcissism and Its Impact on Your Relationship – with Craig Malkin

156: Rethinking Narcissism and Its Impact on Your Relationship – with Craig Malkin

Do you suspect that you someone you love might be a narcissist? Or have you been told that you might be a narcissist? What can you do to bring a narcissist (or your own narcissistic tendencies) back into balance? What is the difference between healthy self-esteem and narcissism? Today we’re talking to Dr. Craig Malkin, author of Rethinking Narcissism: The Secret to Recognizing and Coping with Narcissists, and one of the world’s leading experts on how to heal when narcissism impacts you. Our conversation will teach you how to recognize true narcissism and what do do about it. You’ll also learn why a certain amount of narcissism is good for you and your relationship. And if you’re on the opposite end of the scale, an “echoist” in relationship with a narcissist, you’ll discover how to safely reclaim your own voice, without necessarily blowing up your connection.

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155: How to Communicate about Something You’ve Been Avoiding

155: How to Communicate about Something You’ve Been Avoiding

You know those things in your relationship that you don’t talk about? Over time, they will drain the energy, passion, and vitality from your connection. In today’s episode, I’ll walk you through the process of how (and why) to communicate about the things that you avoid – to give you the best chance of finally resolving those things and moving on. You can tackle something big first, or you can start with something smaller and build on your success. Either way, my goal for you is to be able to collaborate with your partner on getting through the challenging conversations – so that you can have more energy for connection and growing your relationship.

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154: What’s Different and What’s Universal – Gay Male Relationships – with Rick Miller

154: What’s Different and What’s Universal – Gay Male Relationships – with Rick Miller

If you’re in a same-sex relationship, do the rules change? Or are there universal principles of relationship that foster intimacy and passion no matter what kind of relationship you’re in? Today’s guest is Rick Miller, author of Mindfulness Tools for Gay Men in Therapy and Unwrapped: Integrative Therapy with Gay Men. Rick Miller has also been featured at the Couples Conference, and is on the faculty for Esther Perel’s Sessions Live 2018. Rick and I chat about the unique challenges faced by same-sex couples, particularly gay men in relationship. How do you address the uniqueness, while at the same time staying true to what we know about what works in relationships? In this far-ranging conversation, we cover the particulars as well as what we can all learn from how to have a successful same-sex relationship.

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153: Turn Blame into Something Positive – with Neil Sattin

153: Turn Blame into Something Positive – with Neil Sattin

Are you someone who blames yourself when things go wrong? Or do you tend to blame other people? Even though we might think of blame as a negative thing, in today's episode I'm going to show you how to use your blame (whether it's self-directed or pointed at others) to truly learn and grow when things don't turn out quite as you're expecting. This 4-step process will transform your experience of blame, so that it becomes a way to deepen your connection with yourself and others.

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152: Get Unstuck and onto the Same Team – Relationship Development with Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson

152: Get Unstuck and onto the Same Team – Relationship Development with Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson

As your relationship changes, are things getting better and better? Or have you gotten stuck along the way? If you get stuck – how do you get unstuck? And no matter what happens, how do you foster a sense of collaboration, of being on the “same team” with your partner? Today’s guests, Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson, have charted the course of how relationships develop – in fact, they created the “Developmental Model” for working with couples. Along with practical experience from having helped many couples, Ellyn and Peter are among the leaders in the field of training couples therapists to become more effective. Their book for therapists, In Quest of the Mythical Mate: A Developmental Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment in Couples Therapy is a classic that has stood the test of time – unlike many other books and theories that have come and gone. Today you’ll learn how to figure out where you’re stuck in your relationship, and how to be on the same team as you steer things back in a healthier direction.

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151: How to Stop Coping and Start Growing

151: How to Stop Coping and Start Growing

You know all those ways that you've learned to cope over the years? The little things that you do that distract you from feeling uncomfortable, or bored, or stressed? While some coping strategies are positive for you, others rob you of the chance to actually either deal with what's there, or to fully experience the moment – to be present. Developing your ability to be present, to dive into the moment without distracting yourself, is the key to keeping things connected and energized with your partner. Today you're going to learn how to identify your coping strategies, decide whether they're serving you or not, and how to transform your habits of distraction and coping into new, positive habits.

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Podcast Reviews

  • Very relevant and valuable but...
    September 11, 2018 by conan2280 from United States

    This podcast was recommended to me by my therapist. So far, I really like what I’ve heard and the topics have been very helpful to me. The one criticism I have and why I’m giving the podcast 4 stars is the occasional profanity requiring I have to allow explicit in my iPhone restrictions. I know many are ok with profanity and it makes it “real” for them, but for me, it is abrasive to the ears and I wouldn’t expect it in a great podcast like this.

  • Amazing relationship help!
    August 6, 2018 by Neos lawn care from United States

    I’ve been listening to this podcast for over a year now. Neil stays current and offers some of the best guests and topics I’ve come across. Very helpful and applies to what I’ve been looking for! Thanks Neil 💗 you’ve helped my relationship in many ways!

  • It’s been a worthwhile journey
    July 31, 2018 by Scarfgirl from United States

    I subscribed to this podcast while I was trying to fix my broken marriage, but only really started listening during my divorce. So I haven’t been in a romantic relationship for most of the time that I have listened to this podcast, but it’s been a real pleasure to be exposed to so many researchers and authors I would not have otherwise found and their knowledge as well. This podcast has improved my relationship with myself, my kids, my family and my friends. It has also kept me aware of what is possible in a *good*/amazing/fully committed relationship during what could be a time of contraction and despair. I always learn something here, and I really relish the opportunity to bring this learning into *so* many different areas of my life, perhaps most of all my relationship to myself. I feel like I’m a walking testament to the power of this podcast and the transferable skills and knowledge Neil and Chloe bring to light. I don’t know if I will ever be in a romantic relationship again, but if I am, I feel very confident that I will bring more capacity for joy, presence, good communication, possibility and growth than I did at other times in my life; I have Neil to thank, in part, for that. So thanks Neil & keep it coming - I am listening!

  • The Best Podcast on Relationships
    July 24, 2018 by Elizak1 from United States

    This podcast was one of the first podcasts I began listening to and it's the reason I'm now a podcast addict! Some podcasts you listen to for a couple weeks or a month and than it gets old - this is not one of those podcasts! This podcast is fresh and new and ALIVE every time. Neil goes deeper than most podcasters are willing to go and, as a result, this podcast will take you deeper than you could imagine. Neil is one of the best interviewers I've ever listened to. This podcast transformed my life and my relationship. Thank you Neil!

  • Oops I think I review this one on accident BUT
    May 29, 2018 by monicajacobsiam from United States

    Please know I looooove your podcast !!!!