John Gottman discovered that 69 percent of all relationship conflicts are perpetual. Common examples of perpetual problems include situations where one person likes to go out while the other prefers to stay in, or where one person is neat and the other is messy. These might include differing opinions on work, family, ambition, money, and sexual frequency. Imagine that you're someone who arrives five (okay, ten) minutes late to everything, and your significant other grew up in a family with the slogan Early is on time, on time is late, and late means don't bother showing up. You'll inevitably fight over punctuality. But you can override this control center. If you think that you are a submissive pack animal, and you have these inhibitory mechanisms, it's very hard to push past that fear, that shame, that guilt and come into your power and uprightness, Dr Rader explained. In nature, if there's a submissive pack animal who one day has the courage to override the inhibitory mechanisms and actually confront an alpha animal, if they have that fight, it does not matter whether they win or lose, from that day forward the beta is regarded as an alpha in the pack. They change their brains, and they change their status in the community. We're the same as those animals. If we are able to stand, feel our muscles, feel our power, feel our ability to say no, then we are able to carry ourselves like an alpha and change how it feels to be inside of our bodies and how people react to us in the world. To help patients push past their inhibitions, Dr Rader uses a practice from somatic experiencing called Wall Work, where they push against a wall as hard as they can, screaming, growling, and grunting like an animal. This retrains their brain that it's okay to defend and show aggression. Now, no one is saying that you should start a fight or get physical. It's just teaching your mind that you do have the power to stand up for and protect yourself and that you hold the authority in your life. Would God leave Joseph without any means for learning what he came here to learn? How could God do that if God is the love in Joseph's own heart? As Joseph continues his journey, he may think he wants many different things for many different reasons, but his soul knows what he needs. If his needs don't match his wants, his wants don't manifest. Joseph can either accept this idea, or he can continually believe that he doesn't have what he should have.

Regardless of Joseph's progress at any given moment, he can't be denied the appropriate growth his soul believes is timely. He will find the entities he planned to find, and he will find them in whatever way enlightens his soul. Conversely, what he doesn't need, he won't find. This is where Joseph either finds peace of mind or he doesn't. If he loves his life and all that it embraces, he finds contentment. You may find solutions to manage this difference, like going to the airport separately, but it's unlikely that you'll solve the problem. The goal is not to convince each other to change or even to come to an agreement--it's to find a productive way to live with this difference. As the late couples therapist Dan Wile explained in his article After the Honeymoon: When choosing a long-term partner, you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unresolvable problems. The goal isn't to find someone with whom you don't fight. It's to choose a partner with whom you fight well, and who doesn't make you worry that the fight will end the relationship. The second element to fighting well is being able to recover from a disagreement. John Gottman writes about repair attempts, statements or actions that prevent a fight from escalating. Successful couples are able to break the intensity of a fight by making a joke, conceding a point, or telling their partner what they appreciate about them. Key tip for your dating search Remember that you'll inevitably have disagreements with whomever you choose. Just practicing saying no can help you override your beta programming. Think about how often you say this two-letter word. Does the thought alone make you feel guilty or bad? Just say no to yourself in the mirror. Say it to the easiest person in your life--someone who you know is 100 percent in your corner and supportive, nonjudgmental, and totally understanding, always.

Or the next time someone asks you to do something, say, Let me think about it. This is one of the greatest responses you can give. It's a check on all the reflexive yeses that you may give when you really don't have the time, energy, or capacity. When you say, I'll get back to you, it's a boundary. It allows you to check in with yourself when you're in a quieter, more relaxed space. If he complains about his life, his complaints grow. To heal, he must appreciate what is. If children don't come to Joseph the usual way, his soul finds another way of welcoming them; The means by which he finds the people he wants to know is irrelevant; If your life is similar to Joseph's and you have adopted a child, explain as soon as possible how you found each other. And do it in a way that is comfortable for you to refer to for the rest of your life together. Bring your honesty as you answer all his questions so that your future together is based on trust and harmony. A child knows when he is ready to learn about his origin. More importantly, he wants to feel the wisdom in whatever route he has taken. If you respond to his inquiries with compassion and respect, you have given him the gift he seeks. Pay attention to how you fight. Are you able to get your point across? Do you feel heard? Does your partner make repair attempts to de-escalate the disagreement? The goal is to fight well, not to avoid fights altogether.

You and your partner will, at some point, face tough choices. What do you do if one of you gets an unbelievable job offer in another city? Or if you need to raise a child with a disability? How will you handle aging parents who need around-the-clock care? You want to be with someone who can make hard decisions with you. When you have the answer, then you can email, text, or call. Think of this as building your no muscle. Take actions that are slightly out of your comfort zone, and over time, setting boundaries will become easier. If getting to no remains difficult, it could be a sign you need to look within. Often it's unconscious beliefs and fears--usually created because of our traumas--that stop us from acting in our own best interests. You may need to ask some uncomfortable questions like What do I think is going to happen if I say no? Why would I rather please people than myself? Am I a caretaker of everyone else but me? Why do I believe someone else's feelings and experience are more important than mine? We'll admit, these are deep, profound questions, but if you can look in the mirror and be honest with yourself, the answers can transform you. Don't be afraid to admit how excited you were to welcome this beautiful angel. Thank him for joining you. And by all means, tell him how determined you were to find him. That helps him to relive the excitement of responding. Jousting from rage to rage to rage does not bring resolution.

Resolution comes from letting go of blame. If you are divorced, no one is to blame regardless of how many good reasons you have for making others wrong. Divorce comes when family members, including the children, are ready to move on. Whether that divorce is filled with agony or expectation is up to you. You may think you will suffer less by finding fault with your ex. One of my clients dated someone who lost her job the first month they were dating: She had to simultaneously mourn the loss of her dream job and look for new work. If she couldn't find something good quickly, she had to decide if she wanted to stay in San Francisco or move back east. While this was challenging, my client said that helping her through these tough choices revealed how well they functioned together in a challenging situation. It certainly wasn't fun, but it demonstrated their compatibility and strengthened their relationship. Key tip for your dating search The best way to know what it will be like to make decisions with someone is to actually make decisions together. Real decisions (read: not whether to order Chinese or Thai food). It's critical to stress-test your relationship. I am not recommending that you artificially create a crisis (such as texting: HELP! Grandma's been kidnapped! If you need an outside assist from a therapist or healer, please welcome it. They can help you see clearly what often gets distorted or hidden. The word forgiveness gets batted around a lot in trauma circles. It's essential when it comes to resolving our pain, but it's also one of the most widely misunderstood spiritual and psychological practices. Most of us are programmed to think forgiveness is a way of telling the person (we'll call them the perpetrator) that what they did is okay, or that we forgive them for what they did.