Catherine DeMonte, LMFT – Contributing Author to “Making Marriage A Success”

December 10, 2011 at 8:10 am (children, Divorce, Intimacy, love, maintaining balance, marriage, relationships, women's health) (, , , , , , , , , )

Making Marriage A Success

Catherine DeMonte, LMFT - Contributing Writer

is available for purchase at and

I am happy to announce that I was interviewed as a “Relationship Expert” for a book “Making Marriage a Success” by Jaleh Weber which just got published. The book is available on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble and online bookstores. It may also be purchased as an e-book. Here is my contribution to it:

Thought I would share it with you in the hopes that it might be useful to you in your life. ~enjoy!

“It is important to remember that when we enter into a relationship we are not entering it empty handed. We arrive into every relationship with our own baggage, our own stories, our own spoken and unspoken/conscious and unconscious beliefs, goals and desires, our own gender and role assignments, our parents input and programming, and all of our experiences. That is a lot to bring. Although we THINK we are seeing our partner with fresh eyes, we are really looking at him or her through a set of lenses; lens made out of past relationships and our whole belief system. How that shows up is, if for example your father abandoned your family when you were a child, you may believe all men eventually leave and will forever be on the lookout for his departure. You look for it so you won’t be side-swiped “when” (not “if”) it happens and may look for cues and clues that aren’t really there of his eventual departure. You might even unconsciously push him away so he will prove you right.

Another example is a girl who didn’t get a lot of attention from her father growing up might feel lonely and not cared about by her husband because he works long hours all week. However his story is that it’s a man’s job to provide well for his family and by sacrificing so much time away to earn money he is proving to her how much she means to him. A conversation about how both partners see the same situation differently becomes vital.
Whatever your “wound” or story is – it is important to have enough self-awareness so that you know when your partner triggers you, you don’t see it as “proof” of your wound – such as “I am not enough”, “I will be abandoned” “I have to do everything myself”, etc. Otherwise self-judgments turn into “My PARTNER is saying I am not enough”, “S/he is going to leave me.”, etc.

It is common to hear one half of a couple say to the other, “That is NOT what I said” or “I didn’t mean it like that!” That is because how it is said and how it lands by the listener can be two different things. We sometimes forget we are hearing things through our own filters. So when triggered by your partner, it is important not to look across at them and assign blame for how you feel but to look DOWN – into yourself, and see why you are triggered (which you can determine if you ask questions like “How does this feeling feel familiar?” or, “Do I truly believe my partner would mean it the way I took it? Is that really like him or her?”).
One of the many gifts of being in the close and intimate relationship that is marriage is that our partners becomes mirrors for us – mirrors that reflect both our beauty and where we need to grow. Perhaps if you get triggered by your partner, you can RESPOND instead of REACT and use it as an opportunity for your own self-awareness, growth and healing. This brings about not only self-awareness, but closeness and connection in the relationship as well.”

Catherine DeMonte, LMFT
Marriage, Family, Child Therapy
(310) 295-2130 Beverly Hills
(818) 880-6559 Calabasas

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