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Change is destabilizing -- and for most people, destabilization is very triggering. When people are emotionally triggered or feeling insecure, relationships suffer. Sometimes, sadly, they cannot withstand the stress, and people grow apart. But does that make personal growth an adversary to good relationships?

Everything of high value requires your protection: Your sentimental objects, your iPhone, your children, your health, your IRA. So why not your dear, dear heart? Counter to popular new age philosophy that being open with and about everything is the key to living well, I am going to counsel you to protect your vulnerability.

You can’t always choose how life is going to go, but if you pay attention to the roles that simply take over and lead you nowhere, you can begin, as Katherine models, to select what roles you want to play. And that enables you to steer the relationSHIP to safety in rough waters.

Sheila and Tracy found themselves arguing mercilessly about logistics. Who was doing more household tasks? How was the middle child going to get to piano on Wednesday? When would Tracy have time to go back to yoga? Who was going to figure out the logistics of getting them to a family reunion in August? The stress became overwhelming, and threatened to destroy them.

Some people who have been enduring the Drama of the Gifted Relationship have simply tired of it. They want their relationships to be based on and about something other than processing feelings. Something like pleasure, or creativity, or both.

I usually go for seltzer water or fermented grapes, but sometimes you get the kind of news that is better swallowed with real spirits.

All through dinner prep and catching up with my friend, I breathed into my discomfort as I focused my full attention on him. My task was to really reconnect with my friend. We swapped stories and smiles, and even with the nagging provocation hangover, I was enjoying the reunion. About halfway through the meal, a miraculous thing happened. . .

My partner loves to tease when he catches me putting on a little perfume before one of my online courses. "Do you think they'll sit close enough to the webcam to smell you?" I understand how strange this seems. It's just one of the things I do to get into professional character.

Although it was a special Valentine's Day dinner, in a very pricey restaurant, we could hear the conversation of the couple next to us all too well. They weren't loud: We were quiet. Silent, in fact.

I am a denizen of the modern world of dating, in which the telephone has become nearly extinct. To arrange dates and in between them, we stay in touch via text messaging, sometimes lengthy strings of them. I enjoy it, and I can't help but wonder -- what happened to talking? In losing the voice contact, what have we lost?