marriage

Are You Sacrificing a Perfect Relationship for a Perfect Wedding?

The peak season for “I do’s” is upon us, and if you’re among the excited couples about to walk down the aisle, you’re probably getting advice from all directions. Everyone from grandparents to groomsmen, coworkers to caterers are lining up to offer up suggestions for every detail of your big day. While planning your wedding… Read more »

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Be Your Own Couples Therapist

In my 25 years as a therapist, I’ve worked with countless couples facing a broad spectrum of challenges. Yet, despite the diversity between them in age, occupation, or origin, I’m amazed at the similarities in the patterns and pitfalls that couples fall into. When two people walk into my office and start discussing their relationship,… Read more »

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Three Ways We Make Communication Impossible

Strong communication is often said to be at the core of a solid relationship. But for communication to exist, these qualities must not. It’s sensible to imagine that when two people truly like each other, they’re willing to listen to each other’s struggles and stories, and respond with interest and compassion. But, very often, other… Read more »

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A Relationship is a Creative Work: An Interview with Dr. James and Carol Gilligan

A Relationship Is A Creative Work Dr. Carol Gilligan: It’s like, if you do any creative work, you have to be willing to fail because creative work means you’re walking off the edge of a cliff. You don’t know what you’re going to do. And we’re a society that has a very low tolerance of… Read more »

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Fear of Intimacy: Understanding Why People Fear Intimacy

What is Fear of Intimacy? Fear of intimacy is an often subconscious fear of closeness that frequently affects people’s personal relationships. This fear of physical and/or emotional intimacy tends to show up in people’s closest and most meaningful relationships. Where Does This Fear of Intimacy Come From? While there are times when we are aware… Read more »

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It Is Immoral To Stop People From Loving You

Some of the most destructive behaviors, commonplace in relationships, are those that people act out in an attempt to ward off loving responses from their partner. In The Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships, I wrote about the dynamics underlying this phenomenon, explaining why we often punish the very person who appreciates and acknowledges us for our positive… Read more »

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Are You the Cause of Your Jealousy?

Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen once wrote, “Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies.” This simple statement sets a perfect scene in our minds of what jealousy feels like; others are happy, overtly joyful or secretly mocking, while we are left alone to look like a fool. However, what drives us to feel… Read more »

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Is Sexting Cheating You Out Of Real Intimacy?

There is a good, sound argument for how technology can bring two people together. Countless couples have now met, married, forged unions, and had children as a result of a dating website, a Facebook chat, or a bold text message. Technology has provided a new platform for millions of people to take that first step… Read more »

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Staying True to Your Core Values in a Relationship

  “Feel the Feelings, but Do the Right Thing” Anxiety of changing when you’re moving toward new behavior is normal, expected, that’s why one of the lines I hear myself saying a lot in therapy is “Feel the feeling; do the right thing.  Feel the feeling, but do the right thing” because feelings are rooted… Read more »

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How To Be Loving in the Time of Twitter

It was 10 years ago in Italy when I first noticed the phenomenon.  I was on vacation with my family, seated at one of the most charming restaurants in the romantic seaside town of Portofino. My table happened to be next to a young Italian couple. Silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset, sipping wine, and sharing a… Read more »

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