relationship problems

Deception: The Real Villain Behind Relationship Infidelity

When the topic of infidelity spills into our daily dose of media, we may say we saw it coming, or we may react with shock. Either way, we don’t exactly look away. Without even meaning to, we learn details, names, sources and suspicions. Most of us would admit that there is little point in speculating… Read more »

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Are You Tricking Yourself Out of Love?

I was once doing a radio show about our (my father, Dr. Robert Firestone, and my) work on the “critical inner voice,” a self-destructive thought process we all possess. The host started the show by talking about all the media attention on terrorism and the fear we, as a nation, were feeling following the attacks… Read more »

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Why the Spark Fades in a Relationship

Countless couples complain of losing the “spark” in their relationship. Some chalk it up to evolved differences, a slow growing apart, or sheer familiarity. The wave of “deadness” that can submerge a relationship after the first thrilling months or years have caused many couples to lose hope, and even look elsewhere for the excitement of… Read more »

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Why Are We Hooked on Rejection?

You don’t need to be a psychologist to note the very harsh effects of a breakup on a person’s mental health. When a relationship ends, humiliation, rage, loneliness, anguish and grief all seem to simultaneously show up at the door, marching in arm-in-arm to parade noisily around our psyche. Evicting these emotions is a matter… 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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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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