relationship problems

Are You in an Unhealthy Relationship?

Every couple goes through rough patches. Yet, when these patches stretch out into long-term struggles, how can we tell if the relationship is worth salvaging? Is it our own shortcomings and defenses that have caused us to fall out of love, or are we actually in an unhealthy relationship? Here are some signs to look… Read more »

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Relationship Skills

In her article “After the Honeymoon,” psychologist Donna Rockwell opens with the straightforward words, “Listen up. Marriage is hard work.”  She then goes on to explore and explain just why this is and what couples can do about it. Yet, this simple directive alone – to “listen up” – is a good starting place for… Read more »

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Stop the Blame Game to Improve Your Relationship

When it comes to placing blame in a relationship, it’s almost always easier to see the faults in our partner than in ourselves. One of the problems with couples pointing fingers is that usually both parties are right, and both are wrong. Every person is full of flaws and certain ways that we attempt to… Read more »

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What’s Wrong With Infidelity?

Studies show that between 30 and 60 percent of married individuals in the United States will cheat on their partner at some point in their marriage. Infidelity has increased significantly among married couples in their 20s, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that, “Between 1991 and 2006, the numbers of unfaithful wives under 30 increased… Read more »

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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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