And Yet…

My thoughts about the NY Sunday Times essay, “The Wedding Toast I Will Never Give”: The phrase that caught my attention the most was “and yet.” The writer, Ada Calhoun, writes: “I love this person, and yet she’s such a mess.  And yet when I’m sick, he’s not very nurturing.  And yet we don’t want the same number of […]

The Key to Succeeding in Marriage

A Psychology Today edition (Oct. 2015) included an article about the work of John Gottman which has long been in the public eye. I have extracted some of the article’s highlights. For example, it highlighted one of his most vocalized findings based on his research: to maintain a satisfying relationship, couples must generate five seconds of positive […]

Disrespectful Judgments in Your Marriage?

The communications that are most destructive in relationships are those that express criticism or impart a judgmental attitude. When couples meet with me and claim their major problem is “communication”, most of the time the problem is actually feeling criticized or judged when communicating which leads to a very negative cycle of demand/withdraw that never […]

How Problems Lead to Intimacy

There are unsolvable problems in every relationship. Choosing a partner in a committed relationship is choosing a set of problems–in many cases, irreconcilable.  You can decide to throw in the towel, divorce, and choose a different partner down the road, but you will be choosing another set of problems. Not romantic, I know. But here is the […]

The Art of Intimate Conversation

Intimacy implies closeness or feeling attuned, known by your partner, and connected. Emotional connection is the main reason we seek committed relationships.  We are all wired for intimacy. Intimacy is usually thought of as physical and sexual in nature. True, but another avenue to intimacy is through conversation, i.e., the manner in which couples converse on […]

When Relationships Soothe the Brain (The Science of Love)

Consider this: A happier New Year may mean a healthier relationship with your partner.  In fact, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, nearly a third of all goals set in the new year are relationship related. Now most couples think they should focus on communication skills to improve their relationship. Communication skills are definitely […]

Couples Sexual Desire

  Our culture is dominated by fantasy images of sex. Attraction means instant sexual compatibility and eroticism. Sex is always highly passionate orgasmic magic!  But passionate sex seldom lasts even until marriage.  The images presented through movies, porn, novels, and songs are counterproductive for couples trying to renew or maintain a vital sexual bond.      Most […]

Couples Sexual Desire, Part II

Desire for an intimate, secure relationship is a major force in the decision to marry.  An intimate marriage facilitates sexual desire.  In fact, a prime function of marital sexuality is to reinforce and deepen intimacy.  The essence of intimacy is feeling emotionally close, connected, and valued.   Intimacy provides energizing special feelings How best can […]

When Love Erodes

Most of the couples who sit in my office are there because they have begun to turn against each other in conflict. Communication has broken down.  Love has eroded and couples are concerned that they can’t stop the arguing. When love begins to erode, what is missing is attunement and the emotional responsiveness that goes […]

A Review: Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person

The following are quotes I have selected from a recent article in the Sunday New York Times: Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person, by Alain De Botton.  Read the quotes and think about them. Do you agree with any of them? Have a conversation with your spouse, significant other, or close friend about the quotes.  The […]