Emotionally Intelligent Husbands are a Key to a Lasting Marriage

In a long-term study of 120 newlywed couples, Dr. John Gottman* discovered that men who allow their wives to influence them have happier marriages and are less likely to divorce. Meet Lauren and Steven.**  While Steven believes an equal partnership is the key to a happy and lasting marriage, his actions speak differently. Steven:  “The guys […]

On Being Present with Your Mate

I believe the bottom line of any loving relationship is “being present.” What does that mean? It means being responsive when your partner is reaching out to you, or as John Gottman puts it, “making a bid for connection.” and feeling that you are responding in an attentive, respectful, interested manner–i.e. “being present.” The ground […]

Dangerous Myths About Relationships

According to John Gottman, renowned research psychologist and marriage counselor, there are many myths about relationships that are not only false but potentially destructive.  They are dangerous because they can lead couples down the wrong path, or worse, convince them that their marriage is a hopeless case.  The notion that you can save your relationship […]

Love Consists in This…

One of my favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, defines love as follows:   Love consists in this…..that two solitudes protect, and touch and greet each other. For some reason, that one phrase has stayed in my heart for years….. He wrote the poem in the 19th century, but he defined love as we have come to scientifically […]

The Worst Kind of Communication

John Gottman writes about four types of communication that are most detrimental to marital or committed relationships: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.  Of the four, he names contempt as the most toxic predictor of divorce. Based on my own observations, I agree with him.   Contempt expresses the feeling of dislike toward somebody and implies […]

Compassion: The Essence of a Loving Relationship

When couples have compassion for each other, here is what they hear from each other in words and actions: I’m interested in you……. I hear you……..I understand how you feel…..I’m with you……I’d like to help you (whether I can or not)…..I’d like to be with you (whether I can or not)….I accept you (even if I don’t accept […]

The Grass is Greener

 I recently received a post from the Gottman Institute. I liked it and have decided to share it with you.  It’s called The Grass is Greener.  In any interaction, there is a possibility of connecting with your partner or turning away. One single moment is not that important, but if you’re consistently choosing to turn away, then trust […]

The Best Predictor of Your Happiness Is…

Greetings everyone……I received a report recently which I have decided to share with everyone.  For over 75 years, a team at Harvard has tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations:  over 700 men from both poor families and graduates from Harvard. The study included brain scans, blood samples, self-reported surveys and actual interactions. […]

The Positive Need

After 30 years of doing couples therapy, I know that both Alexia and James are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Submerged below is the massive real issue: both partners feel emotionally disconnected. “If Alexia would just not get so emotional and listen to my argument about our finances and the kids, we would […]

Turn Off Your Stupid Smart Phones

Greetings everyone……I have some important advice:  Turn off your stupid smartphones, iPhones, cell phones, laptops, video games–whatever!  I exaggerate of course, but recent research is indicating that as electronic communication has grown, our attention span is decreasing, our intellects are weakening, and human connections have declined. We are close electronically.  Yet we are drifting farther […]