September 25, 2022

Bailey, 36, and Kevin, 40, sat on my couch for their couples counseling session and shared their disappointment about their bickering and falling out of love. Bailey put it like this, “Kevin works long hours and when we do see each other, we argue a lot. I just don’t feel loved by him anymore and feel sad about it.” Kevin responds, “I’m at the end of my rope with Bailey’s criticism and negative evaluations about our relationship. We’ve only been... Read more

September 19, 2022

During a recent couples counseling session, Karen, 37, and Rob, 40, discuss their destructive pursuer-distancer pattern in their marriage. During their ten-year relationship, Karen has felt ignored and emotionally neglected by Rob often and Rob feels criticized, unloved, and unappreciated.   Karen put it like this, “No matter how hard I try, Rob withdraws and avoids talking to me when I seek him out. He says that I’m needy and put too much pressure on him and I feel lonely... Read more

September 11, 2022

Allyssa, 37, and John, 40, sat on the couch in my office for their first couples counseling session and spoke about how frequently they trigger each other. When this happens, it usually sets the stage for arguments where they say hurtful things to one another. These disagreements can lead to tension and emotional distance that lasts for several hours, or even a couple of days. Allyssa put it like this. “I love John but sometimes my mind spins out of... Read more

September 4, 2022

While it’s tempting to launch into expressing anger and to get into the attack mode when you feel hurt or frustrated, it can alienate your partner and drive a wedge between you. That said, you’ll accomplish more and improve your communication if you tell your partner what you need in a positive way. For instance, if Joshua says to Bella “I would appreciate it if you’d tell me about your plans with your family,” this “I” statement would be more... Read more

August 28, 2022

You will disagree with your partner, that’s a given. But it’s not arguing with him or her that’s the problem, it’s how your differences are managed. Love means risking occasionally getting your feelings hurt because it’s the price you pay for intimacy. Most of us dislike conflict. But while conflict may appear to be a destructive force in relationships, it can actually help us achieve lasting love.   In all intimate relationships, conflicting needs for closeness and space exist. When issues come... Read more

August 18, 2022

While all parents have faced the challenge of raising children, many single parents have had to adapt to working from home without a spouse to share responsibilities, not having enough resources, feeling overwhelmed, and adopting new routines amidst inadequate support. For instance, Paula, 42, a single parent for three years and raising two grade school kids while working full-time, put it like this: “I get up at 5am to make breakfast and get ready for the day and feel guilty... Read more

August 15, 2022

Most experts advise against rebound relationships because newly divorced people need time to recover from their divorce and any emotional baggage that needs to be dealt with. Put simply, we need to put these ghosts and past memories in their proper place so that we can be fully available for a new partner. However, in certain cases when people go into them with realistic expectations, they can help facilitate healing and boost a person’s self-confidence. Dating a few different people... Read more

August 7, 2022

If you find yourself attracted to a partner who is emotionally unavailable or distant, or someone who is a taker, you may be inclined to have one-sided relationships and love too much. Perhaps you grew up in a family where you were a caretaker or focused more on making others happy rather than yourself. Maybe you even felt that you had to be in a good mood regardless of your true feelings so you became a people pleaser. There are... Read more

July 31, 2022

As a therapist, many parents complain to me that there is too much conflict and that they’re all going in different directions. As a result, communication between members can be ineffective and tense. This is especially true when parents are trying to raise children and teenagers who participate in afterschool activities and have converging interests and needs. For instance, Alana, 46, a single mom with three children, ages ten to fifteen, wants her kids to get along better, stop bickering... Read more

July 24, 2022

We’ve long understood the pain and perils of relationships characterized by physical and emotional abuse. The toxic and often tragic consequences of abuse between couples are as wide ranging as they are reprehensible.   However, there is another kind of abuse, often obscured and unseen, that wreaks havoc on relationships and leaves dissatisfaction, distress, and divorce in its wake. In a recent article for The Good Men Project, Thomas G. Fiffer explores the silent suffering of those in unhealthy and... Read more

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