October 10, 2021

During a recent couples counseling session, Kylie, 36,  spoke about her frustration with her husband, Tim, 35, who she feels distances himself emotionally and doesn’t show empathy when she’s upset very often. They’ve been married three years and she’s concerned that if she doesn’t feel closer to him, it will cause them to split up because she feels lonely in their marriage. Kylie reflects: “Tim is a good husband in many ways but he tends to go into a shell… Read more

October 2, 2021

Molly was thirteen when her mom remarried and she now has two biological siblings and two step-siblings. When we met recently she shared her frustration about her stepdad, Kyle’s role in her life. Before her parents’ divorce, she only had to accept discipline from two parents and now she finds that both of her parents and her stepdad expect her to follow their directives and conform to their rules. Molly put it like this: “I don’t hate my my stepdad,… Read more

September 26, 2021

Hi Terry, I’ve always been a worrier and at age 25 was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). My worries tend to be excessive and I  ruminate about all of the things that might go wrong in life. All of this anxiety makes it difficult for me to sleep some nights and I often wake up a couple of hours early and have trouble going back to sleep. Most of the time, I blame myself when something goes wrong and… Read more

September 18, 2021

One of my clients, Jessica, 38, began dating Dave, 42, after meeting on an online dating site six months ago and she is beginning to question whether or not they have a future. During the first couple of months of dating, she was elated because Dave is handsome, charming, and has a good job as a high school teacher. However, recently, Jessica is noticing that Dave tends to make critical comments about the work she does at an advertising agency… Read more

September 11, 2021

While all couples need some sense of autonomy and closeness, many couples are chronically disconnected and dissatisfied with their degree of intimacy. The most common reason why couples develop serious difficulties is because one or both partners withdraw and go into the “silent treatment” mode due to feelings of hurt, anger, and resentment. In a recent landmark study of 14,000 participants conducted by Schrodt, women are usually (but not always) the ones who demand or pursue and men tend to withdraw… Read more

September 3, 2021

Most of the couples that I counsel complain that they argue about the same things over and over again. One or both people feel misunderstood and unappreciated by their intimate partner. For instance, Karen, 37, and married seven years to Tom, 38, wishes her husband would be more involved in the lives of their two kids, ages six and eight and not leave so many tasks and decisions up to her. Karen put it like this: “When I got married,… Read more

August 30, 2021

Hello Terry, I read your blog often but have not seen you write about how a daughter-in-law can deal with a mother-in-law who has boundary issues. I have been married for two years to a loving man, Stephen, 32, who is very close to his family. During our five year courtship, he has spent most Sundays with his parents. The good news is that I usually go along and his mother is fond of me. But her requests for Stephen… Read more

August 22, 2021

One of the most common complaints of stepparents during counseling sessions is that they’ve tried to be supportive of their stepchild but they often get the cold shoulder or they get inconsistent responses from them. For instance, Monica, 50, married to Bill, 52, for one year, has been kind and caring, toward Kylie, 15, but she often ignores her or says things like “I don’t have to listen to you.” During our session, I explained to Monica that the role… Read more

August 15, 2021

Studies show that conflict is what creates the most pain and anguish for children after parents’ split, and that keeping parental disagreements to a minimum is a key aspect of helping kids become resilient. Rebecca, 45, and her ex-husband, Ron, 50, have a high conflict relationship and don’t agree on much when it comes to their two children. For instance, Ron feels that their children, ages twelve and fourteen should not get a vaccine for Covid-19 and Rebecca believes it’s… Read more

August 7, 2021

When couples come to my office for counseling, one of the most common complaints they have is that they take each other for granted and lack appreciation or gratitude. Susannah put it like this: “I know that Thomas loves me but I rarely hear a thank you from him. We just bought a new home, and I’m good with finances and paperwork, so I handled most everything. He simply said something like “what a relief to get the mortgage approved,’… Read more

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