May 19, 2024

Karen, in her late-forties, is an architect whose first marriage ended due to infidelity.  She married her husband Brian, 52, on the rebound after a brief courtship. Karen often reacts with fear and suspicion when he returns home late from work or there’s the slightest imperfection in his story. Karen has a tendency to catastrophize when she says to Brian, “You’re always putting work first and you don’t care about me.” In the past, Brian reacted negatively to these accusations,... Read more

May 12, 2024

When Lauren, 50, described her self-destructive behaviors during a counseling session, it seemed clear that she was in a rut and not working on her goal to stop smoking and become healthier. She seemed defensive whenever I brought up the topic and yet complained about coughing and feeling worried about her lungs and the possibility of developing lung cancer one day. In an April article for The Gottman Institute’s blog, Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart offers readers advice on how to disrupt... Read more

May 5, 2024

When Maria, thirty-eight, and Ethan, forty, sat on the couch in my counseling office, they spoke about the stress that they experience when discussing money-related issues. Since Maria was laid off from her job, six months ago, they’re having more difficulty paying for their mortgage, household expenses, and both essential and discretionary items for themselves and their two daughters, ages eight and ten. Maria laments, “I’ve been searching for jobs but have not not been able to land one yet.... Read more

April 28, 2024

Sydney, 39. And Tim, 40, have been attending counseling sessions for over three months and when I asked them what they were doing to celebrate their anniversary this year, they both paused and said they didn’t have plans. Tim reflects, “It doesn’t matter what we do for our anniversary, we never really get along anyway.” Sydney responds, “This is true, it seems hypocritical for us to go out for a pricy dinner when we argue and never really listen to... Read more

April 21, 2024

Dear Terry, I’m in a relationship with a man who doesn’t respect me and treats me poorly. I keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again and don’t know how to change this pattern. He won’t end it because I do a lot for him but it rarely seems like he thinks about me or considers my needs. I desperately need your advice because I have two children, ages two and four, and I don’t want them to suffer... Read more

April 14, 2024

Karen, 42, and Kevin, 41, have been married for ten years and have fallen into the habit of bickering about small things and arguing often. On a daily basis, they no longer show appreciation for each other. As a result, their interactions have begun more negative than positive and they both reported to me (in a couples counseling session), that they would like to experience more happiness in their marriage. Perhaps the first step in overcoming this tendency to be... Read more

April 6, 2024

During a couples counseling session, Becca, 40, and David, 41, discuss their ongoing problem with communication and how they argue about how to discipline their two young children. David reflects: “I love Becca and she’s a great mom but she is too easy going with our kids. She gives in a lot when they want to read an extra book at night, for example, which makes their bedtime too late. She says I don’t understand the value of reading but... Read more

March 31, 2024

Let’s face it, most couples in second or third marriages face obstacles that those in first ones just don’t. It’s no surprise that while the divorce rate for first marriages hovers around 45 percent, the rate for second marriages is approximately 67 percent. You might wonder why this is, since intuitively we should learn important lessons from our first marriage and carry those into subsequent ones. Most remarried couples have unrealistic expectations and once the romance of dating and early marriage wears off,... Read more

March 27, 2024

The relationship a daughter has with her father has a profound impact on her life. When parents’ divorce, it often changes the dynamic of the father-daughter relationship – due to less contact – and it can be a challenge to stay connected. For the most part, a good relationship with an intimate partner is strongly tied to your relationship with your dad.  Your father’s presence (or lack of presence) in your life will affect how you will relate to all... Read more

March 17, 2024

Dear Terry, After fourteen-year of marriage, I’m at the end of my rope. My husband, Ryan is gone a lot and even when he’s home, he’s watching sports. It seems like we have the same arguments over and over again. There’s not much joy or love left in our marriage. Mostly, we argue about our kids, Tyler, 6, and Jessica, age 3. Since Ryan gets home late from his job as a store manager, he mostly wants to play with... Read more

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