“Why Can’t I Forgive?” Barriers to Forgiveness in Intimate Relationships

Imagine this scenario: Your spouse/partner has wounded you in some way. S/he has now expressed what feels like genuine remorse to you. Maybe you’ve even said you accept the apology you were offered, but now you’re wondering whether that was just lip service, because you don’t feel forgiving at all. Quite the contrary. You feel Read More

Saving a Marriage After an Affair: A Wife’s Story (part 3)

(Welcome to the blog series dedicated to affair recovery. Guest blogger Valerie is generously sharing details with us about what her life was like after she discovered her husband’s infidelity. A big thank you to Valerie! This is the third installment in the series; feel free to read the previous two as well.) Is it Read More

Saving a Marriage after an Affair: A Wife’s Story (Part 2)

(I want to thank guest blogger Valerie for sharing her story about her husband’s infidelity and their affair-recovery journey toward healing. She doesn’t pull any punches as she describes the rawness  she felt after discovering his affair. To read her first article, click affair recovery journey.) Saving a Marriage after an Affair: A Wife’s Story Read More

One Wife’s Journey to Save Her Marriage After an Affair

In my role as psychologist and couples counselor, I work with many couples whose lives have been turned inside-out over an affair. Many of them want to heal from the wounds infidelity caused, and many of them do ultimately heal. Despite the fact that I have many years’ experience working with individuals who have been Read More

Affair-Recovery: Transitions to Healing

Change in a relationship is inevitable after an affair. There is the immediate crisis that follows the discovery or revelation, and that typically includes shock, disbelief, and emotional upheaval. Whether the discovery of the unfaithfulness comes after a period of suspicion that something was amiss, or whether it seems to come from out of the Read More

3 Tips for Handling Conflicts About Money

If you’ve struggled with these issues, it may or may not be comforting to know that the most common causes of conflict within marriages and intimate relationships are sex and money. For many people, they’re understandably immediately concerned with how their own lives are playing out. For many others, they still have that immediate concern, Read More

Intimacy in Your Golden Years: Mindset Is Key

It’s an indisputable reality that our bodies change as we age, but when it comes to having a fulfilling intimate life in your marriage or relationship, you may be surprised to hear that your mindset is just as important as your physiology. The concept of “age-appropriate behavior” was originally used to track developmental progression in Read More

3 Tips for Dating After Divorce

The great novelist W. Somerset Maugham said, “There are 3 rules for writing the novel. The problem is, nobody knows what they are.” Don’t worry—this isn’t an article about writing. It really is about dating. But Maugham’s quote is relevant here because, as with anything as complex and unpredictable as dating, and, more specifically, dating Read More

When Couples Fight: “Help! I Said Something I Can’t Take Back!”

We’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to bite our tongues, times when. we’ve felt justified in being angry—so much so that we surprise ourselves with the verbiage that pops into our heads. We want the other person to get an earful of our displeasure. Even through the haze of anger, though, we understand Read More

My Husband Wants Me to Be Happy and Sometimes This Causes Problems

If you’re a woman in a committed relationship, I’d like you to think about how your husband/partner reacts to you when you’re vulnerable — do your vulnerabilities bring out the best in him? Or does he react with annoyance, frustration or even anger? One wife wanted to share what she learned about her husband after Read More

Your Day-to-Day Relationship: Sharing Chores

Most of us complete chores without thinking deeply about why we’re doing them. And they don’t necessarily pull for overthinking—even the word chore has a connotation of just-push-through-it mindlessness. When you’re out of clean clothes, you fill the washing machine. You don’t get philosophical about potential underlying reasons why you’re filling the washing machine! And Read More

Why Do Couples Fight? The Truth About Bickering

“You missed the exit.” “Did not.” “Did too.” “Do you want to drive?” “That’s not fair. You know I don’t have my prescription glasses with me.” “Like you would’ve done any better if you had.” “A chinchilla rabbit would’ve done better than you.” “Ha, ha.”
 “You missed the exit.” “Did not!” ~~~ Sound familiar? If Read More

The Power of Empathic Listening and Setting Boundaries in Marriage

The ability to be moved by another’s pain is one of the distinguishing features of our humanity. When we feel for a person, we are emotionally impacted by their particular struggle or circumstance. When this occurs, we may be more likely to react compassionately in some way (for instance, giving a loved one who is Read More

3 Tips on How to Communicate with Your Spouse

The words you use (and don’t use) continually shape your relationship. If you believe the above statement to be true, this has real implications for your marriage (and relationships in general). It means you have significant influence in your relationship, an influence that arises from the word choices you make while communicating with your spouse/partner. Read More

Steering the Tides of Your Relationship

Today you have a choice. Actually, you have many choices. We all face decision points throughout our day—many of these decisions will be made automatically, with little reflection about why we’re choosing “A” over “B” or “C.” Marriages and relationships involve an abundance of choices. It’s overwhelming to have to reflect on the hundreds of Read More

Love and Affection in Your Relationship

SYR Podcast # 11 Session Notes  (Scroll down to end of notes for podcast audio) Love and affection go hand-in-hand. At least in theory they do. The reality is that many couples love each other yet despite their love, there is little-to-no affection in their relationship. It’s a curious phenomenon when we love someone (often Read More

The Lonely Marriage: The Pain of Feeling Alone in a Relationship

SYR Podcast # 10 Session Notes  (Scroll down to end of notes for podcast audio) “Tears do not burn except in solitude.” ~ Emil Cioran You probably aren’t a stranger to loneliness. We’ve all felt lonely at some point in our lives, especially after a painful breakup or when we wanted to feel close to Read More