Becoming a Good Husband: Are You Getting in Your Own Way?

In a previous Strengthen Your Relationship post we explored the important question, “How to be a better husband?” This question was asked by one of my readers who felt that with a little guidance he could give more of himself to his wife and their marriage. Asking ourselves these types of questions (how can i Read More

Couples Communication for Men: The Communication-Connection Link

Effective couples communication is a means to a particular end: Communication leads to greater emotional closeness (emotional intimacy). Too many men fail to realize that for their spouse/partner, in many situations, this is the only goal of communication, not problem-solving or advice about what to do in a particular circumstance (if you feel the need Read More

Relationship Advice: Understanding Your Man’s Emotional Life

What is your definition of strength? This was the question I asked men and women at a recent couples workshop. The answers were certainly enlightening. How the sexes view and define strength (in particular, emotional strength) significantly influences how men and women relate to one another. Let’s examine this idea a little further. Here are Read More

Do Men Feel Threatened By Women?

Welcome to another installment of the Relationship Help For Men series. It’s no surprise that for some men, experiencing and expressing vulnerability is akin to root canal without anesthesia.  To understand men’s struggles with emotions, it has been argued that men are socialized to avoid emotional vulnerability, and the research shows that by age four Read More

Relationship Help For Men: Why Empathy is Central in Your Relationship

Today’s blog post is written by guest expert, Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT A  recent article in ScienceDaily.com is titled, “Women Happier in Relationships Where Men Feel Their Pain.” Those of us in the field of relationship therapy have known that empathy is a cornerstone of a healthy, connected relationship. However, men and women actually want Read More

3 Ways Men Screw Up Their Relationships

Over the years I’ve worked with a large number of men who struggle in their marriages/relationships, despite their desire to be more loving and emotionally available spouses/partners. These struggles were partly due to a lack of information about the different factors that go into making up a successful, long-term relationship. What follows is a brief Read More

Relationship Help: The Dilemma of the Uncertain Man

Welcome to another installment in the Relationship Help for Men series. In today’s post we will delve a little deeper into the male psyche and examine an emotional experience that men often struggle with at an emotional cost to themselves and their spouses/partners. Have you ever felt uncertain or ambivalent about something in your life? Read More

Relationship Help for Men: Overcoming “Premature-Action Syndrome”

“Sometimes it feels like Ron has only two ways of reacting to me…he goes numb emotionally, or he tells me what he thinks I should do. As you can imagine, neither of these work for me.” ~ Tara The dilemma Tara describes above is one I often hear from women about their spouses/partners. And while Read More

Relationship Help for Men: How to Communicate with Your Spouse

Welcome to another installment of the Relationship Help For Men article series. What Women are Saying About How Guys Communicate… “It’s so much easier communicating with my girlfriends than with my husband. With my friends it feels natural, like we’re intuitively in sync with what we need from each other…”  ~Norma, married ten years “Sometimes Read More

Relationship Help For Men: When Men Feel Helpless (Part 2)

In a previous article (Relationship Help for Men), I described how some men react angrily when their spouse/partner is emotionally upset—and how this anger is a defensive reaction to feeling helplessness in the face of a loved one’s distress. The sequence of events and reactions might look something like: A wife is clearly upset and Read More

Men and Intimacy: Why Men Struggle as Husbands and Lovers

From a very early age, men are raised to compete, to experience themselves and others as competitors (or potential competitors), and this competitive mindset has dramatic implications for how men relate to their spouses/partners. The competitive mindset (in all its permutations) psychologically positions men outside of their relationship and above their spouse/partner, a relational stance Read More

Relationship Help: When Men Feel Helpless

Relationship Help Quick Tip John feels totally helpless when his wife Noreen is upset or cries. But rather than fully experience these  feelings (and be emotionally present for his wife), John enters into an emotional shell game by replacing his feelings of helplessness with annoyance and anger at Noreen. John’s experience becomes so narrowed that Read More

Marriage Help: Why It May Not Be Your Partner’s Fault

I recently had a discussion with several people who have a pretty pessimistic view of commitment and marriage. Here are some things they shared: “Who wants that kind of obligation?” “I don’t like always having to answer to someone.” “She tried to place restrictions on me.” Clearly this group viewed marriage as a form of Read More

Relationship Advice for Women: Build a Feelings-Friendly Relationship for Your Man

“I’d just like him to share what he’s feeling more. That’s how I feel connected… I know it’s really hard for him, but I feel close to him when he talks about his feelings.” ~Sandra, talking about her husband Chris “For me, it’s strange to talk about my feelings. Honestly, I was never asked about Read More