You hardly talk to me anymore

You hardly talk to me anymore When I come through the door at the end of the day I remember when you couldn't wait to love me Used to hate to leave me... It used to be so natural To talk about forever But used-to-be's don't count anymore They just lay on the floor 'til we sweep them away... These are some of the lyrics from a well known song written by Neil Diamond and sung by many artists over the years. The lyrics tell a common tale that many struggle with. Do you relate? Does it … [Read more...]

Take the Stronger Couples 365 Challenge

The year is coming to an end and this is the time when many people naturally reflect on their lives and decide what changes need to be made. Often the goals for the new year are focused on individual pursuits. This coming year, instead of focusing on improving yourself, make this coming year a time to focus on strengthening your couple relationship. I am challenging all couples to take our Stronger Couples 365 challenge. The challenge is this: Every day next year, make a conscious choice to … [Read more...]

Stop the Relationship Wrestling

Take down–two points. Reversal–two points. Pin–for the win. These are all things I witnessed at my son’s most recent wrestling tournament. As I sat and watched my son wrestle, I couldn’t help but think that I see a similar pattern of verbal and emotional behavior from many of the couples I have seen in my office. Each of these couples seem more concerned with taking down their partner or finding a reversal or a comeback. While some partners will go to great lengths to get the pin and get the … [Read more...]

Create a Magical Couple Relationship

When I was a little boy, I would lay awake anticipating what presents Santa Claus was going to bring me. In spite of fact that Santa Claus never gave me what I had asked for, year after year I would experience the wonder and excitement of anticipating what Santa would bring me. I believe my childhood anticipation was a gift that made this time of year “magical” for me. As I think about other “magical” moments in my life that I have awaited with excited anticipation, I think about, the time I … [Read more...]

Family First

We live in a world driven by aspirations, public opinion, and striving to be the best. Why do we do this? The short and blunt answer might be: image management. At what cost? The short and blunt answer might be: our families. I have been one who has always strived to excel. I worked hard as a child to live up to my potential. I secured a scholarship to college, attended the best graduate programs in my field, ran for public office, sat on advisory boards, developed a successful business that … [Read more...]

In Which Category Do Your Relationship Problems Fall?

In my office I frequently hear couples say, “When a couple can’t agree on things like sex and money and can’t communicate, they end up getting divorced…Right?” These may be perceived reasons that cause divorce, but I suggest that there are three categories where the majority of relationship problems land. May I suggest that it is the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, that are at the root of each of the three categories below, that leads to relationship problems and ultimately leads to … [Read more...]

Can our marriage be saved?

A common question I receive at first appointments from couples is: Can our marriage be saved? This is a good question. One that can help you determine if you should or should not try to work through things in counseling. If you ever find yourself asking this question, consider these thoughts: Do you love your spouse? Are you willing to improve with out needing to wait to see if your spouse improves first? Are you willing to work on strengthening your friendship with and commitment … [Read more...]

Venting Leads to Relationship Suffocation

If you carefully read the label of many cleaners, glues, paints, or anything else that it potentially toxic, it will tell you to use the product in a well ventilated area. In these instances, proper ventilation helps us to minimize the effects that toxic fumes may have on our minds and bodies. However, when it comes to building a stronger relationship, venting to others about your spouse/partner can cause the relationship to suffocate. You may have assumed that venting to family and friends … [Read more...]

Marriage counselor with a flip phone

I trying an experiment that I began a few months ago until the end of the year. I gave up my smartphone. In recent years more and more research has found correlations between smartphone use and marriage problems, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and emotional distance. I see it in my clients. I have counseled couples for years to be careful with their use so that the phone doesn't take away from family time. Unfortunately, I found that I was not feeling as happy, my kids would ask if I was done … [Read more...]

Default or Intentional

A copy machine is designed with a default setting: push the button and it automatically makes one black and white copy. If you want something different, you must intentionally select the settings that you want: more copies, double-sided, enlarged, color. etc. This may work well with copy machines, but not so well with marriages and families. The default setting for many marriages and families is that of minimal connection, meals on the run, unplanned and heated exchanges about schedules, chores, … [Read more...]

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