Welcome to our Blog

Here we post articles and practical exercises for couples who wish to improve their marriage or relationship. Look through the title and beginnings of articles below, and click any title to read them. It’s good to know you’re not alone.

How to have open, honest conversations in your relationship

The other day my husband, Dan had a reaction about me, which he chose to share. He said something along the lines of, “you know, you are really a good balance between being creative and detail-oriented.” I liked what I heard. “Oh? Tell me more”, I said. He went on to elaborate, and I ended up learning more not only about myself in that conversation, but about him as well—how he perceives me, types of behaviors he appreciates, etc. It was a rich and interesting conversation. Afterwards, I got to thinking… It’s so easy to say “tell me [...]

Can you change your partner?

"People don't change."Do you think that statement is true?In my 15 years of working with couples, I have seen many people change.In fact, I think that's what good relationships are all about...we pull on each other to change... to grow.  This growth is what keeps juice and vitality in relationships over time. A relationship void of growth is a relationship that is boring and can feel stagnant.Not always but often, when your partner is asking for a change from you, it is a change that will require growth of you (that's a good thing!)I was working with a couple recently:Partner [...]

We Can’t Communicate: How To Change Pain Into Connection

When “Right" is WRONG... Does this sound familiar? You approach your partner to tell them about something that upsets you. You start talking, but then of all the sudden your partner jumps in...  "Wait, that isn’t right! That isn’t how it happened!" Or "No you’re remembering wrong!" Then before you know it, you’re going around and round about the details and time line. Once the conversation devolves, the whole issue you started with gets lost; the vulnerability you were hoping to share gets destroyed by "right". When couples find themselves in this negative communication cycle, the conversation often [...]

How to get the most out of couples therapy

Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy. They are not sure of what to expect of the therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them. I have found most couples approach therapy with the notion that each person will describe their distress and somehow the therapist will assist them to create a happier, more functional, relationship. They expect to learn some new or better skills. However, most people hope their partner will do most of the learning in problem areas. After 30 years of clinical experience and specializing in working [...]

“I just want my partner to understand me”

In my practice, I hear many couples say, " I just want my partner to understand me. Who wouldn't want that? You tell your partner things, they truly get what you say and you feel understood. And vice versa: your partner shares their deepest feelings and thoughts with you, you receive what they say, and everyone in the end feels understood – and loved. It doesn't always work that way though, does it? In my practice I’ve noticed many reasons why couples don't feel they have the understanding relationship that they desire. Or, why they don't feel as understood as [...]

Doing the maintenance on your ship is worth it.

  The British Navy dominated the oceans for hundreds of years. What was their secret? They cleaned and did maintenance on the hulls of their ships. Their enemies took little care of theirs. The British sailors removed barnacles, seaweed and saltwater clams. Keeping the bottom of the boat smooth gave them a critical advantage – a ship that traveled quickly to battle stations. An unclean hull would drag tons of shells and hundreds of yards of seaweed. This debris could cut a ship’s speed in half – a severe disadvantage in battle. Salt water clams were a particular [...]

Why We Lie, and How to Get Back to the Truth

We’re going to talk about lies. Why do we lie – ever? And while it’s easy to perhaps scapegoat people who aren’t telling the whole truth – as with anything in relationship – it takes TWO to tango – so how does the person who’s being lied TO help create the dynamic? Most importantly – how do you bring your relationship back into balance, so that you can experience the power created by telling the truth and being in integrity. Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson are two of the world’s leading experts on couples therapy and the topic of [...]