trust

5 Ways Your Wedding Vows Will Save Your Marriage

Did you think your wedding vows were just a check off the list for your wedding day preparations? Here's how they could save your marriage. 1. Wedding vows are an antidote to your worst self. You’re mean, picky, and you hide the truth.  All of us have done this as some point. And most of us are secretly ashamed of our worst selves. But there’s no way to act perfectly all the time. Why? Because Mother Nature gave our brain two different systems: The limbic system, aka the ‘lizard' brain, and the prefrontal cortex, aka the ‘visionary' brain. And every single day, you're in a constant struggle between the two.… Read more...

He could have told a lie, but he didn’t.

In a recent couples therapy session we were talking about Taylor’s memory. He forgot (yet again) what we had discussed the previous week. Interestingly, this is a common occurrence for many couples I see even though they are intelligent, high-achieving, and powerfully positioned in major corporations. It turned out his memory problem went beyond forgetting our meetings. And it bothered him a lot. We discussed the impact of his bad memory on his partner Ashley. She had to compensate in multiple ways. She would feel unimportant to him and react in pouty punishing ways which then triggered him. She then asked if the reason he didn’t ever call her during the day just to say “Hi” was because he couldn’t remember.… Read more...

The affair, the discovery, the betrayer’s first task…

Many people say the worst marital crime is having an affair. It breaks the bonds of trust that were assumed at the beginning of your relationship. Imagine you are in a start up company that is struggling. Then it is discovered that your partner has been embezzling funds. You started your company together with optimism and hope. Of course you assumed you could trust each other, so you never dreamed of such a thing, let alone “planned” how you would handle it! The aftershocks and consequences of the discovery ripple through the entire business and partnership. I am reminded of Gandhi’s observation about trust: “The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything else he does becomes tainted.” You don’t know what is truth or deception when you talk to the embezzler.… Read more...

In Sickness and in Health

cool Saintpaulia flower in flowerpot isolated on whiteHow Illness Transforms Relationships Thirteen years ago this month, my husband and I got married in our backyard garden with our five children and a small circle of family and friends. Part of the vows we made to each other was a version of, “in sickness and in health”. Little did we know then, that the “sickness” part would be up front and center during our 12th year of marriage when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In looking back on the last 4 months of physical and emotional ups and downs, the experience of deep fear, and anxiety-provoking uncertainty, I can honestly say that illness can be an opportunity for couples to create a deeper bond of intimacy, genuine connection to self and other, and interdependence.… Read more...

Issues that Underlie Hypocritical Binds

  cofronting hypocrisyEarlier this summer I started a blog series about hypocrisy in couples therapy. I was pleased to see so many of you respond on the blog sharing your own examples of these vexing moments and hypocritical binds in your practice. I promised some follow-up. So here it is, including a video I prepared on the subject.… Read more...

Two Experts’ Insights for Dealing with Infidelity

Intimacy conf faculty225Here you’ll find Infidelity Conference summaries from Alex Katehakis and Tammy Nelson, focusing on sexuality and eroticism.… Read more...

Confrontation: Is it Art or Science?

What do you think about when you think about confrontation in couples therapy? Is it something you do a lot? Or rarely?  Does thinking of a specific confrontation make you scared or anxious? Or, perhaps creating a well-crafted confrontation leaves you feeling enthusiastic and excited?… Read more...

Pornography and Cybersex, Trust and Betrayal

This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting the conference Anatomy of Intimacy – Focus on Infidelity  at University of California, Irvine, last month. It was an unusually rich conference and I am pleased to share a bit more of it with you now about presenters Dr. Marty Klein and Drs. John and Julie Gottman.… Read more...

Focus on Infidelity

Just days ago I arrived home from the stellar conference, Anatomy of Intimacy – Focus on Infidelity that took place at University of California, Irvine, and I was immediately slammed with the cold/flu that is going around. Now that I am alert and functional again, I wanted to share some updates and reflections with you before they recede into the “busyness” of holiday preparations. The conference was dynamic and fascinating and made me marvel that no meeting ever before has focused exclusively on the complexity of infidelity.… Read more...

Prevent Holiday Travel Stress with These 3 Tips

  The holidays all sound good in theory – the gifts you’ll receive, the catching up you’ll do with family, a soft wintry morning snowfall depending on where you land. But sometimes the anticipation and goodness are quickly derailed as you’re even just traveling to get there, be it by a flight delay, a screaming kid, or just a conversation gone wrong.  (Photo credit: Huff Post Travel & Leisure Online Community Members) Remember these three words: Attitude, Latitude, and Gratitude.  … Read more...
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