Relationships & Love Library


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Confrontations vs. Conversations

January 23rd, 2015
A reader asks: "I think my wife is cheating on me. She comes home from her office hours later than usual. She checks her phone constantly. Should I confront her?" Another writes: "My husband is just home from Afghanistan. He has huge anger issues. In the last ...

Why You Shouldn’t Undermine Your Partner’s Parenting

Why You Shouldn't Undermine Your Partner's ParentingWhile writing my upcoming book on divorce, I have reviewed a lot of research on the terrible effects of parental alienation (described there by Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from ...

The Power of Positive Confrontation

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times a week do you check your own body language or think over how you’ve said something to a coworker or acquaintance? For Barbara Pachter, a business coach, author, and adjunct at Rutgers University, it’s important to be in tune with not only your body language but tone of voice, word choice, and gestures. An ...

Three Proven Ways a Simple List Can Revolutionize Your Love Life

big stock Intelligent young woman writing in a hardback notebookTake a moment and write a list of everything you desire and need in a life partner. Take several moments, in fact. Put in everything -- in detail, in color. Dream big. Then separate that list into must-haves ...

When It’s the Other Parent’s Turn to Have the Kids on Christmas

When it’s the Other Parent’s Turn to Have the Kids on ChristmasA dear friend of mine just couldn’t stand it when it was her ex’s turn to have their girls on Christmas. She’d spend the whole day on the couch, wrapped in a blanket with the shades ...

Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts Down

Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts DownRelationship researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, was the first to apply the term “stonewalling” to couples, said Kathy Nickerson, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships in Orange County, Calif. Gottman defines stonewalling as "when a listener withdraws from ...

Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

couple upset woman man 7Caring about someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tosses you on a roller coaster ride from being loved and lauded to abandoned and bashed. Having BPD is no picnic, either. You live in unbearable psychic pain most of the time on the ...

Living with an Alcoholic

Living with an AlcoholicLiving with an addict can be a living hell: unpredictable and dangerous, yet sometimes exciting and romantic. We never know when we’ll be blamed or accused. We can't dependably plan social events. As the addict becomes more irresponsible, we pick up the slack and do ...

5 New Mom Myths

secure_attachment_to_babyThe letters keep coming to our advice column on PsychCentral. New moms wonder if there is something wrong with them if they aren’t over the moon about their little one every minute of every day. Others worry that they aren’t doing it right or that the ...

Anger and Anorexia

Anger and AnorexiaIt took an eating disorder to finally teach me how to get angry. Many people with eating disorders are like me in that they feel reluctant -- even downright refuse -- to express anger. This is by and large a learned behavior. I grew up in a ...

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?

Is it Possible to Teach Your Asperger’s Syndrome Child to Love?“Mommy, I don’t know what love is.” Many parents who have children with Asperger’s Syndrome experience devastating moments like this and are uncertain as to how to reply. Love seems such a natural part of our lives. ...

Affair Recovery: Jealousy, Forgiveness and Building Trust

Affair Recovery: Jealousy, Forgiveness and Building TrustWhat warrants a permanent breakup? What set of rules has to be breached and how badly, for two people, formerly attached to each other, to decide to part for good? The answer is different for every couple, but the only other emotional ...

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life Story

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life StoryWe grow up with certain beliefs about ourselves and our lives and expectations that things should work out a certain way. Then, we change, our lives change, and we start to realize that things aren't going as we had expected. This ...

Helping Women Cope with Infertility

Helping Women Cope with InfertilityI use various techniques when counseling women and couples during infertility. I begin by gathering information about the history and current status of infertility and treatment. I also gather personal and family history, and talk about the marriage and sex life of the ...

What to Do When ‘I’m Sorry’ Doesn’t Work

What to Do When “I’m Sorry” Doesn’t WorkWe all mess up at times with our spouses, kids, and others important to us. Misunderstandings and empathic failures cannot be avoided in close relationships, but aren’t necessarily detrimental. In fact, the ongoing climate of relationships is typically affected ...

Love, Lust or Addiction?

what-it-means-to-be-in-loveWonder whether you’re in love or in lust? Whether your obsession about someone is a sign of love or addiction? Whether you’re staying in a troubled relationship because you’re addicted or in love? It’s complicated, and lust and love and addiction don’t always exclude one another. ...

5 Myths about Parenting

10 Fantasies to Examine before Deciding on ParenthoodParenting tips are aplenty. It can seem like there’s a new trend every week boasting about the best way to raise your kids or warning about the worst. With so many prescriptions for good parenting, naturally, it can quickly ...

The Stop-Drop-Roll Method of Managing Infidelity

bandaid-for-marriage-in-crisisOften, the most seemingly unrelated day-to-day events give us opportunities to learn from our mistakes and help keep us from repeating them. Our local fire station recently conducted their annual fire safety lesson for my son’s third-grade class, complete with the shiny red pumper truck and fun ...

Clinicians on the Couch: 10 Questions with Psychologist Jonice Webb

jonice webb pic Every month we talk with a different clinician about the ins and outs of being a therapist. They reveal the trials, triumphs and surprises of conducting therapy. They also share what they wish their clients knew along with their advice for leading a meaningful life. ...

Marital Rape

crying woman upset googleAs an advice columnist, I receive too many letters like these (names have been changed): Anna is a woman in her 40s. She has been in a conflicted marriage for years. Her husband insists on morning sex, even though he knows it will make ...

How to Change Your Attachment Style

How to Change Your Attachment StyleWe’re wired for attachment -- that's why babies cry when separated from their mothers. Depending especially upon our mother’s behavior, as well as later experiences and other factors, we develop a style of attaching that affects our behavior in close relationships. Fortunately, ...

Don’t Fight — Be Happy

Don't Fight -- Be HappyProbably the most difficult thing we humans do is make a long-term relationship with another person. A relationship with a partner is different in kind from relationships with our children or the family we were born to. A partner is another adult ...

7 Persistent Myths About Marriage

7 Persistent Myths About MarriageMyths about marriage abound. Some myths come from pop culture. For instance, a persistent myth is that your relationship should come easy when you’re with “the one,” said Jazmin Moral, LCSW-C, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with couples in Rockville, Md. Other ...