Posts filed under: Relationships

Relationships and the urge of ‘fight or flight’

How to Stay When You Want to Flee Relationships are hard. Maintaining a happy coexistence with another human being – even someone you care deeply about – has its challenges. Like any living thing, relationships change over time and are......
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The Sacrifice of Always Being Right

The need to be right is a common human trait. We all want to look our best in front of others, but when does that need cross over to being more destructive than constructive? And is it useful in the......
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10 Ways to Boost Your Confidence and Get What You Want

Our therapists often hear from clients that, in relationships of many kinds (with bosses, coworkers, significant others, partners, friends, family) they lack the confidence to ask for what they need. In an effort to avoid being seen as pushy, demanding......
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Reignite the Fireworks (Not the 4th of July kind)

Keep the Fireworks in Your Marriage – And Be a Good Parent New parents, as well as those who have been at it for a while, can find themselves  drifting apart as they put more and more effort into caring......
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Fatherhood: A Love Story

Kirk always knew that he wanted to be a father.  As a single gay man in his late 20s, however, he wasn’t sure how fatherhood would become a reality. “I started putting feelers out about how to do it.  I......
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Sharing the Sacrifice: Military Couples

September 11, 2001, changed the way we view the world. A rise in enlistment numbers following 9/11 reflect that many men and women felt compelled to answer the call to serve their country. For military couples or families, the aftermath......
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So Your Teen is Dating? How to Lead By Example in Relationships

Teen Dating Few words spark more concern for a parent. The realities of dating make teenagers uncomfortable as well. Parents worry about an increase in risky behavior and the drama that can come with dating. Teens face all the social......
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Positive Outcomes: Finding a Healthy ‘New Normal’

Do you believe that depression, anxiety, fear, and emptiness are the new ‘normal’? Have you given up on the idea that you can change your life because “nothing works”? Then please read on… there is an explanation for why you......
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Falling Back in Love

Marta Oko-Riebau, MA A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin Remember that time when you were madly in love with your partner? It was enough to be in the same......
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Committed to Porn

By Marta Oko-Riebau Linda and Jerry were a great couple. They truly enjoyed each other’s company, had great conversations, and laughed a lot together, even six years after they got married. There was one thing however that was not great:......
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Healthy Relationships: The Art of Compromises, Not Sacrifices

By Marta Oko-Riebau Ava always wanted to have a house with a garden and a Siamese cat that she would call “Sphinx”. Growing up at her parent’s apartment she was not allowed to have pets because her parents considered them......
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Grow Old With Me…

by Marta Oko-Riebau, MA Grow old along with me… Two branches of one tree… Face the setting sun when the day is done… This is a beautiful vision of a relationship that lasts until the end, presented by John Lennon in his......
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Emotional Reactivity and Withdrawal: How Partners’ Brains Interact with Each Other, for Better or Worse

by Aleisha Maunu, MA, LMFT, LAC Think about a time when you were with someone you care about and you became angry. We all have experienced it: where time seems to stand still, we are not thinking clearly, or seemingly not......
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Toxic People: How to Cope, Protect Yourself, and Know When to Give Up

by Chris Lewis Ed.S., LPC As a therapist, I don’t often see toxic people in my office. They don’t like the scrutiny of looking at themselves and their behavior toward others. The people I see in my office are often......
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Marriage Counseling Q&A: Can I Stop Being Codependent and Stay in My Relationship?

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC A reader recently asked if it is possible to stop being codependent in a relationship, and how one would go about that. Yes, it is possible. Not necessarily easy, but possible. First of all, how......
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Mating and Dating: Will Love Keep Us Together?

by Aleisha Maunu, MA, LMFT, CACII When I was in college, I was friends with a fellow music major who was dating another music major. They seemed so very much in love – they spent tons of time together, had......
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It’s All About Me: Narcissists and Their Relationships

by Chris Lewis Ed.S., LPC Years ago I had this friend. We both lived in a relatively small town on the east coast, were the same age, and had mutual friends. It was convenient for us to hang out together......
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Three Words That Kill Relationships: Hint — It’s Not “I Love You”

by Chris Lewis Ed.S., LPC As a couple and family therapist, I have lost count of the times I have heard three little words spoken in my office that have a hugely negative effect on relationships. It’s something we have......
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Marriage Counseling Q & A: My Spouse is a Control Freak — What Should I Do?

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC The phrase “control freak” can mean a lot of things in relationships. It might mean that a partner has a particular way that they prefer the laundry folded or a certain way of handling finances.......
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Marriage Counseling Q&A: My Spouse Has Been Unfaithful, Can Counseling Save Our Marriage?

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC The short answer is “No.” Only you two can save your marriage, but counseling can help if there is commitment to change on both sides. Few experiences in life are as painful as finding out......
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Marriage Counseling Q&A: Can I Divorce My Mother-in-Law and Keep My Spouse?

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC It has been asked before; In fact, I might have been one of the ones wanting to know. There are a few things that typically come as a great shock to people when they take......
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3 Signs You Are Ready for Relationship Commitment

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC On second thought, it might be easier to first look at a few signs that you aren’t ready for relationship commitment: When your date comes over for an evening together, you have already set up......
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Marriage Counseling Demystified: How it Works and Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until the Last Minute

by Chris Lewis Ed.S., LPC Couples come to marriage counseling for a variety of reasons; infidelity, lack of intimacy, frequent arguing, having “grown apart,” and more. The one thing that these couples often share, despite what brought them to this......
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Okay, Okay! So I’m Codependent Already! Now Fix It!

by Chris Lewis, EdS, LPC And therein lies the problem. In my practice I have found that many people are able to identify the traits of codependency that haunt and hound their relationships and their lives, but don’t always understand......
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“But He Never Hits Me!” — How to Know if Your Partner is Verbally Abusive

By Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC In your relationship, do you: Often feel as if your words have been misunderstood, twisted, and thrown back at you very differently than you intended them? Get blamed for pretty much anything that goes wrong......
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For Better or Worse: Go for the Better!

by Judy Wilkinson, LCSW Do you have the hardest struggles with those you love the most? Don’t you wish you could change that? And yet, we can feel like we are sinking in quicksand. When we think of the number......
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Couples Tango: Dance With Me!

by Karen Lenzi, MA, LPC Frequently, couples in a marriage have repeating patterns of conflict, like familiar well-practiced dance moves that take two (to tango). These negative dances are repeated over and over and run a predictable course with misunderstood......
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3 Key Features of a Successful Marriage

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC Leo Tolstoy, in the classic novel Anna Karenina, said that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” While I am not willing to say I completely agree that......
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Keep Love Alive! 7 Tips to Improve Your Love Life

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC She: Where is the man I married? He: Maybe he ran off with the woman I married! Often after years of being together, couples will say they have become like roommates, living in the same......
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Three Commandments of Unhappy Families (And How to Break Them)

by Chris Lewis, Ed.S., LPC There are actually a lot of rules that govern unhappy families, but here are three that I come across often while working with families, going to (eavesdropping at) the grocery store, eating (spying) at restaurants,......
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