Infidelity First Aid


The revelation of an infidelity is an intense experience for both the offending and the hurt partner. The aftermath is a period of overwhelming shock, confusion, pain, and uncertainty. Partners have tremendous difficulty making sense of their own hurt, much less understanding one other’s. Most of us simply do not have the life experience to navigate this storm alone, yet…

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Lessons in Longing


We all know that feeling: the slow, fermenting desire for something missing; the visceral ache that roils within us; the bittersweet anticipation of that which we may never get. This is longing. Longing is among the more alluring qualities of romantic love. It is the spark that ignites our imaginations, fuels our passions, and drives the dance of chase and…

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Meditations on Loving and Losing


The seasons of life are temperamental. Some seem to bring success beyond imagination while others harbor endless sorrow. In those times when loss floats (or bursts) to the surface, therapy can be a blessed space for comfort and compassion. But while helping people to start coping with loss is an accepted part of the work, our role in helping people to quit denying…

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11 Resolutions for a Better Marriage in 2018


11 Resolutions for a Better Marriage in 2018 It’s common practice this time of year to make personal resolutions: lose weight; eat better; save more. But have you ever thought about sitting down with your partner and making resolutions for your relationship? Not only would you improve one of the most important aspects of your life, but you’d have some…

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Finding Your Relational Voice


“There can be no voice without relationship, and there can be no relationship without voice.” -Carol Gilligan What is Voice? In my work with couples, I speak frequently about the critical importance of developing a relational Voice. Voice, as I use it here, is the capacity to say what we see, what we feel, and what we want. In short,…

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An Endless Void: The Origins of Shame


For years, I talked to men predominantly about their experience of shame. I knew that shame was inherently isolating, and I believed if I “brought it out of the shadows” it would resolve automatically. This was not the case. Sharing experiences may decrease isolation, but it doesn’t necessarily help men disidentify from their shame. Tom may find comfort knowing that…

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Why Your Partner Brings Out Your Worst


Ever wonder why the person you love provokes the personal qualities you hate? Or why the people who ignite your passions are the same ones who ignite your temper? Or why the one you’ve promised your best seems to bring out your worst? It’s no secret that meaningful relationships trigger intense emotions, both positive and negative, but for many couples,…

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Facing Ambivalence


It is normal to experience uncertainty about your relationship, particularly in the beginning. If, however, you are consistently on the fence about your partner, it will be impossible for your relationship to thrive. I refer to this state of ambivalence as “stable ambiguity,” and it’s precisely because it’s so stable that it often goes unnoticed. I’ve seen couples parked in…

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Intro to Whole-Body Loving


For all their myriad struggles, most distressed couples actually have the same basic complaint: They feel differently about each other than they did when they first got together. The love and aliveness they used to share has been replaced with anger and resentment, numbness and emptiness. Along the way, they have often ignored red flags, talked themselves out of getting…

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