Marriage Advice: Sweat the Small Stuff!

September 10, 2019

A few weeks ago, I made a quick stop at the grocery store that turned into a lesson in love. While scanning the grocery cooler for a Greek yogurt I like, an older gentleman noticed my futile search. He was stocking the dairy aisle and inquired what I was looking for. He pointed me in the right direction; I had totally missed my favorite brand because of a new packaging design. It’s called change blindness, a cognitive phenomenon where we’re unable to detect small or large visual changes due to familiarity.

Anyway, we struck up a conversation. (My husband learned long ago that there are no [...]

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How to Put Vitality Back in Your Relationship!

July 06, 2019

I swung into the grocery store on my way home the other night to grab a box of My/Mo Mochi ice cream. As I reached the freezer section, I stopped as if frozen myself. My eyes gazed down the long aisle with hundreds of choices of frozen desserts: dozens of flavors and brands in every imaginable size and shape. Wow, how common prolific choices have become in stores and in our lives!

We live in a culture of instant gratification and continual titillation of our senses. Every moment confronts us with zillions of choices for eating, drinking, working, recreating, and traveling. Let's take the [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

Get More Love and Fun in Your Marriage Right Now

May 23, 2019

I tentatively climbed the stairs of the high diving board, trying to build up my courage with each ascending step. As I reached the top, I positioned myself perfectly to begin my approach—but then my body froze with fear. My challenge: 1½ somersaults with two twists, my first time, as a freshman in high school from the high diving board. My stomach was churning like a lawnmower blade devouring tall grass. However, my fear did not win me any sympathy. My diving coach, an Olympic diver himself, would only say, "Here's a quarter. Go call someone who cares."

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

The Challenge of Love and Marriage

April 18, 2019
As I was driving on the interstate a while back, I passed a truck with the license plate EZ2LOVE. My mind tossed this little saying around for quite some time. In my line of work, I think about love quite a bit (don't we all?), but "easy" and "love" aren't words I usually hear my clients use in the same sentence. I wondered why the driver had posted this little saying for all to see. And what did it mean? Was it a statement that he or she is easy to love? Was it a general statement that love is easy? Although the latest studies show a lowering of the divorce rate, particularly with the M [...]

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Love Is Sometimes Inconvenient!

February 26, 2019

It’s common to have unrealistic and romantic ideas about love, relationships, and marriage. We grow up with a solid diet of fairytales and love stories. Nobody tells you how much work it is to love someone full-time, 24-7, seven days a week—really love someone.

After the honeymoon wears off, it hits you—sometimes gradually, other times suddenly like a ton of bricks. You’re living day-to-day with the quirks of your partner and juggling all the pressures of life and work. Then, one day, you have this pit in our stomach and dare to wonder if you married the wrong person. Relationship [...]

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How Being Compliant and a People Pleaser Destroys Marriages

February 15, 2019

One of the most common and precarious habits that I observe in couples and even long-term marriages is the popular behavior of telling your partner what they want to hear rather than what you need, want, think and feel. When we go along with our partner rather than engage on a real and authentic level, it builds a marriage with unsteady stilts that can topple at any time.

Pleasing, people pleasers and compliance are prevalent. So why is this habit so pervasive?

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

How Principles of Ecology Apply to Personal Relationships

February 10, 2019

Did you know that nature creates no waste? Last summer, I had to remind myself of this fact when I came across a magpie greedily devouring a carcase while on a walk.

Think about the magnitude of the concept of "no waste" for a moment. Profound isn't it? Even mind boggling.

It turns out that health for an ecosystem, including our relationship with ourselves,  boils down to a few age-old principles. If we're going to create and keep anything healthy, we have to take care of it!

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Do You Want a Happy Marriage? Do These 5 Actions!

January 24, 2019

As I ponder this past year and look forward to new beginnings, one thing is top of mind: my relationships. A ritual I never miss at the beginning of each new year is taking stock of how well I have loved those most important to me the year before. One of the most precious people in my life, as you might guess, is my husband of nearly 40 years. Reflecting on what has supported our happiness and success, there are a few things that stand out, which occurred to me might be helpful to others.

Over the years, I’ve worked with scores of struggling couples. When I ask them if they reserve time [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

You Create the Quality of Your Relationship

January 13, 2019
My friends all know that I would rather go without eating than eat fast food. It's not that an occasional meal at Burger King is going to give you anything but indigestion, but if you make a habit of it, your health and quality of life can decline rapidly.

Relationship works that way, too. Are you looking for a drive-through experience, or a rich, meaningful relationship to savor?

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

Falling Out of Love—and What to Do About It!

April 26, 2018

In our very active and full lives, it is so easy to get caught up in the daily demands of our life and sacrifice love. Many struggling couples ask me, "Can you fall out of love?"

The truth is, love requires nurturing. No matter how deeply you love someone, if you allow weeds to grow in your relationship, they can crowd out love and choke the life right out of your marriage. It doesn't take long for two people in a loving relationship to become distant or "fall out of love." Because of the day-in, day-out details we are continually juggling in our lives, we can slip into autopilot in ways [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships