Communication in Relationships: Effective and Destructive

By | Communication, Conflict Resolution, Coping, Counseling, Dysfunctional Family, Family Relationships, Healing, Intimacy, Love, Love advice, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Parenting, Relationships, Successful Marriages, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

Effective: Clean communication- clean communication is when the only intent of your communication is to reveal something about yourself. Example: I am angry with you for getting defensive rather than listening. Destructive: Unclean communication- unclean communication is when you have other intentions such as punishing the other person defending yourself, getting rid of your own tension or proving you are right. Example: Yelling loudly- your listening skills suck!  (Getting rid of tension) Effective: Being receptive which includes dropping your own…

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Toxic Relationship: Couple Quarreling

“You’re the Worst Communicator Ever”- Confessions of a Marriage Therapist- (Me)

By | Communication, Conflict Resolution, Coping, Counseling, Dysfunctional Family, Family Relationships, Healing, Intimacy, Love, Love advice, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Parenting, Relationships, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

I have been to many parties where people would come up to my wife and say- “You must have a perfect marriage- you are married to a marriage therapist.”  And my wife found that comment very funny!  The truth is- yes- I am a marriage therapist, and I am also a human being who grew up in a family where great communication was not modeled.  There were many times I would be helping a couple with communication and suddenly had…

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Communication: Bickering, Yelling, Withdrawing, and Suppressing

By | Communication, Conflict Resolution, Counseling, Family Relationships, Healing, Intimacy, Long Hot Marriage, Love, Love advice, Marital Advice, Marital Problems, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Relationships, Successful Marriages, Toxic Relationships, Videos | 2 Comments

Ever have a simple item of discussion turn into a multiple hour fight? What should have been a simple chat, becomes another battle; and by the end of it, you’re no closer together. I see it all the time with the couples I help. It comes down to a few styles of communication that are standing in the way of smooth sailing.  Watch this video to find out what kind of dynamic is going on in your home. And of…

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Healthy Couples Make for Healthy Children

By | Committment, Communication, Creating More Passion in Marriage, Family Relationships, Great Sex, Intimacy, Long Hot Marriage, Marital Advice, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Parenting, Relationships, Romance, Sex, Sexy, Successful Marriages | One Comment

“Are you kidding? You are asking me to be romantic with my husband and to flirt with him? I don’t even have time to go to the bathroom sometimes with my 3 kids running around during the summer. Two are in camps, one has to go to junior lifeguards and my husband is at work all day. By the time I am done with my to-do list, I am beat and have no time for romance and sex.” “It’s just…

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Improving Sex Lives for Parents with Young Children

By | Committment, Conflict Resolution, Coping, Counseling, Creating More Passion in Marriage, Family Relationships, Great Sex, Intimacy, Long Hot Marriage, Love, Love advice, Marital Advice, Marital Problems, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Parenting, Relationships, Sex, Sexy, Successful Marriages, Todd’s Thursday Thought | One Comment

As I continue my month-long theme of Sexuality Through the Years, today’s blog is about parents who have young children.  These parents are usually still in their sexual prime but there bodies might not feel like it, especially the mom!  Lack of sleep as well as constantly paying attention for the safety and welfare of babies and young children can take a bite out of the erotic side of a marriage.  Here are 7 tips that I have used with…

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Seven Steps to Ending a Toxic Relationship

By | Counseling, Creating More Passion in Marriage, Dysfunctional Family, Family Relationships, Healing, Intimacy, Love, Love advice, Marital Problems, Successful Marriages, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

1)   Become aware of the toxicity. To help you asses your relationship, check out my previous blog article. 2)   Write down what you get out of the relationship.   Is it financial security, intermittent compliments, sex, close relationships with his or her family members and friends?  There are almost always pros to staying in a toxic relationship.  That is what makes leaving so difficult. 3)   Ask yourself how you would like your relationship to really be.   Find positive role…

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Bickering, Yelling, Withdrawing, Suppressing – Sound Familiar?

By | Conflict Resolution, Coping, Counseling, Dysfunctional Family, Family Relationships, Intimacy, Love, Love advice, Marital Problems, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Successful Marriages | 3 Comments

Ask yourself- are you more of an inflamer or a shutting downer? An inflamer is one who tends to get agitated when upset, raise one’s voice, get anxious, get aggressive, talk faster, etc. For example- the inflamer externalizes his or her upset or anxiety and may put others on the defensive. A shutting downer is someone who tends to withdraw, get quiet, numb oneself with TV or computer, stonewall and/or avoids. He or she internalizes his stress or finds a…

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7 Signs You Came from a Dysfunctional Family

By | Dysfunctional Family, Family Relationships, Videos | One Comment

According to relationship experts, 50% or more of people maintain toxic relationships. Those who were raised in a dysfunctional family, are much more likely to be in these toxic situations. When you come from a dysfunctional family, it is likely that you will carry some baggage from your childhood into your adult relationships, and end up having to deal with these issues at some point in your life. One of the first steps towards fixing these dynamics is to dig…

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When One Spouse Strays Should the Other Spouse Stay?

By | Committment, Conflict Resolution, Family Relationships, Infidelity, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Toxic Relationships | 2 Comments

I could only imagine that when one partner strays, that the question- should I leave or stay almost always comes up. There are those couples where the cheated- on partner says “No way” and immediately ends the relationship. Likewise, there are those rare couples where the cheated-on partner knows that he or she is not going anywhere and wants to work on the relationship.  However, more commonly there is some ambivalence.  It is difficult to stay because the foundation of…

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Should We Tell the Kids About the Affair?

By | Family Relationships, Infidelity, Marriage | 3 Comments

Now THAT is a difficult question. The immediate answer seems to be “Absolutely not!” But taking a closer look, the better answer is- “That depends.”  There are a variety of situations that may make it seem unnecessary to tell them.  Take for example the situation where there is a one-night stand or a very brief affair.  The cheater is full of remorse and vows to go to marriage therapy to work on the marriage, never to see the other person…

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