How to Save a Failing Relationship: 8 Tips

Saving a Failing Relationship

If you’ve been involved in romantic relationships that have come to an end, you are likely familiar with that feeling you get when you realize things are going south. Maybe you and your partner spent time trying to fix the relationship to no avail. It’s difficult and even painful to watch your relationship struggle and…

Considering Relationship Therapy? Here’s What to Expect

couple holding hands

In the early months of a relationship, it can seem like nothing can go wrong. Why wouldn’t you both be head over heels for each other forever? No matter what comes up, there’s nothing you can’t get through, right? While that may indeed be true, however that head over heels part isn’t meant to last…

What is the Split Attraction Model?

Split Attraction

According to the split attraction model, how someone experiences attraction can be split into categories. For some people romantic and sexual attraction are distinctly different experiences. The split attraction model recognizes that sexual and romantic orientations are not the same for some people. This paradigm recognizes that people can experience sexual and romantic attraction differently.[1]…

Understanding Serial Monogamy: What You Should Know

Serial Monogamy

Relationships look different for every person and vary among cultures. In many cultures, marriage and monogamy are expected and represent the norms of the culture. Monogamy is the commitment to be in an emotional and/or physical relationship with one person without being in other relationships at the same time. Monogamy is generally considered desirable and…

What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Infantilization?

infantilization in parenting

When new parents that have not had much experience around children begin developing their parenting styles, they normally choose between trying to replicate the styles from the homes in which they were raised, or doing the opposite of what their parents did. Some parents choose one of these options and also look to books and…

Stockholm Syndrome: Why Victims Sympathize With Their Captors

Stockholm syndrome

We have all heard horror stories of kidnappings and hostage situations where victims suffer horrible ordeals. What we don’t expect to hear from such victims is expressions of sympathy or appreciation for their captors. But Stockholm syndrome describes exactly that kind of reaction. It is a survival strategy where hostage or abuse victims develop feelings of…

21 Tips From a Therapist for Dating Someone With Depression

dating someone with depression

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness. According to recent research, over 20% of people in the United States have experienced at least one episode of major depressive disorder in their lifetime. With symptoms including sadness, apathy, low energy, and reduced libido, it’s no wonder that depression can take a serious toll…

What Are The 7 Types of Love?

types of love

The notion of love is actually quite complex. We can love someone in the notion of love and go on to marry and make a life with them. We can love a child unconditionally with our entire sense of self. We can love a parent or a best friend, but in a very different way than we love…

The Differences Between Polyamory & Polygamy

people together on a mattress

There are many different types of relationships. Most people are familiar with monogamy which is the practice of being married to one person at a time. Beyond monogamy, there are different types of relationships that people sometimes misidentify. Two other types of relationships that can be confused with one another are polyamory and polygamy. These…

Does Briffault’s Law Apply to Humans?

female dominance in relationships

Briffault’s Law states: “The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place” (Briffault, The Mothers, Vol. I, p. 191). This idea essentially asserts that females determine whether or not a relationship takes place. The…

How to Spot a Sadist

Spotting a Sadist

A sadist describes a person who derives enjoyment and satisfaction from inflicting pain, retribution, and shame on others. The term “sadism” derives from an 18th-century Frenchman, Marquis de Sade, who was famous for penning aggressive, malicious, and ruthless literature about sexuality. Sade was said to endorse aggression in sexuality and thus, sadism historically referred to a situation…

Traits of a High-Functioning Sociopath

Man who is a Sociopath

When you hear the term “sociopath,” thoughts of serial killers, assassins and criminals come to mind – thanks to pop culture and the media. The actual definition of a sociopath, however, is a person with anti-social personality disorder (ASPD). Although some sociopaths do have murderous and violent tendencies, most are not destined to become convicted…

Do Narcissistic Mothers Raise Narcissistic Sons?

Narcissistic Mothers

Narcissism involves having excessive admiration and grandiose opinions of oneself. Clinically speaking, narcissists are selfish, entitled, and obsessed with being well-regarded. They can be extremely difficult to work with or have a relationship with due to their inability to empathize with others and admit when they make mistakes. Their over-inflated sense of self makes it…

The Benefits of Long-Distance Relationships

Long-Distance Relationships

Conventional wisdom tells us that it’s a bad idea to get involved in a long-distance relationship. However, research has illustrated that this notion may no longer be correct. In fact, up to 75% of college students and nearly 3 million adult couples live apart every year. Studies are showing people who engage in long-distance relationships…

Understanding Your Partner In An Asperger’s Marriage

bride and groom

Most married couples will tell you that it takes a lot of work to enjoy a strong relationship. But when one partner has Asperger’s Syndrome, keeping the relationship healthy and happy can become even more challenging. Asperger’s is a condition on the autism spectrum. Those with the developmental disorder are usually highly functioning but socially…

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

narcissistic abuse article

How can you spot a narcissist? A narcissist is someone who lacks empathy, has an overblown sense of self-importance, an overwhelming desire for attention and esteem, and issues in relationships. Such a person may appear confident, but in reality suffers from low self-esteem and shatters under even the smallest critique. People in relationships with a…

Is Your Partner a Covert Narcissist?

Covert Narcissist

Often when discussing narcissists, people are quick to talk about all of the outward social behaviors that relate to narcissism: arrogance, grandiosity, lack of empathy, entitlement, expressing that they are unique, special, worthy of success, manipulating others, etc. While these are definitely traits of someone who falls into the narcissistic personality disorder category, researchers have found…

What is Stonewalling and How Do You Deal With It?

Stonewalling

Conflict is inevitable in close relationships; whether the relationship is with a spouse or romantic partner, a parent, or a friend, the longer the relationship, the more opportunities for disagreement. There are many ways that people can handle conflict with the ones they love, and depending on the way a person chooses to handle it…

Is Genetic Sexual Attraction a Real Thing?

man and woman holding hands

Genetic sexual attraction refers to the notion that a powerful sexual attraction can develop between blood relatives that initially meet as adults.  This type of reunion could result from family members who were separated by adoption, immigration, or who were conceived via sperm or egg donation. The term, genetic sexual attraction, was created in the…

Why Do I Miss My Ex?

missing ex

Relationships should come with a rule book, or at least with a comprehensive “how to” guide. It would be quite helpful to refer back to an all-knowing relationship manual when faced with a romantic dilemma.  Unfortunately, no such manual exists and instead, we are left to rely solely on our intuition, judgment, and vulnerable hearts….

7 Tips for Dealing with Frustration

muscle ache

Frustration is an emotion everyone can relate to. However, it is an emotion that is pretty vague. Are you exasperated, upset, disappointed, let down, irritated, or perturbed? Being frustrated leaves a lot to the imagination. In order to understand what someone is actually feeling when they say they are frustrated, it helps to look at…

An Introduction to Online Couples Counseling

couple counseling

Over the last ten years, the United States has seen a decrease in divorces. While this may be seen as a victory, it does not necessarily mean that every marriage is a happy one and that everyone is compatible. In fact, statistics show that in addition to the decrease in divorces, there has also been a…

How to Survive an Overbearing Mother

overbearing mother

As an adult, dealing with an overbearing mother can feel impossible. If you are reading this, you are probably all too familiar with what that means. She doesn’t approve of your significant other or your friends. She comments on everything from your makeup and hair, to your weight and clothing style. She constantly adds her…

How to Break Up with My Therapist

breakup

Seeing a therapist can be beneficial in many ways; when you have a trusted relationship with a mental health professional, it can help you to feel as if you have a safe place to discuss stressful, embarrassing, or confusing things going on in your life and can help you to relieve stress and have a…

I Have A Crush on My Therapist…Now What?

Crush on Therapist

They listen. They hear you. They give you space for your thoughts and feelings. These are all things that we tend to want out of intimate relationships. They know details of your life that you may not share with anyone else. Therefore, it is not an unusual phenomenon to have feelings for your therapist. However,…

Are You Together But Still Lonely?

lonely couple

Restaurants have always been a prime location for people watching.  You can tell a whole lot about a couple’s relationship by watching them have dinner together.  Does the couple make eye contact, or do they barely look at each other?  Are they engaged in conversation and listening to each other or are they constantly checking…

Not Everyone Wants to be Hugged: The Science Behind Huggers and Non-Huggers

hugging

We all have people in our lives who are “huggers”. Some come right out and say, “I’m a hugger!” as their arms are already wrapping around you. Others don’t give very much of a warning! Hugs, while comforting for some, can be very overwhelming for others, and researchers have been attempting to discover the reasons…

What is Engaged Listening?

listening

In the modern age of many distractions, active and engaged listening is a skill most people could afford to improve. Paying close attention to what others are saying and truly seeking to understand their point of view is a challenge and requires effort and intention. During conversations, most people are focused on what their next…

Living with Bipolar Hypersexuality

bipolar

Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of depression and mania. Manic episodes consist of symptoms that include (but are not limited to) increased self-esteem, increase in risky activities, excitability, and grandiosity. The symptoms that occur during a manic episode make it easier for individuals to experience hypersexuality. Individuals experiencing hypersexuality may deal…

Ways to Give Comfort If You Have Hurt Your Partner

couple make-up

When in a relationship with someone, it is inevitable that at some point, you will be hurt by your partner. It is also inevitable that at some point, you will do the hurting. Whether it is intentional or unintentional, it is difficult and painful when one partner hurts the other person. When you are the…

What Are The Powerful Components Of A Successful Relationship?

Serial Monogamy

Relationships can be thought of as a complex recipe. There are certain ingredients that are essential to produce a delicious, high quality dish. When cooking or baking, it is important to follow directions and abide by the measurements that are set forth by the recipes. If you happen to have the wrong ingredients, missing ingredients, or the…

The Oedipus Complex, Is It Accurate?

oedipus

Sigmund Freud is best known as the father of psychoanalysis.  Through psychoanalytic theory, Freud attempted to explain behavior, while simultaneously mapping out a way to treat mental illness. Freud believed that one’s personality and adult life was shaped and molded by important events from childhood, which was summarized in his theory of psychosexual development.  This…

Emotionally Unavailable Partners and How to Spot Them

emotionally unavailable

The world of dating and relationships is described by some as a very scary place.  You often hear utterances that it is “a scary world out there.”  But, what makes it so scary?  Is it that your blind date may look like Mr. Magoo?  Is it the fear that your partner has some deep, dark…

How to Identify and Deal with Passive-Aggressive People

passive aggressive

People who are passive-aggressive can be difficult to deal with and at times leave you with a lot of questions. Did I do something wrong? Are they upset with me or am I reading into too much? Is it just me or do things seem off? Those questions can leave us almost feeling crazy because…

Can Alcohol Effect Your Relationships?

alcohol relationship

Things taken or experienced in moderation are unlikely to have a significant impact.  Eating ice cream or a favorite desert every once in awhile is not likely to have a major effect on a person’s weight.  It would be unexpected that pulling an all-nighter for a final exam would have a serious impact on sleep. …

Are You Dealing with a Control Freak?

control freak

We use the term control freak pretty loosely. Most of us can be “controlling” about certain things, but overall a control freak. Many of us have likely encountered controlling people in our lives. It might be the college roommate who gets angry when you load the dishwasher “incorrectly” or the boss who always seems to…

Why Is Ghosting So Painful?

ghosting

A popular radio segment called “Blown Off” airs every morning on 95.5 PLJ.  The purpose of this segment is to help a listener make contact with a person they recently dated and have not heard back from.  Every morning, in case listeners have never heard the segment before, the boisterous announcers explain the purpose of…

What is Emotional Blackmail?

threat

Emotional blackmail is a relationship dynamic that involves a person instilling fear, obligation, and guilt into a relationship with another person, as author and psychotherapist Susan Forward had described. She explains that people in intimate relationships will use the above-mentioned manipulation tactics as a form of punishment for their partners not doing what they want…

7 Reasons Open Relationships Don’t Work

open relationship

An open relationship is a type of relationship status where a couple agrees to be physically and sexually intimate with other people. The relationship can be a dating relationship or a marriage. Thus, a male or female can potentially have several other sexual partners in addition to the main relationship. Open relationships spark the old adage of…

How To Spot People That Use Others

users

Can you recall a time in your life when you were used?  Unfortunately for most of us, this usually occurs sometime early in life.  Some of us might have been used for our intelligence, some for our athleticism, and others for our popularity.  Can you remember the moment when you realized that you were being…

How to Spot a Misogynist

misogyny

From a young age, we are taught to treat others as we would like to be treated. Unfortunately, some children miss the memo and go on to treat others very poorly. Children progress through various developmental stages on their way to maturity. In preschool and elementary school, kids are primarily interested in same sex friendships….

In a Marriage Slump? How to Bring Romance Back into your Relationship

lack romance

Long-term relationships are difficult, and many people in long relationships experience moments where they feel less connected, less intimate, and less engaged in the romance and passion they experienced when the relationship began. This is a normal part of a relationship and is not something to worry or fear; it is a result of seeping…

How Jealousy can Ruin Your Relationship

jealousy

Jealousy is a common challenge in intimate relationships. While the impact of jealousy can range in intensity and severity, it is damaging and will lead to disconnection.  Jealousy can be insidious, as it often can start as a minor concern, yet if it is not addressed, it can get out of control. Jealousy is an…

What is Premarital Counseling & Why Is It Important?

premarital therapy

Premarital counseling is the kind of counseling couples might engage in prior to getting married. This type of counseling can differ from couple to couple and therapist to therapist. Even the topics and intensity of premarital counseling can vary. For most people, premarital counseling involves conversations guided by a therapist with their soon-to-be spouse on…

Abusers and Traumatic Bonding-What You Need To Know

traumatic relationship

Relationships are a complicated thing.  Sometimes it seems as if we have little control over who we fall in love with.  Our hearts may urge us directly towards someone, while paradoxically, our heads are screaming at us to run for the hills.  If some pairings are matches made in heaven, their counterparts are matches made…

What You Need to Know About Gaslighting

gaslighting

Gaslighting is a term used to describe a manipulative tactic where a person causes someone to question their own sanity. The term comes from a movie where the husband manipulates his wife’s environment in subtle enough ways to convince her she is going insane. Gaslighting might not always happen in that dramatic of fashion, but…

How Can I Save My Marriage? It Feels Like My Husband Hates Me

husband hates me

Most people have a longing for a long-term, intimate connection with another person. While marriage is a vessel for that kind of connection, there are many countries where the divorce rate is climbing, even hovering between 40-50%. What we can glean from these statistics is marriage is difficult. People do not divorce because marriage is…

How to Recognize Verbal Abuse

verbal abuse

Verbal abuse often goes unnoticed and unrecognized. It is more subtle than physical abuse yet can cause similar emotional damage.  Verbal abuse can occur in any relationship:  home, spousal, friendships, or work. It involves using words to hurt, control, or manipulate another person.  It is most commonly addressed in the context of a significant other….

Effects of Positive Punishment Techniques

punishment

If you have ever done potty training for a toddler, behavior training for a dog, or even had cheat meals while dieting, you have engaged in a technique called operant conditioning. It involves learning and altering certain behaviors by utilizing reinforcement and punishment. If you are teaching a dog to not pull on the leash…

What is Emotional Abuse? And How Can it Effect You?

emotional abuse

Abuse has been defined as referring to “harmful or injurious treatment of another human being that may include physical, sexual, verbal, psychological/emotional, intellectual, or spiritual maltreatment.” While more physical forms of abuse may be easier to identify and understand, the concept of emotional or psychological abuse is something that can be hard to pinpoint due…

How to Survive an Overbearing Mother

mother kissing her baby

Mothers are fiercely protective and use their intuition and maternal instincts to guide and nurture their young.  Mothers attempt to teach their children survival mechanisms so that they can be fully functioning, successful, and independent members of society.  As their children grow and develop, mothers attempt to foster their emotional and intellectual growth, instill morals…

Dating Someone Who Struggles With PTSD

dating ptsd

Dating is hard. It’s hard enough to find someone that you can connect with, have similar interests, ideals, and values with, and someone you’re attracted to! Adding medical and mental health conditions into the algorithm of dating can be difficult and is a process that people must navigate when considering a long-term relationship (LTR). Dating…

How to Stop Enabling Grown Children and Why It Is Important

enabling

Undoubtedly, at one point or another, we have all come across a parent that treats their adult child like a teenager.  We watch incredulously as the adult child lives at home rent-free, while the parent is working two jobs to keep the family afloat.  We witness the parent making their child’s doctor’s appointments, cooking dinner,…

How to Treat Peter Pan Syndrome

peter pan syndrome

Peter Pan is a cultural figure about a boy who never grows up. He represents the fantasy that most people have at some point about not having to mature and deal with adult responsibilities. There is an American adaptation of the Peter Pan story starring Robin Williams called Hook. It focuses on the idea that…

What You Should Know About Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder

social engagement disorder

Most children start to learn about the “stranger danger” concept before they can walk. They learn to trust their parents or caregivers. They form attachments and emotional bonds to people that surround them. However, some children lack all of these qualities. The “stranger danger” concept is blurred in their minds to the point where they…

What is Social Comparison Theory and How Does it Affect You?

social media

In this day and age, social media has become a necessity, a way of life, as opposed to a fun way to pass idle time.  Local law enforcement utilizes Facebook to catch criminals, businesses use Twitter to promote themselves, and products are featured and sold on You Tube.  In addition to these logistical purposes, more…

What is Disorganized Attachment?How Can It Affect Me As An Adult?

disorganized attachment

Currently, when most babies are born, the medical staff does their best to immediately take the child and place him or her on the chest of the mother. Skin to skin contact can be critical in the early weeks of a baby’s life. When my son was born, the umbilical cord was cut and the…

How Do I Function in This World If I Hate People?

love and hate

You might hate people for trivial reasons, such as when they cut you off in traffic or disparage your favorite team. There are more serious reasons such as watching people being cruel to each other on social media or seeing someone get berated over something small. When you consider humanity as a whole, it’s easy…

If I Hate My Life, What Does It Say about My Relationships?

person alone

No one’s life is perfect. However, some people appear to “have it all figured out.” They seem successful and happy. In reality, everyone struggles and no one’s life is perfect. That being said, while no one and no lives are perfect, each individual experiences moments (and hopefully plenty) of love, happiness, joy, and rejuvenation. You…