Essential Reads

Singles, You Can Lower Your Risk of Divorce

The things you can do before you marry that can change your odds of divorce

20 Tactics the Pros Use to Deal with Difficult People

Can you reason with unreasonable people?

Empathy for a Child Abuser?

Empathy for the Undeserving Can Be a Useful Strategy for Changing Families

Why We Hate It When People Invade Our Space

John Travolta and Joe Biden put it in the news, but it's an everyday problem.

Recent Posts on Relationships

Communicating with People with Mental Illness: The Public's Guide

By David F. Swink on October 19, 2010 in Threat Management
Popular media fuel stereotypes about mental illness and dangerousness, because that is how they generally are portrayed on the screen. Our fear of mentally ill people also stems from our own inability to communicate with them and our lack of knowledge about mental illness. Learn how to better communicate with people who may have a mental illness.

The Neuroticism Paradox

Neuroticism is associated with a range of negative behavioral consequences. But are there ways that people high in neuroticism, and their spouses, might benefit? 

Why Do Women Hate and Fear Sexy Women?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on October 19, 2010 in Women Who Stray
Women with a high libido often struggle with social acceptance of their sexuality.

The Most Important Moment in Meditation

The issue isn't whether we get distracted when we meditate. What matters is what we do when we notice.

The False Face of Our Social Media Persona

Social relationships, by their very nature, are transactional. They are richly imbued with nuance, color and tone. Relationships engaged in the various theaters of social media lack these characteristics because social media introduces two parallel and paradoxical elements - false intimacy and social distance. 

From Destructive to Constructive Conversations in 6 Steps

By Elaine Shpungin Ph.D. on October 18, 2010 in Peacemeal
Why are your "talks" about difficult and painful topics still unsatisfying and unproductive even after you take time to "calm down?" How can you shift these communications from fault finding and defensiveness to listening and being heard? How do you finally move from Destructive to Constructive conversations?

Bullying Sells Beef Jerky

By Sascha Rothchild on October 17, 2010 in I'm No Expert, But...
The "Messin' with Sasquatch" ads for Jack Link's beef jerky were always irritating and pointless, but with this new wave of tragic teen suicide prompted by being bullied to death, these ads are offensive. They are clearly saying it's not only fun to be cruel to someone different, but it's so acceptable that we are going to use the concept to sell our product.

A secret ingredient for good sex

By Stephen Snyder M.D. on October 17, 2010 in SexualityToday
 Differentiation is hard. One of the benefits of a good enough marriage or any other deep partnership is that it provides a holding place in which each partner can “become more truly oneself.” Differentiation is not easy to describe. Many couples tell me, “It sounds nice, but I don’t get what it’s supposed to feel like.” 

GPS Tracking Kids is not the Same as Monitoring Them

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on October 16, 2010 in Nurturing Resilience
GPS tracking our kids can harm them. But monitoring our children closely can help them. The two are not the same thing. Children who are well monitored are likely to engage better at school, which means they'll get into far less trouble and stay in school longer. It doesn't mean, though, that they'll get higher grades.

Breaking Up with a Borderline/Narcissist is REALLY Hard to Do, Part 2

By Randi Kreger on October 16, 2010 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
You've tried to make your relationship with a borderline or narcissistic person work. But it's become clear to you that leaving is your only choice. Following is the second half of my article on why breaking up is so hard to do, and how you can make it easier on yourself.

On Average, the Married Chilean Miners Were Rescued Sooner Than the Single Ones

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on October 16, 2010 in Living Single
The Chilean rescue scenes on TV seemed to feature a lot of spousal embraces and romantic love stories. Looking to see whether the miners were overwhelmingly married, I discovered something else: The ones who were married were rescued sooner than the single ones. 

Why You Should Worry about the Widening Marriage Gap

By Christine B Whelan Ph.D. on October 15, 2010 in Life 101
There's a widening gap between the haves and have-nots in America--and this time the fault-line is marriage.

Your Sense of Agency: Influencing Your Own Life and Taking Responsibility

Your ability to influence your own life and assume responsibility for your behavior are important elements in what you bring to a relationship.

Is It Harder To Be a Husband Than a Wife?

There is no masculine equivalent of Brides magazine; it will be a long time before Grooms magazine hits the newsstand.

3 Ways to Get Unfriended on Facebook

In what claims to be the first study of its kind, Christopher Sibona, a doctoral student in the Computer Science and Information Systems program at the University of Denver looked at the reasons why people get unfriended on Facebook.

The Drama in the Chilean Mine

By Ilana Simons Ph.D. on October 14, 2010 in The Literary Mind
 There should be a genre in fiction that covers what happens when catastrophe hits. 

Sense and sentimentality

By Gordon S Livingston M.D. on October 14, 2010 in Lifelines
 The opposite of truth is not necessarily the lie. It can also be another form of dishonesty, namely sentimentality.

Change of Plans? My BFF fell in love with my roommate

Dear Irene,I'm 22, and my best friend Allie and I have been friends for 11 years. We went to middle and high school together, and stayed incredibly close despite four years at different colleges in different cities, and a year in different countries. We have traveled many times together, and decided last year that in October 2010 (post college graduation), we would go on a year-long trip together, working on different farms throughout the United States. I thought our friendship was incredibly resilient, but now I'm not so sure. 

Stereotypes of Singles? Robust. Actual Differences Between Singles and Couples? Not So Much

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on October 13, 2010 in Living Single
Four studies show that a biographical sketch with the exact same information (except for relationship status) is rated more negatively when the person profiled in the sketch is said to be single instead of coupled. However, the actual differences between single and coupled people are few and far between.

Infertility: My Best Friend Is Pregnant!

If you have been trying for months (or years) to get pregnant, the news of anyone you know having achieved this triumph can be a real bummer.  But when the news comes that your best friend is the mother-to-be, there are lots of emotional issues for both of you.  Was hers a planned pregnancy?  Did you hear the news from her directly?  How open have you been with her about your struggles with infertility?  Is she sensitive to your emotions upon hearing her news? 

Alliances and Loyalty – Kids and Divorced Parents

I got an email the other day from a woman who writes about her frustration that her teenaged daughter wants to spend Thanksgiving with her father rather than her. The mom went on to say, "Why, when it was HIM who betrayed me and broke up the family, is she so defensive of him, and I'm cast as the bad person trying to keep them apart?" 

Why The Rise of the Common Good Will Trump Our "Social Psychosis"

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on October 13, 2010 in The New Resilience
Serving the common good is steadily rising, and will trump our current social psychosis in personal life, business, and public policy.

4 Teen Suicides in Ohio: Is Bullying to Blame?

By Jared DeFife Ph.D. on October 13, 2010 in The Shrink Tank
Four teen suicides have occurred at one Ohio high school in two years.  A fifth student was found dead yesterday.  The community struggles with one question: Why?