Essential Reads

Nine Lessons from Mad Men: The Emotional Cost of Dishonesty

How our lies hurt us and how to repair the damage caused by dishonesty

A Simple Way to Stop Relationship Arguments From Spiraling

First thing's first: Are you even fighting about the same thing?

How Our Lips Speak Louder Than Our Words

When you see the signs, you need to know what to say next.

Recent Posts on Relationships

Getting Remarried? Learn from Your Mistakes

Recently, The New York Times featured a discussion titled "Why Remarry?", with professors and marriage experts commenting on varfious aspects of remarriage. To me, the most interesting contribution came from Stephanie Coontz, who shared her insights gleaned from interviews with couples who have enjoyed successful second marriages.

Shopping Your own Closet

Last Wednesday, I had a delightful and very informative Skype call with Jill Chivers, an Australian woman who took her compulsive buying bull by the horns. She decided that for a full year she'd refrain from buying any new clothes and shop only in her own closet.

Darling, Are You Disgusted by Me?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on December 18, 2010 in In the Name of Love
 Disgust is a strong sense of aversion to something that we perceive as capable of contaminating us: either in physical terms, referring to bodily infection, or in more symbolic terms, referring to violating the boundaries of the self. In light of its intense negativity, disgust cannot be part of love.

Holidays or Hellidays? How Stepmothers and Stepkids Alike Can Enjoy

By Wednesday Martin Ph.D. on December 18, 2010 in Stepmonster
Holidays bring out some of our most primitive longings, and a sense of "nostalgia" for things we probably never had in the first place--a "perfect" family, an "ideal," Ozzy-and-Harriet-type marriage. The flipside of these longings is often resentment and acting out that things are not what they "should be." Helliday eggnog, anyone?

How to Be a Successful Resolutionist

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on December 18, 2010 in Fixing Families
Okay, that holiday stuff is about ready to wrap up. Now it's time to get serious -- resolution time! Here are some tips to make sure this year's resolutions stick.

Pretty Women Make Simple Men

By Adam Alter on December 18, 2010 in Alternative Truths
Scholars, moralists, and writers have warned men to steer clear of beautiful women since antiquity. A spate of recent studies suggests that beautiful women can indeed be dangerous, because they inadvertently induce men to take risks, make mistakes, gamble, and generally behave impulsively.

If You Write to Your Lost Love, But Receive No Response

By Nancy Kalish Ph.D. on December 18, 2010 in Sticky Bonds
It often takes a lot of courage to write a note to a lost love after many years of no contact. And once it is sent, there is tremendous anticipation of a reply. But what if there is no response? What does that mean?

The Mistress At Christmas

Holidays make it harder to find a safe place in her head. It's as if the world conspires against her from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. Any day with a parade is not one of her favorites.

5 Steps to Making Your Relationship Work for Both of You

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on December 16, 2010 in Compassion Matters
There can be great value, practically and therapeutically, to taking an It’s not you, it’s me approach to your relationship. Rather than using this as an excuse when ending your involvement with someone, why not use it as an exercise to improve your relationship with that person?

The Work Spouse: Indispensable Friend or Playing with Fire?

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on December 16, 2010 in The Friendship Doctor
With more women entering the workplace, it's not surprising that many develop extraordinarily close ties with colleagues, both male and female. To learn more about these relationships, I spoke to psychiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Olds:

Child Custody Battles, the Merry Holidays, and Family Violence

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on December 16, 2010 in Nurturing Resilience
The holiday season can put extra strain on divorcing families when negotiating visitation schedules. Here's three things divorced parents should keep in mind when planning holiday time with their children. How we behave in front of our children is more important than what we give them.

Gay Kids: Please Don't Commit Suicide!

Because I work at Rutgers, and because I am gay and a psychotherapist, it is perhaps understandable that Tyler Clementi has been on my mind all semester. At times I indulge in rescue fantasies and consider what I would say to Tyler if he had been my client and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to change the course of what happened on that fall day.  

Love to Hate

By Kasia Galazka on December 15, 2010 in Pop Rocks
The transition from love to disdain has long fueled pop culture. And while Mom Code dictates that "hate" is a strong word, the feeling runs rampant when a relationship ends. So how thin is the line that separates life's most compelling dichotomy, really?

Infertility and the Holidays: A "Double Dose of Hectic"

December holidays are busy for almost everyone, and those of us who grapple with infertility feel especially challenged at this time of the year.  Those challenges are both practical and psychological.  So let's see what we can do so as not to become overwhelmed by the "double dose of hectic!" 

Hormonal Levels Predict the Likelihood of Women to Stray.

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on December 15, 2010 in Homo Consumericus
"When you're in love with a beautiful woman, it's hard." These classic lyrics from a 1979 song by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show were recently validated in a study linking a woman's estradiol level to her penchant to stray.

Flash Forward -- What a Temper Does to Sex

Having a temper means having a lonely bed

Men and Women as Friends – When One is Gay or Lesbian

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on December 15, 2010 in Living Single
In a study of close friendships between men and women - when one is gay or lesbian - the friends regarded one another as family and sometimes planned their later lives together.

Breakup Etiquette: What Not To Do

By Maryanne Fisher Ph.D. on December 14, 2010 in Love's Evolver
Most of us have been there: the end of the romantic relationship.  There might have been a full disclosure about why the person was dumping you, or maybe they just drifted away without a word. Hopefully, though, no matter how the breakup went, the person didn't hire someone to dump you.

Dread nots: surviving the holidays with spirit intact

By Marcia Eckerd Ph.D. on December 14, 2010 in People Skills
Get rid of the "Holiday Dreads" and enjoy yourself!

Don't Let the Dragon Steal Christmas

By Julie K Hersh on December 14, 2010 in Struck By Living
Hersh uses her read of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to prepare for the Christmas holiday.

Guest Post: Learning from Elizabeth Edwards

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on December 14, 2010 in The Friendship Doctor
 I am saddened by the Elizabeth Edwards' death. I never knew her personally, but whenever I saw Elizabeth Edwards on television, or read something she wrote, or saw her from afar during her husband's days in D.C., I couldn't help but think that she is one of those women who I'd want to have as my friend.