Essential Reads

The Benefits of Embracing the Ordinary

Why you should take the time to capture the mundane in your everyday life

Departing Earth

What does it say to leave your home planet forever?

Sex in the Head

What may look like pure physical arousal is usually much more complicated.

Obama and Netanyahu in Family Therapy

Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, for the sake of world peace, call me.

Recent Posts on Relationships

Talking about friendship with author Jane Green

New York Times best-selling author Jane Green is a mother of six, who remarkably has written a book a year for the past 12 years. Like her other books that focus on the emotional lives of lives of women, Jane's most recent one, Promises to Keep, was inspired by the life and death of her real-life friend Heidi, who was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. The journey she shared with her girlfriend, accompanying her to chemo and spending time with her when she was too weak to leave her bed, profoundly affected the way Jane thinks about relationships, especially her friendships. My interview with Jane highlights some of her thoughts about that life-changing friendship with Heidi:

Susan Isn’t a “Survivor” – The How of Relationships

By Margaret Moore on June 27, 2010 in Life Changes
Susan isn't a survivor; Susan is a thriver. And, she thanks God for it every day. Susan is thriving with Stage 4 cancer and is on a journey to live into her purpose.

"No White Flag Above My Door": The Value of Romantic Persistence

 What are we supposed to do when our beloved seems to reject our love? The simple and unequivocal reply of Romantic Ideology is: We should never give up-we should persist in fighting for our love. Persistence, however, can easily turn into romantic harassment that does not respect the other.

5 Fantasies—and 5 Truths—About Your Former Love

I have a friend who is suddenly longing to get back in touch with an old boyfriend. This guy was rotten to her when they were going out—a long time ago—but this otherwise sensible woman has convinced herself that he's magically turned into the man she always hoped he would become.

Be My Baby: Love, Marriage, and Prison

By Stanton Peele on June 27, 2010 in Addiction in Society
Cindy McCain and Phil Spector are at opposite extremes of the marriage spectrum - Cindy only escapes her marital prison when away from her husband: Phil only found marital love after being sent to prison.

Why all the excitement about the World Cup?

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on June 26, 2010 in Off the Couch
I don't get the World Cup. But it's hard not to be drawn in when the Mexican staff at my local deli are cheering their team while they make my sandwich and ring up my order. What's all the excitement about?

Couples Just Don’t Know How to Be Married?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 26, 2010 in Living Single
An article in the Washington Post about marriage and relationship education programs goes on for 9 pages when printed. But the reporter quotes only marriage-promotion true believers. Here's a perspective grounded in scientific research that was not included.

The elephant in the room: My once-BFF

Hi Irene, I love your blog and read it all the time; you offer such great advice. Now I have some problems of my own and was wondering if you could help me. I‘ve had the same best friend for ten years; we went to uni together and even lived together after university. In January, we both decided to take a career break, traveling round Asia and New Zealand for a year and working as we went along. After a few weeks, our friendship deteriorated badly, partly because of the stress of spending every day together for two months and both of us feeling money/job pressures, etc. Also, lots of things happened that made me doubt our friendship and whether I could trust her.

Marriage and Relationship Education Programs: Do They Work?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 25, 2010 in Living Single
More than 100 studies have been conducted to determine whether couples who participate in marriage and relationship education programs end up better off than couples who do not participate. Here are the results. 

Bull in a China Shop

A bull in a china shop is a risky proposition. But how did it end up there? When this phrase is applied to human relationships, sometimes the bull isn't the problem.

It Just Hasn’t Happened Yet?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 24, 2010 in Living Single
The title of a recently published book is "It just hasn't happened yet: bogus, ridiculous, absurd explanations as to why you're still single and how to deal with them plus a few silly things we do to ourselves." What do you already know about the book without reading another word? 

Pregnancy Loss: How to respond with compassion

So, you have just learned of the pregnancy loss of a friend, a relative, a co-worker or an acquaintance. You want to offer an appropriate response, but you're not sure what that might be. In this blog we'll look at the considerations you'll want to keep in mind as you offer a comforting response.

Shouldn't a sister be a close friend?

QUESTIONDear Irene,Last October I discovered that my only sister, who is two years older than me, has been stealing the money I send to take care of my mother in Mexico. She was managing a property I have in Mexico. The rent had always been used to pay for our mother's expenses. My sister didn't deny what she had done when I confronted her by email. 

Empathy for Al and Tipper

Tough Times for the Gores

Help Dealing with a Friend Who Cops an Attitude

By Donna Flagg on June 23, 2010 in Office Diaries
I love these wikiHow's. I think they offer clear, lucid solutions to sticky behavioral problems. This one is about what to do if you have a friend turn a cold shoulder and give you the silent treatment without explanation.

7 Things I Wish I'd Known 20 Years Ago

My life would be so different if I'd been taught these life secrets early on, instead of having to live my way into an understanding of them (which was not always much fun - and was occasionally very expensive)

Guest Post: Connecting

On a beautiful Sunday autumn afternoon more than a year ago, my husband and I attended a Harvest Festival at a local winery not too far from where we live. We didn't know anyone else there and wound up sitting next to a lovely couple, who seemed to be enjoying the day as much as we were.Over a couple of glasses of wine, the woman and I connected and we subsequently began following each other's blogs. Hers is called Killin' time being lazy ---but my winery friend is far from lazy! Rather, she is quite contemplative and thoughtful. 

When Your Husband Betrays You, Do You Blame The Other Woman?

Do the wives of chronically adulterous men think along the lines of Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of historian and writer Thomas Carlyle, who, when she was asked about her husband affections for another woman, responded, "People who are so dreadfully devoted to their wives are so apt, from mere habit, to get devoted to other people's wives as well"?

Are You a "Control Freak?" Take this Quiz and Find Out

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on June 22, 2010 in BrainSnacks
Psychologists tell us about the "strength-weakness paradox," which means that any trait that's one of your best strengths can turn into a liability or a weakness if over deployed.

The importance of vacations to our physical and mental health

When Presidents take vacations, they run the risk of being criticized for shirking their duties. But there are real benefits to taking a break from your everyday routine.  Learn how to take a vacation that reduces your stress, builds your connections with family and friends, and allows you to feel more fulfilled than ever.

Psychoanalysis 101

 Next time you are standing at the water cooler or coffee cart, you'll know just what everyone is talking about

Passive Aggression at Bedtime

My husband's strategy in the situation was a winning one for both he and our daughter; Hannah thought her Daddy was the coolest in the world and Richard was not called upon to help with this evening responsibility for months. 

Is kinky sex good for your marriage?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on June 22, 2010 in Women Who Stray
One of the wives I met was a vice-president in a significant multinational corporation, the other was a tenured, well-published college professor. And both of them loved to have sex with men other than their husbands, often while their husbands watched.