Essential Reads

What Happens When a Psychopath Falls in Love

If you happen to fall in love with a psychopath, here's what can go wrong

Parental Guilt: The Dilemma

Who is minding the children when both parents work?

Single Mothers and Their Health, Around the World

Single parenting causes poor health? 6 ways you were misled

Three Simple Steps to Heal Conflict and Strengthen Love

A three step technique toward authentic intimacy

Recent Posts on Relationships

Infertility Counseling: What to Expect

 Individuals and couples with infertility often contemplate whether to seek counseling.  Some approach this decision with ease, but many others have questions about what is involved in a counseling relationship.  In today's blog, I will offer an inside view on the beliefs that have guided my counseling experiences with hundreds of infertile clients.

Online Dating Assistants: Can E-Dating Get More Artificial?

A recent Washington Post article describes the growth of online dating assistants, people who (for a fee) will manage your online dating profile—sending out messages, responding to replies, engaging in light banter and flirting until a date is arranged—and only then do you actually join the process by meeting this person with whom "you" have been corresponding.

Name That Baby

In a time when celebs are naming their kids Bronx Mowgli, Dusti Rain, Apple, Pilot Inspektor and Kal-el it seems non-creative parents to be who desperately want to think of themselves as creative or parents who are just too insecure to make their own decisions are now hiring baby-naming consultants to do the job for them. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal the professional baby naming business is booming. Anxious almost-parents are paying up to $350 for baby naming consultation that includes phone interviews and packets of name options with name histories, linguistic origins and personality traits, all information that is easily found online for free.

Conflict is unavoidable. Suffering is optional.

By Nando Pelusi Ph.D. on June 01, 2010 in Locus of Control
We're so derailed by what we think we must avoid that we ignore or forget to define what we really want

Can Love Last a Lifetime?

By Sue Johnson on June 01, 2010 in Hold Me Tight
Can romantic love last or, by its very nature, does it have a best before date?

Elementary School Kids and Divorce: What Parents Need to Know – Part Two of Two

 Discuss the temptation to throw darts at your ex with your therapist--not with your nine year old.

The Surprising Ways Breast Play Can Enhance Arousal

Breasts are often left out of couples' sex play, but they can be an important part of full body intimacy and pleasure. 

Losing sleep over a betrayal by a couple

Dear Irene,My husband and I were very close friends with another couple who betrayed and hurt us deeply. They made twisted and false accusations about our marriage, my upbringing, my mental state, etc. They shared this with our neighbors and friends but luckily, it did not affect how our neighbors treated us. If we didn't have a strong marriage, I don't think we would have made it through this turmoil. 

What Your Feet Have to Do With Better Sex

In their quest for more pleasurable sex, people often focus a bit too much on their genitals. Here's how an unexpected body part - your feet! - can lead to better sex. 

Turning off a cell phone isn't the solution to this friendship problem

Hi Irene,My friend and I are best friends and I care about her a great deal. She calls me A LOT! I don't mind that but the problem is that if I don't pick up the phone she gets really upset. Many times, I have tried to explain to her that I don't always have my phone on me but she doesn't understand. My problem isn't the number of calls but the expectation that I have to pick up my phone every time. It's irritating and causing me a lot of stress.  

Elementary School Kids and Divorce: What Parents Need to Know – Part One of Two

Kids are often confused about the reasons behind a parental split—even as their parents insist they have tried more than once to explain.

People reestablish trust only when they believe in change

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 28, 2010 in Ulterior Motives
Trust is crucial in any close relationship. When you make plans with a friend, you have to trust that he will show up at the appointed place at the appointed time. When you make a business deal with someone, you have to trust that she will follow through with her end of the bargain. Not everyone lives up to their end of every bargain, though. What factors determine whether you will trust someone again? 

What secret is your spouse keeping from you?

The other morning my dad discovered a shocking family secret:  His own father had -- unbeknownst to him, to his sisters, or to their mother -- fathered a child with another woman.  That afternoon, he was still in an unsettled frame of mind, so we went to see a movie. We knew little about the film, so were surprised when it turned out to be about a family man who had, as a young fellow, fathered a child outside of wedlock, and then kept it secret for two decades. (coauthored by Douglas T. Kenrick)

Five Intuitions About Love and Sex You Shouldn’t Ignore

When we're looking for love, we often miss seeing extraordinary signs and messages that pop up in our daily life to give us clues as to whether we're on the right track. However, if you can slow down enough to recognize and listen to your intuitive intelligence, it can help you understand people and relationship situations in new ways.

Memorial Day

By Gordon S Livingston M.D. on May 27, 2010 in Lifelines
      It might be argued that as professional soldiers it was our obligation to participate in whatever conflict our political leaders of the moment deemed necessary. We knew that this is what we had been trained for (at public expense) and there were few among us who did not feel that it was our duty to fight when asked.

In Marriage, Sometimes a Cigar Is Not Just a Cigar

By Wednesday Martin Ph.D. on May 27, 2010 in Stepmonster
There's recently been a frenzy of publicity about the "science" of happy marriages, based on the last decade of psychological and sociological research about why our unions work--or fail. Where's your marriage in all this?

Finding a Bunco group, one player at a time

QUESTIONDear Irene,First of all, thank you for your blog and columns; I've gained much insight from you. I am a 42-year-old mother of two boys and I have always had trouble making friends. I've read countless books on the subject of relationships and intellectually, I know what to do: Be open, smile, ask questions, stay positive, etc. But it never seems to pan out for me in my search for finding meaningful friendships. 

When You're in Love with a Statue

What Central Park sculptures have to say about love, hate, and memory.

Do You Have a Council of Friends?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 26, 2010 in Living Single
A 43-year old dad, faced with a grim diagnosis, assembles a "council of dads" to be there for his daughters in case he can't be there himself. Two years later, he's realized that the council is "less about parenting and more about friendship." Whether we are parents or not parents, single or coupled, our social convoys are probably an important part of our lives. 

Giving the Gift of Yourself

Lifelong passion may be about learning to love, yet it is not about learning to love in general, as honorable an activity as that may be. It is about learning to love and be loved by a particular person and doing it well. How do we do it? 

Bring Change 2 Mind

Is the "Bring Change 2 Mind" campaign, with its goal of getting people talking openly and without shame about mental illness, "bad" or "good"?

Hey, Dear Abbies!: Three Things to Consider Before You Give Advice

Ever had a friend ask you for advice and then get mad when you give it?  Join the club.  Here's why giving advice is trickier than you might think.