Essential Reads

A Destination Divorce? Get Outta Town! No, Really.

Why going away may improve your divorce.

5 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart

Simple steps to get to a better place.

Developmental Dislike of Parents During Early Adolescence

Come adolescence, there is more to dislike about parents, and there needs to be

I'm Having An Impossible Time With A Break-Up

Break-Ups Are Harder In The Age of Social Media

Recent Posts on Relationships

How to Be "Really" Impressive

“As a former entertainer, I thought the best thing I could hear after giving a talk or presentation was for someone to tell me I was great. And then one day someone came up to me and told me how grateful they were.” - Ike Krieger, Principal at Krieger-Sokol Consulting, Developers of Contrary Marketing

Disarming the Jealousy Complex

How to regulate complex jealousy, before it destroys your relationships and drives you crazy.

Socialized for Good: When You are Taught that Expressing Anger is Bad

 Some families set absolute standards for respect, politeness and charm, regardless of a child's internal feelings. Are parents setting the stage for perfect behavior or for passive aggressive rebellion?

Cool Art Therapy Intervention #7: Creating Together

There is a distinctive kind of creative energy generated when people work in a group to create art. Call it synergy or collective flow; whatever you call it, it changes our perceptions of who we are and shows us how to get by with a little creative help from our friends.


What should white people be called? Is Caucasian a scientific classification? What is the origin of the term?

Is Living Together the Answer or the Kiss of Death to a Relationship? Part 2

In Part I we looked at the transformed social landscape, a place in which the numbers of folks living together had surpassed those who were married. Then I shared the story of Shelley & Jared, two 30- somethings that had decided to live together. Like other couples, Shelley and Jared thought that living together might be a good way to test drive the relationship and besides it was far more economical. We asked readers to guess how it would turn out.To help figure this out, let's look at what research on living together might tell us. Well, most studies done from 1995 forward showed that couples that lived together before marriage had higher divorce rates as compared with couples that didn't. Other findings included poorer mental and physical health, including depression, especially for women.

The Classy Break-Up: Conversational Templates for Saying Good-Bye

Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn did it in a movie. Jen and Brad Pitt did it in real life. I may not be Jen and you may not be Brad, but "breaking up" with people is a normal life event.Here follow suggestions for disconnecting from categories of select people when you've determined it's the appropriate time to do so. All cost-reward ratios have been thoroughly determined, and it's simply time to take action. 

Are You Holding Onto Your Spouse with a "Marriage Death Grip?"

When you step out of the equation, you stop being the "nag" or the "bully" and your spouse is left alone with his or her actions.

The Paradox of Fleeting Relationships in Small Places

By Melinda Blau on March 07, 2010 in Consequential Strangers
Relationship research suggests that we don't share our private selves only with our loved ones.  Sometimes, in fact, it's easier to open up to a complete stranger.  Here's why.

Young Girls and Seductive Older Men

Relationships between older men and younger women, men’s proclivities toward seduction, infidelity, and the occasional betrayal of trust in romantic relationships.  These are the facets of human nature that evolutionary psychologists have explored too deeply for some tastes, but that traditional social scientists largely misunderstood for most of the 20th century. An Education provides a refreshing, and educating, perspective on these topics, and includes a few surprises.  Coauthored by David Lundberg Kenrick

The Truth About Open Marriage

Restraining from sex outside marriage is the glue that keeps couples connected and truly present with each other. This is true even for couples that rarely or never have sex. 

Evolutionary Psychology and The Oscar Race III

The contenders for Best Picture Oscar reflect 4 key evolutionary themes common in Hollywood: Getting Along, Getting Ahead, Getting the Bad Guys, and Getting the Girl (or the Guy).  The contenders also tap into a broad range of critical psychological concepts.

Darling, Do You Want Me To Be Stable or Unstable?

People want their romantic relationships to be stable; they want their profound love to remain constant at its initial profound level. However, people would also like their romantic love to be wild and unstable in the sense of unpredictable. They do not want to take each other for granted, like something inanimate that remains the same all the time; they want love to be wild and exciting. This may be termed "The paradox of stability." So do we want romantic stability or not?

The Truth About Consequential Strangers

By Melinda Blau on March 05, 2010 in Consequential Strangers
Such is the paradox of consequential strangers.  On her deathbed, psychologist Mindy Greenberg won’t be saying, “I wish I had spent more time with my doormen.”  Little Louie is replaceable. But he is also a one-of-a-kind, a person who changes her day in small, wonderful ways.

So Should We Live Together? Part I

Once upon a time, all the way back in the 50s, there was only marriage and sin. And then came the 60s and 70s and alternative lifestyles popped up all over the place. Most especially couples simply living together. Since then marriage rates have declined while couples living together has gone up tenfold. Cohabitating has morphed into a virtue in the eyes of most Americans. In fact, for the first time in U.S. history more couples are living together compared to those who are married and this trend is continuing.So is cohabitating a good thing or is it bad for your relationship?

Some Thoughts about Intimacy and Couples Conflict

By Sam Margulies on March 05, 2010 in Divorce for Grownups
Successful conflict resolution in intimate relationships requires essentially different strategies than does conflicts in busoiness or professional relationships. Because intimate relationships are more fragile in nmany ways than other relationships the relationship requires greater priority than the subject at issue.

The dumb psychology of ChatRoulette's in-your-face design

By Todd Essig Ph.D. on March 05, 2010 in Over-Simulated
Chat roulette is a terrific idea for a web-site. Spin the wheel, meet a stranger. Instant intimacy, like an interesting seat-mate on a train or plane. Only the most curmudgeonly wouldn't occasionally want such chats with strangers from someplace else. But "ChatRoulette," the current web-fad grabbing headlines, as well as Jon Stewart's satiric attention? Well, sad to say, the site is really dumb. It's only saving grace, besides serving as fodder for Stewart's hilarious bit, is that the site is dumb in psychologically interesting ways.

Lonely Hearts

By Frank Pittman M.D. on March 05, 2010 in Reel Life
Shared misery can be as exhilarating as a runaway roller coaster. It is the misery experienced alone that sucks us ever downward. One of the functions of movies is to bring us together and cue us to share the joint feelings. We denizens of the human condition are all in it together, whether it be in Haiti, Chile, or even Washington. We can find the human condition in the movies. 

Just as I Expected

By Sam Sommers on March 05, 2010 in Science Of Small Talk
The experts approached the teachers at the Oak School with an offer that seemed too good to be true: our new diagnostic test will identify the hidden gems in each of your classrooms. The name of their diagnostic test was no less impressive than the results it promised: "The Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition." And it seemed to work wonders...

Values: Why It Is to Be AND Not to Be

By Niels van Quaquebeke Ph.D on March 05, 2010 in Power
It's not only about what we want to stand for but also about what we do not want to stand for.

Grandparenting: a positive face of in-law relationships

 Grandparents are hard-wired to bond to grandchildren, but in-laws may come between them.

Parents to Judge: Jewish or Catholic?

Joseph Reyes and Rebecca Shapiro are divorced parents with a 3-year-old daughter. Mom is Jewish. Dad is Catholic. And therein lies the making of a dispute, a dispute that has become very public.