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What is the purpose of relationships?

We are hardwired to seek connection with others and hardwired to seek intimacy…Beyond the biological purposes, an intimate relationship is probably the richest environment there is for self-discovery and reaching our potentials as human beings. […]

Self-Betrayal is the Ultimate Betrayal

What happens if you are not true to yourself? It sets up a dynamic that eats away inside of you and brings out the worst in you. It diminishes your presence. It isolates you. […]

After Marriage Failure: Could We Make It Work Again?

A reader wrote, “If my husband who has been gone for a year and is with another woman decided to… change his life around and come back to his family, do you think we could ever make it work again. I ask this because I ponder why you never tried to correct your previous relationship and I wonder why.” This is an excellent question, albeit with a personal twist. In the extreme, I’ve seen couples divorce, remarry, lose their new spouse through divorce or death, and then connect with their former spouse and remarry. This is usually over an extended period of time, not a year or two. In another case a couple split up and lived in separate cities without contact, except through their adult children. With one party always wanting to get back together and therefore never dating others, they finally did reconnect after several years and have been together ever since. So the short answer to your question is that it is possible. One of the more difficult issues to overcome, however, is that of trust. Would you be able to trust him again? Without professional help — and sometimes even with it — inability to trust can linger for years and is a major relationship killer. A Personal Perspective Six weeks after my former spouse said to me “Our marriage is better than it’s ever been,” she told me by telephone she was splitting. (She already had an apartment in another city.) I was devastated. When within a few days my grief had deepened to the point of my feeling suicidal, I got professional help with my grief. I begged her to come back, but the answer was always no. Then finally she agreed to come back but it would take a couple of weeks to tie up some loose ends where she lived. I was elated, but as the date approached, my stomach started to get tied up in knots. I realized I had grieved her loss and had moved on emotionally. I couldn’t trust her to not leave again. I had long since learned to trust my instincts, so I said no. We divorced and had no contact for a number of years. We both remarried. Now we are good friends. Back to your question about whether you could ever make your marriage work again. What he says he will do doesn’t count for much. It’s what he has done that counts. When your husband has left the other woman and has turned his life around (with or without professional help), when the two of you are enjoying one another’s company and are at ease with each other again, then it’s time to consider reestablishing the marriage. […]

In Love Again?

As human beings we are social creatures and seem to be hardwired to be in relationships. Previous to about a century ago marriages lasted on average less than nine years, ending with the death of one. The survivor would remarry and stay married until one of them died. Serial monogamy is alive and well today, the only difference being that divorce replaces death in the transition to a new relationship. […]

New (or Old) Relationship? Watch your language!

It’s hard to build a happy, productive life or a lasting relationship on a complaint. People get tired of their marriages and their friendships. They often feel stuck and sometimes hopeless. The question is, how do you avoid starting relationships based on a negative focus? […]