What Hidden Agenda Are You Bringing Into Your Relationship?

Don't set yourself up for disappointment.

Chad had all of the features that were on Miranda’s perfect partner checklist: He was intelligent, good-looking, financially fit, athletic, and loved kids and cats. So why then, she wondered did she always feel like there was something missing or not quite right between then. She often felt that he was trying to control or manipulate her, even though when she confronted him with her feelings, he insisted that he...


The Differences Aren’t the Problem

Irreconcilable doesn't mean unworkable

Leah: "Before Jason and I got married, I thought that couples became more harmonious over time and that their differences naturally diminished as they got to know each other better. Boy, was I wrong! Not only did our different points of view and behaviors not go away, they actually became inflamed and amplified over time. For a while it really seemed like they would be the end of our marriage.


Mind-Reading: Don’t Try This at Home

Although most people realize that it is not reasonable to expect others to read their minds, that does not always prevent them from feeling hurt or outraged when they don’t. Many of us possess a (usually unconscious) belief that when it comes to intimate relationships, mind reading is not only a legitimate expectation, but that a failure to do so and to take appropriate action accordingly, is grounds to find one’s...


The Ultimate Aphrodisiac

It's not what you think.

Eva was brought up to be a pleaser. As a little girl she felt like it wasn’t ever OK to disappoint anyone or to make them angry. Upsetting people was tantamount to committing a crime and the last thing that she wanted to be perceived as was a criminal. So she became skilled at what she called “fudging the truth”. “I didn’t tell big lies, just white lies, at least that’s what I told myself to justify what I was doing. Telling a little fib in order to spare someone’s feelings seemed like a legitimate thing to do. It was what most of the people in my life were doing so there couldn’t have been anything too wrong with it. At least that was what I was telling myself.”


You Can Have It Both Ways

Commitment and freedom are not mutually exclusive.

If you believe that it’s necessary to choose between a life of freedom or one of committed partnership, welcome to the club. What many people refer to as “commitment phobia” often has to do with an unwillingness to accept what they believe to be a necessary surrender of freedom that a committed partnerships require. The idea of being trapped in a relationship from which there is no exit is, to say the least, an unappealing prospect for most people. The belief that freedom and commitment are mutually exclusive, that it’s an either/or proposition is a common one. While it may be true that in many situations it’s not possible to have it both ways, relationship is one in which having it both ways is not only possible, but it’s a requirement.


Read This Before You Apologize to Her (or Him)

Love does (sometimes) mean having to say you’re sorry.

Breakdowns happen in relationships. Despite our best intentions, there are times in relationships in which one or both partners is careless with words, where feelings get hurt, when anger is unfairly displaced, where there is insensitivity to the other’s feelings, where we do or say things that we regret or that cause harm, and more. This is not to justify or excuse such transgressions, but to acknowledge the inevitability of these situations. It is of course a good idea to do everything that we can to minimize the frequency and severity of our transgressions, but when they do occur, the next best thing is to exercise damage control. This process generally involves the repairing of trust that has been broken or perceived to have been violated.


Lost Your Mojo?

Having the Courage to Desire

In the days when traveling vacuum cleaner salesmen roamed the land, one came to my home when I was a little girl and offered to demonstrate the miraculous qualities of the new Hoover.

“Mrs. Cooper”, he said, “this vacuum cleaner is world class! The very best money can buy. It’s got attachments for carpets, drapes, stairs, heating vents, hardwood floors, you name it and it will clean it.

“Wow!”  said my mom, clearly impressed. “Is there anything that it can’t do?”


The Ultimate Power

Finding freedom in prison.

"Everything can be taken from a man [or woman] but one thing: the last of human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances."     ~ Viktor Frankl

I met Jeri at a writer’s workshop where we were both students. She had an effervescent temperament, and I found myself strongly drawn to her from the moment we met. She had the look of someone who has paid some serious dues, yet as I listened to her story I found myself amazed that she looked as youthful and vibrant as she did. It would be a profound understatement to say that Jeri had had a hard life.