The Hidden Sources of Attraction

Your Conscious Mind Isn’t Necessarily Your Best Guide

We are attracted to people for many different reasons, some of them conscious, some unconscious. Some of the conscious reasons have to do with how the person looks, how they act, the sound of their voice, the sensation of their touch, and other sensory cues. These are things we can identify and recognize; they are obvious and self-evident. Yet lying below the surface of our conscious awareness are subtle, less apparent factors that contribute to the degree of attractiveness we find in others. These factors relate to unspoken, even unknown wishes and desires for what we might be able to experience with this person. They involve the agenda of the heart and they often are very distinct from the desires of the mind. Such agenda can include the hopes of fulfillment, the healing of buried wounds, or a realization of our deepest life potential.


The Hidden Cost of Fitting In

Zumbach the Tailor

Here's a story that you may have heard, but its message is timeless and it bears repeating:

There once lived a tailor name Zumbach who had a reputation for making the finest of clothing. He used only the best fabrics and he was especially known for his impeccable suits. One day a man named Sam walked into his shop and plopped down a large bundle of money in front of the famous tailor.


What’s Missing With Our Over-Reliance on Electronic Technology?

It’s probably no surprise to most of us that the most popular form of communication amongst young people these days is (drum roll)….TEXTING! No surprise there. But here’s something that might surprise you. This is not to deny that there are many benefits of texting, including the speed through which messages can be delivered and responded to, the minimization of actual person to person or even voice to voice contact (which affords a certain safety...

Thinking About Getting Marriage Counseling?

“Marriage is a pit full of pitfalls devised by a devious deity for our conscious evolution”
– Wavy Gravy

Five things to consider before getting professional help.

There are few if any couples who have been together any amount of time who have managed to successfully avoid any of the many pitfalls that that are inherent in committed partnerships. We know (personally and professionally) many couples who were convinced that theirs was a relationship that was the exception to this rule only to find after the first major disappointment, or the first child, or the first serious disagreement, or the last straw, that they were wrong. And while there are some couples who do experience deep marital fulfillment with little if any serious conflict along the way, for the vast majority of couples, not just those who are mismatched or emotionally unbalanced, stuff happens. Sometimes it’s bad stuff that doesn’t just go away over time, or when you ignore it, or when one partner intimidates the other into backing down or shutting up.


Having a Conversation About Having a Conversation

Setting the stage: It’s more important than you think.

Linda: I had to learn this one the hard way. In the early years of my relationship with Charlie whenever there was something that I felt that we needed to discuss, particularly something that was bothering me, I would launch into a conversation, leading with my concerns, often before Charlie had any sense of what was going on. Not surprisingly, he often didn’t know what hit him. To put it mildly, this wasn’t the best way to begin the conversation. While I usually felt like I was just being honest about my feelings, Charlie often felt like he was being broadsided by a medium-sized truck. Consequently, the result was that I was now dealing not only with the initial disturbance that had motivated me to speak out in the first place, but in addition, with Charlie’s (understandable) defensiveness and reactivity. Over time (more than I care to admit), I came to realize that Charlie was interpreting my gestures to heal a rift between us as a surprise attack, which didn’t exactly predispose him to being open and conciliatory. I want him to feel that way, but I had no models from my past experience of how to initiate important conversations in a respectful way. I was ignorant of how crucial it is to set the stage for an important dialogue.


Just Hang in There—But For How Long?

Knowing when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em.

The opening line of the chorus of the Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”, goes: “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em.” How true! Sometimes there’s a lot of wisdom in Country Western music. The same could be said about marriage. One thing that most traditions do agree on is that marriage involves a commitment between two people. But traditional vows notwithstanding, it’s become quite obvious in these days of no-fault divorce, that “folding” is unquestionably seen as a legitimate option for any married couple. The question of course has to do with the nature of the commitment that both partners are agreeing to make, and for how long? Are there any conditions other than death that canjustify breaking that commitment? Apparently for many people, there are. At what point do we decide that a marriage is no longer viable?


Is There (Marital) Life After an Affair?

There is perhaps no greater threat to a marriage than infidelity. Years or even decades of hard-earned trust can be shattered when one partner, for any of a thousand reasons, violates the vow of sexual faithfulness. It's hard to understand how we can engage in such potentially destructive behaviors when the risks are as high as they are, and yet, vast numbers of us (some say the percentage of couples that have experienced some form of sexual infidelity is as high as 90%) are in marriages in which one partner or/and the other has had one or more affairs.

Yet, despite the odds, whatever they may actually be, as even the most pessimistic among us would have to admit, some marriages do survive affairs. In fact, of those that do, a significant number of individuals report that the quality of the relationship, is in fact greater than it was prior to the affair.



Does Your Relationship Have IDD? Part 2

Six steps to reverse it.

IDD (Intimacy Deficiency Disorder) is an insidious relationship-threatening condition that if unaddressed can undermine and severely damage even the most loving partnerships. In part one we identified the most prevalent symptoms of IDD that manifest themselves in relationships. In this...


Does Your Relationship Have IDD? Part 1

The 10 Early Warning Signals

No, it’s not a typo. We really did mean to write IDD rather than ADD. While IDD is a serious and potentially relationship-threatening condition, you won’t find it listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). IDD or Intimacy Deficiency Disorder is a widespread phenomenon that affects vast numbers of couples in America and other industrialized nations.