The Science of Trust in Relationships

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In the short video below, renowned relationships researcher John Gottman discusses recent findings on the science of trust.  Significantly, he explains that betrayal is not the opposite of trust, and that one of the key ingredients of trust is commitment.  The great destroyer of a person's ability to build trust in their relationship is the perspective that "I can do better."  Check it out:   Learn more about our couples counseling services here.  
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Couples Counseling Success Story

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I recently worked with a couple that came in with a serious break in their relationship.  They were pretty despairing and didn't know how to handle the problem.  I give them a lot of credit for the honest look they both took at themselves and the hard work they put into this.  In only two sessions, they were fully back on track to where they wanted to be.  While this is the kind of work I do all the time - not necessarily in so short a time - I thought it was worth sharing on the blog because of the truly wonderful letter they sent me a few days ago (names and details changed): Just wanted to...
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A New Approach to Dealing with Cheaters

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I'm not saying I recommend this, but it certainly is one avenue a person could take...   www.cnn.com/2015/09/24/europe/cheating-husband-billboard-sign Looking for information on this issue that's a little more helpful? Take a look at our services for couples with infidelity problems at https://baltimoretherapycenter.com/counseling-services/counseling-for-couples/affair.
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6 Reasons Marriage Counseling is NOT BS

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I recently came across this article by Laura Doyle entitled "6 Reasons Marriage Counseling is BS."  While I actually found myself agreeing with many of the author's comments on marriage, I obviously disagree strongly with her contention that marriage counseling is baloney.  She says: 1. It starts with calling your spouse a loser Doyle contends that going to marriage counseling is an automatic criticism of your spouse.  This is definitely not true.  Many couples recognize that there is a problem in the way they interact, and wise spouses acknowledge that both of them have been imperfect. ...
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The Truth About Married Sex

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I thought that this article about sex in marriage was really worth sharing.  The basic premise is that sex in marriage is something you have to work at (like marriage itself, of course).  When you were 18 and dating you probably had to hold yourself back from sexual activity most of the time; unfortunately, that same kind of desire and excitement is not the norm in marriage. Sexuality in marriage is very different from what it is in dating.  Marriage is nicely designed for security, stability, and constancy.  These are not necessarily great aphrodisiacs.  People get turned on by newness and...
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The Importance of Listening

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Another guest post I wrote on a friend's blog has generated some interesting conversation.  See the article and subsequent comments at https://incensefromthealtar.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/the-importance-of-listening.       Learn more about our couples counseling services here.
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When Is Couples Counseling a Bad Idea?

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As you may have guessed, I am a big believer in marital therapy/couples counseling. I think it is helpful for a lot of people, and I think many folks would be much happier if they sought it out. However, there is an important exception to this claim, a situation in which couples counseling is not recommended, and that is in a case where there is active domestic violence going on. The reason for this is that in such a situation, experience and common sense tell us that joint therapy puts the victim is at greater risk for abuse. Couples therapy depends on open communication between the three ...
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Recovering from an Affair

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An affair is often thought of as a death blow to a marriage –the worst thing that could possibly happen to the relationship, from which there can be no recovery. The truth is that a couple can still save their marriage . . .     https://www.wellness.com/blog/13270625/how-to-recover-from-an-affair/raffi-bilek   Learn more about our couples counseling services here.
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Do You Need Couples Counseling?

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Are you in need of couples counseling?  How would you even know whether you are or not?  Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you are a candidate for marriage counseling: Is your marriage/relationship more often negative than positive? Do you feel indifferent towards your spouse/significant other, or sense that s/he feels indifferent to you? Are you looking for something different from your relationship but can’t even define what? Do you find yourself dreading being with your spouse/significant other on a regular basis? Has your spouse/significant ...
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How to Argue with Your Spouse without Solving Anything

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An article I wrote about spousal disagreements has been posted on wellness.com: Arguments among dating and married couples have gotten a bad name. Sure, they cause anger, frustration, tears, breakups, and divorces, but apart from that, who doesn't enjoy a good yell at their partner from time to time? https://www.wellness.com/blog/13270621/how-to-argue-with-your-spouse-without-solving-anything/raffi-bilek   Learn more about our couples counseling services here.
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How to Be Married to a Woman

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The sequel to my highly popular "How to Be Married to a Man:"   How to Be Married to a Woman   My article, “How to Be Married to a Man,” recently published in the Where What When, earned me a lot of head nods and a couple of high-fives from male readers. It also led some women to indicate that perhaps I could offer some comparable tips to the other gender. (That would be the male gender. I am spelling that out for the men, who, of course, need things made explicit for them, because they don’t do things like “infer” from what you said.) In recognition of the great need, I ...
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Getting Your Kids to Eat Their Dinner

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Here is another column from the BJH in which I answer the classic question: How do I get my kids to eat their dinner??? Dear BJH, My kids are really great overall, but the one area that never seems to work out is dinnertime.  They simply don't want to eat!  It always seems to be a fight getting some food into them.  How can I get them to eat their dinner properly? Thanks, GS   Dinnertime is a common flashpoint between parents and kids.  You are not alone!  Let’s take a look at some conceptual points that will help us develop a healthy approach to dinnertime, and then we’...
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A Dog Named Depression

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This short video offers an excellent perspective on what it's like to be depressed.  Depression does tremendous damage to relationships.  If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, don't hesitate to reach out for help.  It can turn your relationships around 180 degrees. Learn more about our counseling and therapy services here.
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Between Parents & In-Laws

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Here is a recent column of mine that appeared in a local newspaper discussing a common issue that comes up in families. While this person may or may not be a candidate for family therapy, it is always worth considering the option of bringing in an objective third party to help resolve family conflicts. Learn more about help with in-laws here.
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Love after Adultery

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It is commonly thought that adultery is a certain death blow to a marriage. After all, what could possibly do more injury to a relationship than an affair? It strikes us as the worst thing someone could do. Heck, it even made it into the Ten Commandments! I once heard a counselor say to me, “I can generally save any marriage, as long as it doesn’t involve adultery.” So it’s certainly a widespread perception, even among professionals. The truth is, however, that adultery doesn’t have to mean the end of a marriage. This is not at all to minimize the severity of the offense; rather, it reflect...
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How to be Married to a Man

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A local Baltimore magazine published an article I submitted this week, entitled "How to be Married to a Man."  I highly recommend it for all people married to men.  I know there's an awful lot of you out there.  Even if you don't need couples counseling, I am hopeful these tips will help you out!  Reprinted below with permission: How to Be Married to a Man               You may be thinking, that I, as a man, am not the right person to be writing this article. After all, I clearly have very little experience being married to a man. However, it so happens that I have very close connections w...
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Does Sexting Count as Cheating?

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Many people aren’t sure how to answer this question. When a married man is sending inappropriate text messages to another woman (or vice versa), does that “count” as an affair? The answer is really a subjective one. When a man cheats on his wife, or a woman on her husband, the problem is not so much the act that took place as it is the breach of trust – one of the parties broke the implicit promise made when they established a committed relationship. Most people understand that a person can be cheating even if there was no sex involved. If a married man takes a woman out on a romantic date,...
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Kids Hear EVERYTHING

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Recently, I was sitting at dinner with my wife and kids and discussing the mundane issues of daily life.  At one point my wife mentioned to me something about putting the kids in camp for an extra few days. My six-year-old daughter piped up and cheerfully asked, “Because you don’t want to deal with the kids, right?” I felt a little bit like dirt. That is really not how I want my kids to think we look at them. We so easily overlook how perceptive our kids are from the youngest ages, and how they pick up everything we say, whether we think they are listening or not. No doubt we hav...
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