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marriage

How Do I Get My Spouse to Go to Marriage Counseling?

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Blog on 26th June, 2020 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Have you thought about going for marriage counseling, but can’t figure out how to bring it up with your spouse? Or maybe you’ve brought it up with them, but they haven’t been interested? This is […]

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Common Objections to Marriage Counseling

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Blog on 25th May, 2020 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

I frequently get calls from people who are unhappy in their marriage and are looking for some professional help, but their spouse just isn’t interested. I want to address some of the most common objections […]

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Don’t Apologize When You Make a Mistake (Do This Instead)

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Blog on 4th May, 2020 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

If you are an avid reader of this blog, you already know that the three most important words in a marriage are not “I was wrong” – they’re actually “help me understand.” (Check out the […]

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How to Protect Your Marriage During Challenging Times

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Blog on 26th March, 2020 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

These are definitely challenging times. COVID-19 has us cooped up in a serious way, and many of us are dealing with any number of other problems, including employment, schooling, and possibly health. Your marriage is […]

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The Three Most Important Words in a Marriage (It’s not what you’re thinking!)

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Blog on 2nd March, 2020 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

If you’re really old school, you may be thinking that the title of this post refers to the quaint, genuine, and meaningful “I love you.” If you’re a little more modern, perhaps you’ve heard that […]

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Porn in Committed Relationships Revisited

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Blog on 30th May, 2019 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

One of the most read posts on this blog is where I talk about Is It Okay for Married People to Watch Porn? Recently a commenter asked the following question: What about marriage counselors that […]

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Why You Should Try Couples Counseling (Again)

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Blog on 15th April, 2019 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Is your relationship struggling, and couples therapy didn’t help? What else can you do about it? One answer is – try couples counseling again. Here’s why.

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How often do normal couples have sex? (The answer may surprise you.)

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Blog on 19th February, 2019 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

How often do normal couples have sex?  As frequently or infrequently as they want. This question is erroneously based on the idea that there is some number, or even a range, that we have to […]

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Top 5 Couples Therapy Techniques You Can Use at Home (that really work!)

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Blog on 29th January, 2019 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

There are many couples therapy techniques you can try out on your own. Here are a few you can start with today!

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Jeff Bezos is Telling You Something

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Blog on 11th January, 2019 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

As the wealthiest person in the history of the world, Jeff Bezos can make news just by switching his preferred brand of morning coffee.  However, the news of his impending divorce (and immediate attachment to […]

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4 Steps to Surviving Infidelity – What You Need to Know

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Blog on 29th October, 2018 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Crushed. Devastated. Hopeless. These are some of the emotions you may be experiencing if you have recently discovered that your partner has been having an affair.

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The Escape Room: A Message for Couples and Families

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Blog on 8th October, 2018 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Recently I had the great pleasure of going to an escape room for a bit of family fun. If you’re not familiar,

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Making Your Marriage a Priority

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Blog on 8th May, 2018 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Recently I was interviewed on the radio to discuss the question of how to prioritize your relationship with your spouse vs. your kids. You can listen to the 20-minute segment here. Here’s the spoiler: I […]

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How to Save Your Marriage

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Blog on 14th March, 2018 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Are you trying to save a marriage that’s on the rocks?  Hoping to turn things around from anger and resentment to happiness and love?  It can be done.  Most marriages can be repaired if both […]

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Is Texting Good or Bad for Your Relationship?

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Blog on 20th February, 2018 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Texting is a very wonderful thing.  It allows us to send quick ideas and comments to our friends and families without having to catch each other at the right time.  It’s great for adding to […]

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Is It Okay for Married People to Watch Porn?

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Blog on 30th January, 2018 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

No. Okay, that was a little harsh.  But hear me out.  This is not a moral discourse on the propriety of pornography in general but rather a consideration of what it does to your marriage […]

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Don’t Start Couples Counseling Before You Read This!

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Blog on 10th January, 2018 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

If you are considering seeing a couples counselor/marriage therapist to address a problem in your relationship, there are a few things it’s vital for you to know before you jump in. 1. Be prepared to […]

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Are You in An Abusive Relationship?

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Blog on 11th December, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

All relationships have ups and downs. Some seem to have more downs than others. A relationship that’s on the rocks can often be fixed with commitment on the part of both partners and with professional […]

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Couples Counseling: Not a Last Resort

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Blog on 8th May, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

All too frequently, the couples I see in my office for marriage counseling/couples therapy are at the end of their rope.  There has been trouble in the relationship for a long time; months, years, or […]

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The Five Love Languages: Finding Your Language

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Blog on 24th April, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Okay, so, we’ve talked a lot about the different Love Languages. But how do you know which is yours? Below we’ll discuss a couple of ways you can try to determine which language fits you […]

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The Five Love Languages: Physical Touch

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Blog on 20th March, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

The last of the Five Love Languages is Physical Touch.  This one is in some ways very easy and in some ways very hard. It’s very easy because it’s pretty clear what we’re referring to […]

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The Five Love Languages: Acts of Service

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Blog on 6th March, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

The fourth of the Five Love Languages® is called Acts of Service.  For some people, actions indeed speak louder than words. Of course, just as with Words of Affirmation you can’t speak nicely while neglecting […]

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The Five Love Languages: Receiving Gifts

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Blog on 21st February, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

The third Love Language is Receiving Gifts.  This one is easy to grasp, but it sometimes gets a bad rap because to some people it smacks of materialism.  In fact, a person whose Love Language […]

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The Five Love Languages: Quality Time

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Blog on 9th February, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

In the last post I described the love language of Words of Affirmation.  The second language is called Quality Time, and you probably have a fair idea what that’s about without needing much a definition.  […]

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The Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

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Blog on 24th January, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Words of Affirmation is the first of the love languages described in Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages system. For people whose primary love language is Words of Affirmation, it’s what you say that counts.  This […]

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The Five Love Languages

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Blog on 9th January, 2017 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

The Five Love Languages® is a great tool for improving relationships, whether you’re at the beginning of a new relationship or you’ve been married for decades.  It is a very simple and understandable method of […]

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How Long Does Couples Counseling Take?

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Blog on 3rd November, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

This is a question I get asked all the time. How long will it take?  How many sessions do people usually need?  People rightly want to know how much time and money they will be […]

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Couples Counseling – What’s It All About?

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Blog on 10th October, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

What is couples counseling? Couples counseling goes by various names: couples therapy, marriage counseling, marital therapy, relationship counseling, and more. These are all ways of framing the same process, namely, trying to help a couple […]

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Stop a Fight Before it Starts

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Blog on 5th October, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Ever find yourself in a situation where a fight is brewing and you know it’s coming but don’t know how to avoid it?  Check out this link for a post explaining just that. http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/how-to-stop-fight-with-your-partner-before-it-starts-1004164

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“I Caught My Husband Watching Porn”

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Blog on 27th July, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

If you’ve just discovered your boyfriend or husband watching porn online – perhaps extensively – you may be feeling shock, anger, disappointment, betrayal, and more.  You also may be confused about what this means for […]

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Save My Marriage!

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Blog on 27th June, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

I’ve noticed that a lot of requests for help that come through e-mail, text, or sites like Thumbtack.com list “save my marriage” as the reason for seeking help. So I thought I’d let you know […]

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After the Affair: The Importance of Coming Clean Entirely

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Blog on 31st May, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

When someone has an affair and is discovered or comes clean on their own, their instinct is often to soften the blow and/or minimize the damage, especially if they still care about their partner and […]

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Making Marriage Last

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Blog on 22nd February, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

I have a new catchphrase: To make your marriage last, make your marriage first. I’m pretty sure I invented it, and Google seems to agree. (So does Bing!) So you heard it here first, folks. […]

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Single on Valentine’s Day?

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Blog on 13th February, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Many people seek out counseling to help them answer the nagging question: “Why can’t I find the right person for me?” Being single can be a real drag, especially as you get older and watch […]

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A Novel Way to Fix Your Marriage

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Blog on 4th February, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Check out our latest article about getting your marriage back into shape, on Marriage.com!  This article highlights a positive-psychology based approach to making changes for the better in your marriage. A Novel Way to Fix […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 4

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Blog on 27th January, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

The last piece I’m going to post on the topic of why a good marriage is the best gift we can give to ours kids is probably the simplest: 4. It’s just nicer to live […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 3

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Blog on 11th January, 2016 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Continuing on in our exploration of why a good marriage is so vital to your childrearing endeavors, here is reason #3: 3. They’ll do as you do. Jimmy’s parents were called into school, where Jimmy […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 2

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Blog on 28th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

In the last post, I opened up the topic of why a good marriage is good parenting and discussed the issue of household stability. Here is reason #2 that the best gift you can give […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children

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Blog on 20th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

When I get a call from parents seeking help with problems with their children, it is not uncommon that a large portion of the work actually needs to happen with the parents themselves. Unrealistic expectations, […]

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Rebuilding Relationships

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Blog on 10th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

A common dynamic that I encounter in doing marriage counseling is that one partner will want to convince the other of some aspect of him/herself and get frustrated/angry/hopeless when they can’t seem to do so. […]

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The Science of Trust in Relationships

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Blog on 19th October, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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Couples Counseling Success Story

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Blog on 8th October, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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A New Approach to Dealing with Cheaters

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Blog on 1st October, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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Infidelity Now and Then

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Blog on 24th September, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

In the wake of the Ashley Madison leak, I got a lot of questions from friends and colleagues about the extent of the infidelity problem in America (at least, for those who consider it a […]

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Boundaries: Inside and Out

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Blog on 6th August, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Check out our latest article on the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center‘s guest blog! http://www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com/boundaries-inside-and-out

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What to Expect in Couples Counseling

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Blog on 31st July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Many clients call up for the first time wanting to know what couples counseling will be like. No doubt there is a nervousness there about starting a process that you don’t know much about. In […]

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Communication

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Blog on 24th July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

This is a great relationship buzzword that gets thrown around a lot.  What does it do for us?  Check out this short video to see why we think helping couples develop their communication skills is […]

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Assertiveness in Relationships

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Blog on 1st July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Everyone has things they want and need out of the relationships they are in. Most people recognize that aggressive behavior is not a good way to get those things while maintaining the relationship at the […]

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Why Couples Remember Differently

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Blog on 11th May, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Do you ever argue with your significant other about who said what and when in which place?  Yes, of course you do. We all do. People are imperfect and our memories are imperfect. They are […]

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How to Be a Better Spouse

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Blog on 29th March, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Here’s a helpful, if not entirely novel, article published by Scientific American on bettering one’s marriage.  I guess there’s a science to it after all! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-be-a-better-spouse/ Learn more about our online and in-person marriage counseling […]

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6 Reasons Marriage Counseling is NOT BS

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Blog on 19th March, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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The Truth About Married Sex

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Blog on 11th March, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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The Importance of Listening

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Blog on 8th February, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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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How to Recover from an Affair – When You’re the Cheater

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Blog on 23rd January, 2015 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

Here’s another article I wrote on managing a relationship after an affair – this one directed at the cheater: https://www.wellness.com/blog/13274483/how-to-recover-from-an-affair-when-you-re-the-cheater/raffi-bilek Learn more about our work with couples and infidelity here.

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Recovering from an Affair

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Blog on 15th December, 2014 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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Do You Need Couples Counseling?

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Blog on 1st December, 2014 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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: […]

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How to Argue with Your Spouse without Solving Anything

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Blog on 19th November, 2014 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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Love after Adultery

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Blog on 8th October, 2014 By Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C

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 […]

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