Is It Okay for Married People to Watch Porn?

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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 (or other committed relationship). While some writers have waxed enthusiastic about the benefits of porn watching, common sense – to say nothing of my clinical experience – tells me that the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits.  This is true of both the folks watching it solo and those watching as a couple.  Let’s take it one at a time. (Warning: this post doesn't pull any punches - be prepared for frank la...
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Don’t Start Couples Counseling Before You Read This!

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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 change Many people come in to couples therapy feeling like their spouse or partner is causing the problem.  They ask their therapist, sometimes explicitly and sometimes implicitly, to “fix” their partner.  But more often than not, both parties will have to do some changing to make a difference in the problem.  Importantly, this is often true even when one of you is objectively doing something wr...
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The Five Love Languages: Physical Touch

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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 when we say “physical touch.”  But it can also be very hard because for many people, it’s simply not natural. Let’s explore further. What it Looks Like As with all the other Love Languages, Physical Touch is for some way the main thing they need to feel loved.  Words are nice, gifts are delightful, but they don’t help such a person to feel truly connected and loved.  To bond with a Touch person, then, you need ...
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“I Caught My Husband Watching Porn”

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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 your marriage. Or, you might be very clear about whether you want to fix it or end it.  Many women feel if their husband has turned to pornography it means he is no longer interested in her or no longer finds her attractive.  This can take a toll on your self-esteem, to say nothing of your relationship with him. In reality, any reaction you have is understandable. There is no ...
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Therapy for Women

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Why a post on therapy for women?  Is therapy somehow different for women than for men?  Do they face different issues? The answer is yes and no. Certainly the problems we help clients with are universal: anxiety, depression, loneliness, heartbreak, self-control, self-esteem, and more. But often these manifest differently in men and women, just as recent research has shown that physical ailments, such as heart attacks, manifest differently in men and women. Our psyches are no less different than our bodies. For instance, Terry Real has written extensively about how men often experience de...
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Infidelity Now and Then

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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 problem). I don’t know that I’m really the best person to answer that question given that people usually don’t come to see me when they are having no issues in their marriage or relationship, but I must say, at least from my perspective, that the problem is rampant. In fact, the majority of all the couples cases I work with involve issues of infidelity. Sometimes it’s not the initial problem they present with, ...
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The Mama Bear Effect – Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coloring Pages

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A friend of mine passed these along to me - coloring pages to be used in discussing sexual abuse with your children.  Check them out at http://themamabeareffect.org/coloring-pages.html. I think they are fantastic!  This can really help children become active in their learning important principles about staying safe from abuse.  Remember that this topic is not something you can convey in a one-time conversation - it's something that you need to bring up from time to time over the course of your kids' childhood.  This is another tool you can use in this process.  They touch on some very impor...
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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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