Is Texting Good or Bad for Your Relationship?

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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 the shopping list at the last minute or reminding each other of an appointment.  It can add all kinds of useful benefits to our relationships.  And, of course, as with any tool, texting can be seriously misused and can be a real detractor from relationships as well.  Let’s look at some of the ups and downs of texting as they relate to your relationships.  Certainly this applies to marriages and other romant...
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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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How do you make a long-distance relationship work?

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In these days of constant change and mobility, long-distance relationships are increasingly common and necessary as people take jobs and pursue life goals that move them about the globe. There’s no question that a long-distance relationship poses challenges that typical relationships, where people live with or near each other, do not.  That does not mean that long-distance relationships can’t or don’t work; it just means that being aware of and real about those challenges, instead of downplaying or entirely ignoring them, is critical. So how can you make a long-distance relationship work?  ...
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Modern Communication Tools for Parents

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This morning while dropping my kids off at school I spotted a mom driving her minivan into the carpool line while talking on a handheld cellphone.  I don't know what the laws are in other states, and I'm not really going to go googling right now, but in Maryland, this is illegal.  And I am pretty confident that in all 50 states it's dangerous.  So let's take a look at all the messages this mother gave to her darling children in the back seats in this one moment: You don't need to follow the rules. It's okay to break rules as long as you don't get caught. Safety is not important if it's...
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Parenting Issue: Children & iPads

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I'm on TV! WBAL-TV interviewed me for my take on toddlers using iPads (See the accompanying article at http://www.wbaltv.com/news/limiting-childs-screentime-difficult-battle-for-parents/32819168).  Unfortunately, I think they did a so-so job representing my opinions, so let me clarify a little bit my position on toddlers using iPads: I did say that I don't think it's necessary for toddlers to use iPads. That doesn't mean I'm against it.  I don't think it's so terrible if parents allow their kids to use tablets, and certainly if they're using it only (or maybe even primarily) for educati...
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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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