10 Relationship Skills We Teach Kids That Grown-Ups Often Forget

Kind But Firm“Chew with your mouth closed!”
“Don’t hit your sister!”

So much of childhood is about learning the rules and then striving to follow them — at least occasionally.

While some rules are unreasonable — like being told to sit perfectly still at age five or made to skip recess, as I was, for doodling on my homework —  the basic relationship skills that we learned as children were, in fact, of great value. Continue reading

Surviving Infidelity: A Step-by-Step Guide to Healing

Holding HandsIt’s the first question most people ask when seeking couples therapy after an affair: “Can my marriage survive?”

Most are relieved that the answer is, yes. Continue reading

How to Forgive Even If You’re A World-Class Grudge Holder

It happens to all of us. We want to forgive someone and we find that we can’t.Business Woman All we can do is think about the wrong that has been done to us— and each time we do, we’re as hurt and angry as the day we were betrayed.

If you’re like most people, when you’ve been betrayed, every waking hour can be filled with your outrage. Every song or movie, every sunset, every time someone says the word “love” or “friendship”, a switch flips inside you and there you are, once again, all worked up and upset.

People will spend years— or a lifetime— replaying and reliving the details of their injury, failing to recognize the toll it takes on their life.

Forgiveness is difficult, but it isn’t impossible, especially when you know what forgiveness is and what it is not. Continue reading

How To Make An Award Winning No-Holds-Barred Apology

Knowing the secrets of a really good apology can mean the difference between this:


And this:


Most of us learned to apologize back when we were in preschool and as far as I can tell, few people have upgraded their approach since then.

Continue reading

“I Should Do What??”

Trust and Forgiveness After An Affair

One of the first questions most people ask when seeking couples therapy after an affair is, “Can my marriage survive? Are people really able to heal after a betrayal like this?”

It can be reassuring to hear that, yes, a great majority of couples are able to not only survive, but eventually thrive in the wake of an affair. Yet for many, repair can, at first, seem beyond reach and forgiveness can seem all but impossible.

Today’s New York Times ran an article about the need to reestablish trust after an affair. Molly O’Shea, the marriage and family therapist interviewed in the article, said that she asks the betrayed spouse “what it would take to regain trust and what the cheating spouse can do to prove the affair was a mistake.”

Most of her clients tell her that they have no idea what it would take for them to regain their lost trust. iStock_000018557790XSmallMany assume that nothing will help. The problem, she believes, is that “they’re just so angry.”

I believe the problem is the flawed question she’s asked them. Continue reading