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Voice Effects

You probably never thought about lowering your voice during an argument. You probably never heard about the power of reducing your volume when tempers flare and emotions spill over. Here's what you need to know:

Empathic Effort

In our primary relationship, we all want to be understood. We want our partners to "get" us. Whether we're upset or joyful or sad, whether we're disappointed, excited, or discouraged, we want our partner to accept and understand what it is we're feeling.

"I love you, but I'm not in love with you."

In this podcast episode, Neil Venketramen, staff therapist at The Family Institute, interviews Cheryl Rampage, our senior academic and clinical advisor and clinical associate pr

Your Bank Account

Every marriage has an invisible emotional bank account. We make deposits into the account through acts of kindness, words of admiration, gestures of support, and more. We make withdrawals from the account by moments of unkindness, harsh or unfair criticism, words or actions that trigger hurt feelings, and more.

Prompt Each Other

It's a widespread complaint of women: men don't know how to listen without rushing in to give advice and offer a solution. "I'm not looking for advice," many women say, "I just want to be heard, to get something off my chest." Through some mysterious blend of nature and nurture, guys just want to find a fix.

Women: try a prompt.

The Magic Touch

Would it surprise you to know that there are health benefits of holding hands with your partner as you walk down the street, or embracing when you return home at the end of the day? Or setting your hand atop his thigh or behind his neck when you're the passenger next to him in the car?

How Was Your Day?

Is there a more banal question than How was your day? When asked, we often treat it as a throw-away and reply with a quick and mindless "fine" or "okay," our eyes never leaving the computer or the television screen. We rarely expect it to be the start of a conversation.

Tips for Clinicians, Family Members, and Friends

When couples are dissatisfied in their relationship, couple therapy, in which both members of the couple participate in the treatment, has become one of the most widely practiced interventions. The effectiveness of couple therapy in improving couple relationships has been demonstrated by several studies.

Sleepless Nights = Worse Fights

We know that hunger can leave us susceptible to poorly-handled arguments with a partner (see Nibble, Then Quibble).1 So, too, can insufficient sleep.

Who hasn't at times hated a loved one?

It happens in every intimate relationship, a moment when frustration or upset or disdain grows so large that the thought crosses the mind: I hate him / I hate her. Love and hate - they aren't opposites, and it's not a zero sum game where the more of one means the less of the other. Both feelings can stir, as they inevitably do.