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Tips of the Month for Couples are regular tips for building strong relationships and healthy families.  If you would like to sign up to receive these monthly tips, scroll to the bottom of the page and leave your email address.  

How Was Your Day? | January 2018

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. Research, however, suggests that we’d be wise to take the question seriously, and maybe even embrace it as a daily ritual. A study of couples conducted at the University of Utah1 found that both partners…

Sleepless Nights = Worse Fights | December 2017

We know that hunger can leave us susceptible to poorly-handled arguments with a partner. So, too, can insufficient sleep. Researchers have found that following nights of poor sleep (less than 7 hours), couples experience more conflict and more difficulty resolving conflict amicably. Sleep deprived partners may have a harder time bringing patience, humor and kindness to those heated moments that every couple faces, as compared to better rested partners

Love & Hate | October 2017

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.

Inside Jokes | July 2017

If you found that line even a little bit funny, here's what happened to your brain: an electrical wave traveled out through your cerebral cortex and your body experienced surprise, delight, perhaps an audible chuckle. If the humor was effective enough to elicit a laugh, it might have triggered the brain's emotional reward center, delivering a shot of feel-good dopamine as well as mood-lifting serotonin. Laughter can even trigger the release of endorphins, those pain-…

Your Love Map | May/June 2017

Couples with rich love maps know about one another's moments of great challenge, distress, and victory, moments of blushed embarrassment and times when things went really well. These couples keep updating their love maps as lives shift and change, as new people, jobs, and challenges come into the picture. 

Circular Stories | April 2017

During (and after) moments of conflict, we tend to create, for ourselves and others, linear stories that focus on cause and effect, good and bad, winner and loser. "You showed up late for our dinner reservation and ruined my evening." It's a simplistic approach, black and white in its thinking. Our linear stories have good guys and bad guys...someone at fault and someone who's been injured (and we're rarely the person at fault).

Technoference | Feb/March 2017

The title refers to a relatively recent cultural phenomenon: the interruptions and intrusions into our everyday lives by technology devices -- devices that are always on and always present. When it comes to our primary relationships, technoference seems an insidious problem...and one that's affecting more and more couples. 

Healthy Sexting | October/November 2016

Women once sent love letters on scented stationery, hoping the fragrance would arouse the object of their affection. Those days are largely gone, but the wish to arouse a loved one still remains. Only the vehicles of communication have changed.