A roadmap to a better relationship—from an evidence-based couples therapist who has been helping people save their marriages for 28 years

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If you are in love, you understand the importance of taking good care of your precious relationship. You are willing to put your heart and soul into having the best relationship you can have, but you might not know where to start.

Most people wait too long to go to couples therapy. The average is six years after the first onset of symptoms. This isn’t surprising, because it’s very hard to find a relationship specialist, and even harder to find one you can afford. …

These “elements of style” might just keep you off the couch tonight.

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“This is just the kind of silly nonsense up with which I shall not put.” Author unknown and definitely not Winston Churchill.

You are an excellent communicator. You read the classics and the poets and are well-spoken and articulate. So it is a mystery why, according to the person you love most, you seem to be saying the wrong thing.

I’m sure it’s not your fault. You’re awesome, and your intentions are spot on. You might simply be making a few grammatical mistakes that can be easily fixed. …

Intimacy doesn’t come from talking about what’s in the fridge. Ask these 68 questions instead.

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Relationships can slowly fade from sexy and exciting to task-focused and transactional.

You love learning new things and having interesting dialogues, so you’re not sure how most of your conversations these days revolve around logistics. You seem to be spending most of your time talking about whether or not the dog got his medicine, what time the plumber is coming, or what’s for dinner.

The magic of falling in love.

First dates are usually full of questions. That’s how people get to know one another; by asking questions and listening closely to the answers. …

And I’m super pissed off about it.

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I saw what you did.

I made the mistake of watching way too much of the raw footage.

I am angry at you.

You don’t think there were times I wanted to charge the capital with guns blazing? You’re damn right I wanted to. But I didn’t.

And most of you got away with it. Even the ones who were caught are faced with charges of “curfew violation” and “entry on restricted grounds”. Are you kidding me?

You are a mob of domestic terrorists who are using violence to attempt to overthrow the government. …

Why I no longer keep my religion off the couples therapy couch.

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When I became a therapist I thought it was the ethical thing to do to keep my religion off the couch. And in the beginning, that’s what I believed I was doing.

But as I reflect, I see that my Quakerism has been a central part of my work from the very beginning, even though I rarely mention it out loud.

The most common reason couples reach out to me is for help with conflict management. They are fighting more than they’d like and they find themselves doing and saying things they regret. …

Let’s not forget the people who won’t get to go back.

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I yearn for the time when I can go to parties and the theater and visit my family again.

Don’t we all?

But not everyone has that luxury.

7.2 million people were unable to leave their homes before Covid hit, and a vaccine will not change this for them.

There are multiple reasons people are homebound. Older adults who suffer from cognitive impairment or mobility issues are often dependent on family or visiting aides. And many young people are also unable to freely enter public life. Thought disorders and depression and other mental illnesses cause debilitation and isolation.

The list goes on and on, and some conditions, such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, are widely misunderstood. Rare conditions with complex symptoms sometimes lead to being shamed and disbelieved on top of daily chronic pain impacting their ability to function. …

A 9 step blueprint to keep you focused on the love you deserve so you aren’t seduced by charm

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You don’t want to go on another first date in your life. You’re ready for long-term love and can’t figure out why date after date isn’t working out. You start to wonder if it ever will.

You’re not sure if you can handle stressing out about another mini-breakup with someone you don’t even like, or looking at no new notifications as you’re waiting for a response to your text.

You might be focusing on the wrong person.

It doesn’t seem right to have a formula for dating. It’s much more romantic to fall in love seamlessly. …

15 Quaker queries that silently change the course of history.

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

— Margaret Mead

A Quick Story About John Woolman

In the mid-1700s, a young 19-year-old man named John Woolman was working as a scrivener. He was instructed to draft a bill of sale for a slave. He did his job, was riddled with remorse, and lived on to be a significant player in the abolitionist movement. He started by traveling up and down the U.S. Colonies talking to slave owners, one by one, encouraging them to set their slaves free.

That’s what Quakers do. We pay attention to our gut feelings and make changes in our behaviors accordingly. We ask deep questions and listen closely for answers. …

Especially during the holidays, not everyone is merry and bright.

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Don’t Tell Everyone to Be Joyful, Ask Them How They Are Instead

As an 8-year old child, Christmas was wonderous and magical for me. I loved everything about it, the food, the music and, of course, the gifts.

I remember being in church on Christmas Eve. It was my favorite service of the year because I got to wear a fancy dress and curl my hair. I’ve always loved Christmas Carols. Then I saw something that changed my experience.

I looked over at my Nana and it looked like she was trying not to cry. I was so confused; How could anyone be sad on Christmas Eve? …

How to embrace their identity without ignoring your own needs.

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It started with words of acceptance, support, and pride. You recognize and applaud your partner's courage in coming out to you and first and foremost you wanted them to know that you love and respect them for their bravery.

But the next morning, the gravity of the conversation begins to sink in. Of course, you want to be supportive, but there are probably many questions about how this might impact your relationship. You’re sitting on this information wondering what to do next.

The Cascade of Doubt

Of course, you want to support your partner’s journey, but what if this means you aren’t sexually compatible? It is common for people to start to wonder if their partner was never actually attracted to them in the first place. This feels rotten as you start to re-think your physical intimacy, and wonder if those experiences were not what you thought they were. …


Laura Silverstein, LCSW

Idealistic couples therapist, educator, and writer. Free 5-day email course: Are You Arguing Too Much? Here’s how to fix it: https://tinyurl.com/yyxc7x5b

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