Couple fights: 3 simple rules from Saigon traffic

Handling conflict is tough for most couples.  On a recent (and wonderful) trip to Vietnam, I learned a new way to think about it.  Saigon’s nonstop stream of roaring motorcycles and cars is risky enough to scare even your average jaywalking New Yorker:  virtually no traffic lights, lanes or Walk/Don’t Walk signals in a city […]

Dreading Valentine’s Day?

  So your relationship is a long way from dreamy, and you’re thinking your husband or wife doesn’t deserve a Valentine this year. You’re just not feeling it.  Sending a hearts-and-flowers card would be fake, and might convey that he or she is off the hook for more than a few  things you’re not too […]

Why Gatsby and Daisy Aren’t Soulmates

Baz Luhrmann’s  “The Great Gatsby” got me thinking about what makes a soulmate. Picking out Daisy’s green light at the end of his dock, Gatsby has “orgastic” dreams of romping “like the mind of God,” of  listening to “the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star.”  Daisy, in Gatsby’s mind, is his soulmate.  She catches […]

21 Minutes a Year to a Stronger Marriage

Julia and Jack (all name and details disguised here) looked like a couple with a bright future:  two attractive, successful thirty-year-olds who had been thoroughly enjoying their engagement when they came to me for premarital counseling.  We worked on communication and conflict-management skills and I sensed that they were eager to learn and willing to […]