The Often-Overlooked Glue of Long-Term Relationships

Most people know what it feels like in the beginning of a relationship when both of your brains are busy bringing you together, as in the “honeymoon phase.”  Romantic love produces high levels of dopamine, creating euphoric feelings and the resulting behaviors for each other.  You are at the beginning of building emotional safety ,

Sexless Relationships and the Layered Cake Metaphor

Alysha Jeney, LMFT, looks at a lack of sex in relationships, the layered cake metaphor and what sex positivity looks like.  A lack of sex in relationships can vary from trust issues to health related dysfunction. Sometimes circumstances such as having a new baby or struggling with infertility can throw everything off.  Or maybe you

When a Husband’s Desire for His Wife To Be Happy Gets Tricky

Richard Nicastro, PhD, through the eyes of “Nina,” explores what it can look like when protective love turns into hopeless frustration.   — If you’re a woman in a committed relationship, I’d like you to think about how your husband/partner reacts to you when you’re vulnerable — do your vulnerabilities bring out the best in him?

Be Humble. Don’t Despair.

These are unprecedented times and we as a nation are being pulled tightly.  Tensions is exceedingly high as we wait for word on who will be the U.S. President.  For months I’ve witnessed and engaged in difficult conversations fueled by primal feelings on both sides.  Anger, rage, fear, passion and righteousness have saturated communities across

Codependency is an Attachment Issue

Aude Castagna, MFT explores the reasons people can be compulsive pleasers and caretakers, even in the face of toxic behaviors and to their own detriment.  She offers some guidance around how to start the process of change.   We start Life as helpless infants totally dependent on our caregivers, and we are hardwired to forgo their

Roadblocks to Forgiveness in Relationships

Richard Nicastro, Phd, takes a closer look at some of the obstacles to forgiveness in intimate relationships.   Imagine this scenario: Your spouse/partner has wounded you in some way. S/he has now expressed what feels like genuine remorse to you. Maybe you’ve even said you accept the apology you were offered, but now you’re wondering whether

Lessons from Writing Letters to Strangers

Elise Hu, NPR correspondent and Millennial (the “loneliest generation”), shares her need for connection during the global pandemic.  In her worry and loneliness she wrote letters to 50 strangers across America.  A week into California’s stay-at-home order, when our now-familiar mix of anxious, lonely and restless feelings were still brand new, I craved connection. But

Surfing the Crimson Wave: Your Guide to Period Sex

Some have a stigma that period sex is gross, weird, or unsanitary, but in reality, the lived experience is often much less intimidating than it seems (especially depending on where you are in your cycle) and there’s nothing nasty or unhygienic about it. It can actually feel surprisingly liberating, and has some PMS and symptom-relieving

Men Who Chase Shadows: Secrets, Lies and Acting Out

“Why did I do it? I love my wife, I have so much to lose, why?!” Many of the men I work with are seeking answers to questions like the one above. They’ve acted in ways they later regret and, at some point, they had to face the painful fallout of their actions: a devastated

How Will You Be Different?

As the weeks cascade into months of avoidance of our human kind to save lives, new norms are settling in.  How strange to think that not so long ago seeing people with their faces covered by masks in the grocery store would be markedly odd yet now it’s expected and nobody gives pause.  Teachers, kids