The Sleeping Beauty Next to You

Premarital Counseling: Marital Counseling: Relationships: Men: Communication: Assertiveness A Fable for Men: The Sleeping Beauty Next To YouA couple of years ago, I was watching Disney’s version of “Sleeping Beauty” with my daughters. I was struck by the scene where Prince Phillip is held captive in a dungeon by the wicked Sorceress. Phillip sits in the dungeon cell fuming as Maleficent explains that she intends to hold the prince captive until he is 90 years old. Then, he and his horse, old, wasted and broken, will ride off to rescue the Sleeping Beauty. As I watched, I realized that this…

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The Problem with Communication

Psychotherapy: Marital Counseling: Pre-marital Counseling: CommunicationI have come to believe that we give more credence to good communication than is generally warranted. A prevalent expectation is: “if we could only communicate better, we could solve most of our problems”. Now, please understand, people who don’t communicate well do have more problems. This is because people who have difficulty communicating can’t negotiate for their needs effectively. However, if most of my clients (workplace consultations, marital couples and individuals) could resolve their problems through better communication, they would rationally deal with their issues and get on with their lives. Unfortunately, this is…

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Love and Justice

Psychotherapy: Couples Counseling: Pre-Marital Counseling: Relationships: Boundaries “If you loved me, you would put up with my drinking.”“If you loved me, you would put up with my sarcasm.”“If you loved me, you would put up with my chronic unemployment.”“If you loved me, you would…” There are quite a number of clients who come into my office confused about how much unconditional love they should bestow upon their partner. Often, they are not aware of a subtle form of emotional blackmail that is being perpetrated upon them. Their partner usually implies or says explicitly that the problem in the relationship would…

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When Will I Be Prepared For Marriage?

Psychotherapy: Relationships: Pre-Marital Counseling Never. Marriage is a process. Life presents itself. You never know what is in store for you. Occasionally life gets overwhelming. Life will get overwhelming when you are married too. Nothing prepares you for marriage. As I said before, marriage is an act of faith. Some things in life will simply be out of your control. When life becomes overwhelming for you in your marriage, you might become emotionally drained to the point of total emotional exhaustion. At that point, the only things that will keep your marriage going are the previous occasions when you demonstrated…

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When Is It A Good Time To Get Married?

There isn’t a good time. Marriage is an act of faith. An act of faith takes wisdom and courage. Act wisely and courageously. Relationships: Premarital Counseling For more information, see www.jacobspilman.com.

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Gender Differences in Communication Styles

Psychotherapy: Counseling: Marital Counseling: Premarital Counseling I’d like to talk a little about gender issues and talk about how differences in communication styles between genders might contribute to conflict. John is a 36-year-old computer engineer. He works for a large corporation and is moderately successful. Mary is his 31-year-old wife who is a nurse and works happily at a local hospital. They have been married for three years and have a two-year-old daughter. The couple decided to come into therapy because their arguments have become increasingly unproductive, hurtful and blaming. While they both believe themselves and each other to be…

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Two Singles Or A Couple?

Psychotherapy: Counseling: Marital Counseling: Premarital Counseling At a year old, my daughter’s ability to relate to another one-year-old consisted of playing alongside another baby instead of playing with the child. This is typical of children that age. They are self-centered and are still contained in their own world. The child must relinquish their control over their toys, allowing the other baby into their play space. Each baby must make themselves vulnerable to the needs and desires of the other child. A baby must give up complete control over their environment to sufficiently allow their partner the ability to express themselves…

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Rejection and Emotional Baggage

Relationship Counseling: Pre-Marital Counseling: Dating Occasionally, I will get a client who is ambivalent about sexual relations. They will address their sexual relationship in a manner that gives the feeling as though they are “sleeping with the enemy”. Obviously, it’s important to explore ambivalent attitudes about the opposite sex. It’s also necessary to seek out and integrate what the client had experienced in their past that created such negative and ambivalent feelings. However, it seems like I am seeing a great many men and women, who have been emotionally trampled by the boundary confusion that accompanies most dating in our…

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Why Arguments Are Unproductive: The Problem with Anger.

Relationships: Couples Counseling: Marital Counseling: Communication There are a number of reasons why arguments are unproductive. Today, I will address just one reason, perhaps the most destructive one. It seems self-evident, but couples often become stuck in their anger. Escalating anger can create downright dangerous situations. It is crucial to remember that there is no good reason why anyone should remain in an emotionally or physically abusive situation. There is no excuse for domestic violence. Period. If you are in an emotionally or physically abusive situation, then it’s time to seek professional help. The best way to do this is…

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Maybe It Isn’t That Bad

MSN Dating & Personals – The Marrying Man Rutgers University – The State of Our Unions I know that I started out this blog trashing psychological research on relationships. I should know better than to indulge in hyperbole. OK, I apologize to all of you hardworking researchers out there. But, here’s one piece of research that I thought needed sharing. What got my attention a couple of weeks ago was this article, “MSN Dating & Personals – The marrying man“> by Margot Carmichael Lester. Margot is a contributor for Playboy Magazine and has extensively written about relationships for quite a…

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