I Want To Have Your Baby…

One hundred years ago, marriage was simply a foregone conclusion. An unmarried person was treated with suspicion. After the advent of effective birth control, human reproduction became unlinked from the act of creating life. It is no accident that the Playboy Ethic and Feminism sprang up at roughly the same time. Men could “play without paying” and women “could have it all – motherhood and career”. Since then, American and Western European men and women found themselves needing to re-invent the wheel when it came to defining their roles in marriage. Just a few years ago, a friend of mine,…

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The Problem With The Past- Part II: Couples

As I mentioned in my previous post, our perception of the past can seduce us into believing that our choices are so limited in the present that we are unable to move. Part of what happens in the process of psychotherapy is that we begin seeing the present as just the present. We become freed of our feelings of being trapped by our past. We learn to see our present, not influenced by the lens of past history, but directly and immediately. The same problematic thinking poisons relationships. “Yesterday my partner was a problem. Today my partner did the same…

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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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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 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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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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Being Clear About Your Relationship

There are quite a number of reasons for men and women to date: * Social interaction. * Recreation. * Sex. * Practicing social skills. (This is particularly true for people who have not dated or haven’t dated in a long time.) * Practicing seduction skills. (This is particularly true for people who have been celibate or “out of circulation” for a while”.) * Experimenting with different relationships. (This may be a motivation for people who have had unsuccessful relationships and want to see what other options are available to them.) * Testing to see if they are desirable to others….

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