Terry Real and the New Rules of Marriage: Great is What you Deserve!

Happy smiling middle-aged couple outdoors  Terry Real in “The New Rules of Marriage” Terry says in his book that ” people may tell you what you’re looking for is unrealistic. I don’t think so. Well meaning friends and family may focus on your need to compromise. I don’t want you to. Your relationship is too important for compromise. Your work may be rewarding, your kids great, and your friends wonderful, but in the end, your bond with the person you live out your life with- the one you grow up and grow old with- is the single most important connection you will ever have. I want you to go after what it is you want-with skill and with love- and get it.”

As a therapist I want to turn your bad relationship into a good one, and a good relationship into a great one. How do you get one like this? You build it day by day with thoughtfulness and skill. I teach these skills. It is truly my passion at this point in my career.

Read his book, see a therapist trained in relational methods, give yourselves this chance to have the relationship of a lifetime!

How to Build Love that Lasts

Many people think being in love and making a relationship work is complicated. In the media, from our friends and family members, we are led to believe the message that love it hard work. But, according to research by Schmitz & Schmitz, love doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, love is easy!

Doctors Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz have been researchers in the field of love and relationships for over twenty years. In their book, Building a Love That Lasts, they challenge the notion of love as a job or chore. Couples can sometimes fall into a trap. They may become over-confident in the strength of their relationship and forget the little things that made their love so great in the first place. They stop doing the small, but meaningful, things that show their partners they care, everyday. According to Schmitz & Schmitz, the little things are the most important, and will ensure a strong relationship that is able to withstand the test of time.

Schmitz & Schmitz offer some examples of the little things that you can do to strengthen your relationship and ensure its success:

  • Remember birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Call if you are going to be late.
  • Say, “I love you”, everyday.
  • Help carry in the groceries.
  • Hug each other. The power of touch is so often underestimated.
  • Be more unselfish. It isn’t just about you.

In therapy, I help couples understand why the little things are important. What is meaningful is different for everybody and people experience love and relationships in different ways. Together, we can determine what little things are most important to you and encourage growth and connectedness in your relationship.

Credit: Schmitz, C. & Schmitz, E. (2008). Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage. San Francisco, CA- Jossey-Bass Publishing.

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Has your too-good-to-be-true relationship turned toxic? Authors Cynthia Zayn and Kevin Dibble offer words of wisdom to help you if you found yourself to be a victim of narcissism.

Narcissistic personality disorder can be found in both men and women. Zayn and Dibble suggest that narcissist people are drawn to others who exhibit co-dependent tendencies. They offer a checklist to help you determine whether you exhibit co-dependent tendencies and are more likely to fall victim to a narcissistic relationship:

  • Do you base your feeling of self-worth on your partner’s approval?
  • Are you careful not to provoke your partner’s anger?
  • Have you lost or significantly reduced contact with friends and family since entering into your relationship?
  • Are you afraid of rejection from your partner?

Narcissists use their partners’ fear of abandonment to gain control over the relationship and have the ability to manipulate and blame the other for problems that may arise within the relationship.

Using the steps outlined in their book, Narcissist Lovers: How to Cope, Recover, and Move On, combined with counseling sessions with me, we can determine if you are involved with a narcissist and develop tools and strategies to move your relationship from that of control and fear to that of a more satisfying and meaningful partnership.

Credit: Zayn, C. & Dibble, K. (2007). Narcissist Lovers: How to Cope, Recover, and Move On. Far Hills, NJ- New Horizon Press.