Dr. Barbara Fontana, PhD
 
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"Relationships & How to Make Them Work"

Barbara Fontana, Ph.D
45 Route 25A
Shoreham, NY 11786
Ph: 631-821-1880
Fax: 631-821-4750

Email Tip of
the Week
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Barbara Fontana, PhD - Psychologist & Imago Relationship Therapist
Suffolk County, Long Island, New York - Couples Therapy

Tips of the Week for Couples

  • "Sometimes when people try to stay in (a marriage) with unresolved issues, they begin to shut down. It's like you see them dying."

Comment from Carol Grant Nuismer in AARP Magazine May/June 2011. If there are unresolved issues in your relationship and you are dying slowly, talk to your partner about whatever is bothering you. Consider couples therapy if you cannot resolve it on your own.

  • If you cannot improve your relationship or marriage on your own, seek professional help.

I think Imago Relationship Therapy is the best approach for working with couples. You can find a certified Imago therapist near you by visiting www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com.

  • Consider this quote the next time you are struggling to forgive your partner:

"Forgiveness defines who you are; it does not redefine the other's wrongful act as right" (Tibbits, 2006).

  • A study of 3,000 couples in the United Kingdom found the top ten relationship gripes were (#1 -10):

lack of spontaneity, lack of romance, terrible sex life, no time to give each other attention, lack of time to talk, don't want the same things for the future, don't trust each other, lack of affection, no longer fancy each other, and no honesty. Consider each of these; are any of them present in your relationship? What can you do to improve things between you and your partner?

  • Dr. Susan Johnson wrote: "This is the fundamental story of our lives - we all need someone to really see us, to hear us, and to be there for us when it really matters."

Try this week to really see, hear and be there for your partner.

  • As you try to make changes in your relationship, consider this definition of change:

Change "demands clear intentions, sustained attention and the conscientious day-by-day practice of new skills and unfamiliar, uncomfortable behavior." (Dr. Harville Hendrix, founder of Imago Relationship Therapy)

  • Foreplay is not just sexual contact.

Every positive word, gesture, or act of loving kindness is foreplay. Try to increase these behaviors this week and every week.

  • People often dwell on the past or worry about the future.

Try to be present and enjoy the moment when you are with your partner this week.

  • Consider this Celtic saying: "We live in the shelter of each other."

Do you provide safe, loving shelter for each other?