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

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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

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

Do you provide safe, loving shelter for each other?

  • "A sense of secure connection between romantic partners is key in positive loving relationships and a huge source of strength for the individuals in those relationships."

(Dr. Sue Johnson in her book, Hold Me Tight). Think about what YOU can do to foster a secure connection with your partner.

  • Dr. Sue Johnson sees most couple fights as protests over emotional disconnection;

that partners are really asking "are you there for me?" When you and your partner are fighting, try to remember that the anger, the criticism, the demands, are really cries and attempts to try to reconnect emotionally.

  • One study found that the predictors of failed marriages were decreasing affection and decreasing emotional responsiveness NOT the amount of conflict.

One of the challenges of marriage is to learn to be respectful during conflicts and not withdraw affection or emotional connection.

  • When partners feel disconnected, they usually use one of two strategies.

They either become demanding and critical OR withdraw and shut down depending on what they learned in childhood. Which do you use most often? When this happens, try to express what you are really feeling rather than withdrawing or attacking.

  • Your relationship is precious.

Work everyday to take better care of it so that it continues to reflect your love, affection and respect for each other.

  • "From the first day of our life until our last breath, the very foundation of our existence is affection and human warmth."

(Tweet from the Dalai Lama - 4/23/11)

  • Consider these words from Dr. Harville Hendrix's book, Getting The Love You Want:

"We cannot experience life in its fullness unless we have an intimate relationship with another human being..." If you work on maintaining an intimate relationship with your partner, you will feel more fully alive and whole.

  • Respect each other's feelings and behaviors,

...be passionate best friends, and work on improving your relationship one day at a time.