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

  • Make an effort this week to talk about something other than work, the kids, or what needs to be done around the house.

Try talking about your hopes, dreams, feelings, and goals this week. This will help you to feel connected to one another.

  • Sometimes people are dissatisfied with their relationship when the real problem is that they are depressed or unhappy with their work or other parts of their lives.

You can improve your relationship by working on what's really bothering YOU.

  • Affairs often happen because there is a deeper problem within the marriage.

Affairs may be a way of acting out, not resolving, extreme feelings in a person's life. Do everything you can to resolve the problems in your own life and in your relationship including individual and/or couples therapy BEFORE one of you has an affair.

  • Touch causes the release of oxytocin, the "cuddle hormone" that increases feelings of love, safety, and attachment.

This explains why touch is so powerful and so essential to intimacy. Try to touch each other more this week and every week.

  • I don't know anyone who wants to get close to a porcupine.

By that I mean someone who often pricks their partner with words of criticism. So often people tell me that they can't do anything right or are never good enough in their partner's eyes because they feel criticized all the time. Pay attention to how often you criticize your partner this week and make an effort to stop.

  • I read an article on yourTango.com that talked about slow sex which involves mutual pleasuring via massage, kissing, touching, etc.

The idea is to build desire and intimacy by taking time to give one another sensual pleasure. Try slow sex this week and see what it does for your relationship.

  • Flirt with your partner.

Remember when you were dating and you flirted with each other? It's another way to connect and build intimacy; plus, it's fun.

  • "Soulmates is something you decide to be. It's not a magical lucky coincidence.

You become soulmates by doing the right loving behaviors over time, and by focusing on being the right person, rather than worrying about whether your spouse is the right person." (Anne Bercht, Beyond Affairs Newsletter, September 27, 2010) Work on becoming soulmates this week and every week.

  • "Words are an instrument to heal or wound, to connect or separate."

Try to think about the words you use with your partner this week. Do they heal or wound, connect or separate?