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

(2 minutes) of Dr Harville Hendrix and his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt sharing the three things you can do this week to strengthen your marriage: Harville and Helen - Happy Valentine's Day!

  • Both men and women report that the best sex is when two people have an emotional, physical, mental and spiritual connection;

when sex is not about performance but about their connection to each other. Take time to make love, to touch your partner's heart and soul as well as his/her body.

  • "Emotional connection means cherishing your partner - verbally, physically, mentally, in all kinds of ways, even when you are not with them.

By cherishing your partner we mean thinking fondly about this person that you really care about and thinking about the wonderful qualities they possess." (Dr. John Gottman's Spot Blog 10/17/11). Try to cherish your partner every day.

  • William James said, "The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated."

So many people, both men and women, tell me they do not feel appreciated by their partners and they feel both sad and hurt. Does your partner know how much you appreciate him or her?

  • "You can't be negative and intimate at the same time. So chose" (tweet by Dr. Harville Hendricks 1/2/12).

Each moment you are with your partner, which do you choose?

  • "If you want to create vital, long-lasting love, you must become a master of verbal & nonverbal appreciation" (tweet from Gay Hendricks 11/25/11).

Show your partner how much you appreciate him/her and you will feel an increase in the loving feelings between you. Try doing this for thirty days and see what happens.

  • This makes a lot of sense to me:

"Forgiveness is a private process that we do for our own sakes. As we release the past, we also release ourselves in the richness of the present and the possibilities of the future" (Mary Hayes Grieco, director of Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training, Whole Living Magazine, Dec. 2011). Can you forgive your partner?

  • "Sexual desire happens in the living room as well as the bedroom. It's connected to our whole lives together...It's about feeling good, having fun, and energizing one another." (Dr. Gina Ogden).

If you want to increase your sexual desire, try small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness, try having fun (think playful and childlike), and try being affectionate...see what happens.

  • "The need for closeness and intimacy is part of being human" (Dr. Gina Ogden).

Couples who have an emotional connection and couples who cuddle report being happier in their relationship. Try making time for each other to share feelings and to cuddle.