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

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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

  • Instead of telling your partner what he/she does wrong, ask for a behavior change.

First describe the behavior that bothers you (without criticizing him/her) and then ask your partner to behave differently (be very specific about what behavior you're requesting). For example, it bothers me when you are late and don't call me. I feel like I'm not important to you. I would like it if you would call me if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late. Are you willing to do that?

  • How often do you hug, kiss, hold hands, touch each other or make love?

These behaviors help us to feel loved and cherished by our partner. It's not how much money we make or how many nice things we own that make us feel whole and fully alive; it's feeling loved. Try to do more this week to show your partner that you love him/her.

  • David Code, author of "To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First," says that when life gets stressful and we are feeling anxious, we instinctively scapegoat/blame our spouses for our suffering.

Find better ways to manage your anxiety or stress: exercise, meditate, do yoga, write in a journal, etc. rather than blame your spouse for what's bothering you.

  • One researcher, Dr Terri Orbuch, author of "5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great," found that small irritations become big issues if couples don't talk about them.

My advice is to talk about little things that bother you IF they happen over and over (dirty clothes are often on the floor); for the other little things that happen only rarely, try to let them go.

  • 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.

  • Connection is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

Make taking care of your relationship a continuing priority for 2021. May each of you experience a deeper and more satisfying loving connection in the new year.

  • 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.

Psychologist Shoreham, Long Island | (631) 821-1880