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

  • Try to praise your partner this week for what he/she is doing right...

...rather than criticize him/her for what he/she is doing wrong.

  • A fulfilling sex life is crucial for a successful marriage no matter how long you have been married.

Make time for sexual intimacy that is satisfying for both of you several times each week.

  • One study I recently read about found that the common factors "binding marriages together" were time, endurance, tolerance, enjoyment, perseverance, commitment, cooperation, and satisfying sex lives.

How strong are these factors in your relationship? Try to increase some of them: be more tolerant of each other, have fun together, cooperate with each other, stay committed, have a satisfying sexual relationship.

  • Working separately, each make a list of things you would enjoy doing together (taking dance lessons, taking a shower together, etc).

Now compare your lists and make a master list. Select one activity from this list each week and enjoy your time together.

  • 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.

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