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

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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

  • "Alain de Botton wrote in Psychology Today (Jan.Feb 2013: "Suffering sexual rejection by the person with whom we have pledged to share our life is much odder (than being rejected by a stranger) and more humiliating."

Both men and women tell me how awful they feel when their partner consistently rejects them sexually. Think about the effect on your partner before you say no when he or she tries to initiate intimacy.

  • Here is another quote from Alain de Botton (Psychology Today, Jan/Feb 2013) for you to think about:

"In an average week, each partner may be hit by, and in turn fire, dozens of tiny arrows without even realizing it., with the only surface legacies of these wounds being a near imperceptible cooling between the pair and, crucially, the disinclination of one or both to have sex with the other. Sex is a gift that is not easy to hand over once we are annoyed."

  • A survey of married couples found that happy couples reported the four most important factors were:

#1 communication, #2 friendship, #3 affection, and #4 sex. Spend a few minutes talking this week about each of these. Which areas are strongest in your marriage or relationship? Which ones do you need to work on? Agree on two or three things you can do in the next few weeks to improve the weakest area.

  • "Perhaps because touch affects both the person being touched and the one doing the touching, it is one of the most fundamental ways of fostering and communicating intimacy in a romantic relationship." (Rich Chillot, Psychology Today, March/April 2013)

He makes the point that touch is louder than words. Try to increase the frequency and quality of your touching each other.

  • I think this is a powerful description of what love is:

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being 'in love' which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two." Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin (film)

  • I've written before about the importance of forgiveness.

If you are finding it hard to forgive your partner, consider this: "Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart." (author unknown)

  • "A world-wide study (29 countries) of 27,500 men and women aged 40 – 80 years old reported that sexual activity is associated with well being and happiness; active, ongoing, sexual connection does matter" (noted in blog by Dr. Suzanne Phillips).

No matter how busy or how tired you are, try to set aside some time for your sexual connection this week...it really does matter.

  • "Intimacy is not purely physical. It's the act of connecting with someone so deeply you feel like you can see into their soul."

By giving your relationship some time and attention every day, you will strengthen your emotional connection and, hopefully, experience this kind of intimacy.

  • "Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life." Leo Buscaglia.

Don't let anything stop you from showing your partner love, kindness, and respect.

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