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

  • Try turning towards your spouse/partner when he/she initiates a conversation; show interest or support.

This will have a positive effect on your emotional connection, intimacy and relationship.

  • Contempt will destroy your relationship. Stop criticizing your spouse/partner; stop looking for what he/she is doing wrong.

Look for what he/she is doing right and say something positive.

  • Kindness strengthens your relationship.

It's little acts of kindness that help people feel close, connected, loved and appreciated.

  • Sometimes a marriage or relationship is so heavy it can sink your life or kill your soul.

If this sounds like you, I urge you to consider couples therapy. You can find certified Imago Relationship Therapists at https://www.imagorelationshipswork.com/ If your partner won't go with you, consider individual therapy for your own well-being.

  • I often hear that someone wasn't "in the mood" but, once they were engaged in sexual intimacy, they really enjoyed it.

Try to say yes when you're not in the mood and see what happens.

  • Consider this: If a person doesn't feel loved and appreciated in his/her relationship, they may turn elsewhere for satisfaction.

For one person, that may mean burying themselves in work or some other activity. Some will have an affair (adapted from a Web MD slide on men's secrets). If any of this sounds like your relationship, try to work together to meet each other's needs; to do whatever it takes so both partners feel loved and appreciated.

  • "Some of the loneliest people are sitting across from each other in restaurants and at home." (Rick Hanson, PhD speaking at Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference, Fall 2014)

If you are feeling lonely in your marriage, it's a red flag that something is very wrong. Chances are your partner is also feeling lonely. Try to talk with your partner about your feelings and what you both can do to make things better.

  • Terry Real, LCSW wrote in Psychotherapy Networker magazine: "I also believe it's our birthright to be in intimate relationships that are essentially cherishing and that to be in a fundamentally uncherishing relationship is bad for the uncherished partner and even bad for the uncherishing partner as well."

Do you feel cherished? Does your partner? Try to do something every day that let's your partner know you do cherish them. Your efforts will have a positive effect on your relationship. You can also ask your partner "What can I do that would help you feel cherished?"

  • In long-term relationships, partners often have different levels of sexual desire.

How you handle it when your partner is in the mood for sex and you aren't has a powerful effect on your relationship. If you are motivated to meet your partner's needs and are happy to do it, try saying yes more often, the effect will be positive and you are likely to also feel higher sexual desire over time. If you say yes out of obligation or do it begrudgingly, the effect will be negative. (This tip is based on an article in Psychology Today, "Good in Bed," by Jennifer Bleyer, October 2015)

  • Dr. John Gottman's research shows that partners miss little attempts at connection at least 75% of the time.

Try to pay attention to your partner's efforts to connect with you and to respond positively.

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