Relationship Blog

How Do Love Relationships Make You Happy and Healthy? Takes More Liking Than Loving

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Loving relationships are essential for human well-being and happiness at all ages.  In fact, the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period”. A variety of social connections

How to Stop Cheating Before it Starts

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD You may have heard the adage “Cheating is a symptom of relationship problems, not the cause of it”.   With notable exceptions for certain pathologies, this statement is generally accurate. So, the time to protect your relationship from an affair is long before your partner feels the need to seek attention

Great Expectations Make Marriages Flourish

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Couples get what they expect.  One primary difference between couples who make it and those who don’t is that those who stay happy have high expectations for marriage and each other. This may seem a bit counterintuitive.  I’m sure you’ve heard many relationship “experts” (or your own mom) say that

Stay Happily Married by Following the “Magic Six Hours” Formula

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Six hours a week is all it takes to stay happily married.  If you follow this Magic Six-Hour formula, you can keep your marriage running smoothly and prevent a gradual growing apart or a dreaded relationship breakdown. Relationship expert John Gottman and his colleagues have determined that for relationships to

When Your Partner Makes Mistakes, Your Attributions Make a Big Difference

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD People in long-term relationships make mistakes. The impact your partner’s mistakes have on your relationship depends largely on how you make sense of why they behave as they did.  We call this an “attribution” of cause. And, what you see as the cause when your partner makes mistakes depends mostly

A New Way to Discover the Best Co-Parenting Partnership Type

      By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Divorce should not be entered into lightly, especially if you are a parent. Marriages may dissolve. But co-parenting is truly a “to death do us part” commitment. Parents must choose (and it is a choice) whether they will have a friendly divorce or an acrimonious one.  The decision

Secrets to Staying Happy ’til Your Silver Anniversary and Beyond

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhDCheers!  This month my husband Larry and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  Ours is a second marriage for both of us.  And, even though the 25th is traditionally considered the silver anniversary, we feel “golden” pretty much every day. Younger couples often tell us that they want to know our

How to Date Your Spouse: 6 Tips for Successful Date Nights

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Most couples know they are supposed to have a regular “Date Night”. Unfortunately, along the way, they let familiar routines and their life partner/parenting roles overshadow their ongoing need for novel activities and their role as romantic partners.  They just can’t seem to have a night out that doesn’t involve

Money Can’t Buy Love, But the Right Gift Can

by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD     ‘tis the season.  But how do you know the right gift to give your partner?  Most gift givers assume that a more expensive present will be more appreciated, yet, receivers don’t appreciate expensive gifts more than other less expensive gifts.  And, that goes for gifts of clothes, wine, home

4 Easy Steps to Coping with Perpetual Marital Conflict

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Most marital conflict is unsolvable.  In fact, according to renowned relationship researcher John Gottman, 69% of marital conflicts are perpetual problems that couples will never resolve. Only 31% of the problems in marriage are solvable. This is true for both happy couples and unhappy couples. So, it is not the

This 1 Simple Act Primes Your Marriage for Romance

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD The secret to long-lasting romance in marriage is simple, inexpensive, and fool proof. You’ve probably figured out that it isn’t a candlelit dinner on your anniversary or the obligatory sex that followed.  And, unless you learn this one simple secret it won’t be your long-anticipated romantic get-away either. Events designed

3 Reasons Couples Who Play Together, Stay Together

by Jamie C.  Williamson, PhD Married couples who play together, stay together.   But that doesn’t mean you should treat your marriage like a game.  If you treat your marriage like a game, you’ll get played and lose every time. What this does mean is that couples who “play together” by engaging in fun, novel

Secret to Romance in Marriage Will Surprise You

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD The secret to long-lasting romance in marriage is surprisingly simple, inexpensive, and fool proof. It isn’t  a “romantic” candlelit dinner on Valentine’s Day.  And, unless you learn this simple secret and get primed for romance soon, it won’t be your Spring Break get-away to the beach (or the mountains), either.

Protect Your Marriage: Eliminate These 4 Toxic Interactions

By Jamie C Williamson, PhD I’ve been working with couples who resolved to make one final effort to restore the happiness in their marriage. They sincerely want to try, but also don’t want to prolong the pain or keep rehashing the same tired arguments. So, they begin by asking “How do we know if it

Follow the 5-Step Path to “Just Be Grateful”

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Happy people have figured out that it is not happiness that makes you grateful, it is gratefulness that makes you happy. So, the trick to having a Happy Thanksgiving is simple: “Just Be Grateful” and, like this cornucopia, your holiday will be overstuffed with joyful thanks and generous giving. Easier