Relationship Blog

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

What Type of Divorced Co-Parenting Partner Are You?

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, including all of the family life events in between.  Parents must choose (and it is a choice) whether they will have a friendly

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

It’s time! 5 Steps to Finally Letting it Go

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Fall is the time when trees remind us how important – and beautiful—it can be to let things go. Trees let go of their leaves to save energy and protect themselves from damaging conditions. As the days grow shorter, trees sense the natural loss of light. In fact, trees can

4 Habits To Keep Your Marriage Golden Even When You’re Gray

by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD So, you’ve been thinking that if you made it through the seven-year-itch, a mid-life crisis (or two), and your kids’ teenage years, you’d be golden, right? Probably…. but maybe not. Although the divorce rate is declining for couples under 40, the divorce rate is on the rise for older adults.

Want a Future? Choose Forgiveness, Not Fighting

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD My friend Mike confided to me yesterday that he and his wife of over 20 years are getting a divorce.   Although the split was her idea, he was quick to choose to forgive her and focus on building a stable future for himself, his wife, and their children.  He told me

Four Warning Signs on the Road to Divorce

by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD There are four signs that signal a progressive, downward relationship spiral leading to divorce.   But, you can learn to recognize these cautionary signals and take a detour that will put you back on the path to a long, satisfying marriage. Which couple are you? This week I met two young

The Truth About Lies: Motives Matter

By Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Is it ever ok to lie?  Not all lies are unexpected.  Not all lies are unethical.  Not all lies hurt others.  In fact, sometimes lying is the right thing to do. Sometimes.  But, not usually.  Especially in a close personal relationship grounded in trust, like marriage. Lying is only one

Want a Long, Happy Marriage? Be Loving AND Stubborn

by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD You might be surprised to learn that stubbornness in marriage is a good thing. And a gift  that proves it is even better. Some spouses try to create a happy marriage through grand romantic gestures like sending flowers, planning romantic dinners, or wearing sexy lingerie. While that is a pretty

Resolving to Be Happy Might Require Courage to Divorce

by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Many people started out the New Year thinking about getting a divorce, even if they didn’t realize it at first. People rarely include “get a divorce” on their list of resolutions. Instead, divorce becomes the unhappy (but necessary) by-product of resolutions like “This is the year I’m going to have

Why and 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 overshadowed their on-going need for novel activities and their role as romantic partners.  They just can’t seem to have a night out that doesn’t involve

Beware the Calm Before the Stormy 7 Stages of Divorce

by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD Divorcing couples do move through predictable and understandable stages of divorce, each associated with different practical concerns, emotions, and typical behavior patterns. But, divorce initiation often begins with a seemingly calm, barely detectable phase.   You have to pay close attention or it will catch you by surprise. Most explanations