Relationship Blog

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. 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 good plan for creating a Happy Valentine’s Day or

Resolving to Be Happy Might Require the 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

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

  by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD   ‘tis the season.  But, before you buy a diamond necklace, a food processor, a bag of new golf clubs, or any other gift for your partner, consider this. Most gift givers assume that a more expensive present will be more appreciated, yet, receivers don’t appreciate expensive gifts more than

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

By Jamie 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 talking

Beware of the Calm Before the Stormy 7 Stages of Divorce

by Jamie C. Williamson, PhD You have to pay close attention or it will catch you by surprise.   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.    Most

Couples Who Play Together, Stay Together

by Jamie 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.  (more on that next week) What it does mean is that couples who “play together” by

Effective Apologies Turn Conflict Aftermath into Healing Afterglow

By Jamie Williamson, PhD I’ve said it a thousand times, but people still don’t believe me.      Conflict can actually be good for your relationship. Conflict can lead to greater understanding. Conflict can clarify similarities, differences, and preferences. Conflict can help couples learn how to deal with future conflict. And, perhaps most importantly, conflict can make

Avoid Tragic Ending: Start With a Negotiated Farewell and Divorce Mediation

by Jamie Williamson, PhD You know how happily married couples love to share the story of how they met, complete with teasing about fun little details?  These are usually well-rehearsed tales, in which both spouses end up being heroes of their own, happily-ever-after love story. Well, divorcing couples also want to share the story of