WebMD Blog:

Creating Happy and Healthy Relationships
By Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Whether with a romantic partner or close friend, relationships require work. But it can be worth the effort. Beyond just making us feel happier, close, healthy relationships bring important benefits:




Wednesday, July 8, 2020

No person or relationship is perfect. Add to this that when we feel stressed, we all sometimes respond in ways that are less than ideal. So, if recent stressors are bringing out the worst in your partner…




Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Emotional intimacy is the hallmark of close, loving relationships. It involves sharing personal information, including vulnerable truths. But that doesn’t mean sharing everything. After all…





For some disagreements, there is no middle ground. If you want a beach vacation in San Diego while your partner would prefer exploring the rocky coastline of Bangor, Maine, it’s unlikely that either of you will be happy with visiting the midpoint of Conway, Missouri. But with COVID-19…




People often think of sex as being pretty straightforward: Arousal leads to intercourse, which typically leads to orgasm. Your sexual experiences may, indeed, unfold just like this. But, this model of sexuality is not totally accurate and can create many problems.




Social distancing, by definition, creates a real challenge when it comes to dating (and, let’s face it, the fear of being infected by the person you are trying to get to know can be a real turn-off)…




Relying on your own inner strength can get you through tough times, but leaning on others is important, too. Seeking support and comfort from other people is wired into your DNA. Right from birth, people turn to supportive others as a safe haven




Being in lockdown has put stress on your relationship with your partner. Even as things open up and you can get a little space, you may feel a reflexive pull to argue whenever you have any disagreement.




While you may not be able to fully escape the stress from the current pandemic, you also don’t need to resign yourself to feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, loneliness, or depression. If you are emotionally overwhelmed, therapy can help you to cope better.



Your spouse cannot “unhear” what you spew out of anger – even if you apologize. Those hurtful words can wedge their way into your spouse’s mind and heart, creating mistrust and doubt. Attempts to repair the harm may not be successful, and repeated attacks will create an ever-deepening wedge between you.




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