FOR COUPLES: Ask Not What Your Relationship Can Do For You….

happy couple last slideOkay, so I stole the line from JFK, but I do think people have love backwards. They keep asking themselves what their relationship can do for them instead of what they can do for their relationship. Love is a verb, not an asset to procure. It’s something we do. From a psychological stand point, people seek out love for mutual caring. But too often I hear people evaluate their relationship based on what they are getting out of it, instead of what they are putting in. They worry if they are gaining social status, and even housekeeping skills. They worry if they give too much, too early, that they will become devalued. (This point is somewhat true. Both men and women like to bond with a mate that is a little bit hard-to-get)

But once partners make to each other, too often they evoke Janet Jackson’s hit song as a battle cry, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?!” Can you imagine what home life would feel like if the two partners vowed to only count the amount they give and not the amount they receive.

Here’s a suggestion for this week only. Oh, God, I sound like a Sunday preacher! Put a chart on the fridge. Give yourself a star or check mark for every supportive statement and kind act that you give your lover. If you reach 21 by the end of the week (that’s only three a day) give yourself a treat. Some time alone, a trip to a day spa, a long sleep in, giant hike or bike ride. Love yourself as a reward for loving another.

And, guess what? What you water will grow. But not if you hover over it and constantly measure the seedling.

For more watch: THREE Ways to Strengthen YOUR Relationship TODAY:

DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50″ CLICK HERE

 

 

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FOR MEN: STOP MY DIVORCE!

Mature man with headache from stressHave you been blindsided by a divorce? If so, you are not alone. According to divorce attorneys, women are more likely to initiate divorce than men. Plenty of men are happy to stay in good enough relationships because, frankly, they don’t believe their emotional needs are important to survival. But not women. Women put more emotional demands on men than ever before.

So what do you do? If you’re like most men who have been blinded by divorce, your first instinct is to tell yourself, “I’ve got to find a way to stop my divorce. I need to save my marriage.” This is an especially good idea if there are kids in your nest. But if you’re like most men, you’re probably going about it in the wrong way. 

I’ll bet the first things you are trying, are all the things that worked in the past. The things that worked when you courted her originally. You’re showering her with affection and gifts to remind her how valuable she is to you. You tell her you love her. You take her on date nights. Or, you give her all the freedom she desires — more girls nights out, yoga retreats to go “find herself” or even a housekeeper so she doesn’t feel so burdened. When that doesn’t work, you try to give her the emotional attention she says she’s craving. You spend a ton of time in couples therapy while she hashes out all the reasons she wants to leave and you tell her what a great wife she is, and then you pay the therapy bills. While all this makes sense from a logical point of view, the truth is, SHE KNOWS HOW VALUABLE SHE IS. That’s why she is ready to head to the mating market.

Showering her with affection and love may have worked when you were initially courting your wife, but now it underscores her suspicion that she is a valuable partner asset — to someone else! I think you see where I am going with this. Being the nice guy just doesn’t work.

But there’s another problem here. Being the bad guy is even less effective. Changing the locks, blocking bank accounts, or giving her your rages or the silent treatment, only serve to remind her why she wants to leave the relationship. It’s way easier to leave an angry man than a groveling man. That’s why, if your goal is “stop my divorce,” there’s an even better man who must emerge. The strong backbone guy.

Think of a spine. It is flexible but firm. It supports the entire body and controls everything through a balancing act that never bends too far. Growing a back bone in an impending divorce means you must do three things:

1. Raise your own self esteem. Go to the gym. Flirt with women (don’t let your wife know about this harmless flirting or she will perceive you as the bad guy.) If you have kids, win the best Dad award in their eyes. Discover that you are a valuable man in the eyes of the world, your children, and most importantly, your own eyes.

2. Agree with her. She’s not expecting this. She wants you to grovel or be mean. When you do neither, and you calmly make plans to go on with your life, she may second guess her decision.

3. See a therapist — alone. You need to get in touch with your feelings. And if you’ve been sleeping with the enemy, she’s not the person to bleed on. Tell her you’re going to therapy. That you need some support in processing all that’s happening. She’ll beg you to go to couples therapy because she doesn’t want to feel excluded. In fact, if your therapist is a woman, she might even feel a little jealous. These feelings will confuse her, but let her sit with them.

4. Stare into her eyes and use platonic touch – I know you think that sex will cure everything. If you could just get her into bed, she’ll melt and forget about all her crazy ideas of breaking up. But sadly, there’s a pretty good chance she’s already having rocking sex with someone else and exposure to old pheromones will generally not stir her juices. And when women have an affair, they have a 79% chance of falling in love with their paramour. This is a battle for love not sex. That’s where eye contact is important. In a lab, strangers have been known to fall in love simply by staring into each others eyes for four minutes straight. The eyes are the window to the soul. So, while you are having all the calm conversations about the break up, use plenty of eye contact and touch only in a protective, brotherly way. If she sexually comes on to you, tell her you do desire her but feel it’s not the right time. The world’s biggest aphrodisiac is the word no.

Will all this work to stop your divorce? It depends, of course, on the degree of marital discord, if there is substance abuse involved, if she has already made a commitment to someone else. But I’ll tell you this, FOR SURE, playing the nice guy or flipping out like a bad guy will only seal the deal.

DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.

WATCH ME ON CNN TALKING TO DON LEMON ABOUT HOW DIVORCE IS CONTEGIOUS.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50″ CLICK HERE

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FOR WOMEN: Why Men Stray And How to Prevent Cheating

It is estimated that 65% of divorces occur  because of an extra martial affair. And, despite the sexual revolution and the reduction of the “double standard,” more men still cheat than women. Now science shows us why this gender imbalance might exist.

First, there could be a genetic link. Swedish researchers recently identified an infidelity gene, which is present in four of 10 men. This gene can explain why some men are more prone to stormy relationships and bond less to their wives or girlfriends. However, it’s important to remember that biology is not destiny. People born with genetic predispositions to say, heart disease or obesity, make lifestyle adjustments that compensate for the negative gene.

Secondly, men may find it easier to cheat because they feel less than woman. A Spanish study recently revealed that the interpersonal sensitivity of men (especially those aged between 25-33) is low compared to women. This clearly could affect a man’s ability to empathize with his partner. The study also showed that men feel less intense guilt and this difference is particularly stark in the 40-50-year-old age group, a group particularly vulnerable to the mid-life crisis affair.

Finally, more men fear emotional intimacy and more than do women. Believe it or not, some men find lovers so they can  avoid any real intimacy. Emotional closeness and the expression of vulnerability that goes with it scares many men, so they distance themselves from their wives by cheating on them. At the same time,  they don’t get too emotionally involved with their lovers. This kind of “watering down of the milk” feels safer to some men.

As always, my solution to bullet-proof relationships is to grow a bond through emotional intimacy. To make a relationship  rock-solid, one must move a step or two closer to the bone, and hone some relationship skills. Compassion can be learned. Fair-fighting is a skill. And stonewalling is a killer of all connection. Intimacy is not easy nor pain free. Extreme emotional intimacy and mutual care may involve squeamish feelings of shame, the forced expression of awkward words, an ability to see the ugly in others and still love them, and worse,  the ability to glaringly see the ugly in ourselves and still feel lovable. But the pay-back is pure kryptonite. An I’ve-got-your-back-if-you’ve-got-mine emotional contract that can make your relationship affair-proof.

Met a new guy? Date differently this time. Get THE BOYFRIEND TEST online workshop with Dr. Wendy Walsh for only $39 — a  savings of $58! Use the coupon code BOYFRIENDTEST. Click here or on the image below to enroll.

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DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50″ CLICK HERE

How to Make Your Relationship Happier

Research has led some couples astray. Couple Fights in BedIn plenty of studies, couples who are happier also have more sex. Knowing that finding, it would make sense that having more sex should lead to increased feelings of happiness. But it turns out that having sex specifically to improve feelings of well being in a relationship more often back fires. Instead unhappy couples were left feeling tired and less interested in sex.

The truth is, happy people have more sex, and if you want to know how to make your relationship happier, there are many factors, unrelated to the bedroom, that can help. To name a few:

• A firm work/life boundary (cell phones off at home)

• Regular exercise (love those endorphins)

• Less isolation (more friends and family at the table)

• Music

But are there things that science tells us couple can clearly do more of to increase relationship satisfaction? Turns out there are two big ones: Frequent kissing and hugs of long duration. Surprisingly, frequency of kissing is linked to better relationships even more than frequency of sex. And, long bear hugs, the kind where bodies melt into each other, seem to help us release a dopamine in the brain.

So, if you’re relationship is in the doldrums, forget about high-pressured sex. Instead, turn off technology, and snuggle together for a cozy hug.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF LOVE? Take my online workshop:

The Psychology of Human Mating

 

 

 

DNA Dating. Does it work?

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 11.04.58 AMCan your nose select a partner better than your heart? According to science, yes! The latest trend in dating is DNA Dating. Using a simple cheek swap siliva test, you can actually predict if you will have great sex and a long term, compatible relationship. The test is the brain child of a group of neuroscientists and geneticists in Toronto who are set to change the game of love. Their simple DNA test can help predict is a dating couple with have mad hot sex, a long relationship, better fertility and even healthier children. And it can help established couples understand their relationship better.

The test works like this: The magic genes identified by the Instant Chemistry test are the same ones that power our immune systems, and under normal dating conditions, women’s bodies are uniquely designed to pick up the scent and taste of a man who may be a good genetic match. They do this through close contact and kissing. It’s no wonder that women like to kiss more than men and couples who kiss a lot — presumingly because it is pleasurable — are linked to longer, more secure relationships.

Secondly, Instant Chemistry looks at the genes that surround serotonin up take in the brain, which indicate whether a person has wide or narrow mood swings. If two hot heads get together, relationships tend to be more rocky and can lead to break ups and divorce.

But today’s dating world is far from a “normal condition.” First of all, most women are on the birth control pill, creating hormonal changes that can gum up the ability to detect compatible immune systems in men. Secondly, since we modern humans practice such amazing hygiene and mask our smells with products, important pheromones are hidden. Finally, since we are exposed to a wide range of potential partners in crowded groups, it makes it harder to distinguish fit mates from not-so-great mates.

So today’s DNA Dating is a trend designed to reduce high divorce rates. Using solid mating science partners are choosing better, happier relationships. Would you like a DNA test with your partner? Go to InstantChemistry.com to find out more.