Career and Honors

Beliefs about Counseling and Coaching


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Most Recent Paper:

After Separation: Reflections on the Plight of the Alienated Child

SERVICES | Pre-Marital Counseling

The past 30 years has produced a great increase in scientific wisdom about the bases for marital satisfaction and about the needed work two persons must do if they are to create a sustaining life partnership. The chances of marital fulfillment and the avoidance of a tension filled future with a high probability of an eventual divorce - or a life spent in quiet despair - can be greatly increased by learning some basic partnership skills before marrying. It is best if a wedding takes place only after a couple has met, has struggled with infatuation and the waning of it, has learned to embrace love rather than aching for the infatuation that once was, has made a heartfelt decision to become and to remain fully transparent to the partner, and has mastered a variety of practical negotiations that have led to a sturdy structure of understandings. Many of the required negotiations must be centered in the following areas of potential difficulty:

  • Understanding the difference between infatuation and love
  • Embracing the inevitability of conflict and finding acceptable strategies for conflict resolution
  • Learning to manage the rhythms of intimacy and solitude and accommodating to differences in the needs of the pair
  • Reorganizing relations with friends, family, and work to create more than adequate space for the proposed partner and his/her needs
  • Dealing with former affair partners and setting appropriate boundaries
  • Coming to agreement on the allocation of precious human resources: time, attention, and affection, recognizing that these are finite and sufficient must be reserved for each other
  • Discovering and working out who will be making what kinds of decisions in the partnership
  • Creating a shared understanding of how finances are to be managed and to what purposes financial resources are to be directed
  • Developing delegations of practical support tasks and assumption of responsibility for them so that a sense of the sharing of the taking care of each other can evolve without either party feeling as if he or she is carrying an unequal burden

In successful marriages, the pair have met and then spent a pre-marital year or two mastering the complexities of the areas outlined above. Weddings are best if they are a celebration of the successful completion of life planning in all the domains described, for unresolved tensions in any of them can deeply trouble the future of a marriage.

IF YOU OR YOUR INTENDED MATE SEE YOURSELVES STRUGGLING WITH ONE OR ANOTHER OF THE ELEMENTS ABOVE, COUNSELING CAN BE OF HELP. In the supportive and understanding counseling environment, you can be taught practical skills for making a much better accommodation to the challenge of learning to build a life partnership. Please consider using one of the links provided below...