I have been approached by a number of women of late, mostly my age-mates (I’m a tail-end boomer, and front-end Gen Xer) wanting to understand what’s happening to them sexually. Some of us seem to be confused. We feel vibrant, energetic, and even young. And yet we are also struggling with a waning libido. Some of us feel that letting go of that part of ourselves is what will define us as “old”. We want to have sex not because we necessarily want it but because we think we should. And please, let’s agree that there is enough variability in the world to know that not everyone feels this way, and not everyone feels that way … enough of us […]
Hello Dear Readers! I’m so excited to share with you that after sending out an invitation to a number of colleagues, we have a guest blogger this month! I am thrilled to open up the conversation and add more voices for well-being to the Blog. So let’s begin. Let me introduce you to Tom Caplan, MSW, MFT : (click on the link for more information about Tom) By way of introduction I am a licensed Social worker (OTSTCFQ), Marriage and Family Therapist and Supervisor (AAMFT/CAMFT), and Psychotherapist (OPQ) in private practice who works with individuals, couples, families and groups. I was a consultant to the McGill Domestic Violence Clinic, am the founder of Montreal Anger Management Centre and the Caplan Therapy […]
Sometimes couple life can get downright hard and ugly. We can spiral down to a place it seems we will never get out of. We find ourselves angry, hurt, and disconnected and it’s lonely. Partners in a distressed couple sometimes describe how they walk on eggshells. When doing so, I am not bringing my full self to the relationship, out of fear. So I hold back in an attempt to manage or maybe even control your behavior. But that never feels good or right, and it never provides satisfactory results in the long term. When we work harder at trying to mitigate a partner’s behavior rather than our own, we know we are in trouble. Some of us use shaming […]
There’s a lot of truth in the old idiom that opposites attract. Back in the day, there were huge evolutionary advantages to having a partner with skills that you didn’t have. This way we covered all the bases in our project of surviving. But if opposites really do attract, why do so many couples, spend so much time, trying to make the other think/feel/act more like themselves? I often meet couples (and can reflect on my own experience too!!) who like to complain that their partner “just doesn’t do it the way I want it done” or “why can’t they make a decision the way that I do?” When couples argue they often say “I just don’t see it the […]
What are you really saying when you’re saying what you’re saying….. Ah, communication. Is there anything more necessary, and yet more convoluted as honest communication? We have so many ways of expressing our unhappiness, our needs, our longing – yet for the most part we fall into unconscious, unauthentic, and fearful ways to say what we really want to say. This kind of communicating usually results in us not getting our needs met, creating resentment, and building greater and greater obstacles to loving, respectful, and supportive relationships. Couples often present in couple therapy arguing about a specific situation: money, child-rearing, sex, yet almost always, the underlying issues are about attachment. “I don’t trust you about money” can be translated into […]
In Gary Chapman’s, New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages: the Secret to Love that Lasts, he explores the different ways couples communicate their positive feelings for each other. He rightly argues that knowing your own and your partner’s preferred way of communicating love significantly improves your relationship’s chance of survival. Can you recognize yourself among these five approaches? Remember, while we probably use a bit of all, there is usually one approach, one language that is dominant: Do you let your partner know you care through affection or physical touch or do you tend to show your appreciation and care through gift giving? Some of us do so by offering service or taking care of; some of us through […]
Sue Johnson’s Hold Me Tight is the road map we use in couple’s therapy to help you get back to the couple you want to be. I ask all my couples to read this before we start on our work together. Learn what you are really saying when you get stuck in your familiar patterns and learn how to hear it from your partner.