CategoryHow to Expect Love

Is the Nuclear Family Dead? I Don’t Think So


Earlier this week, I read an op ed essay by Kim Brooks in the New York Times that made me ache. I could not stop thinking about it for the last 24 hours. The title claimed you’re in good company if you’re considering a Covid-19 Pandemic divorce, but that was not what the piece was about. It concludes that we’re not meant for nuclear families, and so Kim consoles herself and her...

I Shouldn’t Have To, But I Can


There were crumbs on the kitchen counter today as I prepared to make my lunch. Even though we no longer live in a place where crumbs lead to insects and rodents, it irked me. Why should I have to work around your crumbs? Why should I need to clean up after you to make my lunch in peace? And that’s when I recalled how I wrecked my first marriage. And I remembered that I shouldn’t have...

How Long Does It Take to Wipe Down the Sink?


If you’re one of the people who has ever asked this, I know something about you. You’re someone who routinely wipes it down after using it. The people who instead wipe the sink down before using it need the same amount of time. And they think a lot more highly of their partner, even if they’re not married to an after-wiper. They get a lot less riled up. And, of course, they...

Expectations that Empower and Disempower Us


We all bring expectations to a relationship. Some are life-preserving: “I expect to feel safe from violence and life-threatening conditions in our shared home.” Some are about boundaries we need to set to allow ourselves to be as vulnerable as real intimacy requires: “I expect to be free from any condition that turned deadly or life-threatening or intimidating in past...

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Whiskers on the Sink


I was stressed. And anxious. And trying to get work done. Problems kept popping up. I went to the bathroom sink to get a drink of water. The first thing I noticed was how wet the front of the sink was. Then I saw all those whisker clippings. Lots of them. My mind went right where it loves to go: what is wrong with my husband that he left this mess?! He’s a grown man! Can’t he do...

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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