CategoryHow to Find Third Alternatives

Third Alternatives: Rude Friends


I recently received a comment from Lorraine K, who wrote: Found your blog about a week ago and I have really learned a lot. I am wondering about third alternatives for future relationships because my S.O. and I broke up over two issues that I now think may have been avoided if we had found Third Alternatives. The first issue was about a few of his rude friends. My boyfriend didn’t want to...

Agreement or Impasse?


I read about some interesting research recently that relates to Finding Third Alternatives. It showed just how much people like agreement and, even more, dislike impasse. Just labeling an option “Agreement” made people in a negotiating experiment more likely to choose it, even if it wasn’t their best option. But labeling an option “Impasse” had a bigger effect...

Career Tradeoffs are Never a Given for Two-Career Couples


Today, someone shared with me that her #1 fear is this: I will risk my relationship with my fiancĂ© to benefit my career — or that I will take tradeoffs in my career to benefit my fiancĂ©’s career and be bitter later. So many of us have been trained well in techniques to help us choose between Thing 1 and Thing 2, which is fine when you’re by your lonesome. But once you are part...

Is This Working? (Find Third Alternatives)


This is part three of my mini-series that began on Sunday on how to tell if you’re correctly using my three favorite techniques for a happier marriage: Assume Love Expect Love Find Third Alternatives Today we look at Find Third Alternatives. This is a very handy technique when a disagreement puts you on the defensive or when you still want what you have decided you cannot really expect your...

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A Third Alternative in the Bedroom


A while back, a reader asked for some perspectives on her sex life with her husband. Not exactly my area of expertise, I thought, but as I read her story, I realized it wasn’t sex that was the problem. Let me share her tale but preserve her privacy. She wrote: I was wondering what your opinion is on exploring sexually within marriage. I am interested in [some more adventurous practices]...

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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