CategoryHow to Find Third Alternatives

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...

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]...

When We Disagree about Our Disagreements – Take 2


On Tuesday, I revealed a problem sent in by a reader and asked for suggestions from all of you. As she sees it, and I must agree, the problem is how they address their disagreements. Neither is happy with their approach. As an example of the sort of disagreements they are addressing, she offered one spouse asking the other not to interrupt when the other is speaking slowly. As it turns out, this...

Let Go of the How to Find the Why – Part 2


Third Alternatives almost always exist, even when it looks like there are just two options and each of you can stand only one of them. And to discover them, you let go of the how to find the why. For example, think of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. One thrives on Quality Time together, especially time spent in meaningful, soul-revealing conversation. When they first met, there was...

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Let Go of the How to Find the Why


When you are looking for Third Alternatives (win-win endings to your disagreements), you must let go of the how to find the why. Let me show you what I mean. One wants to go by car. The other wants to go by plane. Why? One wants to go by car to see the countryside between points A and B. The other wants to go by plane to avoid being the driver on such a long drive. Third Alternatives? Ask a...

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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