CategoryHow to Find Third Alternatives

Do You Two Have a Place?


My husband and I have a few places. One is a very comfortable neighborhood restaurant and bar with good music, really friendly service, palm trees with colored lights, lots of comfort food, and an unlimited supply of fresh, hot tortilla chips. We go there when the tension level reaches a certain level. It lets us smile at life and each other again. In a way, it is a Third Alternative. My husband...

Telling Your Wife You’re Starting a Business


While the kids were young, Tom earned most of the money he and Selena and their two girls lived on. Now that the girls are in middle school, Selena’s earning a bit more. For Tom, this feels like the ideal time to start his own business if he’s ever going to do it. If it fails, he can be back in someone else’s employ before the girls are applying to colleges. If it succeeds the...

Third Alternatives to Children / No Children


I received a heartbreaking comment today. One of my hearts greatest desires is to have a child one day. My husband is the only one that can give this to me. But he never wants to have any children… at all… ever! I have been waiting 7 years for him to change his mind.. with absolutely no change and no sign of hope for the future. It’s not all that uncommon a situation. But how do...

Am I Right?


So much of the time, when married folks say they want to take their spouse to marriage therapy, it’s to answer this question: am I right? The answer is not very helpful. Referees are useful only for deciding competitions, not for making relationships more intimate or more satisfying. A better question is this: how can we resolve this disagreement in a way that satisfies both of us? On the...

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When You Want Different Things


One wants to go out more. The other would just as soon stay home. It is an incredibly common difference of opinion between couples. It would be less of one if couples recognized they have lots more options. The person who wants to go out more assumes their partner wants to stay home to avoid the very things he or she values about getting out, whether it’s new experiences, better food, or...

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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