CategoryMore great ideas

Healthy Marriages Need Novelty

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A big part of why people feel the desire to get married and remain married is the very pleasant boost of the neurotransmitter dopamine. New experiences, different from those we’ve previously experienced, and the anticipation of such new experiences both cause the release of dopamine in our brains. Over time, even an enjoyable activity loses its ability to produce dopamine. This is why...

Too Much Togetherness?

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Whether it’s because you’re recently retired or laid off or working from home during a pandemic, it’s possible to find yourself suddenly spending a lot more time with your spouse. And at some point, it will stop feeling like a vacation. What can you do about this? First, remember that most of us need some quality time together, one of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. It...

Why I Write this Blog

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It’s so good to back online. I was starting to think the blog would never work again. Since the end of January, comments and adding new posts has not worked. After a lot of wrong turns throughout a very busy year, it’s great to be back! I thought I would resume by telling you why I have been writing this blog for 13 years. And it’s the same reason I wore an Urban League...

Feeling Distant? Use Biology to Get Closer Again

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The human body is well-designed for two functions much needed in our evolutionary past. The first is self-preservation: fight, flee, or freeze. We could be attacked at almost any moment, and only those who survived passed down their genes. The second is tend and befriend. To survive as a human, our ancestors had to cooperate with other humans to eat, to clothe themselves, to build homes, and to...

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Pursuing Your Dreams and Growing While Married

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It’s so easy to get caught up in fears that if you pursue spiritual growth, start that business you’ve always dreamed of, get that graduate degree in your 50s, or take up an adventurous hobby, it will tank your marriage. Before we start on this great new adventure, we fear obstruction. Once we find our way around the imaginary or real obstacles, we fear growing apart if our spouse...

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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