Addressing Mismatched Libidos

A common issue that arises among couples is that of mismatched libidos. CNN’s Ian Kerner writes that the person with the higher sex drive can easily feel rejected and undesirable, while the person who has less interest in sex may feel anxious, pressured and guilty. According to the author, while research has shown physical and mental health contribute to libido, men and women have different motivations for avoiding sex. These include sexual dysfunction, getting in a rut with the sexual routine and the demands of parenting, among others.

In the article, sex therapists share various ways to address this problem of mismatched sex drives. These include, but are not limited to, approaching the topic in a nonjudgmental and critical way. Another approach is to schedule quality couple time a couple times a week. Additionally, engaging in “outercourse” is a highly desirable option for opening other paths to arousal. Finally, sex therapists encourage couples to consider scheduling a sex date once a week.

Guttman & Pearl will be offering a Women’s Sexuality Group late January 2018 to address sexual concerns and issues.

Weird Things Couples Flight About

So often newly married couples don’t understand why relationships change over time.  They can argue over small inconsequential things.  Check out this video of “Weird Things Couples Fight About.”

If you  argue like this, consider attending  to our  Start Right, Stay Connected seminar.  You will understand how normal these type of arguments can be and view these conflicts as an opportunity for growth. You will receive the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the challenges of marriage. We believe the smarter couples start their partnership, the stronger their connection will be.
Our Start Right, Stay Connected seminar is on Sunday, September 10.  This seminar is good for premarital,  newly married couples or those committing to long-term relationships.  It can also provide a relationship boost to those in long-term relationships.  Go to Start Right, Stay Connected to register.

Healthy Habits of Couples Who Attend Therapy

Relationships editor, Brittany Wong, has compiled a list of healthy habits couples engage in as a result of attending therapy together. According to relationship therapists, going to therapy early in the relationship- and continuing to attend therapy- can facilitate a happier and more loving relationship. The habits described are those shared by individuals who have attended couples therapy.

One of the lessons learned is that “both sides of the story matter” rather than trying to convince the therapist to side with you. Also, the value of being an “active listener” is stressed in that it allows for the speaker to feel heard and understood. Another important takeaway is to carve out time, however little, to engage in uninterrupted emotional connection. This time may be in the form of “date night” or simply waking up ten minutes earlier than usual to connect. Among other important lessons is to give up the need to be “right”, as well as to call a “time-out” when one or both of you are flooded with emotions and cannot effectively participate in the dialogue.

Guttman & Pearl Associates offers individual, couples and sex therapy, which can help you learn these “healthy” habits.

Steps to Preparing for a Healthy and Lasting Marriage

The institution of marriage has been traditionally considered a long term commitment. Identifying and working through issues prior to marriage can be predictive of a healthier relationship in the future. Carolin Lehmann, editorial fellow for The Huffington Post, has generated a summary of marriage experts’ “to do list” for couples getting ready to embark on the commitment of marriage. By following these steps, experts believe couples are more likely to experience a lasting union.

“Work together to become skilled communicators”. Being able to honestly and clearly communicate are valuable assets in a relationship. Furthermore, raising issues in a non attacking way is predictive of a long and happy marriage, according to psychiatrist Marcia Sirota.

“Discuss family planning”. It is valuable to clarify whether or not to have children, as well as how many, prior to marriage. By coming to an agreement beforehand, you are eliminating some potential problems down the road, according to Leslie Petruk.

“Acknowledge your shortcomings”. Kurt Smith encourages couples to express areas of needed improvement as a partner as well as a commitment to work on issues.

“Make peace with each other’s friends and families”. In an effort to maintain a healthy network of family and friends, it is important not only to make peace with those whom you find challenging, but to also actively support your partner’s relationships, according to Nari Jeter.

“Set weekly marriage meetings even before the wedding”. Relationship crises can be averted by couples who plan regular meetings to discuss concerns, plan fun events, or simply to express appreciation for one another. Having these meetings fosters closeness and a skill set to more effectively manage issues as a team, according to Marcia Naomi Berger.

“Address the hot-button topic that is finances”. Discussing and implementing a plan for money management, is great way to bypass a common problem among couples. Leslie Petruk further explains that “financial health is a reflection of the health of your relationship and how well you communicate and function as a team.” The couple’s relationship around finances must have a foundation of transparency and trust, rather than secrecy.

“Don’t ignore the difficult issues”. Rather than ignoring problems, Kurt Smith suggests that couples in happier marriages address their issues.

“Go to premarital counseling”. Nari Jeeter recommends couples attend premarital counseling in order to establish expectations and determine when the couple may need to seek external support. By meeting with a therapist, the couple is not only engaging in a preventative checkup, they also establish an easier path to seeking support in the future if needed.

In addition, our Start Right, Stay Connected Seminar is a great opportunity for you to receive the tools and education to create a long lasting partnership.  For more information or to register, go to Start Right, Stay Connected Seminar

Huffington Post article by Carolin Lehmann

Having an Emotionally Intelligent Husband is Predictive of a Happier Marriage

Dr. John Gottman conducted a long-term study of newlywed couples and determined that marriages are happier and less likely to end in divorce when an emotionally intelligent husband shares power and accepts his partner’s influence.

The husband who lacks emotional intelligence rejects his wife’s influence because he fears a loss of power. And because he is unwilling to accept influence, he will not be influential. Signs that a man is rejecting his wife’s influence include the use of criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling- what Gottman refers to as the Four Horsemen.

Gottman goes on to assert that rather than losing power and influence in the relationship, the emotionally intelligent husband not only learns how to better connect with his wife, but also gains respect, power, and influence.

Busting Relationship Myths

sextherapyEsther Perel wrote a great article, 7 Relationship Myths to Stop Believing.

Myth #1: People in a relationship don’t flirt. If they do, it means they are unhappy and looking for something else.
Myth #2: Honesty is the best policy.
Myth #3: Bad sex should always be a relationship deal breaker. It means you aren’t compatible.
Myth #4: Your S.O. should be your best friend.
Myth #5: Fighting is always a sign that something is wrong.
Myth #6: Once a cheater, always a cheater.
Myth #7: To get past cheating, you must forgive and forget — or just dump the cheater.

Two favorites are:
Myth #4: Your S.O. should be your best friend. Making your S.O. (significant other) your best friend, sometimes burdens a relationships by expecting our partners to be everything to us. Also, in order to keep sexual energy and tension in our relationships, we need to have mystery.

Myth #5: Fighting is always a sign that something is wrong.
When fighting, what matters most is the way you fight and your goal. There are big differences between fighting to win and fighting to help something in our relationships. Sometimes, fighting and conflict also provide an opportunity to grow emotionally for the individual and their relationship. Most importantly, we need to learn to make repair after an argument. The quicker we repair, the least amount of damage done to the relationship.

To read the whole article from Esther, go to:

You Can Be Right or You Can Be Married (or Connected)!



Our Start Right, Stay Connected relationship education seminar is for premarital or newly married couples, couples who are making a long term commitment and those who need a relationship boost. One of our best lines in the workshop is, “You can be married (or connected) or you can be right! It is often hard to take the time to listen to our partner’s stories versus making our point! We love this cartoon!

“Relationship Space” and Thanksgiving. What do they have to do with each other?

It is very important for couples and families to learn about “the relationship space.” In your relationship, there are three entities: you, your partner & your relationship. We know about the “relationship space”, when we have conflict. At that time, we can feel the tension, the negative energy, from the basement to the second floor. We often don’t pay much attention to the “relationship space” when things are going well. It is important for us to learn how to take care and enhance of our relationship space in order to create a more loving connection between us.

At Thanksgiving, an easy way to create a more loving “relationship space” is to express your appreciations. Be sure to tell your partner something you appreciate about them and why this has meaning to you. Also, be sure to tell your children what you appreciate about them. In our family, we have said our appreciations of each other on our Friday night Sabbath dinner. When my son turned 17, he decided he no longer wanted to participate in our appreciations. We said that was fine, but we would tell him what we appreciated about him, without him having to reciprocate. By the end of our appreciations of everyone, my son was compelled to participate, because it is natural to want to be a part of loving energy.

Given the strife in our country at this time, we also need to take care of the “relationship space” in our communities, cities, states and entire country. Find ways to say nice things to strangers, such as thank you, your welcome or just give a smile. Every little gesture of kindness can help the larger communal space as well.

Take advantage of the opportunities to express your appreciations this holiday and every day!