Blog

Conscious UnCoupling

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Conscious UnCoupling

Conscious UnCoupling “The conscious uncoupling model is so incredibly sound in terms of the pro-relational attitudes and skills it teaches, but it’s like waiting until you have a mouthful of cavities to start brushing and flossing. Good as a rule at any time, but waaaay better on the early side of things.” – Drs. Bill and Ginger Bercaw Today the world woke up to some shocking news and a new entry into our cultural lexicon. No, it had nothing to do with Malaysian flight 370 or the conflict in Crimea or the tragic mudslide in Oso, Washington. No, this was bigger than all three combined. Gwyneth and Chris were through (as announced by Gwyneth’s every-woman website, Goop.com). Well, they didn’t quite put it in such clear terms, but instead introduced the term “conscious uncoupling” into everyone’s morning commute. Now lest you think this is a term bantered about in shrink-land, we can assure you that we had never heard of it, and a quick sampling of our colleagues told us we hadn’t been asleep at the wheel.  Some efficient research revealed that conscious uncoupling is the modern alternative to divorce. Well, you still split up, but on your way to ending your marriage, you learn how to have a great relationship with each other (more on this later). This is done with great intentionality, carefully choosing to avoid blame and resentment in order to keep negative energy at bay.  Rather than working against each other (or having each spouse’s lawyers work against each other) the emphasis is on working together. Hard to argue with that approach, especially when kids are in the mix. But some deeper digging exposed a philosophical underpinning of conscious uncoupling: Due to increasing life expectancies, humans cannot be expecting to stay married forever.  In other words, if you do stay married long enough, eventually the romance will run its course and each partner should be prepared to bow out gracefully. Conscious uncoupling provides the approach for a soft landing during this inevitable transition. So this got us thinking… intentionally caring for your relationship by: Giving it the time and attention it needs, Striving to own personal responsibility for relationship dissatisfaction, Proactively avoiding blame and resentment, Modeling healthy-relating for our children, Choosing to contribute positive relational energy, If couples took such conscious steps consistently during their marriage — not waiting until they have drifted so far off course — and with an eye toward continually increasing their bond, wouldn’t this decrease the need for the UN-coupling part? The conscious uncoupling model is so incredibly sound in terms of the pro-relational attitudes and skills it teaches, but it’s like waiting until you have a mouthful of cavities to start brushing and flossing. Good as a rule at any time, but waaaay better on the early side of things. So here’s to hoping these trendsetters find peace in their uncoupling transition, and that married couples everywhere go as far as they can to get the UN out of there....

Read More

March 2014 – Our Second Book is Published!

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

March 2014 – Our Second Book is Published!

Have you ever had something on your calendar, something you just could not wait for, that seemed so perpetually “so far away” that it felt like it would never come?  But then, when the date of your vacation or party or graduation or wedding (or new iPhone) finally arrived, it suddenly felt as if the calendar pages had been rapidly flipped forward, launching you into a state of surreal amazement that your elusive event was actually here. Today is that day for us. It started about five years ago with a vision born equally from our professional lives as couple’s therapists and our personal experience with the challenges of nurturing the connecting and passionate marriage we wanted for ourselves. These two perspectives spoke clearly to us that it has never been harder to be a couple than it is today. We were at a point in our careers and in our marriage where we knew some things – things that really moved the marital and sexual satisfaction needle, things that we wanted all couples to know. With that motivation, we set out to create a resource for couples who wanted what we wanted from marriage and for couples facing the same challenges we were facing.  It would offer couples everything we knew about exactly what it takes to pull a struggling marriage out of the gutter and to make a good marriage great.  And it wouldn’t merely talk about such things, but it would provide a clear plan of action, making it as easy as possible for readers to open the book and guide themselves through a powerful, proven, ready-to-use program (CoupleFlow™) that was as comprehensive as it was efficient. We wanted results for our readers – the same kind of results we were seeing in our clients’ marriages and in our own. We ended up writing the book we wish we could have read earlier in our marriage. It has been a labor of love in the name of love, the same love that all too easily gets obscured by the ever-increasing demands of modern life. We are so thankful to all of you who have been so supportive of our vision for this book, so encouraging of its merit and so patient with the time it has taken.  Our hope is that there is something in this book that supports your marriage, something that helps to reconnect you with the vision of the partnership you want and deserve, something that helps you step outside of the currents of your hyper-speed modern lifestyle in order to intentionally offer the best of yourself to the relationship that matters most to you.  So from us to you…  “From the Living Room to the...

Read More

Valentine’s Day – Cynic or Romantic

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Valentine’s Day – Cynic or Romantic

Go ahead… tell us you haven’t had even one cynical, Valentine’s Day-related thought pass through your mind today. Check your Facebook feed lately? Whether you’re a skeptic or you actually believe this is THE single, most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day offers a great chance to raise a glass with your sweetheart.  Here are some possibilities (with a little something for everyone!): “To us and our love- the love that has endured through all the changes and challenges life has thrown at us.”(and there would be a few less challenges if you picked up your socks and underwear every now and then). “To giving our best to each other and to giving the benefit of the doubt when we fall short of that intention.”  (and by “best” I don’t mean grunting “Uh-huh” and “Mmm-Hmm” when I’m trying to talk with you about my day) “To the memories we’ve created and to all of the memorable times ahead of us.”  (but let’s hope for at least one fewer ER memory this year, OK?) “To finding strength in the security of a true partner with whom to face the many unknown challenges ahead and to celebrate the many joys.” (and for the record, I’m not counting it as a challenge the next time you freak out about losing your keys when they are in your jacket pocket… or a joy when you find them!!!) “To you, the love of my life – may you feel as deeply loved as you love me.”(and to ME, the one putting on a smiling face after buying criminally marked up flowers and chocolate and sitting in a cramped restaurant eating off a criminally marked-up, heart-shaped “Special Valentine’s Menu.” If today doesn’t prove I love you, I don’t know what will!!!) *Still looking for a last-minute Valentine’s gift? http://LivingRoomtoBedroom.pubslush.com (Because nothing says “Happy Valentines Day” like the promise of a book that will arrive in...

Read More

Technology and Relationships: Friend or Foe?

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Technology and Relationships: Friend or Foe?

Here are two seemingly unrelated questions: #1: “Why do spouses cheat?” #2: “How can technology affect a relationship?”  But a recent survey indicates that one may have a LOT to do with the other.  The survey was conducted by a dating site for married people who are looking to cheat (which shall remain nameless – no free advertising here!), and showed that nearly half (45%) of their 6,000 members surveyed said they cheated because their partner spent too much time online or on mobile devices.  In the other direction, it also indicated that 67% said the internet made their cheating possible.  Granted, the source isn’t exactly a reputable institution of scientific research, but even if their numbers are somewhat inflated, it certainly underscores the potentially negative influence of technology on relationships.  However, technology can also be used in a very powerful way to enhance the felt connection between partners, including your sexual intimacy.  We address this topic in our upcoming book on page 75: “But just to be clear, we’re not advising that everyone abandon social media, texting and email.  We are suggesting that you be mindful of how you are utilizing your technological devices and social media so you can enjoy them in a way that does not detract from your relationship with each other.  So the technology itself isn’t bad.  It can absolutely be used for good and in moderation, and it truly does facilitate staying connected with family and friends.  In fact, it offers a whole new way to nurture your relationship and keep it fresh.”   So how do you use technology to fuel your romance?  For example, when is the last time you sent your partner a supportive text (or a suggestive one!)?  When is the last time you used Facebook to send your spouse a VERY private message? If it was within the last 24 hours, good for you, but if not, take 30 seconds right now to reach out — Digital Age style! TECH DO’s                                        TECH DON’Ts *Send your partner at least one tech-based, supportive communication per day for a week—see what a difference it makes! *Send a racy text (or really impress with an Evite), inviting your partner to some Bedroom fun *Don’t check your mobile device while talking in person *Don’t keep your mobile device on the table while dining *Don’t use tech to re-connect — with exes ! (Goes without saying, but happens a lot!)  *Establish tech-free times (e.g. while taking a walk) *Check out apps designed to help couples stay connected like “Couple” *Don’t bring tech devices into the Bedroom – keep it a tech-free zone *Don’t waste time surfing online or gaming when your partner is available to connect *Use videoconferencing to connect when apart *Send your partner photos of the two of you enjoying yourselves (or photos of a place you’re looking forward to going to...

Read More