How Friendships Evolve - or Die

It's rare for an advice column to get to address a particular reader's question more than one time. I had the great opportunity to receive an initial question early this year, and then a follow-up a month later, as the writer offered an update on her attempts to repair a friendship she missed and wanted to have back in her life. Links to the two-part series can be found here.


Toxic, Negative Energy

Toxic energy in a relationship is very dangerous - and very common. I talk about it almost weekly with the couples I see in my practice for marriage and couples counseling. I also talk about it in my column for The Georgetowner newspaper, and I am always happy for the chance to address the fact that the way we treat each other does have an impact on our long-term relationship (not to mention the impact it has on our kids, who are recording our every move with their rapidly-developing little brains). True, having an attitude or using passive aggression to make a point are common behaviors that may seem insignificant at the time. But this negativity builds up over time and starts to permeate the air we breathe. Read my column about this here.


This is 40: Boring?

My most recent column for the Georgetowner looks at a reader's concern that her friends are too boring, now that they have moved out of the college years and into real life with jobs, houses, and families. I honestly get what she is talking about - it can be shocking to wake up and realize that an entire date night conversation focused on gutter improvement (I've been there). But at the same time, we do grow out of relationships, and if this reader is feeling so resentful of her college friends, perhaps she should take some time to seek out new ones. It's challenging to make new friends in midlife, but there's something freeing about being able to choose the people you spend your time with - rather than carving a social life out of a dorm room assignment (or a cubicle assingment, for that matter). You can read the whole question and my response here.


Pressure to Engage?

They've been together since college and she wants to get married - he's not feeling it, but doesn't want to lose her. This is a question that has come up in my office - with the parties playing different roles - again and again for the last few years. The truth is that both parties are feeling pressure to get engaged - he gets it from her, and she gets it from everywhere else. Is it ideal? No, but it is reality. She can't ignore her feelings about being pressured, no more than he can ignore her feelings. Read my response here. 


Women in Midlife article draws reaction

My latest Counseling Today article discussed the unique needs of women in midlife. I have received more feedback about this piece than any other in my 10 years writing for the magazine. It seems to be an important concept - that women have their own needs in counseling as we enter midlife. Take a look at the whole article here, and let me know what you think!