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Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality (Photo credit: charlesfettinger)

Dr. Barry Lubetkin offers us some sound advice and a very good tip on how to keep the “caring for each other” in our marriage. 

Mental health for marriage.

Marriage is in trouble. Not only has the divorce rate of 45 to 50% not abated but the rate of cheating amongst both men and women continues to increase. And what of the future ,where couples texting and not talking has become the standard way of courting and communicating.
 
Many of my married couple patients report that “lack of appreciation and compassion ” for the other is a major potential destroyer of relationships. While I believe that EVERY couple should enter couples therapy for regular tune ups throughout their time together, that is an ideal that most won’t follow. So here’s a tip to help strengthen your relationship:
 
Each person creates a CARING LIST, where you list the 5 specific ways that your partner can make you feel cared about and cherished……….ex. “Kiss me each morning when you leave for work”……”prepare dinner once a week for the kids”…….”tell me about your day and ask me about mine”……..give me a brief massage every Monday evening to unstress me after work”.  Make the requests specific and behavioral, not vague like “make me happy”
 
Exchange the lists, post them somewhere in the apartment or house, and each person is to fulfill at least three of the others requests each week. Make new lists when needed. Don’t play tit for tat by waiting for your partner to do your requests first. Note and discuss at the end of the week how each of you did in fulfilling the caring needs of the other.  It works! Try it!
Barry Lubetkin, Phd, ABBP is co-director of the Institute for Behavior Therapy in Manhattan.  Dr. Lubetkin has written two widely acclaimed books. Bailing Out (Simon and Schuster and Prentice Hall Press) and Why Do I Need You To Love Me In Order To Like Myself (Longmeadow and Borders Press). In addition, his 3-disc audio series on treating insomnia Dr. Barry’s Sound Asleep has recently been published. 
 
 
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