Can a Married Man Have Close Female Friends?

FriendshipI admit that I am an anomaly. I was married at 19 and we have been together for 29 years now.

I also, for as long as I remember, have had a woman as my best friend. I do have guy friends who I appreciate, but when it comes down to “who would I turn to” for support in a time of distress (in addition to my “better-than-a-best-friend” wife, of course) there are at least four women ahead of the first guy on that list.

There are many ways life has conspired to make this a reality in my life, not the least of which is that I work in a profession dominated by women. When work is stressing me out, the ladies understand the context. I also was never the “let’s get drunk and do stupid things” type… which, when I was a teen, most of the guys in my small town were. I also like to talk about the world around me in a way that most of my guy Continue reading

Poll: Do you ever describe non-romantic connections as “relationships?”

Has the Facebook relationship status line effectively narrowed the meaning of the word “relationship?” defines relationship as:

  1. a connection, association, or involvement.
  2. connection between persons by blood or marriage.
  3. an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students.
  4. a sexual involvement; affair.

However, if I mention the relationship between X & Y in my middle school Math class, half of the class looks confused and the other half snickers under their breath. And I’ll get out loud chuckles or muffled gasps if I mention my long standing relationships with my colleagues or friends.

Expressions of Love by barbourians

So, what do you think? Has the meaning of relationship become another synonym for “coupling?” Has it become a word with too much baggage to use for platonic connection? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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“Nobody can make another person feel anything.” Errrr…

One of the advantages of being new to the field of relationship psychology is that I am still relatively immune to the jargon and nuance of meaning in phrases that professionals seem to use nonchalantly; words that we regular folk may not fully understand.  What is obvious and innocent psychobabble to a practiced therapist sometimes stands out as dangerous non-sense to me. I fully admit that my response is coming from a place of incomplete understanding, but I am convinced that things sometimes get lost in translation for us regular folk. I’ve seen it happen.

So, when a professional recently replied to me that “Nobody can make another person feel anything” my initial response was “horse feathers!” (OK, maybe not horse feathers, but referring to bovine after-product might get me in trouble with my co-editor.) This assertion flies in the face of common sense and seems to contradict a great deal of the hard research I am reading. Continue reading

Dear Becca: How can I stop the worry train?

Dear Becca,

"spinning around" Some rights reserved by Maria G.I.Sometimes my mind just won’t shut off when things aren’t just right with Michael. I practice discussions with him in my head over and over and over again and, frankly, it tends to make matters worse because I can’t sleep, which makes me worry more, which keeps me up, which makes me… well, you get the idea. What can I do to keep things from going round and round in my head?


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Dear Becca: Events or Emotions?

Dear Becca,

To rebuild a wounded relationship, is it more important to carefully unravel problematic events or to explore the emotions of the situation?



Dear Michael,

To repair a wounded relationship, the first step is to prioritize the relationship. It’s the relationship that needs repair.

Often when we want to repair, we want our partner to heal us, to comply to what we think needs to happen to repair trust or to be convinced we really matter and are important to our partner.
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