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Brain Food for the Good Life

Should We Be Getting Married? Or Not?

Should We Be Getting Married?  Or Not? Good love relationships reach a tipping point:  Is it time to put our wedding plans into gear, and put them into the trash can and break up? Here’s a good way to move a good love relationship off a plateau, and decide if it’s time to commit or quit.  In counseling some 1500 married couples, these are the issues they have most often brought into my …Read More

Love’s New Rituals

  Love’s New Rituals Long ago in a faraway place called 20th century America, when lovers would get serious about their relationship, they would usually announce to the world that they were “going steady” (or, “going together”), and then if all went well, that they were engaged to marry, ideally even to “enter holy matrimony” with a church wedding.  There God would not only be asked to join them together, …Read More

Four Seasons of a Love Relationship

The Four Seasons of Love Before Marriage  Another post here shows how love relationships work a lot like other living things—children, pets and houseplants. Like fruit trees, they grow through the cycle of seasons, and the time before marriage seems to me a cycle of four seasons. A problem in most relationships is that the partners are in two different seasons of readiness for love.  A good future for such couples …Read More

Making the Case for Marital Fidelity

  Packing your Suitcase with the Facts I grew up in the fifties, thinking that marital fidelity was just what you do.  As far as I had heard, most all the Schmidts had apparently been faithful to their spouses. I was told that it just made good sense, for families and for society.  At church we were told this was one of the big Ten Commandments.  At school I was …Read More

Emotional Intelligence: How is Yours?

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE:   How does Yours Stack up? Like mental intelligence, emotional intelligence is a combination between inborn giftedness (temperament) and learned abilities (acquired skill sets). It is easier to learn if we didn’t inherit an extreme emotional disposition, and if we have had healthy role models, or chosen them for ourselves. The theory and research do not provide a single clear picture for what emotional intelligence is, but I …Read More

Ten Great Christmas Gifts in your Budget

TEN GREAT HOLIDAY GIFTS IN YOUR BUDGET   There’s one contagious infection we’re all trying to catch this year—the Christmas Spirit. If you do catch it, be careful you don’t lose it in all the rush to find, buy, decorate, and deliver the kind of presents you wrap. Too many of those gifts can wrap us up, tight as the drummer boy’s drum. Sure, they help the national economy, and …Read More


PROTECTING YOUR CHILD FROM SEXUAL ABUSE I hate for people to live in bondage of any kind, especially to be held hostage by fear. If you’re a parent of an elementary school child and you watch the TV news, you’re probably needing some relief from the fear that somebody will abuse your child sexually. I noticed unusual courage, wisdom, and resolve in one parent interviewed recently on TV about child …Read More

Psychology 101

PSYCHOLOGY 101: MAKING SENSE OF MOTIVATION   Ever wonder why two brothers or sisters turn out to be so different from each other? What drives some people to love so strong, or work or play so hard? What makes your personality the way it is? The view of human nature you will find below does not come from any psychology book. It comes instead out of my own experience, and …Read More

Bully-Proof your Child

A BULLY-PROOF VEST FOR YOUR CHILDREN   Since 9-11, our cultural climate has been filled with fear and hate.  Our children are exposed to more and more bullying on television, in movies,  in social media, and even in political ads and debates.  When the police or FBI go into a dangerous situation, they wear a bullet-proof vest.  When your children or grandchildren are subject to the abuse of mean people at school, …Read More

Sex and Love Education for America Today

Why Some are Choosing Traditional Values in our Pornified Culture Sexual energy, beautiful bodies, romantic love, and close relationships — as much as they are idolized in our culture, there is nothing inherently good or bad about them. They are all morally neutral resources, because they can be used for good or bad purposes. Whether or not we have them isn’t nearly as important as how we give or take them. Except …Read More