Monogamy Myths And Truths

Monogamy Myths And Truths.  Conservative estimates show that 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. Most people expect monogamy to be a normal part of marriage or any committed relationship. When stating marital vows it’s either implicit or explicit that monogamy is expected. Some couples who come in for Affair Recovery do so where one of them has made a unilateral decision to open up their marriage by cheating.

Photo by Shawn Goldberg
Monogamy myths and truths

Some monogamy myths:

  • Society supports monogamy as the norm in society as a whole.
  • One person can meet all of your needs
  • If an affair happens, it’s strictly a personal failure of the people involved
  • Cheating and affairs are more common among the rich and less common in conservative cultures
  • If you really love your partner, you’ll remain faithful
  • We generally agree on what counts as cheating
  • Your partner won’t stray as long as you keep your sex life exciting
  • Most married people don’t cheat
  • Jealousy is an indicator of true love
  • Intimacy is only for romantic relationships
  • Monogamy means you don’t experience other attractions

Couples therapist

The reality about Monogamy is despite society’s lip service to monogamy there are significant societal factors that support and encourage affairs. Just look at advertising idealizing relationships by suggesting you can have it all.  That monogamy is not the norm by today’s standards

Monogamy is a choice. As years go by in long term marriage it is recommended to keep the line of communication open and be able to talk about what you like and don’t like in the bedroom. Being able to initiate conversation, express thoughts and feelings, and asking for what you need and want keeps the intimacy in tack to continue to choose monogamy. If and when couples choose otherwise, it would be advisable to develop New Monogamy agreements so relationship expectations are explicit rather than implicit.

For more information about monogamy and new monogamy agreements visit my website at or call me at (858) 735-1139.



Dating With An STI – How To Have The Conversation

Dating With An STI – How To Have The Conversation. Dating With A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) isn’t easy. Herpes is the most common STI among the single clients I work with. More than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes. Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. Even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners. According to the World Health Organization, 3.7 billion people under the age of fifty have herpes simplex virus type 1. That’s about 67 percent of the global under-fifty population. Some people have the virus and are asymptomatic; some have symptoms that are dormant for years and manifest through stress. Anyone with a history of unprotected sex may fall into that percentage.

dating with an STI

Dating with  an STI

Most people who have Herpes have accepted their contracting the condition. There is no cure for herpes. However, there are medicines that can prevent or shorten outbreaks. One of these anti-herpes medicines can be taken daily, and makes it less likely that you will pass the infection on to your sex partner(s).  Stress can bring about an outbreak, but isn’t a life threatening.  The shame of having an STI’s resonates with single people as they feel the shame about disclosing it to new partners.  Single people dating find it uncomfortable to disclose they have Herpes. There is a certain amount of shame that comes with sexually transmitted diseases. It gives the connotation individuals are promiscuous and irresponsible when it comes to safe sex.

As a marriage and family therapist, specializing in working with couples, I normalize the feelings associated with dating with an STI. First of all, more people than you think have an STI. Secondly, who you share this information with is confidential. And third, no one is perfect and mistakes do happen.  It shows great courage and integrity to share the truth about living with an STI.

Dating with an STI

It is better to share the fact sooner rather than later as later presents as lying by omission. But, I get it, hesitation stems from shame and guilt. Rise above any stigma as you are not defined by your past. It’s what you do with your future that’s important. Honesty is always the best policy. If the person you share this information with is not understanding, it’s better to move on before any emotional connection is made.

Couples therapist

Furthermore, if dating with an STI is too anxiety provoking there are dating sites who cater to people with like kind situations.

For more information please contact me through my website: or call me at (858) 735-1139.


How To Leave A Bad Relationship

How To Leave A Bad Relationship. Relationships don’t have to be bad to end. As a marriage counselor, I say if your relationship isn’t working for you make a change that starts with you. Waiting for your partner to make a change isn’t likely to happen, especially if they don’t think anything is wrong. If you’ve been tolerating bad behavior….stop. The first step in making changes is to ask for it. To do that you must ask for a behavioral change.

Couple in a bad relationship

Steps for asking for behavioral change:

  1. Tell your partner you don’t appreciate him yelling and calling you names (verbal abuse)
  2. Tell him you are asking for a behavioral change.
  3. Ask him to please stop yelling and calling me names.
  4. Give your partner the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments.
  5. Give her time to demonstrate either her ability or incapability in making the adjustments (2 mos)
  6. If change isn’t happening determine whether there is a “can’t” or “won’t” factor.
  7. If it’s a “can’t” there could be psychological challenges hindering the change.
  8. If it’s a “won’t” it could be code for “I don’t want to.”
  9. Both present as problems so getting professional help can identify what it is.

Couples therapist

In loving and respectful relationships behavioral changes can happen. It’s important to set limits for yourself so you don’t continue to tolerate the abuse. Meaning, if you say you are not going to tolerate ill behavior, you will leave the room and give yourself and your partner a time-out.  You will reconvene and have a discussion that the bad behavior is not acceptable. A loving and rational partner will apologize and admit his behavior was inappropriate. You thank him and all is well. If this is not the case, you will continue to observe behavior to indicate whether this relationship is working for you.

If you are having difficulty leaving when you know it’s what you need and want to do there could be some personal issue keeping you from doing it. Contact me at (858) 735-1139 and I can help assess what psychological challenges are hindering a reasonable decision.

Is Your Husband Depressed?

Is Your Husband Depressed? Depression isn’t just a female condition. It’s true depression is more common in females than in males.  The prevalence is due to biological, hormonal and social factors unique to women, however, depression isn’t just a female thing. The National Institute of Mental Health  (NIMH) shows in a 2017 study the following:

  • An estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.1% of all U.S. adults.
  • The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females (8.7%) compared to males (5.3%).

Man in denial about his depression

Depression is not to be taken lightly. Clinical depression goes far beyond “having a bad day.” We tend not to recognize depression in men because the disorder itself is looked at as unmanly. Depression carries the stain of stigma of mental illness and also the stigma of femininity. Women in a relationship with a depressed man are often faced with a painful dilemma.  As a marriage counselor, couples come in to see me for communication issues, loss of intimacy, and infidelity. Often times the presenting problems have underlying issues of male depression.

Women married to depressed men have two options. They can either confront him about his depression or collude with him minimizing it. There’s already a certain amount of shame that goes with having depression in general, but for a man, it is shame filled and shameful. Depression in men goes unrecognized and unacknowledged by the men who suffer and by those around them. The hidden condition is enormous. Men and women handle feelings differently. Females are socialized to allow for emotional expressiveness and foster emotional connection while being systematically discouraged from asserting their authentic selves. Males are socialized to greatly encourage their assertive public selves while being discouraged from exercising emotional connectedness and developing skills for making and appreciating that connection.

As a result, men tend to internalize their feelings and when these feelings are left suppressed or repressed, they can erupt like a volcano. Depression in some men can manifest itself through rage, aggressiveness, withdrawal, irritability, and frustration. Physical symptoms include headaches, feelings of restlessness, agitation, appetite change, fatigue to name a few. Alcohol and drug abuse/dependency, as well as working long hours at the job, is another sign where the underlying issue is depression.

No two people are affected the same way by depression and there is no “one-size-fits-all” for treatment. Typically medication and talk therapy is the mode of treatment. As a marriage and family therapist, men I work with are opposed to medication as they think taking medication is a sign of weakness. I tell them if they had Leukemia or Diabetes they would surely have no qualms about taking them. In addition to medication and counseling men can incorporate some of these tips to managing their depression:

  • Regularize your schedule. Eat, sleep, exercise at the same time.
  • Try to be active and exercise.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  • Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Postpone important decisions. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Continue to educate yourself about depression.

Couples therapist

It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you but doing nothing will have you feeling and doing more of the same. Contact me at (858) 735-1139 or email me at for more information about male depression and what it’s doing to you and your family.


Is Your Husband Narcissistic?

Is Your Husband Narcissistic? Losing Your Sense Of Self?  Maybe Your Husband Is A Narcissist. Narcissists say things to invalidate you.  Are you a fair and reasonable person? Do you feel like you’re going “crazy” in your relationship because you feel invisible and worthless? Maybe it’s not you. In a healthy relationship, your partner will show empathy for your emotions and validate your thoughts/perspective. With validation people feel seen and heard. Although I talk about a narcissistic husband, women can also display same behaviors.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental illness in which a person has an inflated sense of self-importance. It is likely caused by genetic and environmental factors. Treatment can help but the condition cannot be cured. Whether your husband has NPD or narcissistic traits, living with them can be very challenging. As a Marriage Counselor, acquiring communication tools can help if exercised with consistency. Just like any skill, communication skills need to be practiced to become perfected.

Things narcissists say to invalidate emotions, thoughts, and experiences:

  • You’re making a big deal out of nothing
  • You don’t know what you’re talking about
  • Don’t be so lame, you’ll be fine
  • I don’t remember saying that
  • Give you the silent treatment (to be punitive or controlling)

Narcissistic traits: to name a few

Over inflated sense of self

Reacts poorly to criticism

Unable to take responsibility for their actions

Manipulates to get their own way

Unable to See You as a Real Person

Reality is their own reality – unable to see other people’s perspective

Thinks they are always right

Takes advantage of other people


Couples therapistWhat does it mean when someone is invalidating you?


It is the act of purposefully denying, rejecting, minimizing, negatively judging, and/or ignoring your expressed experience, thoughts, actions, or emotions, – Narcwise

As a Marriage Counselor, working with couples where one partner shows narcissistic traits, I bring to their attention arguing with a narcissist about their action often proves fruitless. A more successful solution is to establish boundaries and emotionally distance yourself. Recognize that you may not be able to control your feelings about a person, but you can control how you respond to them. Cutting ties with a narcissistic partner, family member, or boss may eventually be the best if not the only solution.

For more information on narcissistic husbands contact me at (858)735-1139 or via my website at