Carol A. Boyer, MA, LPC, NCC - 50 Church Street, Suite L3, Montclair, NJ  07042

Recent Posts

Avoiding the "Trap of Couplehood"
Self vs Role
Personal Growth (continued)
Denial of Self vs Personal Growth
Ownership vs Undependent Living (continued)


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Ownership vs Undependent Living (continued)

February 19, 2014
In my last post, I started a discussion contrasting “ownership” of our partners, with “undependent living.”  (SeeOpen Marriage, in my list of references.) Since this can be a challenging idea to embrace, I wanted to expand on it a little. 
When we talk about ownership, we don’t mean it literally, of course.  But in our marriages and other long-term relationships, we often behave in ways that look a little bit like ownership. 
Free time is a great example.

Ownership vs Undependent Living

January 13, 2014
Good relationships aren’t easy.  Goodlong-termrelationships (whether marriage or something less formal) are especially difficult, because we demand so much from them over such a long period of time.  Paradoxically, researchers have found that good relationships, including marriages, do best when expectations arehigh, not when they’re low.  But if that’s true, why is marriage, as an institution, floundering?
Two reasons: first, we expect way too much; but perhaps more importantly, we’re expecting the

Love & marriage - strange bedfellows

December 17, 2013

Last post, we all had a good little laugh about the rules of courtly love.  But as silly as they look to us, they were taken very seriously at the time (the time, of course, being the Middle Ages).  However, we must remember that these were the rules of agame– albeit a very elaborate one – that was designed to NOT interfere with the sanctity of marriage. 
How’s that again? Asking and giving of ladies’ “tokens” (usually a scarf or handkerchief), singing of love songs, and outrageous flirting…all with someone else’s spouse?

Marriage madness from the Middle Ages

December 9, 2013

So, here we are, trying to figure out the rules for modern marriage…but where to start? 

Well, before we start making up new rules, let’s take a look at the source of some of the old ones. To do that, we have to go back to the Middle Ages.  Yep. I’m serious.  TheMiddle Ages.

In the Middle Ages, the ruling classes spent a lot of time “at court,” that is, staying in and around the palace of the king.  And with not a lot to do (especially during the winter), the nobles made up the game of “Courtly Love” to keep themselves amused.

What is "traditional" marriage?

November 25, 2013
As I said at the end of my last post, traditionally, marriage was more about what youdothan who youare
It may sound a bit strange to us, but for many hundreds of years, husbands and wives were partners in a professional and financial sense, rather than in the romantic sense.  And because they knew their survival depended upon each other in a very literal way, they had to make sure that each of them had the necessary skills to make their partnership work – and I do mean

Beliefs about marriage

October 28, 2013
What are your beliefs about marriage?  It’s a big question – and one that many people fail to ask themselves before taking the plunge.  But our beliefs about what marriage is, what it’s for, and our part in it, form the basis of our expectations of what a successful marriage should be, and how ours measures up.
Our beliefs about marriage come from several sources.  The first is our family of origin.  What family structure did you grow up with?  Was there an intact nuclear family– mom, dad and kids all living together – or was there some other arrangement?

Be a good partner -- AND a whole person!

This blog is dedicated to the topic of how to be a good partner, while remaining a whole person. 
I think about relationships a lot.  I think about how they work, and about how they fall apart.  I think about the expectations and assumptions that society places on men and women, and how those expectations and assumptions can undermine our best efforts at forming and maintaining relationships that actuallywork
Who we are in relationship with our partner becomes, in a way, an aspect of our identity.
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