Marriage Counseling Dallas TX / Richardson — Heather Carlile, MA, LPC

Heather Carlile, M.A., L.P.C.
Marriage Counseling - Dallas / Richardson

Relationships • Stress • Grief • Life Decisions

Marriage Counseling Dallas TX / Richardson - Heather Carlile, MA, LPC

The Best Couples are Equally Smart: 27 Types of Intelligence

Best Friends

Best Friends

What  happens when a couple experiences irritation because of intelligence mis-match? As a Marriage Counselor, I feel responsible to ensure that a couple can respect each other as equals. So, even when our talents and intelligences don’t completely match, if we understand how our differences benefit the marriage, we can treasure our spouse or mate for bringing other abilities to our relationship and our life. My opinion is that this is the best foundation of being best friends in our intimate relationships.

When I’m asked about how many intelligences there are, this is my best information. I did research and found several systems of intelligences. The most widely-known comes from Dr. Howard Gardner’s seven intelligences. But there are broader definitions. I like to be comprehensive so that we don’t have blind spots in our understanding.

Multiple Intelligences

  1. PRACTICAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in concrete examples and solve daily problems directly without necessarily being able to explain how; the tendency to survive or succeed through taking straightforward, responsive, concrete action. (Also called marketing, strategic or political intelligence — since it focuses on “the art of the possible” — or just common sense or simple effectiveness.)
  2. VERBAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think and communicate effectively and creatively with words; and to recognize, use and appreciate linguistic patterns.
  3. LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in terms of (and to appreciate) abstract parts, symbols and sequential relationships, conceptual regularities or numerical patterns, and to reach conclusions or construct things in an orderly way. (Also called rational, analytic or mathematical intelligence.)
  4. ASSOCIATIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in non-sequential associations — similarities, differences, resonances, meanings, relationships, etc. — and to create (and appreciate) totally new patterns and meanings out of old ones.
  5. SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to visualize, appreciate and think in terms of pictures and images; to graphically imagine possibilities; and to observe, understand, transform and orient oneself in visual reality. (Also called pictorial or imaginative intelligence.)
  6. INTUITIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to know directly, to perceive and appreciate whole or hidden patterns beyond (or faster than) logic.
  7. MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE is the capacity to perceive, appreciate, resonate with, produce and productively use rhythms, melodies, and other sounds.
  8. AESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE is the ability to produce, express, communicate and appreciate in a compelling way inner, spiritual, natural and cultural realities and meanings. (This can include aspects of verbal, musical and spatial intelligences.)
  9. BODY INTELLIGENCE is the ability to sense, appreciate, and utilize one’s own body — movement, manual dexterity, tactile sensitivity, physical responsiveness and constraints; to create and think in terms of physiological patterns; to maintain physical health; and to relate to or meet the needs of others’ bodies. (Also called kinesthetic or somatic intelligence.)
  10. INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to perceive, understand, think about, relate to and utilize other people’s subjective states, and to estimate their likely behavior. This includes, especially, empathy.
  11. SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to work with others and find identity and meaning in social engagement; to perceive, think, and deal in terms of multi-person patterns, group dynamics and needs, and human communities; it includes a tendency towards cooperation and service. (Also called team intelligence.)
  12. AFFECTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to be affected by, connected to or resonant with people, ideas, experiences, aesthetics, or any other aspect of life; to experience one’s liking or disliking of these things; and to use one’s affinities in decision-making and life.
  13. MOOD INTELLIGENCE is the ability to fully experience any mood as it happens (without having to judge it or do anything about it), to learn from it, and to move out of it at will — especially to generate resilience.
  14. MOTIVATIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to know and to work with what moves you; to sense, think and initiate in terms of needs, wants, will, courage, responsibility and action — one’s own and others. (This can include that aspect of mood intelligence that can marshal emotions in the service of a goal.)
  15. INTRA-PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, access and deal with one’s own subjective (or inner) world. (This can include aspects of affectional, mood, motivational and body intelligences.)
  16. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to experience, think and deal with emotional patterns in oneself and others. (This can include aspects of interpersonal, intra-personal, affectional, mood and motivational intelligences.)
  17. BASIC INTELLIGENCE is the ability to move toward what is healthy and desirable and away from what is unhealthy or undesirable. (This can use affectional and practical intelligences, or be almost automatic and instinctual.)
  18. BEHAVIORAL PATTERN INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, form and change one’s own behavioral patterns, including compulsions, inhibitions and habits.
  19. PARAMETER INTELLIGENCE is the ability to create and sustain order and predictability — to recognize, establish, sustain, and change rhythms, routines/rituals, boundaries, guiding principles/values/beliefs, etc., in one’s own life.
  20. HABIT INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, form and change one’s habits (which naturally embraces many aspects of behavioral and parameter intelligence).
  21. ORGANIZING INTELLIGENCE is the ability to create order in one’s own life and in other lives/groups/systems. (This can include aspects of parameter, team/social, and logical intelligences)
  22. SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to sense, appreciate and think with spiritual and moral realities and patterns — to operate from an awareness of ultimate common ground (consciousness, spirit, nature, or some other sacred dimension). (This is usually dependent on intra-personal intelligence.) (Also called moral or transcendental intelligence.)
  23. NARRATIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to perceive, know, think, feel, explain one’s experience and influence reality through the use of stories and narrative forms (characters, history, myth, dreams, scenarios, etc.).
  24. ECO-INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, appreciate, think and feel with, and utilize natural patterns and one’s place in nature, and to empathize with and sustain healthy relationships with animals, plants and natural systems.
  25. Existential Intelligence – Deep Question Clever: Life is your mystery – you have to solve it. “Why?” is your favorite question, and the bigger the question, the better. Learning needs to be deep and wide for you.
  26. Spiritual Intelligence – God Clever: You know there is more than mind. You let intuition guide your life. Synchronicity and soul are known to you. You don’t need proof, faith is enough for you. Learning is revealed.
  27. Moral Intelligence – is the capacity to understand right from wrong and to behave based on the value that is believed to be right. There are seven main points that build someone’s moral intelligence, such as empathy, conscience, self-control, respect for others, kindness, tolerance, and fairness.

Another way of looking at our talents:

Streams of Development

  1. Emotional
  2. Kinesthetic
  3. Morality
  4. Creativity
  5. Aesthetics
  6. Gender
  7. Sexuality
  8. Empathy
  9. Relational
  10. Cognitive
  11. Spiritual
  12. Contemplative
  13. Politics

Here are my best sources:

  • Howard Gardner (Frames of Mind , 1983),
  • Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence, 1995),
  • Jennifer James (Thinking in the Future Tense, 1996),
  • Thomas Armstrong (Seven Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Many Intelligences, 1993),
  • Elaine De Beauport (The Three Faces of Mind: Developing Your Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Intelligences, 1996)
  • Peter Koestenbaum (The Heart of Business, 1987).

Post Traumatic Stress (not a Disorder) is the Healthy Response to Trauma

Even the professional community is just beginning to know how to treat trauma. We have learned that, if we use the classic methods taught in grad school, we can re-injure a client who has been traumatized. So, keep looking until you find someone with mind/body experience for helping those who have been traumatized with methods beyond just communicating.

BIG T AND LITTLE t: Big T traumas are like an accident or a natural disaster. Little t traumas are usually forms of abuse…often the complex trauma which children experience in childhood from parents who are out of control.

Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal by Belleruth Naparstek 2004.

Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal by Belleruth Naparstek 2004.

Here is trustworthy information about a practical way to help you or your loved-one to heal an emotional wound or trauma.
This is from Belleruth Naparstek at Health Journeys. Her company is the source of superlative mp3 and CD products and is my top recommendation for guided imagery and visualization audio tracks. In collaboration with those designing help for soldiers, she constructed the book so that anyone, anywhere, can get this book and the audio CDs to use on their own.

Three Stage Program of Guided Imagery

by Belleruth Naparstek from Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal

  1. SKILL FOR SELF-SOOTHING: Simple, basic self-soothing to help return to calm when disturbing images and memories intrude. Rebalancing biochemistry. Regaining locus of control. Mindfulness – blessed distance and detachment. Sidestepping word traps through metaphor and symbol. Grounding and reinhabiting the body. Cognitive retooling: Learning conscious placement of attention. Serotonin: the body’s natural high of heart-opening to love, gratitude and connectivity. Spiritual connection.
    1. Personal readiness to tolerate feelings.
    2. Peaceful Place Imagery; Imagery to Ground Awareness in the Body; Imagery to Focus on the Heart; Imagery for Protection and Support; Affirmations.
    3. Imagery for Restful Sleep
  2. Three Stages of Healing Trauma - Audio CD

    Three Stages of Healing Trauma – Audio CD

    CONNECT WITH FEELINGS: To help reestablish a connection with the world of feelings, face down unpleasant symptoms and move under them to the core of the hurt, in order to cognitively and emotionally integrate what has happened.

    1. Imagery to Support Awareness of Feelings; Imagery to Face Down Anxiety; Imagery for Softening Pain; Imagery to Ease Depression; Imagery to Release Grief; Imagery for Transforming a Symbol.
    2. Imagery to Heal Trauma.
  3. STRENGTHS AND HEALTH: Help with the longer-term fallout: the toll trauma takes on confidence, self-esteem, the possible emergence of compulsive or addictive behaviors, or difficulties with relationships.
    1. Imagery for Confidence
    2. Imagery for Anger and Forgiveness.

Belleruth Naparstek also gives a list of “The Ten Comprehensive Healing Approaches” for Trauma:

The Ten (plus two) Comprehensive Healing Approaches

by Belleruth Naparstek from Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal

Find a therapist who is willing to function as a “general contractor” connecting with the ten techniques as-needed.

Or, for yourself, create the conditions and do the practices that heal guided by the ten comprehensive healing approaches.

  1. Regular sessions or check-in times with a trustworthy therapist or counselor, who functions as the supportive anchor or “reality-check coach” at the center of the work.
  2. A support group or therapy group with fellow survivors who have faced similar traumatic circumstances.
  3. Some basic cognitive information on the nature of the PTSD and how it affects those who suffer from it.
  4. Phases of support, primarily from the class of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication known as SSRIs–selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Zoloft, Paxil Prozac, and Luvox–especially in the beginning, when symptoms are at their most severe and before self-soothing practices take hold.
  5. Some form of regular prayer for believers, and symbolic ritual for those with a more tenuous connection to matters of the spirit.
  6. Developing skills at a regular relaxation, attunement, or self-soothing practice, such as guided imagery, self-hypnosis, progressive relaxation, breathwork, prayer, meditation, or all of the above.
  7. Some sort of physical exercise or moving meditation, such as yoga, tai chi, qigong, tai bo, aikido, karate, belly dancing, brisk walking, swimming, or aerobic movement.
  8. Some manner of bodywork, using modalities such as masso-therapy, Therapeutic Touch, Zero Balancing, Myofascial Release, Polarity Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Reiki, and other forms of energy healing.
  9. Regular journaling in a personal diary or some other form of expressive practice, using dance, movement, poetry, or artwork.
  10. And, of course, guided imagery, both as a stand-alone healing modality, to help integrate deep change; and imagery as it appears in one or more of the new, structured, short-term behavioral methods–the “alphabet therapies” such as EFT, EMDR, PET, SE, and WHEE.

Two additional sources of healing:

  1. Therapeutic Altruism – being involved in some sort of voluntary service or meaningful work to alleviate the suffering of others.
  2. Nutrition and substances – pay careful attention to diet avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugar, grains, etc. If addicted, maintaining sobriety with support from 12-Step, religion, coach or counselor.



Here is a quote from one of Belleruth Naparstek’s newsletters:

“We continue to be blown away by the reaction that Mimi Guarneri’s Scripps study is getting.  This is the RCT (randomized, controlled trial) where 123 combat exposed Marines, newly returned and between deployments at Camp Pendleton, with symptoms of PTS, were assigned to either 6 sessions (over the course of 3 weeks) of treatment with Healing Touch plus our Healing Trauma imagery; or treatment as usual (which I think was individual counseling with EMDR).

The study found that, over those 3 short weeks, symptoms of PTS declined significantly, as did depression and cynicism.  Pretty exciting stuff, eh?  So there’s been a huge amount of interest coming out of the DoD and the V.A., we’re happy to report.

Some of us are not so surprised to see that biofield therapies plus guided imagery are not only a potent combination for reducing PTS, but one that the service members will actually use and recommend to each other, without any sense of stigma or reluctance.

Kudos to the Samueli Institute for making sure these results got published. The findings appeared in the September 2012 issue of Military Medicine.”

I recommend that you subscribe to the Health Journeys newsletters; you can depend on the excellent quality.



Here is the 60-page report on the newest research by the Department of Defense. The list of mind/body treatments is impressive. We know that it is not effective to try to treat trauma using typical talk therapy. It is necessary to reach the unconscious parts of the brain. Here are some of the best methods which have been vetted by a panel of experts.


Mind Body Skills: Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury

Here are screenshots which I took of the report results. If you or a loved one has trauma, I hope you find some possibilities here which inspire you to another way to stop the pain.

Mind/Body Research Paper Table of Contents

Mind/Body Research Paper Table of Contents



Mind/Body Table1 of 4

Mind/Body Table 1 of 4



Mind/Body Table 2 of 4

Mind/Body Table 2 of 4



Mind/Body Table 3 of 4

Mind/Body Table 3 of 4

Mind/Body Table 4 of 4

Mind/Body Table 4 of 4



The Artful use of Vast Information

We are starting a generation based on the artful use of vast information and the focused implementation of schooled abilities in order to build healthy lives.

DIRECTION AND DESTINATION: Thanks to the synthesis and culmination of advancements through the previous generations, we have the research and the knowledge to indicate the human direction and destination. We are at that point where the conclusions of those on the quest are ready for implementation. Mentors are needed at the front in leadership rather than on the sidelines investigating the why’s and how’s. My years of working with clients and colleagues, researching, studying and curating tell me that the information is ready to be communicated to more people. In so many spheres, we now know why and how we get positive or negative results with individuals, relationships and communities and…we know what to do for improvements.

THE MAPS ARE DONE: We already know the direction of the journey and how to get there. The teachers need to receive the tools discovered and created by the seekers. Our goal, now, is to work our way into visibility to offer the new maps to the general population. This sort of pioneering is foreign to so many of us who have been in the mode of seeking and articulating the answers.

SETTLERS INSTEAD OF EXPLORERS: It’s as if we need to hand the maps to the elders in the settlements rather than to the explorers in their caravans. We now need to present the plans and action steps to those who build homes and communities.

WIELDING TECHNOLOGY: We know how to master ourselves, find meaning and build relationships. A few are schooled into wielding technology and information for health and competence but a decent life escapes so many. Images and reports of diseased or handicapped cultures have become so pervasive that we are anesthetized by our avoidance of or by our insensitivities to lost families, unresolved grief, stunted communication, disrespectful violations, antiquated education and non-existent communities. Many of our people and our relationships don’t reflect the marvels of our instruments. It’s as if alot of the world wide web is being administered by children in middle school. We can learn from the experts and ensure that screen time enriches and expands our abilities and relationships.

BRILLIANT INNOVATORS: When we can locate and learn what is next and best, those responsible for the young forge ahead. Already, a portion of our population has located the brilliant innovators and has begun using that wisdom for young ones. We are starting a generation based on the artful use of vast information and the focused implementation of schooled abilities in order to build a healthy life.

INNATE ABILITIES: The goal is to put our citizens in a position where they can have the experiences necessary for them to grow most of their abilities into usefulness. There are seven innate or developmental human abilities. We already have expert knowledge about these abilities, when they are grown and how they are mastered. All seven can be set in place before a child finishes high school.

The Seven Human Abilities — Developed in Identity

The Seven Human Abilities

The Seven Human Abilities

  1. Navigate the Physical World: Ensure Health and Security
  2. Keep Your Connections: Preserve and Build Relationships
  3. Be Excited About Who You Can Be and What You Can Do: Develop a Positive Sense of Self
  4. Cultivate Compassion and Kindheartedness: Emotional Intelligence
  5. Empower Your Inner Executive: Use Mental Functions with Intention and Willpower
  6. Be a Lifelong Learner: Gain Self-Awareness and Knowledge
  7. Get the Thrill of Giving and Receiving: Character and Virtue


EDUCATE: The next quest is on how to educate and how to replace the outmoded methods. So far, the energy of entrepreneurs has focused on material success. And, now, we have gathered the information on how to use those visionary internal and social inventions for creating an energetic and creative population. Next, if we focus our innovators on providing access to that knowledge, the cultural norms will inform and inspire willingness, meaning and community.

INNOVATE: Already, a portion of our population has located the brilliant innovators and has begun using that wisdom for young ones. The fundamental drive of love always fuels motivation. Parents access bravery which moves them beyond the norm into hunting for better and bringing it to their children. When they can locate and learn what is next and best, those responsible for the young forge ahead. We are ready to curate the information to benefit our children, parents and families and point to the best. When the evidence is made visible enough, it will inspire a snowball effect.

A FORCE FOR GOOD: In July, the Dalai Lama turned 80. Daniel Goleman wrote, “A Force for Good” in honor of him this year. Here is a quote: “He redirects our focus from how bad things are to how our world could be better. He looks beyond just what’s urgent now, for ourselves, and calls for action that will matter for all, including generations far ahead.” And, in his Forward, the Dalai Lama wrote: “While reading this book, please keep in mind that as human beings, equipped with marvelous intelligence and the potential for developing a warm heart, each and every one of us can become a force for good.”

We are starting a generation based on the artful use of vast information and personal abilities in a healthy life.


-Heather Carlile, September 20, 2015

The Relationship COSTS of Skipping IDENTITY in Adolescence

Erikson's Developmental Needs Stages

Erikson’s Developmental Needs Stages

ONGOING CONFLICT:They continue to treat each other the same way they did when they were teens. Couples in Marriage Counseling often describe behaviors, fighting and resentment. Sometimes it has escalated into being mean, harmful, abusive or violent. They are indicating to me that that they are stuck.

They are stuck because they don’t know how to stop the negativity. They don’t have the knowledge nor the skill to resolve their differences. Even though they love each other, their inability to share their grievances respectfully, is dirtying or carving off pieces of their bond. They don’t now how to solve or resolve their conflicts. 

And, sometimes, my job is to say, in the most respectful manner, “It’s time for you both to grow up.” They continue to treat each other the same way they did when they were teens. As a Marriage Counselor, I remind us that it really requires adults…a man and a woman…to build an intimate relationship, and people who want to love: a husband and a wife…a marriage.

Our Ability to Create INTIMACY (Erikson’s 6th Psychosocial Developmental Stage starts in the First Adulthood between 28 and 30) comes AFTER Adolescence.

A Few of the Costs of Skipping IDENTITY (Erikson’s 5th Psychosocial Developmental Stage from 13 to 28) and Trying to Create an Intimate, one-on-one relationship in adolescence before Identity is complete:

Identity – An Integrated Image of Oneself as a Unique Person: A. Try Different Roles, B. Develop a Sense of Self and C. the Meaning of Life through relationships with family, peer groups and out-groups.  (NOT  girlfriends or boyfriends.)

Should we expect otherwise?

  • Losing the bond with the family unit, with home and, instead, attaching to peers
  • Dating too young – which locks in a craving for puppy luv and emotional neediness; a fear of being alone (needing a “Number 2” in the sidelines) and which displaces the time and interest in growth, learning, meaning and mastery
  • Developing unhealthy sexual behaviors or experiencing abuse from sexual inhibitions, prohibition, over-sexualization or molestation
  • Lack of emotional intelligence…teenage over-sensitivity, aggressiveness and lack of resilience or robustness to handle miscommunication, fears, hurts, betrayal and anger
  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence which causes, among many other dynamics, jealousy, insecurity, bullying and emotional manipulation
  • Misuse of power through either inflexible discipline, aggression, bullying and punishment or passive entitlement and self-indulgence
  • Interruption in developing the Inner Executive Functions through family and group dialogue, learning, projects, higher schooling, experimentation, travel, cultivation of skills and art forms
  • Friends and community are usually those outcasts who have attached to other immature and/or compulsive people.


The immaturity and ignorance born of unfinished adolescence saddle us with:

  • Disrupted education, truancy, incompetence, drop outs
  • Inadequate or unhealthy coping mechanisms which lead to self numbing or self stimulation and, possibly, addiction
  • False beliefs, unclear values, financial incompetence
  • Psychological wounds leading to the emotional detachment and the unhealthy drama of aggression, violence, defiance, combativeness
  • Selfishness, lack of empathy or compassion, hardened heart, self-centeredness
  • Lack of skills in lifestyle and relationships which usually engender single parents, divorce and poverty
  • Confusion about differing personality and gender needs causing fighting, infidelity, co-habitation, domestic violence, breakups and divorce
  • Sexual immaturity or wounds via compromised arousal maps through early sexual activity, exploitation, etc. making people sexually incompetent, deviated or abusive
  • Romantic enmeshment, codependency, pregnancy, teen pregnancy, love addiction, emotional manipulation
  • Alcohol, tobacco, drug use, and other addictions
  • Problems in family functioning, lack of structure, unhealthy eating, school failure, mental illness, financial distress
  • Isolation in screen time: computers, gaming and virtual reality excluding the experiences necessary to communicate, create healthy relationships and a healthy lifestyle.

We face a lack of:

  • Physical Health
  • Bonds with a Happy Tribe or Family
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Identity and Confidence
  • Willpower, Achievement and Security
  • Purpose and Mission
  • Strength of Character and Citizenship.

With these handicaps, people justify compromising a respect for goodness. I hear the complaints and anguish of loneliness, lost hope, narrowed options, addiction, longing for a mate, tolerating abuse, boredom and emptiness.


GENERATIONAL JOURNEY: Our times expose those with the unwillingness to value adulthood, with its requisite psychological agility, clear identity, responsible achievement, service to society and quality activities. We have been on a generational journey to stay young, to seek stimulus or thrills, sensory distraction in pleasure or numbing and present-moment novelty. 

TO CONFRONT, TO OPPOSE, TO EMULATE: Our news media have been reporting incidents which display, as Leo Rosten observed, “what the dissatisfied students were looking for were adults—adults to confront, to oppose, to emulate.” Without education for “Keeping Our Teens On Track,” today’s parents are lost in a snowballing trend to stay young and to avoid growing up.

(See the supporting research done by Diana West in her book, “The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development is Bringing Down Western Civilization.”)


Developmental Psychology has mastered how the brain, personality and character grow and methods to ensure that we succeed with parenting and teaching the next generation. Here are eight basic growth goals:

  1. A Matter of the Body – Safety and Health
  2. A Matter of Bonding – Family, Friends and Society
  3. A Matter of Identity – Worthiness and Purpose
  4. A Matter of the Heart – Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
  5. A Matter of Power – Enthusiasm and Willpower
  6. A Matter of Mission – Creativity and Service
  7. A Matter of Character – Virtue and Integrity
  8. A Matter of Intimacy – Commitment and Romance
Building Blocks of a Healthy Life

Building Blocks of a Healthy Life

Today’s mentors and educators are fully prepared to teach all of these natural abilities now. The only obstacle is how to develop enough providers and how to reach the people who are ready to learn. Perhaps the very mediums that deliver the bad news will create innovative means for delivering the information and resources.

by Heather Carlile

Dallas, Texas 2015

Infidelity: Cause #4. Lack of Skills

Ways We Lose Romance

Ways We Lose Romance

4. Lack of Skills in Intimate Relationships. Marriage or Intimacy Require that a Couple Be Two Things: Best Friends and that they Have a Romantic Bond.

INEPT MEN: I think that romance is a skill. Tragically, I see some cultures, North America among them, lack male role models and mentors who show guys the ropes in the relationship arts of being a gentleman, a romantic, and a man who respects women and can court a lady. The female side to this deprivation of romance is just one feminine paradox. Once he has bonded with her as a best friend, he is ready to offer her a home and become her lover.

INEPT WOMEN: And, so sadly, often, a woman doesn’t or can’t develop her flirtatiousness because of certain cultural attitudes, harsh beliefs or hurtful experiences. She learns either to repress her sexiness or to risk being labeled ‘easy’ or worse.

A spouse often ‘strays’ because the woman has been disrespected by her man’s ignorance about how to treat a lady in public, at home and in their bedroom. Usually a woman’s libido naturally shuts down if she isn’t feeling bonded, safe, understood, cared for and validated.

Ways We Lose the Romantic Bond - 2

Ways We Lose the Romantic Bond – 2

JUST BUDDIES: Her husband may know what he wants but may not know how valuable it is to be a romantic and, therefore, doesn’t know how to tend to her femininity and her sexual response to create the bond between lovers. The wife may be disconnected from her body and her sexuality for various reasons such as childhood harm, low self-esteem, cultural judgements, etc. And they may  still be more comfortable with their friends as individuals rather than focusing on developing a new lifestyle as a couple with mutual fun with other couples vs too much of him riding his motorcycle or her in her book club.

The Executive and The Wife:

Courtney had given up hope that Chris would ever listen to her. He was an energetic attorney who thought he was being a generous husband when he built a lake house so she and the kids could come with him and his friends during fishing season. Until they were in my office and until his outrage at her affair was sobered by my insistence, he had not yet heard nor placed any meaningful value on her complaints.

Courtney wanted what most women need in their intimate relationship: time for affection, validation, personal attention and friendship. The trips to the lake house didn’t provide that, rather she was exhausted by packing up the SUV for their whole family, doing the increased work at the lake of additional family housekeeping and cooking during what was supposed to be vacation. But her gentle complaints fell on deaf ears.

One of the other dads in their country club had noticed that, like him, she was always alone with the kids at the tennis court. He was a professional man in the world of communication and arts. His attention and conversation made her feel like a great mom and, also, a smart and beautiful lady. She enjoyed the easy friendship which ended up turning into an emotional affair and then quiet romantic hours when her husband was working long days and was too busy to notice.

At last, when her husband, Chris, agreed to learn to spend time paying attention to her, to listen to her concerns, to talk with her, to touch her in the ways that made her feel loved rather than in trying to get what he wanted, it was easy for Courtney cut off the affair. She genuinely wanted her husband and was grateful that, at last, the man she really loved wanted all of her and wanted to learn to make her feel adored in her marriage. It took Chris months to get over his feelings of being betrayed even though he understood that his wife’s affair was due to his lack of romantic skills. Their marriage counseling was complete as they built a new intimate bond through friendship and romance.

It’s a Matter of Growing Up

Ways We Arouse the Romantic Bond

Ways We Arouse the Romantic Bond

INTIMACY LOST: Romance before its time gives only the illusion of intimacy. I believe that our generation has unintentionally skipped parts of  the six natural steps of full psychological development. When we are unable to continue the family bond of learning and adventure through adolescence, our teens find bonds with each other and plunge into intimacy before they are prepared.

USE TECHNOLOGY ARTFULLY: Our parents and grandparents were not equipped to keep us on track to adulthood in the current environment. They couldn’t have been ready. One example: our great inventors and visionaries couldn’t foresee that a purely technical manual for our televisions, telephones, video games and computers couldn’t inform us of how to use our technology with wisdom and artfulness to maintain our children’s growth and a healthy family lifestyle.

Those of us who devote our professional lives to knowing people well are starting to have access to the research data which points out the value in choosing how to bring the media into our homes and hands for wholesomeness.

Ways We Arouse the Romantic Bond  - 2

Ways We Arouse the Romantic Bond – 2

DATE NIGHT: For more help with knowledge, I recommend focusing on date night. And, go beyond the basic choices. Dinner out, movies and drinks will always be there. Consider the favorites either of you have or which the two of you share. Your dates don’t even have to be a night…just together.  Searching online for date ideas could be a date in itself.

And, my series of teaching videos on You Tube:


1. The Invisible Ways We Lose Our Romance and How to Get it Back

2. Arousing the Romantic Bond – Novelty

3. Chemistry – Arousal is More than Sex

4. Sexual Intimacy in a Marriage – The Universal Panacea.