Welcome and Thank You For Coming!

Family PhotoMy name is Stan Dubin and to your left is my wife, Mary Ann, and our daughter, Chelsea.

My wife and I have been married for over 35 years and during that time we’ve used a good deal of information to keep our marriage at a high level. We’ve had a few rough patches, but we knew how to restore the love and affection. We’re VERY happy together and our daughter has grown up to be a productive, ethical and very happy young lady.

This blog has all kinds of good things for you: free articles, great marriage quotes, a free newsletter and much, much more. One of the blog posts below may have just the info you need.

The information in my marriage book has helped thousands of couples. 

Special Offer: For a limited time, I am offering an hour of free marriage counseling with the purchase of my book. Click here for more info.

Greenwood Cafe Offers Coffee, Marriage Counseling

Here's a nice touch.

When you go to the Coffeehouse Five for a cup of coffee or a Nutty Colby sandwich, part of the proceeds goes to providing marriage counseling for those in need.

And, for another nice touch, with this post, I've decided to offer an hour of free marriage counseling by phone with the purchase of my marriage book, When the Thrill Is Gone. Click here for more info.

Can Watching Movies Help Your Marriage?


Here is an excerpt of an article I just read:

A new study finds that watching and discussing movies about relationships is as effective in lowering divorce rates as other, more intensive early marriage counseling programs.

Discussing five movies about relationships over a month could cut the three-year divorce rate for newlyweds in half, researchers report. The study, involving 174 couples, is the first long-term investigation to compare different types of early marriage intervention programs.

The findings show that an inexpensive, fun, and relatively simple movie-and-talk approach can be just as effective as other more intensive therapist-led methods — reducing the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after three years.

My view of this is very simple.

Anything that gets you and your spouse (or significant other) communicating about your relationship is valid “therapy.” Obviously communicating involves letting your partner communicate fully, listening to them and acknowledging them.

An Incredibly Simple Way to Improve Your Marriage

shutterstock_121746403There are two words that can make a real difference in your marriage. Frankly these two words will improve any relationship.

Let’s hear the trumpets…

Here are those two words:

Thank you.

Yes, thank you.

Don’t underestimate these two words. Make an effort to thank your husband…your wife…your mom…your daughter…sister, friend, neighbor!

Do it often.

Of course, it helps if you’re genuinely thankful when you tell someone “thank you,” but even if you are not, go ahead and say those two magical words anyway.

Yes, I’m suggesting you fake it a bit. Why? Well, because in your heart of hearts, you really are thankful that someone did something that made your life a little bit easier, better, more enjoyable. You may not feel it right then and there, you may have your attention on some upset, but take a real pro-active step to improving your relationship and say:

Thank you.

What’s Behind These Tragic School Shootings?

The world has been rocked by the senseless killing of 20 children and seven adults. The media, politicians, mental health professionals and others professing to have the answers are rushing in to explain WHY this happened. And they want to take strong action so that it doesn’t happen again.

We all want to see an end to these horrible tragedies, but in order for that to happen, you have to REALLY know what’s behind them.

Warning: This video is a bit hard to watch. And I normally wouldn’t include something like this on this blog, but it’s vital that parents everywhere get some straight data. Data not influenced by politics or greed.

When you’re finished viewing it, check out some of the alternatives here.

The Failures of “Traditional” Marriage Counseling

Here is an excerpt from an article I saw over at msnbc.com:

Bill Doherty, a professor in the family social science department at the University of Minnesota, said, “Around 30 percent of the couples coming into marriage counseling are mixed agenda couples,” he says. “Divorce is on the table for one of the parties. Traditional marriage counseling has no way to deal with those people. It’s been an area of frustration for a lot of marriage counselors.”

Let me give you those last two sentences again:

“Traditional marriage counseling has no way to deal with those people. It’s been an area of frustration for a lot of marriage counselors.”

Let’s say you take your computer to a guy who says he’s an expert at fixing computers. You spent a lot of money on this computer, and you’d really like to keep using it. The repair guy looks over your computer and says, “you’d really be better off throwing this one away and getting a new one.”

You ask him if he CAN fix it. “Well, I think I can, but what’s wrong with your computer is a real challenge to fix.”

So what do you do? You thought you were bringing your computer to a pro, someone who advertised himself as an expert in computer repair.

The same is true with marriage counselors.

If you’re thinking of seeing a marriage counselor who is “frustrated” by the use of the “divorce” word by one or even both partners, then may I suggest you look elsewhere.

If divorce is being considered, then the factors in this post have NOT been addressed.

You must get to the source of the problem. If you do, things get better. MUCH better.

You must get to the reason for the bad feelings, for the lack of love or romance, for the distance that’s occurring between the two of you.

If you get to THE reason, things get better.

MUCH better.

Love Quotes — Something for Everyone

I went scouring throughout the web to find some interesting “love quotes.” I found all kinds: romantic, funny, deeply meaningful and even some clever ones!

Here are a few examples:

“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” — Pablo Picasso

“Love: the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Mark Twain

“If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?” — Lily Tomlin

Check out the others at the Love Quotes page!

A New Type of Marriage?

I was at a web site today that mentioned an interesting bill being considered in the Alabama state legislature. The bill “would require couples entering into a covenant marriage to enter counseling before they’re married, and they attend counseling if they want to get a divorce. It also limits the reasons for which married couples can divorce.”

(covenant: a formal agreement or promise)

It’s an interesting idea and I’m wondering, if the bill is enacted, how many couples would take part in this. If you’re currently married, do you feel you would’ve benefited from a legally binding agreement that wouldn’t let your marriage end in divorce unless certain requirements were met?

If you’re not married, do you like this idea? Remember, this law would not you let enter into the marriage without first going through counseling with your future spouse.

I wonder what kind of counseling is being required here. I’d object strongly to counseling that caused two very capable people not to marry when they should have.

All in all, if a married couple has the tools to keep a marriage alive, supportive, and yes, even exciting, then I would think that would suffice. If you haven’t downloaded a copy of my book on marriages (which has many tools to help a marriage succeed), I’m making it available for awhile at no cost. Here’s the link to get the book.

THE NUMBER ONE Reason Relationships Fail

I realize it’s a bold statement to say THE NUMBER ONE reason relationships fail has been located. Well, it has been located and thousands are using this information to dramatically improve their relationships.

Before I get into it, let me tell you briefly about myself. My name is Stan Dubin and I live in Clearwater, Florida.

I run a national counseling firm that sends highly-skilled counselors around the United States and Canada. We help individuals and couples improve their lives to their satisfaction.

Image2Here is a picture of my family…

On my left is my wife, Mary Ann. And that’s our daughter, Chelsea, to my right.

My wife and I have been married for 34 years. Has it been a smooth ride all the way through? No. There have been some tough spots, some very tough. But we applied the same information that is being made available to you here, and each time we did, our marriage improved dramatically.

So enough about me, let’s get on with it… Read more »

54% of Children Ask Google Before Parents or Teachers

While watching the news this morning the following image came across the screen:


The majority of kids in this survey indicated they went to Google first before asking their parents or teachers.

Very interesting.

I do have concerns about the validity of surveys conducted these days. If I don’t know the exact questions that were asked, how they were asked, how they found the people to survey, what kind of training did the people conducting the survey have, etc., then I do not fully accept the survey results. I think it’s healthy to be a bit skeptical of surveys.

But moving on, this survey does have a ring of truth to it, doesn’t it. Our kids have moved further away from actual, in-person communication and are more and more immersed in the world of devices. Computers, laptops, iPad, iPods, smart phones, X Boxes, you name it. Use of text messaging has gone into the stratosphere with our kids.

It’s not important to me that it’s 54% of kids 6-15 as I accept the fact that this is a real situation. Read more »

Does Couples Therapy Work?

After reading an article by Elizabeth Weil for the New York Times, I felt compelled to share some important observations with you here. Her article was titled “Does Couples Therapy Work?” Here is a short excerpt:

The fact that couples therapy stresses out therapists has long been an open secret.

“It’s widely acknowledged that couples therapy is the most challenging,” says Richard Simon, editor of The Psychotherapy Networker. “You often feel confused, at odds with a least one of your patients, out of control.”

Part of the problem is that the kind of person who tends to become a therapist — empathic, sensitive, calm, accepting — is generally not the kind of person who is a good couples therapist. “The traditional, passive uh-huh, uh-huh is useless,” Dr. Real, a prominent psychologist, says. “You have to like action. To manage marital combat, a therapist needs to get in there, mix it up with the client, be a ninja. This is intimidating.”

“It’s frightening to be faced with the force of two strong individuals as they are colliding,” he says.

William J. Doherty, a University of Wisconsin professor of family social science, says, “A brilliant therapeutic observation can blow up in your face when one spouse thinks you’re a genius and the other thinks you’re clueless — or worse, allied with the enemy.”

Okay, first things first. A properly trained marriage counselor has absolutely nothing to be afraid of.  If the marriage counselor knows the precise reasons a marriage goes off the rails, fear of what patients may say or do never enters the scene. Read more »