“Most of us feel that others will not tolerate emotional honesty. We would rather defend our dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others; and having rationalized our phoniness into nobility, we settle for superficial relationships.” — from Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? by John Powell

“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” — Thomas Paine

One of the main factors that sets great relationships apart from merely good ones is the depth of emotional intimacy. There are, of course, other factors that contribute, but authenticity, vulnerability and deep emotional connectedness are right…

You know them. You may even live with them. You deal with them every day. You may be married to one. You may even be one. They are the dreaded…. Control Freaks!

Louish Pixel/Flickr used with permission.

Actually, a more accurate pronoun to use than “them” is “us” since like it or not, we are all members of the same clan. We all want to control our environment, our relationships, our experience, and our world. Put another way, we all have our ways of trying to manage our lives in ways that promote safety, pleasure, and happiness, and minimize or eliminate pain, danger, and suffering.


If you are one of the countless numbers of people who have had difficulty achieving your stated goals, you are not alone. Don’t take it personally; it’s not your fault. Goal setting is absolutely valuable. Declaring to ourselves the ways we want to change our behavior, attitudes, beliefs, and even our thoughts is helpful. Then declaring these intentions that we have in order to bring about changes in our life, to others adds strength to our commitment to those goals. …


If simply understanding what it takes to create a happier life was enough to achieve that goal, reading a book, listening to a tape, or watching a DVD would be sufficient for any person seeking this goal. As many of us have noticed, knowing what to do isn’t necessarily enough to make you happier. “I know what to do, so why don’t I just do it?” is one of the most frequently asked questions that we get from clients and students in our workshops.

It’s puzzling to many of us that although we know what it is that will bring…


“The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.” — Samuel Johnson

Linda: To sit down with our beloved in a formal session to exchange what I love about you is an intimate and soul nourishing experience. Such a heavy dose of validation can lift our self-esteem. We see ourselves through the other person’s eyes that may see our gifts and talents more clearly than we can see them. Our confidence can rise. And to lace our appreciation and validation throughout our interactions on a regular basis sets up a powerful dynamic. …


One of the most frequently asked questions that Linda and I receive is: “How do you know when to call it quits?”

A lot of people, it seems, are more concerned about how to get out of a bad relationship than how to create a great one. This focus may actually contribute to the conditions that make relationship breakdowns (and, therefore, break-ups) more likely. …


Linda: Some meaningful ways that we support each other to become authentic are:

  1. Stimulate each other’s curiosity about what most interests us.
  2. Discern what our own values and standards are, rather than taking what our family assigns to us, and support each other to live by those.
  3. Tell the truth about the toll that it takes to live in an environment that is pressurized and strive together to reduce the stress that comes from high demands from outside the self.
  4. Minimize rules, rewards, and regimentation.
  5. Share power in decision-making.
  6. Keep a close eye peeled for any form of domination and…


Linda: One big advantage of marriage is the opportunity to become our authentic self. Authentic is defined as not false or copied, but rather genuine or real. To become authentic and to live according to our own values, is part of our life’s work. Although everyone all over the world is challenged to find their true self, we, in the United States, are especially challenged to accomplish this task since we live in a highly competitive culture. Our culture uses reward and punishment to prod us to achieve in the material realm.

In addition to the cultural influence, many of…


IDD (Intimacy Deficiency Disorder) is an insidious relationship-threatening condition that if unaddressed can undermine and severely damage even the most loving partnerships. In part one we identified the most prevalent symptoms of IDD that manifest themselves in relationships. In this blog we will offer six steps that you can take to neutralize the damaging effects of IDD and restore love, trust and good will to your relationship.

Step One: Create agreement with your partner to find a good time and place (without distractions and interruptions) to have a conversation in which you can talk about some concerns that you have…


No, it’s not a typo. We really did mean to write IDD rather than ADD. While IDD is a serious and potentially relationship-threatening condition, you won’t find it listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). IDD or Intimacy Deficiency Disorder is a widespread phenomenon that affects vast numbers of couples in America and other industrialized nations.

As the name implies, IDD refers to a deficit of intimacy in a primary relationship. As many couples have learned from their own experience, such a deficit can have profound consequences that can jeopardize the foundation of even long-term partnerships, often leading to…

Linda & Charlie Bloom

Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW, married since 1972, are experts in the field of relationships and have published four successful books. bloomwork.com

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