Remember the movie “Ghost”? Demi Moore plays a woman who’s given a chance to speak with her deceased husband (Patrick Swayze). In the last scene, he says his final goodbye and then leans in and gently kisses her as “Unchained Melody” plays in the background (Youtube →). I watch that scene and can’t help but hear the song’s most compelling line: “I’ve hungered for your touch.”
Few things give meaning to our lives as those moments when we feel connected to and understood by another human being. These “connecting moments” impact us at cellular level, and the gains are not simply validation. We feel energized, hopeful, and alive.
Healthy relationships are our best chance for stringing together life-giving, connecting moments. Really special moments won’t happen every day, but when we feel connected to others, it’s powerful medicine. Science has shown that to be true. Healthy relationships can cure many ills, right many wrongs, and bring many gifts.
Relationships between two adults (e.g., marriage) function best when the give-and-take is mutual and balanced. Relationships between adults and children (e.g., parenting, mentoring) usually involve more giving on the part of the adult. For both kinds of relationship, a healthy adult is needed to make them work.
But it can be difficult to start or sustain a healthy relationship. For some folks, relationships are empty and barren; for others, relationships are chaotic and conflicted. Some folks have both kinds.
This site is about how to make sense of the relationships we have and the relationships we want. My hope is to offer clinical wisdom, research knowledge, and common sense so that your relationships bring more joy than stress. If we take this journey together, we’ll discover the gifts that come from healthy relationships.