There are many problems that couples have difficulty with, including: communication, finances, child-rearing, sex and respect.
Mark likes to emphasize what made a couple fall in love in the first place. Learning how to appreciate the differences in personality is a couple building exercise. You may want to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (or one of its imitators). [click here for the Jung Typology Test]
Couples’ communication is a learned skill. Learning to talk in pictures is helpful to some couples: "I feel like a lion in a cage." "I have run out of gas."
Establishing safety rules is sometimes helpful to opening up a couple to being more romantic. When arguments get loud or physical, having a previously chosen place to go that feels safe is sometimes a good idea (a Time Out Plan).
Not enough sex? What puts your partner in a romantic mood? The answer may surprise you. One couple had not had sex in years. After three sessions they had sex three times in one week. Sometimes couples need to talk about what they want sexually.
One of the quickest ways to bring an argument's heat down is to call each other "honey", "babe" or "sweetheart" while arguing. Touching each other gently and letting each other know that just because you disagree doesn't mean you don't understand the other person's position. Try to avoid mocking, name-calling, threatening and ridiculing. They don't get us what we want, and make the other person want to get out of the relationship.
Mark has been married since 1980 to his lovely wife, and together they have raised two grown children and a peaceful dog, Merlot.