Dr. Charles Foster has an international reputation as a therapist for individuals, couples, and families and as a consultant for organizations of all sizes. He is co-founder and research director of The Chestnut Hill Institute. And with Mira Kirshenbaum, he is author, co-author, and lead researcher of over thirteen books. He has lectured at the Harvard Medical School and has made numerous TV appearances.
Charles's Latest Blog Entries:
The ultimate, best ever, top 10 do’s and don’ts for having a lasting, satisfying marriage
If you want a long, happy marriage, all you need is a bathroom mirror. Then write down these 10 do’s and don’ts, tape them to the side of your bathroom mirror where you can see them every day, and you’ll be all set. Of course you actually have to do the do’s and not do the don’ts, but that’s a mere detail.
The point is — and it’s a revolutionary point, when you think about it — that you don’t have to be a genius or a saint for the two of you to stay happy with each other. Love is a strong, healthy force. All you have to do is nurture it a little bit and avoid screwing it up too badly. And it will be there for you when you’re in your golden years.
Okay, in no particular order, here are our top 10 most important do’s and don’ts:
1. DO get this through your sweet head: you need to Read the rest of this entry. »
Ripped from the headlines!
Here we go again! This time it’s the raw Q and A from an interview with a very highly regarded magazine, this time about the all-important topic of emotional energy. Let us know what you think.
Q1: Is energy management as important as time management, and if so, why?
A1: Most people are MUCH better at managing their time than their energy. Improving your emotional energy (EE) will give you a much better return on your investment than better time management. It’s not being up for the work we need to do that leads us into so many time wasting activities. So think of energy as a time multiplier. We all have Read the rest of this entry. »
Couples often seek me out after having gotten into the relationship equivalent of a head-on collision. A big mess, a lot of damage, a lot of pain.
Bill and Laura were a couple like this. They were in their forties, and they were vaguely arty looking, which made sense since Bill was a working musician and Laura was a painter. Their whole sad story soon came out. Laura had discovered that Read the rest of this entry. »
We’ll make this short and sweet. The single biggest Mother’s Day mistake is … not telling your mom why you love her, and, you’re a mom, not telling your child why you love him or her.
All the cards and flowers and candy in the world, all the banners and balloons proclaiming “To the Greatest Mom in the World” don’t have the effect of Read the rest of this entry. »
The most complicated relationship in the world
It starts out with hopes that are sky high, and that’s where the trouble begins. Mother has all the love in the world to give; she just wants the best for her daughter. Daughter is adoring and malleable.
But normal human being can’t live up to expectations like these. And when neither is as wonderful as the other had hoped, trouble is brewing. And so begins the most complicated relationship in the world How do things go wrong, and how can we make them go right? Read the rest of this entry. »
So many of you have asked for this, so here it is. We’d love to hear your responses.
1. How do you know who’s right for you to marry?
You can’t tell if someone’s right for you just because some “compatibility quiz” seems to show that the two of you share the same lifestyle preferences, interests, and beliefs. Instead, if you want to be sure that the person you’re with is Mr. or Ms. Right, check out your Read the rest of this entry. »
Here’s the final encyclopedia entry: what do you think?
Yes, I really want to know what you think! We just submitted this to the prestigious standard encyclopedia dealing purely with human sexuality. It’s going to be the entry having to do with Adultery and Fidelity. I want your comments so we can make it better even at this late date. Note, though: there is a strict word length. There is SO much to say, but we’re not allowed any more words to say it in! So . . . what do you think? Have I left out something huge? Have I made any big mistake? Please tell me!
In most societies, adults form relationships in which there is a strong emotional bond and an expectation of permanence, commitment, and sexual, intimate, and romantic exclusivity. Let us refer to these relationships by the term marriage.
In any marriage there are behaviors (that vary given the norms of the society in which the marriage takes place) that are considered violations of Read the rest of this entry. »
Please help us write the article on Adultery and Fidelity
A while back we were honored to be asked to write the article on Adultery and Fidelity for a new edition of the prestigious Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality. Well, we’re really getting down to it now, and we’d love your feedback. Here’s the first section, on definitions—a hairy subject!
What do you think?: Read the rest of this entry. »
The deeper the betrayal, the more forgiveness is necessary and the harder it is, but it can happen
I live about two miles from where the younger of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects was found last Friday night, hiding in a backyard boat, a perfect metaphor for the impossible hope of escape. We were on lockdown that whole day, transfixed by the weirdness of violence and death—what a total perversion it is of everything life is supposed to be. It’s something we feel with every unexpected, unimaginable death, and how much more so with a massacre of the innocents such as we had last Monday.
And now we see the face of the younger suspect—a sweet face behind which monstrous thoughts ripened into horrible deeds. No one I knew personally was hurt or killed. So it would be too cheap for me to think about the possibility of forgiving him. Forgiveness is too easy when the damage is too slight to one person.
But what about when the damage rips your life to shreds? How then do you forgive? Read the rest of this entry. »
How do you go into infidelity-prevention mode?
Hmmm . . . it would be great, wouldn’t it: knowing just what to do prevent your partner from ever cheating on you. Because let’s face it: we all live with just a little bit (or more!) of insecurity when it comes to our partner’s fidelity. After all—if we’re honest with ourselves—all it takes for a affair to explode into view is some dissatisfaction seasoned with a bit of opportunity. A lot of us are just one stranger’s sunny smile and understanding ear away from cheating on our spouses.
But there is a lot of really bad advice out there about how to prevent a spouse from wandering. Like this, for example—but you have to promise me that if you read it you won’t be tempted to fall for the seductive stupidity and ignorance of the person in this piece.
Just like people who think you can solve some problems by throwing money at them, the woman in the article thinks you can deal with the risk of infidelity by throwing sex at it.
Here’s why this is so ignorant. First of all, only a small minority of affairs are ignited by Read the rest of this entry. »