Will and Jada smith have announced they have an open marriage

How Long Can an Open Marriage Remain Open Before the Marriage Falls Apart?

In this third article of the Marital Labyrinth series, published simultaneously at Psychology Today, we look at the realities of an open marriage. You can view all articles on the series page. Thanks to Will and Jada Smith, there’s been an increased discussion in the media about open marriages. I’ve been asked to wade in on this subject. This is an unexpected but relevant detour from the Marital Labyrinth

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A married couple consider the impact of a marital affair

Could a Marital Affair Happen to You?

In this second article of the Marital Labyrinth series, published simultaneously at Psychology Today, we ask whether a marital affair could happen to you? You can view all articles on the series page. The Cracks that Lead to a marital affair A marital crisis doesn’t erupt without warning, nor does it explode without a context.  A violent, seismic fracture such as an affair may be

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The Discovery of Truth Begins from Confusion and Doubt

If given a choice between confusion and clarity, hard to imagine that there’d be one among us who would choose confusion over clarity.  Yet, the discovery of truth begins from the uncertainty of not knowing.  Counterintuitive.  Or so you would think. Yet a cardinal principle of the Yaqui Indian shaman, Don Juan, the main protagonist of the books by the cultural anthropologist, Carlos Castaneda. Here’s Don Juan on clarity: Once a

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Dealing with loneliness as a therapist

Dealing with Loneliness as a Therapist

How do therapists personally deal with loneliness? With a heavy heart, I acknowledge it’s a question I’m uniquely and sadly qualified to answer.  First, my credentials: I’ve been a psychologist for forty-seven years. I met my wife, Deborah, in 1974 when we were both students in graduate school. A year later, we moved in together. Along the way, we married, had kids—three girls and a

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An image to demonstrate the concept of how to be positive

How To Be Positive when Circumstances Aren’t: Ten Truths

I’m seventy-four. Until seventy-two, I ran, climbed, and competed. At seventy-one—because I could—I did twenty-five, one-handed pushups at the Everest Base Camp. My body and I were best friends.  Until it quit while trekking in Scotland. It started with a sudden loss of balance, morphed into left-sided weakness, and ended with partial paralysis. The cause: five fused disks in my neck that like a seismic crack were waiting silently for their moment.  Two years later, after

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What Is a Soulmate—and How to Know if You’ve Found Yours

This article was originally published at The idea of meeting your soulmate is the glorious stuff of rom-coms—and apparently real-life, everyday people, too. “It’s the realization that this person who shares your life is a part of yourself,” says family and marital psychologist Dr. Michael Tobin. “A soulmate is an individual that has a lasting impact on your life.” MEET THE EXPERT Dr. Michael Tobin

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5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change

This article was originally published at Authority Magazine. Anger is never a sustainable path to success. Yet, it may be the right fuel you need for that initial thrust to blast you through the gravity of negative resistance. My anger and aggression — my battle to prove my father wrong — brought me to a place where I could finally say, “I’m okay. I’m not

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How Do We Know What Love Is?

Perhaps the three most difficult English words to string together and mean are: “I love you.” But what’s this thing called love that’s so terrifying to reveal.  What Love Isn’t To understand authentic love, the first thing we need to do is to describe what it’s not: Love is not a thing we fall in or out of. How could it be? Fall means to stumble, trip, lose your balance, and tumble

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It’s Never Too Late

I’m pushing 72; I’ve spent over 40 years as a clinical psychologist, traveling the rocky, existential highways of dilemma, doubt, and despair, interspersed with profound moments of transformation, depth, and forgiveness. I was built for this, or more precisely, I was prepared for this – at 12, I was hypnotically directing my parents toward a blissful marriage, and, at 16, I was an up-and-coming teenage

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Articles by Michael Tobin
Dr. Michael Tobin has been a psychologist for forty-seven years specializing in couple and family therapy. He co-founded a theater company that performed vignettes on family and marital issues, which he co-wrote. These plays were performed over 100 times. He is the co-founder of, an award winning website that focuses on how to solve typical marital and family challenges.