Marriage Counseling for Raleigh, Cary and Morrisville NC


Strategic Marriage Counseling = Clear Goals + An Effective Plan


Marriage counseling expert Dr. Bryce Kaye

Dr. Bryce Kaye

Telephone 919 467 1180

Psychologist, Marriage Counselor and Author of The Marriage First Aid Kit - The popular book on how to repair your marriage.


As seen on WRAL-TV in Raleigh:


Strategic Marriage Counseling is Active and Direct

"Strategic marriage counseling" is active and direct unlike the passive listening performed by some other marriage counselors. Whether it's individual psychotherapy or couples counseling, I work with a logical plan on how to help you to achieve your goals. I believe that you deserve more out of marriage counseling than just being heard and supported. My active style is to teach you different strategies to gradually change your emotions and emotionally driven behaviors over time. That way, you can grow to become the person or the couple that you want to be.

So that you can better understand my approach to marriage counseling, I have placed an incredible amount of useful information on this website. If you seek marriage counseling, then read the book chapters and about the different syndromes that I've placed on this page. I believe it's good to help yourselves with better understanding even if you don't come for marriage counseling.

Dr. Kaye explains how a certain brain state makes us stupid when we fight:



Watch Dr. Kaye explain a useful tool for anger management during conflict:



Watch Dr. Kaye describe how you can improve anger management after a conflict:



Check to see if your relationship suffers from one of these relationship syndromes commonly addressed in marriage counseling. (Click on each symptom for a more detailed discussion)


Role-Bound, Emotional Starvation Syndrome

Both parties have evolved to interact with each other like business managers, going about the business of managing everyday life but without mutual play or sentimental affirmation of each other. Special time is not allocated for intimate talking. No significant effort is made to share intimate time away from parenting roles. Each party feels "taken for granted." Arguments flare up about small control issues or events that are interpreted as indicating a lack of appreciation of each other.

Pursuer - Evader Syndrome

One party is more comfortable with the expression of intense feelings. The other party dreads intensity, especially heated conflict. The person who dreads intensity finds ways to emotionally withdraw by finding responsibilities to take up their time. The other person sees their partner withdrawing and reacts by aggressively pursuing contact. They often intrude by expressing their resentments in a derogatory manner. The pursuer/intruder may also openly interpret the withdrawing party’s feelings and motives. The withdrawing party reacts by withdrawing further. The pursuer feels like they are being driven "crazy."

Initiator - Dependent Syndrome

One party (the initiator) has somehow wound up with all the responsibility for planning the fun part of the relationship. The dependent party may be very responsible in their job role. However, when it comes to family or relationship activity, they look to the initiator for ideas. The dependent party is "easy" and ready to agree. The initiator feels as if they have another child for a partner. They miss the excitement of another perspective besides their own and they feel lonely although they may cover it over with anger.

Delinquent Helper Syndrome

One party (the "task-master") has somehow wound up with all of the responsibility for overseeing the household chores. The other party often doesn’t "help". The task-master frequently reminds the delinquent helper what needs to be done. The delinquent helper often forgets if they’re not frequently reminded.

Unproductive Conflict

The couple starts a conflict over a specific issue but soon escalates to general blaming behavior. Past misdeeds are raised up in an attempt to invalidate the other. Nothing gets accomplished and the couple retreats from one another with much hostility. This syndrome does not refer to conflict which threatens violence or actually becomes violent.

"Sneaky" Spending Behavior

One party is trying to reduce spending to live within a realistic budget, the other party is often unmindful of what they spend. The less mindful person may not be forthcoming about what they buy.

Conflicting Levels of Sexual Interest

One party wants it more, the other party wants it less. This does not refer to syndromes in which there is emotional conflict or emotional alienation affecting sexual interest. Rather, this is merely referring to different levels of sexual drive.

Non-violent Raging Behavior

In a conflict situation, one part is more likely to yell and scream before retreating in a "huff." In some couples, the rager may disapprove of their own behavior but feel helpless to prevent it. They may try to avoid conflict situations altogether.


Print Out a List of Responsibilities That Protect and Promote A Happy Relationship (Adobe PDF required)

You can then evaluate how disciplined you are. A failure in a specific responsibility may indicate where you are experiencing emotional dysregulation of that discipline. You can make faster progress in marriage counseling if you're willing to assess these problem areas for yourself.


Watch Dr. Kaye discuss the 4 little known relationship truths that he has discovered in his 30+ years of marriage counseling.



These chapters from my book will give you a deeper understanding of what causes communication to break down and what you can do about it. This is a great way to prepare for marriage counseling if you choose to go that route.



A few words about why and how this books was written.

Chapter 1 - The Great No-No

This chapter illustrates how our own fear of shame is the greatest obstacle we have to face if we want to improve an intimate relationship.

Chapter 2 - The Structure of Vital Relationships

Love based relationships do not have as much stability or resilience as do integrity based relationships. This chapter describes the strong foundation of a relationship that can stand the test of time.

Chapter 3 - Balance and Paradox

A vital relationship needs to be dynamic and not static. Opposing needs and emotional states must be kept balanced over time. This chapter unravels the paradox.

Chapter 4 - Nurturing Healthy Attachment

Relationships must be fed. It's not enough to just feel. This chapter explains the fundamentals about how attachment needs can be effectively met.

Chapter 5 - Love's Hidden Assassin

A very common relationship killer operates far below our awareness. It leads to the numbing loss of attraction and affection.

Chapter 6 - The Other Usual Suspects

This chapter outlines the other most common relationship killers.

Chapter 7 - Freeing and Strengthening Your Hedonic Self

If you're starting to numb out and lose attraction, this chapter suggests what you do to start resuscitating the part of yourself that's going dormant.

Chapter 8 - Defending Autonomy

This chapter gives you tools to ward off covert inhibition that might otherwise strangle your affection.

Chapter 9 - Managing Conflict

This chapter describes various forms of constructive and destructive conflict. Tools for appropriate management are provided.

Chapter 10 - Sharing Power and Authority

This chapter contains helpful tools for negotiating chores, structuring finances, and dealing with in-laws.

Chapter 11 - Great Sex

This chapter describes elements that foster great sex as well as some guidelines on how to get there.

Chapter 12 - Mapping Your Strategy

This chapter discusses planning for change.

Chapter 13 - Conclusion


Addendum: Message to a Daughter




Read the on-line advice given to hundreds of couples about their various problems.


Read some of my technical papers and about some other therapies that I do in addition to marriage counseling.


Read about Dr. Kaye's other service providing Love Odyssey Couples Retreats.


If you’re interested in our marriage counseling call 919 467 1180


I encourage you to compare all this information with the writings of other marriage counselors to ensure that your choice reflects the best fit for you.


     If you want to explore the possibility of marriage counseling with me, I usually recommend one session and then you can go back home to think about it. One session is usually enough time for me to give you feedback about a recommended strategy for marriage counseling.  To schedule a meeting time, call me at 919 - 467 - 1180.   You can also email me as well but please be advised that emails cannot be considered strictly confidential.  My office is convenient to most parts of Raleigh, Cary, Apex and Morrisville. 



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