Other Writings By Dr. McMillan

Making Love a Habit Chapter One: Relationship Laws

You opened this book because you want to believe in relationships, particularly your most intimate one. Yet, you may be discouraged that love and initial infatuation takes a relationship only so far. You know the statistics that most relationships, married or unmarried, break up. You may be looking to this book to increase your odds.
We can’t just wind up love and let it go and expect love to last. Relationships require knowledge, skills and healthy habits. Just as the habits of smoking cigarettes and eating ice cream destroy our bodies, while habitual exercise and eating vegetables maintain our health, there are skills we can learn, practice and develop into habits that strengthen our relationships.


Shortly after we were married, Marietta and I moved into a new house. I was determined to find the accomplishment I could achieve to endear me to Marietta forever. After moving into our new home, Marietta said, “Oh, how I would love a flower bed near the house.”

So I dug her one.

“You know,” she said, looking at the new bed, “soil near a house is usually foundation dirt. That means it’s bad dirt, full of old clay that came from below the topsoil when the basement was dug. It won’t grow pretty flowers.”

Emotion Rituals


Anger: The Most Dangerous Emotion

Anger Defined

While there is one facial expression of anger, anger can have two different adaptive functions, represented in separate neurological structures. The first and most recognized function of anger is defensive, a response to threat or danger. The second is the consummatory anger of the predator. The facial expressions, the loud voice, the bared teeth, and the clenched fist all say, “I’m ready for a fight, so stop and submit (Tomkins, 1963; Greenberg and Safran, 1986; Izard, 1971).”

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