The doctor is in


The Love Doctor

Sam Schlenner

Terri Orbuch stared at her computer, looking at the results. Where wives do not tell their husbands they were special, the divorce rate was almost twice as high.

She called her husband and unleashed every compliment in the book. He paused, then spoke.

“What do you want to buy?”

They’ve been married 22 years.

Holding a doctorate in sociology, Terri L. Orbuch —  therapist, researcher and professor of sociology at Oakland University and The Love Doctor — practices what she preaches.

“All the things I write about academically, and in my popular books, and online, and in magazines, I try to incorporate into my own marriage and relationships,” Orbuch said.

She’s living a quadruple life. As a therapist, she helps you discover what your relationships really are, and how to deal with them.

“As a researcher, I’m there to examine reality,” she said. “Observe, document and write about it.”

As a professor, she’s there to teach you the science of relationships. As The Love Doctor, she takes that science and research and makes it tasty for the masses to enjoy.

Ying and Yang

Orbuch said her first relationship was with someone who was the opposite of her. She played tennis and was a vegetarian. He did not and was not.

“He didn’t have many friends, and didn’t place much value on relationships,” she said. “Ours either.”

Things didn’t work out. According to Orbuch, difference can be exhilarating, but it’s similarity that keeps people together.

The Launch

“All relationships are exciting at the beginning,” Orbuch said.

It’s a drag race, with all the dangers that it entails.

“We’re blind to the person’s faults. We have those rose-colored glasses on,” she said.

“The passion does eventually fade,” said Carter Comrie, an intern at the OU Counseling Center.

“You want to wait until that passion declines, and you begin to see that person for who they really are,” Orbuch said.

But, enjoy the ride.

“It’s a great way for a relationship to start, don’t get me wrong,” Comrie said.

Remember Laughter is Important

Orbuch’s husband has a sense of humor.

“Ninety percent of the time, I like it,” she said.

She said a good sense of humor goes a long way for a couple. There’s room for laughter in a serious thing.

“We forget that relationships are about fun,” Orbuch said.

It’s not only about the laughs, though. It’s a way to deal with the bad times. According to Comrie, “It’s one of the best defenses we have.”

Orbuch also pointed out that relationships are more than just loving the other person, they are also about growing and learning about yourself.

“It’s like a mirror,” Orbuch said.

Contingency Plan

If all else fails, Orbuch has dealt with the breakup of a five-year relationship before. She talked with friends and family, read self-help books and exercised to help relieve the pain. Orbuch strongly recommends exercise.

She also said to write a letter to the person every month. But don’t send them.

“You get it all out on the piece of paper.”

Orbuch is currently writing her third popular book to be completed next summer, though she said the topic is a secret.

Those interested in seeing The Love Doctor live can catch her every Saturday morning between 8 and 8:30 a.m. on FOX2 news.