The Five Core Conversations for Couples spotlights marital communication behind closed doors


A seasoned family therapist and one of D.C.’s premiere divorce lawyers provide helpful advice to navigate marriage’s tricky and emotional situations

Olney, MD – Many of us have heard about the five love languages, but is there a realistic alternative for the messy and serious conversations that arise in every relationship? Enter David and Julie Bulitt.

Who better to serve as an example than a successful couple of 33 years that has navigated some of life’s toughest pitfalls? Between David’s work as an accomplished divorce attorney and Julie’s perspective from her 25+ years as a therapist, the Bulitts have had these sincere conversations, and found healing in them.

What they’ve learned about saving a marriage could fill a book — and it does. The 5 Core Conversations for Couples tackles every corner of relationships with the wisdom, knowledge, and best advice culled from David and Julie’s unique experiences. Drawn from notes of their discussions, chats and arguments — not always sober — and filled with frank, funny stories, it tackles the basics with openness and honesty. From getting along to parenting, communication, and sex, it also covers hard-to-discuss issues like addiction, infertility, pornography, and family silence.

Peek inside one of the most unique and articulate examples of modern marriage today. What happens when a top divorce lawyer and a family therapist close the door and really talk?


JULIE BULITT is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent more than 25 years working with individuals, couples and families. Her private practice focuses on family, couples and individual therapy, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching. She has served as a Clinical Supervisor and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for the Montgomery County (Maryland) Mental Health Association, an Adoption Therapist for the Center for Support and Education in suburban Washington, D.C. She presently serves as the in-house therapist for The Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland. For more,, visit


DAVID BULITT is a partner in the Washington, D.C. Metro law firm of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA. For more than a decade, he has been chosen as one of the area’s top divorce lawyers by multiple publications and recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” and a Washington, D.C. Metro “Super Lawyer.” Praised as “the lawyer who epitomizes stability and old fashioned common sense” by Bethesda Magazine, David has a particular interest in families with special needs children as a result of his personal experiences. He is the author of two fiction novels and multiple articles in legal publications and has appeared on several local shows. For more information, visit


DAVID AND JULIE have been married for 33 years. They have four daughters, two of whom are biological and two adopted, and three grandchildren. They divide their time between suburban Washington, D.C. and Bethany Beach, Delaware. Learn more about David and Julie at

In an interview, David and Julie can discuss:

*What authentic conversations look like between a married therapist and divorce lawyer at home behind closed doors
*How to start the hard conversations with partners about everything from finances to addiction
*The experience of raising both two biological children and two adoptive children
*The “The Cocoon of the Uninformed” financial dynamic between partners David has seen through his law practice
*The consequences and realities of “the silent treatment” and other communications hurdles Julie has seen as a family therapist

Recent appearances:

More about The Five Core Conversations for Couples

David Bulitt and Julie Bulitt | February 4, 2020 | Skyhorse Publishing/Simon & Schuster
Paperback | 978-1510746129 | $16.99
Ebook | 978-1-5107-4613-8 | B07TD6JW7X | $12.99
Nonfiction: Relationship

A Top Divorce Lawyer and a Family Therapist Show You How to Really Talk—for Better or for Worse

Married for 33 years, David, a divorce lawyer, and Julie, a family therapist, have both been witness to families struggling with life’s most difficult challenges. At the same time, they have weathered their own challenges at home: raising four daughters, two biological and two adopted, and dealing with one child’s mental health and behavioral issues. What they’ve learned about saving a marriage or knowing when to call it quits, when to turn to professionals or when to try tough love, could fill a book—and it does.
The Five Core Conversations for Couples tackles every corner of relationships with the wisdom, knowledge, and best advice culled from David and Julie’s unique personal and professional experiences, organized topically into the five core reasons that people come to their offices. Topics include: disability, abuse, serious illness, estrangement and much, much more.
Take a look inside the hearts and minds of two marriage professionals to gain a fresh perspective into your own relationships and to have valuable and more frequent conversations with those you love.

An Interview with David Bulitt and Julie Bulitt

How do you think your occupations have affected your relationship?

Julie: David will be the first to tell you that as a divorce lawyer, he spends a lot of his workday fighting with people. I still tell people that whenever David came home from a day at the office, he was too tired to fight with me. He let me do whatever I wanted. Most times that was a good thing. Most times. As a therapist, I saw first hand what was bothering people in their relationships and I think it helped me be mindful of what I should do more of and also try to avoid in my own marriage.

David: Julie is right. With my job, the emotions, the fighting, it can really wear you down. A lot of my day is spent talking to people in varying degrees of distress. By the time my day ended, I was just happy and appreciative for what I had in my marriage, with my own family. I mostly learned to let the small things pass, give her space and avoid conflict where there wasn’t much point to it.

How has your passion for communication between partners impacted your dynamic with the rest of your family?

David: We have always encouraged our kids to talk to us, to each other, friends, whomever. When one of our girls had a difficult situation recently, but Julie and I urged her to see a therapist, even if just for a few sessions, just to help her work her way through things.

Julie: In a lot of ways, it came naturally for us. We are always talking to each other, and our kids could not help but be exposed to it. We often had the more difficult conversations with our kids present. Nothing that wasn’t age appropriate, but I think that both David and I felt that talking openly to each other and making sure the girls could see us doing that was a good way to show communication in a positive light, even if we disagreed about what we happened to be discussing.

What’s your best advice for couples looking for better communication habits?

Julie: I think it is important to talk about things often. Be open and honest. Don’t remain silent and let things build up. I have often seen how one partner tries to ignore the other, what he or she has said or done, and instead of whatever it was being over, it just builds and leads to some sort of blowout or explosion. That type of thing is toxic and often ends relationships.

David: Being cognizant of when to say something and not to say it. One of my biggest complaints about Julie is not what she says, but when or how she says it. I can’t tell you how many times she gets up in the morning, comes downstairs and immediately tells me about something I need to do or gives me some instructions. No smile or ‘good morning’, but instead rolls right into how I didn’t make the bed or close my drawer or what I need to do – something along those lines. She is right, of course, I may have not done something, but because that is how I am greeted, I shut down, or snap back at her.

How has your marriage changed over the course of 33 years?

Julie: We learned to be more patient, to give each other space. Both of us understand that we need time apart just as much as we need time together. That was something that we had to learn; it came with time and maturity.

David: Like most couples who have stayed together for as long as we have, Julie and I have had our challenges. Our one daughter caused or was the source of what seemed like never ending conflict between the two of us and between our girls. Sometimes, we handled things well but sometimes we did not. We did what we thought we could to try to help her be happy and healthy. All of that came at a big cost, both financially and emotionally. That entire situation I really do believe made us stronger, more trusting of each other and, in a lot of ways, better parents and partners.

What is it like navigating the experience of raising both biological and adopted children?

David: When the girls were younger, I went out of my way to try to avoid the ‘she looks like her mom’, ‘you have the same eyes’ kinds of discussions with other adults. Often, people were not sensitive to how a little girl who is adopted can be made to feel when an adult is gushing over her sister (a biological child) and how much she resembled one of us. I made sure to talk about how one or both of the adopted girls had likes, dislikes – that kind of thing – that were similar to me or Julie.

Julie: It’s been a gift and a challenge raising four daughters. There is no doubt that our biggest challenge as a couple and a family was our third daughter. She also caused the most conflict between the two of us. We are grateful to have an adopted child that isn’t challenging – if we didn’t, it may have adversely altered our own views of adoption.