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The Bulitt's Book

The 5 Core Conversations For Couples

What happens when a top divorce lawyer and a family therapist close the door and really talk? What’s on their minds? Who gets the last word?

 Married for over 35 years, the Bulitts are that couple. David is one of the premier DC Metro family law attorneys, representing clients in high profile divorce cases since 1986. Julie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 25 years of experience working with families.  She is also an in-house therapist at Discovery Channel.

Together, David and Julie have seen life’s most difficult challenges, including addiction, infidelity, mental and physical health diagnoses and trauma. 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 addiction and mental health issues.

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, arguments — not always sober — and frank, funny stories, it openly tackles the basics from getting along, to parenting, communication, and sex, as well as hard-to-discuss issues like addiction, infertility, pornography, and family silence.  “The 5 Core Conversations for Couples” takes you inside how these two professionals hash out some of life’s toughest personal challenges, revealing what they really think and say to each other.  

Book Reviews

KIRKUS BOOK REVIEWS RAVES ABOUT THE FIVE CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES

"A married couple talk out their differences, travails, and humorous foibles in this rollicking self-help book. David Bulitt, a divorce and family lawyer, and his wife, Julie Bulitt, a social worker and family therapist, have a series of bantering conversations in this text that draw on anonymized case studies of their clients and episodes from their own marriage of more than 30 years to back up their pointers on improving one’s relationships and family life. They explore five themes: building a solid partnership; dealing with monetary issues, such as their own periods of overspending, financial crisis, and austerity; work-life balance; parenting, including their own experience raising a troubled daughter; and sex, a topic that provokes some acerbic exchanges over the course of the book. Via these dialogues, they convey straightforward, sensible wisdom, stressing the importance of communication, facing problems head-on, and being attentive to the needs of one’s partner. The Bulitts couch their advice in homely metaphors—“Your relationship garage gets cleaned and swept by spending time with your partner, doing nice things for him, talking to her, and at least now and then, having sex with each other”—and raw confessional moments: “I was tired and wanted to sleep,” Julie recalls of times when she rebuffed David’s advances. “But Mr. Selfish Boner-Head made me feel guilty, like I was shortchanging him somehow.” For the most part, though, their conversations often play out in snappy repartee worthy of a screwball comedy, as when she says, “Tell me I look good, that you think I’m sexy; you’re attracted to me. It’s not all that complicated,” and she kids, “You want me to lie.” Other passages earnestly reveal the authors’ self-lacerating anguish over their daughter’s destructive behavior: “when a parent says that they will ‘always be there for you no matter what,’ it might be a lie.” Overall, the Bulitts’ vivid, captivating prose and willingness to open up about their shortcomings and setbacks make their advice engaging and credible. An insightful, often funny, and painfully honest guide to navigating rough patches in relationships."
KIRKUS REVIEW
"The 5 Core Conversations for Couples by Julie and David Bulitt is a non-fiction relationship guide that provides tools for couples to build effective communication, establish a long-term financial plan, create winning and collaborative parenting strategies, have a work-life balance and a mutually satisfying sex life. The authors have solid backgrounds that give them the authority to write this book. David is a divorce lawyer who knows from inside knowledge what married people go through while Julie is a family therapist. The authors draw on their personal experiences in raising their family to share the wisdom that will help couples find topics for meaningful conversations, handle the stress and challenges that accompany making difficult decisions, and reach deeper levels of success in marriage and intimacy. The 5 Core Conversations for Couples by Julie and David Bulitt is one of the best books I have read on relationships -- practical and packed with wisdom. The authors explore important topics that address the key challenges many families are facing, including abuse, disability, poverty, estrangement, divorce, and parenting. The book provides answers to some of the questions that readers deal with: how can a couple create the balance that allows them to experience emotional, financial, physical, and psychological growth in their family? The book is written in a popular conversational and easy-to-read style. The 5 Core Conversations for Couples is a beautiful gift that couples need to have at the start of their journey. I could have avoided a lot of stress and the headaches my wife and I experienced had I read this book before our wedding."
Romuald Dzemo
Readers Favorite
" The 5 Core Conversations for Couples is a work of non-fiction in the relationship/self-help genre which is aimed at adult couples and was written by author duo Julie and David Bulitt. The book is written to serve as a guide for couples who intend to build a strong and healthy relationship by having honest and difficult conversations at an early stage. Focusing on communication between partners, the book gives insight from its highly qualified authors on how to navigate the hurdles that couples must jump together to keep their relationship fulfilling and rewarding for both partners. What results is a fulfilling read that is sure to inspire confidence for couples tackling their issues head-on. Author duo Julie and David Bulitt have really hit the target with this series of intense but accessible hot topics that can serve as the strong foundations of any relationship as it moves towards a serious future. One of the most endearing things about this guide is the level of personality and personal experience which the authorial couple has put into their delivery and development of the text, as their own professional and personal lives are offered up with honesty and the wisdom of hindsight. This makes for a strong dual narrative that speaks of hard work, passion, and honesty, and it makes some of the more distressing subject matter in the work a lot easier to take on and engage with as a result. Overall, The 5 Core Conversations for Couples is a must-read for any couple who feel they need stability and deeper mutual understanding in their lives."
KC Finn
Readers Favorite
"When have you ever been able to get an inside scoop on a Divorce lawyer who’s been married to a relationship Therapist for 20+ years? Add on that... they have biological children along with adopted children, and one needing special handling? NEVER. This book is real. It’s raw. It keeps you laughing but it also will make you cry: David and Julie are very real and very raw about everything. From infertility, sex, porn, resentment, financial issues and their pain from literally having to walk away from a toxic child who was destroying the rest of the family. I couldn’t put it down...I hope they decide to start a podcast or do a follow up book."
Ben Powell
Amazon purchaser
"This isn't just another cleverly titled book -- it's SUPER helpful. If you have any kind of communication trouble in your relationship, the David and Julie Bulitt have great ideas for how to get beyond the awkwardness and have real, meaningful conversations. This book isn't preachy, it's honest, funny, and very real. They share their own struggles a good way to jumpstart the conversations we all need to have. Worth every penny --- I will be pulling this off the shelf again and again. Giving it to all the newlywed couples I know too."
East Coach Mom
Amazon purchaser
"So a divorce attorney and a marriage counselor write a book...and they’re married! Edgy, raw, and absolutely relevant for the modern marriage, pulling from their education, experience, and everyday!"
Lauren
Amazon purchaser
“THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES is the ultimate conversation starter. David and Julie Bulitt have produced a fresh, new way to explore — and improve — relationships. It’s not simply that they offer a great and unique combination of insights — divorce attorney married to a therapist — but that they have distilled key relationship struggles into a series of thoughtful, funny, and meaningful conversations. Our wired world is creating entire generations that struggle to have a good conversation, yet what is more essential for having a healthy relationship than to be able to talk together, face to face? THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS revives how to “let’s talk about it.” It’s a great blend of professional and personal wisdom, as David and Julie also don’t shy away from discussion their own issues. So many families struggle with child mental health issues and addiction, THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS finally makes it okay to talk about that. Tough topic? THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS has got it, in a way that makes the subject no longer taboo. THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES is a refreshing, open, honest, and totally new way of dealing with many of the largest challenges that two people trying to navigate life together can face. It provides wisdom, a template, and a way to identify key areas that we all should be talking about — and it does it in an approachable, honest, humorous, and wise style. David and Julie are also the total package — engaging, flexible writers, great at taking editorial direction and making complex topics clear and understandable; highly personable and great at interviews; and professionals who understand how to reach people and readers. THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES is the real deal.”
LYRIC WINIK
Multiple NYT Best selling collaborative writer (including three books at #1) and former Parade Magazine Washington Correspondent
“After practicing family law for almost half a century, I have observed a myriad of reasons discord and lack of harmony pervade so many relationships. Lack of fulfillment and unhappiness ultimately leads to separation and divorce. Not only does separation and divorce impact on the parties involved, but most importantly, on children, who rarely, if ever, want to see their parents divorced. THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES is insightful, informative and provides enormously helpful and pragmatic advice to families that will improve their day-to-day lives and happiness. Communication, humor, passion, devotion and so many other subjects are covered by Julie and David Bulitt in ways that only those who have worked with families over many years have the capacity to understand and put into simple language. Every relationship encounters many experiences they discuss. Julie and David’s thoughts and ideas as to how couples can better deal with tough issues are marvelous. Best of all, this is all accomplished in an entertaining and enjoyable read. There is something in this work for everyone, and in many cases, there are many shared ideas that will add brightness and hope to any relationship.”
Sanford K. Ain, Esquire
Co-founder and principal, Ain & Bank
"I smiled, laughed, and nodded my head from page one to the end.   Having been a divorce lawyer for over 40 years, and married for 39, THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES resonated on many levels.  I will unhesitatingly recommend THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES to friends, colleagues and clients alike.   It's insightful, spot-on, and serious yet hilarious at the same time. "
Deborah Reiser, Esquire
The 2016 "Lawyer of the Year" for Family Law in Washington, DC by Best Lawyers in America.
“Through their unique use of dialog, Julie and David Bulitt have pulled the curtain back on the “inner life” of long-term relationships to brilliantly reveal the stumbling blocks and issues that are common to us all. The Bulitts easily draw the reader into their 30+ year relationship and employ humor and honesty as the subtle educational vehicle to teach the lessons that couples can use to enhance their own relationships. No topic is off limits! I wholeheartedly recommend this book to both therapists and clients alike. It is an easy read and can be used as an amazingly effective therapeutic tool. THE 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES will help people stay off the couch and out of divorce court!”
SHARYN ROSE, MeD, MSW, ACCH
Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist Named as Somerville, Mass. BEST COUPLES THERAPIST, 2014 and 2015
“The information and perspectives of a marriage counselor and a divorce attorney are invaluable. If I’d read 5 CORE CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES a year or two before my divorce, I wouldn’t be divorced today! Two smart people who are sharing their expertise to keep the rest of us on the long path!”
JULIE POWERS SCHOERKE
Founder, JKS Communications, literary publicity firm