Marriage and Divorce Articles

5 Tips for Facebook-Proofing Your Marriage

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Rose On Computer Keyboard

Get offline and on with your relationship.

Beware what you say and do online, because it will come back to haunt you later!

Did you know that entire websites are devoted to helping people avoid getting caught flirting and cheating on social media sites like Facebook? This is partly in response to a new trend in divorce proceedings. A recent report says that Facebook is cited as proof of infidelity in about one-third of divorces!

How to Start Over — Starting With You

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

authentic_self

Often when a couple with a long history together comes to me in an attempt to save their relationship, I find myself recommending that they ritualistically end the old relationship — even if they want to stay together.

It is a bit akin to having the right ingredients for a meal, but the wrong recipe. It is okay to say goodbye to that recipe, but that doesn’t mean that you need to throw out the ingredients.

4 Warning Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

4 Warning Signs You're Dating A Narcissist

As a child, you probably remember the joyful feeling of receiving a holiday basket, many times (if you celebrated Easter) featuring a giant chocolate bunny, front and center. Large and beautifully wrapped in twinkly tinfoil, it was clearly the highlight of the entire gift. But chances are, once you bit in you were quickly disappointed. On the inside it was just hollow.

That is what a relationship with a narcissist is like. In the beginning there’s flash and excitement. Their presence is magnetic and he or she seems larger than life. They are intelligent, charming, and popular, and when they’re the center of attention, some of the spotlight shines on you, too, leaving you glowing with pride, importance, and accomplishment. Yet after a while, you discover that under the surface the relationship is hollow. Soon, the excitement and status wear thin.

Common Things Parents Say to Their Kids about Therapy that Aren’t Helpful

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Social Support Helps Relieve Some Anguish from BullyingParents often use therapy as a last resort, said Kate Leyva, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in working with children, teens and families in Lafayette, Calif.

So by the time your child starts working with a therapist, you may be feeling helpless, scared, angry and ashamed. Many parents do, said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist. “Many parents feel shame for not being able to ‘parent’ their child’s emotional and behavioral difficulties and struggles away.”

When You Fight Fairly, but Your Partner Doesn’t

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Why Fighting With Your Spouse Might Save Your MarriageSo you’ve scoured the Internet, read a bunch of self-help books, and even seen a therapist to help you learn how to communicate effectively with your partner. Eventually you come to the conclusion that no matter how fairly you fight with your partner, he or she just doesn’t fight fairly in return.

It’s hard to want to fight fairly with your partner when he or she responds with defensiveness, criticism, contempt or stonewalling. I’d like to start by saying that many people find it hard to communicate fairly with their partner if their partner is difficult to communicate with. Why bother fighting fairly when your partner isn’t?

How to Deal with Critical People

Monday, March 16th, 2015

The Challenge of Finding the Right TherapistCritical people make rude comments, judge our decisions, talk at length about what we’re doing wrong or rarely have anything nice to say. One way to deal with them is to stop being with them altogether.

But this isn’t easy to do when the critical person is your boss, colleague, family member or your partner’s father. In other words, you can’t just stop seeing them for the rest of your life. And in some cases you might have to interact with them on a daily basis.

Four Fun Bonding Exercises for Romantic Relationships

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

couple cooking happy bigstI tend to think that when two people grow together in a romantic relationship, their bond will only become stronger as time goes on. That being said, I thoroughly enjoy fun bonding exercises that nourish the connection. It doesn’t have to be cheesy or forced. It’s just a more direct route to a certain type of conversation.

Whether it’s in the “getting to know each other” stage, or several months or years down the road, these ideas can be a great way to give your bond a boost.

How to Co-Parent Successfully after Divorce

Friday, March 13th, 2015

self-compassionate-parentingThere can be few experiences more painful in life than divorce. Divorces involving children are particularly fraught, with the tradition dictating that the mother is granted custody while the father gets visiting rights. However, recent years have seen the rise of co-parenting — a far more balanced approach which emphasizes the role of both parents in the children’s upbringing.

The sudden breakdown of the family structure after a divorce can be traumatic for children, who commonly experience feelings of abandonment, confusion and loss. Sadly, parents who remain adversarial may compound this trauma.

When One of You Retires First

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Nourishing the Different Types of Intimacy in Your RelationshipMarried and approaching retirement age? It’s likely you’ve both planned carefully for your finances during this time — but can you say the same for your relationship?

The emotional and psychological adjustments that come with retirement are significant, and one major determinant factor is timing. Will you retire together, or space it out?

Is Your Spirit Steering Your Relationships or Is It Your Ego?

Monday, March 9th, 2015

hands couple goog

I like to describe the ego’s job as the protector. This “guy” is the part of us that stands on the bow of our relationship and frantically yells, “Iceberg!” when it sees trouble ahead. This is useful information, for sure.

However, when the Iceberg Guy is scared, he becomes erratic and impulsive and wants to grab the wheel. But he is not trained in navigation and not the guy you want haphazardly steering the ship.

6 Ways to Regroup and Reconnect with Your Partner

Monday, March 9th, 2015

keep him from cheating

Have you been in a relationship for some time now, yet feel confused because lately you’re plagued with loneliness? Do you spend time remembering those first early months (even years) together when you felt happily connected? It all felt so easy then.

But now? Well, it seems life got in the way. Your life feels so ironic — constantly lonely within a relationship.

5 Reasons Couples Counseling Isn’t Working for You

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Unhappy man talking at couples therapy session in therapists off

In the face of looming problems that range from abuse, blending families, to who does the chores, couples are encouraged to seek couples therapy. Yet, what happens when therapy fails to address the problems in a relationship. What options are left?

At the age of 42 with two children in elementary school, Mary Ann Lowry was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition. Lowry explains her husband had a hard time coming to terms with her illness.

“He frequently used verbal abuse to try to convince me to be healthy,” she says. “The therapists tried to help him see that sickness, death, and pain are part of life. He couldn’t come to terms with my physical limitations and despite their best efforts, the therapists weren’t able to break through the hard core resistance to accepting my health situation. When I finally had to leave work and go out on full disability, he was not able to support the decision.”

Recent Comments
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  • Learnthehardway: Terrible that people are like that. My ex husband was/is one combined with a nasty vindictive...
  • CA: I responded to some posts last year. My husband of 15 years left me because he was depressed and disconnected...
  • CA: Anne, I’m feeling for you. I hope you are hanging on and that a way out reveals itself.
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