Marriage and Divorce Articles

Navigating Love in a Relationcanoe

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Navigating Love in a Relationcanoe

What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. - Pierre Elliott Trudeau

If we’re going to travel lighter toward each other in love, it’s time to change a heavy-duty word. If ever there was a tired, stodgy, lifeless word, it’s “relationship.” Who decided it was a ship in the first place? A ship is a huge, weighty vessel with lots of cargo and a big responsibility to its passengers; not easy to turn around.

Til Death Do Us Part: Coping with Commitment after Death

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Marriage May Lower Risk of Heart Attack SS

Are we still married after the death of one partner? “Til death do us part” is a part of all traditional marriage ceremonies, but I can’t help but wonder if it is really true. Do our vows — and our relationships — really end at death? Do we really “part” from those we love the most?

I can understand that our faithful, monogamous obligation may come to a completion at death, but I am not so sure much else comes to a sudden halt.

Single? Here Are 9 Ways to Enrich Your Own Life!

Monday, November 17th, 2014

single-holidays-pumpkin

Just because you choose to live a single life doesn’t mean you have to feel alone!

There are a lot of reasons to remain single these days, and many women are happy to do so. Unfortunately, other people often view single women with pity or misunderstanding. They think single women sit home every night eating Ben and Jerry’s by the gallon, feeling lonely and miserable.

But studies show that single people actually have more active lives than married people; they’re more likely to go out, be involved in their communities, join groups, have more friends and be more social!

Honor Veterans by Acquiring Support Skills

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Honor Veterans by Acquiring Support SkillsIs there a military veteran in your life living with an untreated mental health condition? Are you uncertain whether your support is actually hurting more than helping? If so, you are not alone.

Most of us are not inherently equipped with the skills to understand what our loved ones experienced while serving their country through military service. Yet, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 30 percent (PDF) of veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 that have been treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

During the month of November, Care for Your Mind (CFYM) is showcasing an innovative program that coaches loved ones in how to provide healthy support for the veteran in their life.

10 Questions to Avoid Passive-Aggressive Co-Parenting

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Teenage girl in trouble with parents

Your child is hears (and feels) all of those subtle pot-shots you take at your ex.

Everyone knows the basics of co-parenting: stay kid-focused, don’t use your kids as messengers, never use your kids as scapegoats, show up on time, and don’t talk negatively about your ex in front of your kids. It all seems pretty straight-forward and doable — at least it does on the surface.

But real-life isn’t lived on the surface and sometimes, in all of that “trying” to be nice, you’re actually just being passive-aggressive and probably doing more harm than good. Most of the time it’s pretty obvious whether or not you’re taking care of the basics. You know if you’re staying kid-focused, or using your kids as messengers or scapegoats, or showing up on time, but what might not be as obvious is whether you’re putting out more toxic energy and negativity about your ex in front of your children than you realize.

The San Francisco Giants Model Winning Relationships

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The San Francisco Giants Model Winning RelationshipsWhy would a marriage maven be writing about a baseball team? Living near San Francisco, how could I not get caught up in the hoopla? The Giants beat the odds again on October 29th, claiming their third World Series title in five years.

“How do they do it?” the pundits ask about this so-called team of misfits. And what does it have to do with marriage?

Actually, just about everything.

The Giants’ post-game interviews are enlightening.

10 Ways Families Can Cultivate Their Connection

Monday, November 10th, 2014

10 Ways Families Can Cultivate their ConnectionPsychotherapist Jenifer Hope, LCPC, has worked with many families whose biggest concern is detachment. They feel as though they’re forgetting who their loved ones really are. They don’t have time to get to know their children. “They feel isolated within their own family because everyone is so busy, that there is no actual family time,” she said.

Jennifer Kogan, LICSW, a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C., also sees a shortage of time as the biggest obstacle for families in connecting.

How to Respect Other People’s Boundaries

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

The KissThere are many articles on how to create and maintain personal boundaries. But there isn’t as much guidance on how we can respect other people’s limits, because this, too, can be as difficult as setting our own.

Boundary violations typically fall into three categories, according to Chester McNaughton, a registered professional counselor who specializes in boundaries, anger management and dysfunctional relationships in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: aggressive, passive-aggressive or accidental.

Pushing Your Partner’s Buttons — in a Positive Way

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Pushing Your Partner’s Buttons – In A Positive Way“Partners in intimate relationships can become masters of pushing each other’s buttons,” according to Susan Orenstein, Ph.D, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, N.C.

Of course, this pushing is far from positive. For instance, partners might make personal attacks in subtle, sarcastic or passive-aggressive ways, she said. They might psychoanalyze their partner: “You’re just like your mother!” or “Your family was so screwed up!”

Overcoming the Stigma of Couples Therapy

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Overcoming the Stigma of Couples TherapyThe word “therapy” carries unfortunate negative connotations in our society. Couples therapy provokes its own particular brand of stigma.

Many couples keep the fact that they go to couples therapy private, out of fear of being judged by other couples, or seen as dysfunctional. Many are ashamed themselves of having to seek therapy. More still choose to not seek out help in the first place, believing that therapy is unnecessary or means that there is something wrong with them.

It’s impossible to receive help when you are closed off to it, and when you yourself have misgivings about the process. Therapy is most fruitful when one has an open mind and lets the course of healing unfold. To do so, overcoming the stigma is essential.

Can a Better Romantic Relationship Lead to Better Parenting?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Happy Family

Do you believe your partner should come before your kids?

I read this quote recently:

“The best thing a society can do for itself is to promote and support healthy couples, and the best thing partners can do for themselves, for their children, and for society is to have a healthy relationship.”

- Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want

Seriously? The “best” thing we can do for our kids is to have a good relationship with our partners? That’s fine in theory, but what if our relationship is just okay, or good sometimes with long periods of mediocrity, or mostly bad with occasional moments of happiness? What then?

Mindful Self-Compassion and Parenting

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

right-way-feed-babySelf-compassion has three components:

1. The kindness we would show a friend is directed toward ourselves.

2. A recognition that pain and suffering is part of life — it’s something every human being goes through.

3. Mindfulness.

Here are the benefits I have gained from self-compassion:

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