Marriage and Divorce Articles

When Conflict Gets Dangerous

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

When Conflict Gets DangerousAll couples fight. It’s perfectly healthy and normal. Disagreements are a natural part of relationships, and even if you’re deeply in love, some level of conflict is inevitable. In fact, avoiding conflict does more harm than good. Letting anger and resentment build up is a surefire recipe for trouble.

However, constant arguing can be a red flag that there’s something deeper going on — especially if the same sorts of issues keep rearing their heads. Don’t ignore them. You need to take action — and the sooner, the better.

Why Real Love Is Hard Work

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

rainbow loomA month into our relationship, my now-husband asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I didn’t hesitate.

“As a nun in a third-world country doing missionary work,” I said.

“Interesting.”

Somewhere around that time I also told him it would be five years before I slept with him. It was the quickest five years of my life.

Why We Can Get Along a Whole Lot Better

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Why We Can Get Along a Whole Lot BetterAre you feeling beaten down by communication patterns you’re unable to control? Would you like to know why you’re having personality clashes? Minimize communication clashes or avoidance? Experience growth and a deeper level of understanding? Get along far better as a couple? Implement changes that last over the long haul?

The key is knowing whether you and your communication partner are the same or opposite communicator types.

21 Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Is it possible that you are being abused and not even know it?

Domestic violence is once again in the forefront of the news. This is in part due to abusive incidents with sports figures or celebrities that have become very public. Abuse is not always as obvious as being hit or shoved, called degrading names or cussed out. In fact, it can very well be underhanded or subtle.

You may find yourself feeling confused about the relationship, off balance or like you are “walking on eggshells” all the time. This is the kind of abuse that often sneaks up on you as you become more entrenched in the relationship. I am talking here about psychological abuse, which is also known as mental or emotional abuse.

Love Crimes: When the Abused Believe It’s for Their Own Good

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Love CrimesOne of the most nurturing, compassionate women I know is also an abused wife who once shared her biggest regret. Did she regret staying with her abusive husband? No. The most regretful day of her life was when she phoned the police after he physically assaulted her yet again.

“I ruined his life,” she said. “It’s the biggest mistake I ever made.” Immune to any reason, she pressed on, blaming herself for the “humiliation he had to endure” at anger management classes, the draining of her family’s resources on lawyer fees and the indelible black mark “she caused” on his otherwise spotless veneer.

Psychology Around the Net: October 11, 2014

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Happy Couple

Find tips on creating a loving relationship, information about how your happiness affects your decision-making process, and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

5 Tips to Create a Loving Relationship With Fewer Disappointments: Having trouble in the love department, or just want to improve your current relationship? Check out these five tips for focusing on yourself and finding “wholeness,” letting go of expectations, listening to understand rather than to react, and more.

Depression Increases Risk of Falls in Elderly: Recent research from Neuroscience Research Australia suggests the risk of falls among the elderly increases when depressive symptoms are present.

Top Reasons Couples Fall Out of Love

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Top Reasons Couples Fall Out of LoveYou’ll hear many people say “we just aren’t ‘in love’ with each other anymore.” But relationships don’t naturally fall apart, according to Susan Orenstein, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, N.C.

Other reasons often underlie a relationship’s breakdown. Below, you’ll find these common reasons along with several helpful suggestions if one hits close to home.

Silence: The Secret Communication Tool

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The Secret Communication ToolWhat if I told you silence is good for communication? Would you believe me?

You wouldn’t be alone if you said no. Most people probably would disagree with me. In fact, many would argue that silence isn’t even communication at all.

In reality, though, silence can be a very effective communication tool. Communication is simply about conveying a message, and sometimes silence can do that better than any words.

3 Ways Breaking Up Can Actually Improve Your Life

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Breaking Up

Learn about some of the positive things that can come out of a difficult breakup.

Breaking up is a horribly painful experience, whether it’s with someone you’ve only been dating for a little while or with a spouse you’ve been married to for years. I rank it up there in terms of stress with those other biggies — losing your job, moving, and so on. You’re likely to lose sleep, eat more or less, feel angry and sad (maybe at the same time), and wonder why this had to happen to you.

7 Ways Smartphones Can Harm Your Relationship

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

7 Ways Smartphones Can Harm Your Relationship“We were texting back and forth about a project we were working on together. Gradually, the texts became a little more familiar. Over time we started sharing more, and … I guess you could say I’m involved in an emotional affair. I want to stay married, but I feel like I love this other person.”

I have heard some version of this explanation several times over the last year alone. In just the last few months, 80 percent of my new couples cases in therapy have centered on emotional affairs perpetuated through electronic communications. In every instance, a smartphone facilitated more frequent and ongoing connection than a traditional computer or laptop.

3 Ways to Tell If Your Significant Other is Screwing Up Your Relationship

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Lowering the Volume in a World of Living Out Loud

Myths and misunderstandings that block lasting love.

“Cheers to the perfect couple!”

Heart-felt words like these can actually doom a relationship. Did you know that your well-meaning congratulations to a new couple could solidify dangerous myths about love?

Beliefs about relationships were the focus of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto and the results could not only change how you give a wedding toast, but make a positive difference in your own love relationship or marriage as well. What researchers discovered was a correlation between relationship satisfaction and the words used to describe relationships.

When Your Partner Has Difficulty Expressing Emotion

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

When Your Partner Has Difficulty Expressing EmotionWhen partners aren’t able to express their emotions, it can erode the relationship. Emotions give us important information that we can use to better understand our needs, priorities and limits. We can use emotions to set boundaries and make decisions.

“If you’re not authentically experiencing, expressing, and learning from your emotions, then that erodes trust, security, intimacy and closeness,” said Jared DeFife, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and relationship coach in Atlanta, Ga.

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