Marriage and Divorce

The Three Relationship Killers and How to Overcome Them

As a marriage and family therapist for over 30 years, I've seen a lot of couples. And over and over, the demise of marriages and relationships in general, is not over money, children, or health but crummy communication styles. Unfortunately we were not taught in school or at home about how to communicate so we resort to a free-wheeling and unconscious style, unaware of the consequences of how our message is received.

Here are the three relationship killers of love, connection, openness, and intimacy and how to cut them off at the pass.
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Family

Eat, Pray, Relate!

Personally, I grew up with no encouragement to pray. I used to have a vague sense that prayer was for simple, naïve folks - that it was the “opiate for the masses.” So I do understand if you don’t relate to the concept.

But perhaps you do.

Because according to a Pew Research Center survey, 55% of Americans say they pray every day. Another 21% say they pray weekly or monthly. Even many who are not religiously affiliated say they pray daily.
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Marriage and Divorce

Marriage Mentors Are Everywhere

When it comes to marriage, I cannot overstate the value of mentoring. If you were blessed to have grown up with happily married parents who communicated well, you probably learned, as though by osmosis, how to become happily hitched. Your live-in mentors paved the way.

But what if you grew up with parents who stayed together unhappily or divorced? Or if you were raised by a single parent? Typically, couples who see me for therapy grew up without viewing a healthy marriage. For them and for others desiring a happy, lasting union, good mentoring can fill the gaps.
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Anger

The Role of Make Believe Play in Adult Life

“You cannot change the past, but you can change how you feel about the past.”

We often hear how important it is for children to use their imaginations. But did you know adults can strategically use imagination and make believe play to manage their emotions and feel better? In fact the use of fantasy is one way trauma therapists heal psychological wounds.

Amazing scientific fact: The brain cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality.
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Marriage and Divorce

These 5 Conversations Will Change Your Marriage for Good

How many arguments do you think started because of The Newlywed Game?

You’ve probably seen the game show in one of its many iterations since it first aired in 1966. The concept is simple: Bring in newly married couples. Separate them, then ask them questions about themselves, their relationship, and each other.

Bring them back together and see how well they can guess what their spouse answered. The result was often humorous and always revealing -- and it didn’t take a relationship expert to tell which couples were the strongest. The winners were the couples who knew the most about each other.  Those who didn’t found themselves in an emotionally tense situation with their spouse on national television.
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Family

When Infidelity Is an Uninvited Guest at Your Thanksgiving Dinner

No time of year is a good time to be coping with infidelity. But when the wounds of a relationship betrayal are still tender and coincide with a traditional family holiday, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the sting of infidelity is that much sharper.

Infidelity is a private matter. If there is any hope of repairing the damaged relationship, it is best to deal with it discreetly.
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Marriage and Divorce

Surviving Honeymoon ‘Disasters’

Whether you’re driving to Maine or flying to Aruba, you expect your honeymoon to be perfect. Nothing but quality time with your new husband or wife in exotic surroundings, with delicious food, great entertainment, wonderful accommodations and plenty of sun.

What could possibly go wrong?

Although you’re most likely to have a foolproof wedding trip, it is possible to experience a few setbacks.
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Marriage and Divorce

World Champion Cubs Toss Marriage Tip: Regroup!

Did you know that the same traits we admire in sportsmanship exist in good marriages? Spouses who want to keep their relationship growing nicely can pick up a few ideas from Chicago Cubs outfielder, Jason Heyward, and manager Joe Maddon. Many give Heyward’s inspiring World Series weight room speech credit for restoring his team’s spirits up after their several-run lead against the Cleveland Indians had dwindled to a 6-6 tie...
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Depression

10 Common Challenges When Your Spouse Has Depression


It's no walk in the park.

When you're married to someone, you're committed -- through thick and thin, sick and well. But when you're married to someone with depression, sometimes you feel a little sick yourself.

How do you manage to care for your partner yet also find happiness, both within and outside of the marriage? How do you live with a partner who at times may consider suicide or shut off from everyone, including yourself?

It's not easy. And sometimes, it pushes you to the brink of your own sanity. Here are 10 struggles spouses of someone with depression know too well.

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