Marriage and Divorce Articles

Lessons from ‘Eat, Pray, Love’

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Lessons from "Eat, Pray, Love"If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet as a teacher … and if you are prepared, most of all, to forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you. ~ Liz Gilbert

If I’m seeking an ‘emotional cleanse’ of sorts, I watch the film “Eat, Pray, Love.” Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir, the movie documents one woman’s quest to heal, find peace and restore balance in her life, as she travels through Rome, India and Bali. Her ventures bring forth painful lessons, self-discoveries and resonating truths.

Don’t Fail Marriage: 3 Homework Assignments to Earn an A in Nuptials!

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

marriage in trouble

Ready for a divorce? Try doing these things first.

School may be over for most kids, but for some parents in Oklahoma, it’s only beginning.

Oklahoma lawmakers signed a bill this month requiring divorcing couples with children under the age of 18 to complete a mandatory educational program. We guess parents are not going to be thrilled about this forced enlightenment and yet compatibility with your spouse is a critical subject. And it’s one you can pass with flying colors without government intervention if you complete these three homework assignments:

Can Romantic Comedies Improve Your Marriage? Recent Research Says Yes

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Enamoured couple at cinema

New research gives you an excuse to lure your partner into seeing that rom-com with you.

Fall 2014 brings the release of yet another Nicholas Sparks novel-turned movie The Best Of Me. While chick flick lovers are rejoicing, rom-com haters are simultaneously sighing. I’ve heard complaints many times from my girl and guy friends alike. ”These movies are so unrealistic; they skew our idea of love.”

It is easy to think that romance movies create false expectations in relationships. As much as we may envy or despise the characters and storylines of romance movies, do they really have a negative effect on our relationships?

Lowering the Volume in a World of Living Out Loud

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Lowering the Volume in a World of Living Out LoudLife in the age of living out loud presents some unique challenges. You may have heard the well-known saying about jazz music that there is great importance in the notes that are not played, that the notes that are not played are as important as the ones that are. American jazz musician Miles Davis is often cited as the creator of the phrase, but it is sometimes attributed to other musicians as well.

The concept of the importance of space and silence is relevant in many artistic mediums, and is also applicable to human communication and interaction.

Constructive communication is best approached with a spirit of editing, of identifying what will not be said. I sometimes tell clients to think about their communication and interaction with others as a book that is being written. All books could benefit from editing and refining rough drafts. The editing of the self in the realm of communication may serve to not only avoid escalation and conflict; it may provide a chance to practice mindfulness and self-discipline in a way that benefits the self and others.

Predicting Divorce: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

The Four Horsemen of the ApocalpyseThe beginning of a relationship is a lot like buying a new house. Everything seems terrific, and that initial excitement can last for weeks, months, or even years. But like any house that isn’t taken care of, eventually your relationship may start to fall apart, leaving you wondering where it all went wrong.

Just as you can take regular care of your house in order to prevent it from falling apart, the same is true for your relationship. John Gottman, renowned relationship expert, discovered four markers of relationship failure with 93 percent accuracy in predicting divorce. These four indicators, also known as the four horsemen, are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

5 More Things that Make a Good Partner

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

5 More Things that Make a Good PartnerLast month we explored five things that make a good partner, including loving yourself and understanding the true meaning of 50/50. This month we asked two different relationship experts to share their insights.

“Many people believe that a good partner is someone who gives unconditionally and makes the relationship all about them,” said Meredith Hansen, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in couples, premarital and newlywed counseling.

However, a partner who’s too giving and too focused on pleasing their partner lacks a sense of self, which isn’t healthy, she said.

Good partners have different opinions, needs and preferences. And they work on striking a balance in their relationship. “Sometimes it will be about you, sometimes it will be about them, and often it will be all about the two of you.”

How Depression Damages Your Relationship & What You Can Do

Friday, July 4th, 2014

How Depression Damages Your Relationship & What You Can DoDepression is a difficult illness that darkens your thoughts and feelings. It saps your self-esteem, energy, motivation and interest in anything. It’s also tough on romantic relationships.

According to psychologist Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD, in her book When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How to Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When You’re Depressed, depression diminishes your ability to connect with your partner and creates doubts about your union. Symptoms such as anger and irritability can create tension between partners.

Recovering from Codependency

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Recovering from CodependencyTonight in my CoDA meeting we read from Step Ten of Melody Beattie’s book Codependents’ Guide to the Twelve Steps. I highly recommend this book if you are serious about getting your head in the right place. It’s a great place to start.

What struck me this evening was this paragraph:

I kept trying to forgive [addicts] for [their addictions] when I was still allowing myself to be victimized by their [behavior]. I kept substituting forgiveness and denial for acceptance of reality. I had concepts confused.

Are You Making Excuses that Prevent You from Finding Love?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Dating with Schizophrenia

Are you the reason you’re still single?

I’ve heard many excuses from women telling why they can’t find a man to love. I understand where they’re coming from; there was a time when I had plenty of excuses myself.

But making excuses for why you can’t find a partner is dangerous to your love life. It will not only keep love away from you. It will cause you a lot of unhappiness.

Shh…Create a Love that Lasts Forever with These Secret 5 Steps!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

3 Ways 'Love' Benefits Your Health

Make your partner feel good and don’t forget the little things.

Developing the secure, fulfilling bond you deserve with your partner is hard work, but it is not impossible. Below are five characteristics of every strong bond and what you can do to help create a deep, loving connection.

The Secret to Great Relationships of Any Kind

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The Secret to Great Relationships of Any KindGerry Spence, the famous attorney who has an amazing record for winning in court, says that people have “truth tentacles.” That’s how he became so successful — by telling juries the truth.

I agree; I think people can tell when they’re being lied to. Sometimes we may put blinders on because we don’t like the reality we see, but deep inside, we generally know the truth.

Letting Go and Moving On After a Breakup or Divorce

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Letting Go and Moving On after a Breakup or DivorceHeartbreak hurts. Loss is shattering. Put these two together and you’ve got the lovely one-two punch that can come with breakups of short-lived or long-term relationships.

It brings most everyone down. Otherwise emotionally-guarded people crumble into a mess of anger, sadness and confusion. Task-oriented folks lose focus and motivation. Forgiving types start learning how to hold a grudge.

Recent Comments
  • Abigale: Excellent advice! I particularly like and agree with number 3. If we constantly blame other people for the...
  • Leila: My ex boyfriend broke up with me about 13 months ago, and I am still not over him. In fact, I just woke up...
  • Maureen: This really resonates – it is so sad to go out to dinner and see entire families with their phones,...
  • Maureen: Very useful info about self-esteem not being universally beneficial as we previously thought. Will use this...
  • Ed Lab: Please check out Jessa Gamble’s talk on TED.com “our natural sleep cycle” if you are having...
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