Marriage and Divorce Articles

Couples You Meet in Counseling: The Wife Who Wants More and Her Annoyingly Satisfied Husband

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Couples You Meet in Counseling: The Wife Who Wants More and Her Annoyingly Satisfied HusbandAlthough I thought I was done after
Mr. Perfect and His Crazy Wife
, The Ice Queen and the Martyr, and Mr. and Mrs. Just not Feeling it, I have realized that I have neglected the most common couple that I see in counseling: The Wife Who Wants More and Her Annoyingly Satisfied Husband.

The wife is a 40-something, attractive, intelligent woman with a tendency toward reading, some creative pursuits, and introspection. She has a lot of energy that she used in college, maybe grad school, and then raising her kids, and now her kids are in elementary school or older and much more self-sufficient. This leaves her with a lot more time to think.

How Couples Can Set Intentions for the New Year

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

How Couples Can Set Intentions for the New YearSetting intentions as a couple is a boon to your relationship. “Having shared projects, shared goals and shared meaning increases [closeness],” said Kathy Nickerson, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships in Orange County, Calif.

It’s also “an opportunity to examine what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong in the previous year,” said Susan B. Saint-Rossy, MSW, LCSW, a psychotherapist who works with couples in Loudoun County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

The key is to set positive, concrete goals — elements that many couples unwittingly neglect.

Before Children, After Children

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Before Children, After ChildrenYou can be so smart. You have a college-educated pedigree. You are a mature person with sophistication and depth. You know what you want out of life. You know how to maintain a loving relationship. You have well-thought-out ideas about how to raise your children.

You surely must be living in the B.C. (before children) era, for you are blessed with ignorance. Lucky you!

Now that it’s the A.C. (after children) era, you acknowledge that things have gotten more complicated than you ever imagined. But you have learned a lot.

What 2 Little Words Can Have a BIG Impact on Your Relationship?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

What 2 Little Words Can Have a BIG Impact on Your Relationship?

No one — including your partner — has to do anything for you. Remember that.

“Thank you.” Two simple words that feel SO good to hear.

So, why do so many couples use them so infrequently?

William James, the great American psychologist, said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

6 Common Obstacles in Couples Therapy

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

6 Common Obstacles in Couples TherapyCouples therapy can help couples improve their relationship in many ways. For instance, it helps couples resolve conflict, learn how to communicate effectively, better understand each other, enhance their emotional connection and strengthen their bond.

Naturally, couples may face obstacles in therapy that stall their progress. They may have inaccurate assumptions about how therapy works, which can keep them stuck. Or they may delay seeing a therapist in the first place, which only deepens their problems.

We asked two relationship experts to share the most common obstacles along with what couples can do to overcome them.

How to Tell if You’re the Victim of Emotional Blackmail

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

How To Handle Conflict In Your Relationship

Does your partner behave inappropriately and then blames you? This could be emotional blackmail.

Many relationships function on a level that isn’t healthy for either partner, yet each person seems willing to hold onto the relationship at all costs. Their love for each other and desire to remain in the relationship is stronger than the problems they’re going through.

This can most often be seen with lovers in cases of emotional blackmail. This is where one person behaves inappropriately within the relationship and then blames the other for the behavior. The partner receiving all the blame instantly feels guilty and inadequate and wants to try harder to please.

Overcoming Family Assumptions

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Overcoming Family AssumptionsHave you ever wanted to be in a relationship but felt frustrated because no matter how hard you tried, disappointment or bad results developed?

As an example, let’s follow Joey through a few years of her life, starting from when she first entered college.

Joey was a reflective, serious, and caring young woman. She had a handful of friends whom she dearly appreciated. They had common interests, shared activities, and were available when any of them asked.

As the college years unfolded, Joey wanted to be in a relationship, similar to the ones she observed her friends starting.

4 Key Elements of Healthy Love

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

The Elements of Healthy LoveThere are a lot of relationship paradigms being offered out there. There are even more quotes and advice offerings on what relationship success looks like and how to attain it. Many of these espouse ideas of true love conquering all, enduring all, being all. They involve accepting another’s faults completely and without question, with an ideal of compromise, hard work, and enduring all to achieve the end goal.

While many of these concepts are noble and true, between the beautiful and the cliche, they are only applicable in the right relationship.

In the wrong relationships, these same concepts are being used as reasons to stay because we still want to believe that love is enough all by itself. What we know is that love, in and of itself, is not enough. The wrong relationship can take these qualities that would make the right relationship thrive and endure and instead make excuses for our (or our partner’s) lack of health, toxic markers and red flags.

How to Sit with Someone Else’s Pain

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

How to Sit with Someone Else’s PainA few months ago I wrote about how we can sit with our own painful emotions. Often we don’t. Instead, we gloss over negative feelings. We self-medicate. We berate ourselves for having negative feelings, making us feel even worse. (I can’t believe I’m upset about something so small! I’m so sensitive. I’m so stupid for feeling anxious about that.)

What’s also difficult is sitting with someone else’s pain and supporting them. It can feel awkward and uncomfortable — especially if we have a hard time with our own emotions. Our knee-jerk reaction may be to ignore what’s happening, offer solutions, be overly positive or act on any number of behaviors that dismiss the person’s feelings.

Too Stressed to Meditate

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Too Stressed to MeditateFor the past couple of years, meditation has been easy. I’d put in some hard work over the previous decade and had found a place of stillness each time I took to the cushion. Sure, sometimes what I met as I observed my mind was difficult, but my practice had become productive and indispensable.

I spent the last two years as a stay-at-home dad of a toddler. I did all of the dad, and much of the mom, stuff. I managed the house, cleaned (badly), cooked (very well), arranged activities and play dates, and did what I could to keep the family satisfied.

None of this was easy, but my daughter napped every day. And while she napped I had a solid 35 minutes to meditate, without fail. I taught a couple of classes each week, and led a Wednesday night drop-in meditation group, but that was more rewarding and fulfilling than taxing.

Then it all came to an end.

Adult Children of Divorce: Getting Through the Holidays

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Food, Family and the Holidays

Something like 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, but there’s a special group of us whose parents didn’t call it quits until we were adults. And with the holidays approaching, it’s a little different in our homes.

When people like me were in school, everyone else’s parents were getting divorced. We couldn’t wrap our heads around what that was like for them. Blake said his parents are fighting over him. Julie says she doesn’t have a whole room to herself at her mom’s house so she argues not to stay over there. Some kids were even shuffled around between maternal and paternal grandparents on weekends. Sometimes there was fighting. Sometimes there was palpable grief.

But in the end everyone got through it.

Love Knows No Age! 5 Dating Tips for the 40 and Older Crowd

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Nourishing the Different Types of Intimacy in Your Relationship

Want to know where all the decent single men are hiding? Believe it or not, they are everywhere.

I have some news that will both surprise and delight you. Want to know where all the quality single men are? They are everywhere.

There are about 45 million single men over the age of 35 in the United States and about 8 million are over 65 years old. There are about 7 million single men in Britain and 2 million in Australia, and those are just the ones using online dating.

Recent Comments
  • chien timede: ‘Garsh Cindy! No advice (I was there too darling, yet still learning at 52!), just wanted to...
  • homealone: Steve, I can see why you might think that, given the comments. I truly believe that how one person behaves...
  • Easah: I am a child of two cultures (an eastern culture and American) and most of the issues written about here seem...
  • Steve: It seems that the outcomes all center around the husband changing to address the wife’s needs. What...
  • Casey: I know your response to this article is a year old now, but it sounds like my life! It’s such a relief...
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