Marriage and Divorce Articles

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:

Stop Looking for a ‘Soulmate’ and Start Looking for a ‘Life Partner’

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Marriage

Still looking for your perfect mate? You may have already found them.

Soulmates can be defined in many different ways. Most of us search high and low for many years, braving the ups and downs of relationships and love, wondering if we are with our soulmate or if such a person even exists.

I have found there are some concrete things to consider if you don’t think you are with your soulmate or are still in search of that perfect someone who will change your life.

5 Signs Your Mate Is Overly Critical

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Young Couple Arguing

Is he ultra sensitive about the words you use? You might want to move on ASAP.

As a body language expert, I observe the ways couples interact with each other. Over the years I’ve identified several types of toxic relationships that fall into a category of romance that I’ve termed “psychological demons disguised as love.”

Conflict Resolution and Communication Styles

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Conflict Resolution and Communication StylesI recently read John Gray’s classic, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. This relationship guide (with an extraterrestrial twist) details the various differences and nuances in behavior between the genders.

I’m normally one to advocate that people are people; there’s something to be said for individualism and circumstance. However, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement with certain generalized ideas, particularly distinctions in how both sexes communicate when conflict strikes.

Relationships: Evaluating Your Return On Investment

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

relationship resolutions

For nearly 20 years I have been teaching at CEO Space, an entrepreneurial training and business growth conference. Being steeped in the concept of Return on Investment as it relates to money, I can’t help but transfer that concept to the realm of relationships.

Most of us start with “What is in it for me?” questioning what we are getting back in our partnerships, but I invite you to consider, “What are you returning others on their investment (of time, love, energy, money, prayers) in you?”

Remembering the Little Things

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Remembering the Little Things

I feel I was never able to forget anyone I’ve been with because each person has their own specific qualities. You can never replace anyone. What is lost is lost.

- “Before Sunset”

When relationships run their course, we cope in various ways. Some try to move forward quickly, which may result in severing ties and discarding physical evidence: letters, photographs, emails. They extinguish the past. They eradicate its significance. And that’s OK — that’s how they navigate through the pain.

Personally, I was never able to embrace that approach. I’m emotional, I attach easily, and I often view relationships through a nostalgic lens.

You Must Learn to Love Yourself Before Extending Love to Others

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

loves-me-loves-me-not-flower-woman

Sometimes joy is found, not in what you receive, but in what you finally let go.

I can pinpoint “the happiest moment of my life” almost to the second. I was on a plane taxiing down a runway en-route to visit my parents in Chicago. The airline attendant began the all too familiar announcement: “Should oxygen be required, a mask will drop down from a compartment above your seat … if you’re traveling with an infant or someone in your care, make sure to secure your own mask first.”

The depth of those words suddenly hit me. Secure your own mask first. Being a mother now, I can hardly imagine the idea of putting myself before my child. Yet, at that moment, I understood this profound truth: You must love yourself and make yourself happy before you can extend that love and happiness to others.

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.

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