Family

There’s No Such Thing as a Simple Question

You would think that a simple question would be met with a simple answer. On occasion, that is true. But often, a simple question stirs up a barrage of emotional baggage. Here are two examples:

He says: Do you know where the flashlight is?
She says: You never put anything away and then you expect me to find it. How am I supposed to know?

She says: It’s raining; will you drive carefully?
He says: Get off my back! I’m not an idiot!

Communication is not what you say; it’s what the other person hears you say. And when you have a history with that person, a simple question can conjure up a frenzy of emotions.
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General

Recovering from Your Affair

If you are the one who cheated, you are probably dealing with emotions of guilt and shame. Perhaps you are even angry with yourself or your spouse. You may also be experiencing grief from the loss of your affair partner or fear of losing your spouse. Dealing with all of these emotions is essential for putting the pieces of your life back together and for your affair recovery. Attending therapy with a Marriage and Family Therapist with vast experience in affair recovery can be indispensable in the recovery process.
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Marriage and Divorce

Smart Tips for Couples When One Partner Makes More Money

It might sound pretty sweet to have your partner taking care of you financially, but some people can feel uncomfortable and even inadequate if their spouse or partner makes more money than they do. Many of us, particularly men, have been taught that it is our job to be the providers and protectors for our partners and children, and this role can seem threatened when our partner is bringing in the majority, or all, of the income.

For years men were almost exclusively in the breadwinner role. However, that has been changing for the last few decades, causing a big shift in roles and incomes as more and more women become the breadwinners in their families. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
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Family

What’s Your Listening IQ?

When people are “crazy in love,” they have the highest listening IQ. They make excellent eye contact, are totally focused on what their partner is saying, are tuned in to the nuances of the conversation, and freely give head nods, smiles, and chuckles to show they are listening.

As time passes, people become more relaxed with one another. When they do, their listening IQ tends to decline. Direct eye contact deteriorates. People focus on other...
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Books

Reconnecting with Your Partner After Postpartum Depression

Having a baby tends to change your marriage. How could it not? You’re adding another (beautiful) human being to your household. A human being who requires you to fulfill their every need, usually every few minutes, and who rarely lets you sleep. And most of us aren’t exactly at our best when we’re sleep deprived, stressed and spent.

When you add postpartum depression (PPD) to the mix, your marriage might feel especially fragile. Even after you’ve recovered from PPD, your foundation may be shaky. You might feel disconnected from each other. You’re physically in the same house, in the same room, and yet your hearts are many miles apart.
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General

Retroactive Jealousy vs ‘Regular’ Jealousy in a Relationship

We all know what “regular” jealousy in a relationship looks like. The guy who demands his girlfriend text him every hour when she’s on a night out. The wife who secretly trails her husband wherever he goes like a private investigator, and so on.

These are extreme examples, but the reason for jealous behavior like this in people is a fairly straightforward fear of losing the one they love to someone else. While this fear is usually totally unfounded and irrational, it’s grounded in reality in the sense that their partner could theoretically fall in love with that handsome new work colleague, or have a fling with a random girl they met on Tinder.

Retroactive jealousy on the other hand is a condition in which people find themselves feeling jealous, angry and upset about people their partner once dated or had sex with in the past.
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Friends

The Importance of Friendship in Marriage

Friend is simply defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as “a person who you like and enjoy being with,” and Best Friend as “one’s closest and dearest friend.” Friends have similar interests and best friends even share the joys and sorrows of life. Having your spouse as your best friend can be one of the great benefits of marriage. If you and your spouse are already best friends, that’s wonderful; if not, maybe it’s time to understand the importance of friendship in marriage.

Relationship expert John Gottman, professor at the University of Washington, and author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, says "Happy marriages are based on a deep friendship" and that friendship is the core of a strong marriage. Gottman's research has shown that a high quality friendship in a marriage is an important predictor in romantic and physical satisfaction.
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Books

5 Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Being Heard

We can’t control someone else’s behavior. We can’t control whether they really hear us or not. But we can make the process easier. That is, we can help the other person better understand where we’re coming from by being clear and compassionate. Often we do the opposite: Often we expect others to know what we need. How could they not? Isn’t it obvious? (Usually, it’s not obvious at all.)

Or we stay silent because we fear that by speaking up, we’ll be seen as high-maintenance, unreasonable or rude. If we don’t have much practice asserting ourselves, we might assume that doing so involves being harsh or stern. Or maybe we unwittingly use criticism or blame, which naturally makes the other person anything but receptive to what we have to say.
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Anxiety and Panic

5 More Tips for Navigating a Contentious Divorce

Contentious divorces can do a number on your health and well-being. You might find that you're struggling with symptoms of anxiety and depression or a worsening of these symptoms (if you had anxiety or depression before). You might find that you have very little energy and you’re constantly on edge. Maybe you can’t concentrate either. Maybe everything feels more challenging. Grueling. It’s hard to breathe when you feel like you’re suffocating.

But even during such a chaotic time as a contentious divorce, there are things you can do to improve the situation and to feel better. You can be an advocate for yourself and your family.
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Family

5 Suggestions for Navigating a Contentious Divorce

Any divorce is difficult, even when the split is amicable. After all, divorce is a major transition, and change is tough. When your divorce is contentious, not surprisingly, things are harder. A lot harder.

“People are often caught off guard by the enormity of the divorce experience,” said Krysta Dancy, MA, MFT, a therapist who specializes in working with couples and families in Roseville, Calif.

If your marriage was contentious, you probably see your divorce as a relief, so you might feel blindsided when your stress skyrockets. You might feel utterly exhausted, anxious, depressed and unfocused, Dancy said.
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