Alcoholism

5 Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship with Your Teenager

As any parent will know -- or at least will have been warned -- a child’s teenage years can be some of the toughest. It can be particularly hard if their parents are divorced or separated.

A whirlwind combination of puberty, hormones, high school years, and the growing need for independence can be a challenge for any parent. In a household with a teenager, every day can seem like a battle -- sometimes over the smallest things. As a parent, you want to be able to love and guide your child like you always have, but you need to understand that just as they’re changing, your relationship with them needs to change as well. These are some of the most formative years of their lives, so it’s good for them to know that their parents are there for them, and are willing to realize that they have a young adult who deserves their respect and guidance.

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Addiction

An Open Letter from a Wife in Recovery

Please note, this letter is my own and unrelated to any Al-Anon approved literature.
After reading An Open Letter From an Addict, I took the liberty of writing a letter back early on in my own recovery. Yes, my recovery.

After finding out my husband was actively using for years, I was devastated. How could I not know? What was I thinking this whole time?

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Brain and Behavior

5 Ways to Get Your Partner to Change

Everyone says you can’t change another person, nor should you try. You have to accept him or her, flaws and all.

While it’s fundamentally true that you can’t make others change -- they have to want to change themselves -- there are ways to influence someone else’s behavior. Below are five steps that increase the likelihood of change and may bring couples closer together.

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General

In Love & Still Lonely

Many of us believe that if we feel lonely, we are searching for love. We think that love is the most profound feeling possible; it is the glue that holds us together. It is the greatest joy we can experience.

While this may be true under the right circumstances, love also is fickle. We have the capacity to fall in love with someone who is unavailable. Maybe the person we love doesn’t love us back. We might fall in love with someone who is incapable of expressing emotions or affection. In fact, falling in love with the wrong person can be the worst of all heartaches.

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General

3 Surprisingly Simple Keys to a Happy Marriage

Maintaining a happy marriage isn’t complicated. In fact, it can be simple. The keys to a happy union are feasible and fairly straightforward. Which isn’t the same as easy and effortless. Because a happy, healthy marriage requires work from both spouses. Anything worthwhile does.

Below, Ashley Thorn, a licensed marriage and family therapist, spells out the simple keys. She also reveals how she helps her clients cultivate these keys—and how you and your spouse can, too.

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General

Getting Married Takes a Leap of Faith

Many singles are conflicted about marrying. They yearn for the fulfillment a good marriage brings but are afraid to commit. They fear it won’t work out, which, given the current high rate of marriage failures, is understandable.

It should come as no surprise that it takes a leap of faith to marry. The example below shows how one woman resolved her conflict about marrying. Her major challenges were learning to believe in herself and gaining trust that she could succeed.

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Family

Want to Be Close to Someone? Ask These 36 Questions

Can you create a sense of closeness or intimacy with a complete stranger? Psychology research says, yes, you can.

Nearly 20 years ago, a team of psychology researchers led by Arthur Aron (1997) conducted an experiment that demonstrated that you can create a sense of closeness or intimacy with another person simply by asking and answering a set of 36 questions together.

But was the closeness produced in the experimental condition the same as the real closeness we feel with long-time partners and friends?

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Marriage and Divorce

Can Practicing Mindfulness Lead to Unconditional Love?

Is it even possible to find unconditional love?

Unconditional love. A love that comes without any conditions, expectations, constraints, or parameters; a love that just IS. A love that is so perfect and so pure that it's given freely -- no matter what.

Does it exist? And if it does, is it possible to practice in the context of a relationship? Can we truly love someone unconditionally?

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Friends

5 Ways Unhealthy Couples Use Facebook

Facebook is a wonderful social tool that keeps us connected with friends and family in our busy daily lives. But used in the wrong way, it can become a liability in both our lives and our relationships. Here are five ways that unhealthy couples use Facebook.

If you recognize yourself in one or more of these ways, you may want to re-evaluate your use of Facebook. Cutting back on using it may benefit not only your own feelings of self-esteem but also your romantic relationship.

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General

8 Small Ways to Show Your Spouse Some Love

Gretchen Rubin says, “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” This is true for relationships. Love is in the small things. In daily acts.

“Consistency is king in relationships,” said Anna Osborn, LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist who practices in Sacramento, Calif., and virtually coaches couples across the country. So as great as grand gestures are, it’s the small acts that help our partners to feel seen and significant. Feeling valued is our biggest need in intimate relationships, Osborn said.
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Anger

New Year, New Relationship

If you’re anything like me, you have high hopes that 2016 is going to be your year. And while, in many ways I make this claim every year and a lot of good happens in my life, there are those tried and true “resolutions” that just don’t seem to stick.

“I’m going to be a better (friend, confidant, spouse, colleague) for the New Year. “ “I aim to be more (giving of my time, generous with my loved ones, selfless, thoughtful).” “I vow to do less (blaming, cursing, feeling sorry for myself).” And so on and so forth. You get the idea. As wonderful and hopeful as these goals may sound, implementing them always seem to fall short.
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