Marriage and Divorce Articles

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.

Couples & Money: 10 Tips to Fix Your Finances Together

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

money hand 2

This knowledge will help you avoid common financial fights.

A strong relationship with your partner, and a solid, secure financial life together, begins with what you bring to the table. As a money and relationship coach, I work with couples who struggle with this; and, while there’s a lot they need to work on together, they first must start with themselves. And so do you.

Here, I’ve outlined the 10 big ideas that I walk everyone through to get on solid footing with their finances, so that they’re ready to be honest and optimistic about their future, their finances, and their relationships.

Tips to Ease Relationship Tensions

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Tips to Ease Relationship TensionsI came home after a dinner with friends to hungry cats, wet laundry still in the washing machine, and muddy footprints tracked across the carpet.

I was tired. And I felt my tension rise. I’d expected those chores to be covered.

He had been out in the yard, digging a French drain to keep the crawl space from drawing too much rainwater during the winter storms.

He was tired from the wet, dirty work. He’d expected me to be pleased by the effort.

By the time we sorted through missed expectations, we were both impatient and irritated. We didn’t feel like talking — probably good because neither of us felt like listening, either.

Surviving Infidelity: Regain Your Confidence & Self-Esteem

Friday, November 28th, 2014

can-your-relationship-survive-cheating

It’s not okay for someone to give you less than 100% love and safety.

Ladies, if you’ve been cheated on, then you know how crippling it can be to your self-esteem. It can send a crumbling ripple effect to your ego, making you feel worthless for many months, if not years.

You play the blame game and you play it well. You’re the victim and you give your cheater immense power over you. You may look for answers but you may never get them. And because you don’t have a real answer as to why he or she committed infidelity, all you can do is blame yourself.

Getting Past Those Awkward Moments — in Baseball and in Marriage

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Getting Past Those Awkward Moments -- in Baseball and in MarriageYou might not expect to pick up marriage tips from a baseball team. Yet as my home team, the San Francisco Giants, moved toward the World Championship, I was struck by how they showed similar character traits to those I encourage in my couples therapy clients.

Some spouses I work with have explosive personalities. They become verbally abusive when their partner doesn’t do what they want. Such impulsive reactions harm their marital relationship. In sports and other competitive games, we call someone who acts this way a “poor sport.”

The 7 Best Tips for Handling Anger and Resentment in Relationships

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Couples

Too much fighting in your relationship? Empathy is the antidote to anger!

“Love is not a contract between two narcissists. It’s more than that. It’s a construction that compels the participants to go beyond narcissism. In order that love lasts one has to reinvent oneself.” – French Philosopher Alain Badiou

Resentment and anger in relationships often stem from utter dismay at how your spouse could have possibly done what they did. You just can’t understand it — you never would have done such a thing.

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