Marriage and Divorce Articles

Sexual Addiction, Depression, and the Emotional Affair

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

JealousyI am helping my friend, I’ll call her Pam, end an emotional affair. I mean, it’s not the kind of emotional affair where she tells the guy that she loves him. They don’t have secret meetings, or talk every day, or have “code language.”

To an outsider, the relationship wouldn’t seem inappropriate in the slightest. Yet she’s invested herself emotionally — letting it take a big chunk out of her heart — which is creating all kinds of guilt and anxiety for her.

Back to Reality: Forget These 5 Relationship Illusions

Monday, August 11th, 2014

happy talking couple bigst

We’ve all done it. We have blamed our boyfriend, girlfriend, lover or spouse for our state of happiness, or perhaps more accurately, our unhappiness. We tend to look outside of ourselves for the cause of our problems, and thus, we seek outside of ourselves for solutions. The problem with this approach to relationship repair is that we render ourselves victims, thinking we are not capable of creating change in our lives. Ultimately, we hand our happiness over to someone else to manage.

The way most of us (unconsciously) operate in relationships is the result of one or more illusions. After a few turns around the dating, mating and relating block we come to realize that none of these approaches to relationships work, or at minimum, do not withstand the test of time. The invitation here is to develop a new practice.

The One Trait that Predicts Sexual Satisfaction in Long-Term Couples

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The Value of Human TouchThink a satisfying sex life in a long-term relationship is kind of an anomaly? Sure, people pretend it exists because it makes for good romantic comedies and keeps us married folks somewhat hopeful of our futures. But it’s not actually a “thing” in real life, right?

Well — yes and no. It is far too common for sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships to take a nosedive. The good news is, we know what to do about it. The bad news is many people are too lazy and complacent to do it. (As a couples therapist, I see this often.)

Want a Divorce? Stop the Emotional Yo-Yo and Be Clear About It

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

couple unhappy black male female

Don’t beat around the bush when asking for divorce.

Sheila had been thinking about it for months and she had talked to her girlfriends about it. They were shocked by her admission — she wasn’t sure she loved her husband Jeff any more.

Her friends were shocked because, even after all these years, Jeff seemed to be hopelessly in love with her. But she just wasn’t hopelessly in love with him anymore. She’d made her decision; she was going to tell Jeff she wanted a divorce.

Withdrawal: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Withdrawal: the Good, the Bad, and the UglyWithdrawal makes love addiction different from codependency. Like any other addict, a love addict wants a fix — in this case, the object of his or her obsession. That could be a particular person, or a relationship in general. So what happens when that “substance” goes away?

There are two ways a love addict enters withdrawal: They’ve ended the relationship or tried to. Or his or her partner has left the relationship — explicitly, or by becoming obsessed with his or her own addictive behavior. As soon as the love addict feels the other person’s absence, it will trigger feelings of loss.

Key Questions for Couples to Consider before Baby Arrives

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

right-way-feed-babyThere’s no shortage of advice and to-do lists for parents-to-be. There are articles on do’s and don’ts; information about things you should and shouldn’t buy; and books you must read right away. The sheer overload of information can be dizzying.

Pausing can help. In fact, one of the best things parents-to-be can do is to look within and reflect together. Not surprisingly, communication between partners is key when you start expanding your family.

10 Tips for Navigating Heartbreak

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

10 Tips for Navigating HeartbreakRejection is a part of life — a painful part.

Intimate relationships involve vulnerability and risk, and the ending of a relationship causes many to seek professional help and guidance.

The following is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes some suggestions to consider while undergoing the inevitable transitions that follow a breakup:

When You Regularly Feel Insecure in Your Relationship

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

When You Regularly Feel Insecure in Your RelationshipDo you tend to feel insecure in your relationships? Do you often feel worried, lonely or jealous? Have partners commented on how clingy you get? Then you might have an anxious attachment.

“Anxious attachment is a way of describing the way some people connect with others — especially emotionally significant others — in their lives,” said Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and speaker. Individuals with an anxious attachment believe they’re flawed, inadequate and unworthy of love, she said.

Couples You Meet in Counseling: Mr. Perfect and His Crazy Wife

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Couples You Meet in Counseling: Mr. Perfect and His Crazy Wife“What is her problem all the damn time? Why can’t she just chill out? We don’t have problems, she has problems. I have to get back to work.”

The man who comes into counseling with this sort of mindset we will call Mr. Perfect. This high-achieving specimen of masculinity is usually in some field requiring an excess of education or on-the-job training. He is successful in his career and receives a lot of positive feedback.

Not just competent at work, he can also take the kids for an afternoon on his own because he is calm, cool and collected in all situations, even those involving toddlers and poop. His friends consider him a good guy. He is attractive and well-spoken. In an emergency, he is the person you want around. What a guy, right? (Don’t swoon just yet.)

Lessons from ‘Eat, Pray, Love’

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Lessons from "Eat, Pray, Love"If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet as a teacher … and if you are prepared, most of all, to forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you. ~ Liz Gilbert

If I’m seeking an ‘emotional cleanse’ of sorts, I watch the film “Eat, Pray, Love.” Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir, the movie documents one woman’s quest to heal, find peace and restore balance in her life, as she travels through Rome, India and Bali. Her ventures bring forth painful lessons, self-discoveries and resonating truths.

Don’t Fail Marriage: 3 Homework Assignments to Earn an A in Nuptials!

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

marriage in trouble

Ready for a divorce? Try doing these things first.

School may be over for most kids, but for some parents in Oklahoma, it’s only beginning.

Oklahoma lawmakers signed a bill this month requiring divorcing couples with children under the age of 18 to complete a mandatory educational program. We guess parents are not going to be thrilled about this forced enlightenment and yet compatibility with your spouse is a critical subject. And it’s one you can pass with flying colors without government intervention if you complete these three homework assignments:

Can Romantic Comedies Improve Your Marriage? Recent Research Says Yes

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Enamoured couple at cinema

New research gives you an excuse to lure your partner into seeing that rom-com with you.

Fall 2014 brings the release of yet another Nicholas Sparks novel-turned movie The Best Of Me. While chick flick lovers are rejoicing, rom-com haters are simultaneously sighing. I’ve heard complaints many times from my girl and guy friends alike. ”These movies are so unrealistic; they skew our idea of love.”

It is easy to think that romance movies create false expectations in relationships. As much as we may envy or despise the characters and storylines of romance movies, do they really have a negative effect on our relationships?

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