Marriage and Divorce

The Three Relationship Killers and How to Overcome Them

As a marriage and family therapist for over 30 years, I've seen a lot of couples. And over and over, the demise of marriages and relationships in general, is not over money, children, or health but crummy communication styles. Unfortunately we were not taught in school or at home about how to communicate so we resort to a free-wheeling and unconscious style, unaware of the consequences of how our message is received.

Here are the three relationship killers of love, connection, openness, and intimacy and how to cut them off at the pass.
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Family

Eat, Pray, Relate!

Personally, I grew up with no encouragement to pray. I used to have a vague sense that prayer was for simple, naïve folks - that it was the “opiate for the masses.” So I do understand if you don’t relate to the concept.

But perhaps you do.

Because according to a Pew Research Center survey, 55% of Americans say they pray every day. Another 21% say they pray weekly or monthly. Even many who are not religiously affiliated say they pray daily.
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: December 3, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's pretty dark and rainy in my neck of the woods today, which doesn't give me much Christmas spirit (I'm finally decorating today...or hoping to, anyway); however, such weather does do a little something interesting for my overall spirit.

Have you ever heard the term "pluviophile"? Basically, a pluviophile (a term that derives from "pluvial," meaning "of or relating to rain") is someone who -- you guessed it -- can find joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

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Marriage and Divorce

Marriage Mentors Are Everywhere

When it comes to marriage, I cannot overstate the value of mentoring. If you were blessed to have grown up with happily married parents who communicated well, you probably learned, as though by osmosis, how to become happily hitched. Your live-in mentors paved the way.

But what if you grew up with parents who stayed together unhappily or divorced? Or if you were raised by a single parent? Typically, couples who see me for therapy grew up without viewing a healthy marriage. For them and for others desiring a happy, lasting union, good mentoring can fill the gaps.
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Friends

Being Love

“I’m not interested in being a ‘lover.’ I’m interested in only being love.” – Ram Dass
How can you be love? It’s an interesting question, probably not one most people ever consider. Yet the idea that you can embody love in everything you do is quite appealing. Akin to saintliness, perhaps, or what we imagine holy people do. But not us, right, surely not everyday people just trying to get along in life?

Not so fast. This isn’t a concept to dismiss out of hand. Think for a minute about doing the right thing, helping others instead of yourself all the time, going for the greater good in life and not striving for an accumulation of wealth and things. These are components of being love, although they only begin to touch at it.
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Marriage and Divorce

These 5 Conversations Will Change Your Marriage for Good

How many arguments do you think started because of The Newlywed Game?

You’ve probably seen the game show in one of its many iterations since it first aired in 1966. The concept is simple: Bring in newly married couples. Separate them, then ask them questions about themselves, their relationship, and each other.

Bring them back together and see how well they can guess what their spouse answered. The result was often humorous and always revealing -- and it didn’t take a relationship expert to tell which couples were the strongest. The winners were the couples who knew the most about each other.  Those who didn’t found themselves in an emotionally tense situation with their spouse on national television.
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Interview

On Retreat with B. Alan Wallace Part Two: I’m Exhausted — Why is That?

This article is Part Two in a series, click to read Part One: "Getting Mindfulness Right: Expert B. Alan Wallace Explains Where We Are Going Wrong."
B. Alan Wallace made a big statement during the retreat -- that he hardly ever feels exhausted. He has a demanding schedule by any standard, traveling the world teaching, speaking and collaborating on significant issues -- but without exhaustion.

This immediately had my full attention: how did he explain this? In my late teens and early twenties my mother would light heartedly end my sentences for me when she asked me how I was -- because I would often answer "absolutely exhausted." What could I learn?
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Brain and Behavior

Recognizing & Adjusting Co-Dependent Behaviors

Simply stated, co-dependency describes a dynamic in which one person enables and supports another person’s dysfunctional behavior or poor emotional health like alcohol or substance abuse, immaturity, irresponsibility, and under-achievement.

It’s important to acknowledge that having dependency needs is healthy and normal. In mature and healthy relationships, people are able to comfortably rely on one another for support, understanding, and help while–at the same time–retaining a sense of independence and autonomy. This dynamic is reciprocated, not just one-sided. Healthy dynamics between people fosters independence, resourcefulness, and resiliency, while co-dependent dynamics stifle and limit growth.
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Anger

Six Tips for Dealing with Family Drama During the Holidays

The holidays are some people’s favorite time of year. Cozy nights in, creating new memories, and lots of time spent with immediate and extended family members.

For some, this time is wonderful. But for others, dealing with family members and in-laws can make the holiday season extremely stressful; even dreadful.

If you have difficult family members who just seem to ruin your holidays, here are six ways to deal with them this season.
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