Relationships Articles

Before & After: Learning to Fit Yourself Back into the Schedule

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Before & After: Odd Days, I Do Everything I Can for Mom. Even Days, for Me.I’m writing my next book, Better Than Before, about how we make and break habits –  an issue  very relevant to happiness. Each week, I post a before-and-after story submitted by a reader, about how he or she successfully changed a habit. We can all learn from each other. If you’d like to share your story, contact me here.

Can Handwriting Foster Emotions and Relationships?

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Hand Writing On a Notebook

I have a treasure chest, well ok — a suitcase — in my office of old handwritten letters from friends, ex-sweethearts and family. Every now and then, I open this old-fashioned suitcase and pick out a letter or two reminding me of a great love, a wonderful experience, a heart that touched mine, or vice versa.

The letters from my family members have become especially treasured, as several of them are no longer living.

As I look through them, I can’t help but notice that the letters recount my history up to a certain point in time, about twenty years ago, and then they stop.

When Your Partner Has Difficulty Expressing Emotion

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

When Your Partner Has Difficulty Expressing EmotionWhen partners aren’t able to express their emotions, it can erode the relationship. Emotions give us important information that we can use to better understand our needs, priorities and limits. We can use emotions to set boundaries and make decisions.

“If you’re not authentically experiencing, expressing, and learning from your emotions, then that erodes trust, security, intimacy and closeness,” said Jared DeFife, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and relationship coach in Atlanta, Ga.

What My Cancer Scare Taught Me about Love and Dating

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

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Sometimes it takes an extreme situation to see there is love right in front of you.

Have you ever suddenly had a change of health that put a halt to your desire to date? A dramatic unexpected diagnosis can quickly change your dating goals or even obliterate them temporarily. You may need surgery or treatment that will be the focus of your life for a while.

That is what happened to me recently. I experienced an interruption in dating while I focused on my health.

‘I Don’t Want My Friends to Think I’m Crazy’: The Stigma of Bipolar on the College Campus

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Massachusetts Office of Travel & TourismMental illness is a prevalent issue on college campuses that often goes unseen and unacknowledged. When I decided I wanted to write an article about students at my university with bipolar disorder, I ran into the difficulty of finding subjects to interview. I asked around my fellow students to see if anyone knew someone who might be willing to speak to me.

“My friend is dating this one crazy girl,” one of my friends jokingly told me. “She’s so bipolar. You should try interviewing her.”

5 Divorce Facts That Might Change Your Idea of Splitting Up

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

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Find out how 50 percent of divorcees feel about their separation.

Many people think they have it all figured out when it comes to divorce. The whole “50 percent of marriages end in divorce” statistic gets thrown around a lot. Everyone knows someone whose family was torn apart by it. But there’s so much more to know about ending marriages.

How to Be Real Without Being Mean

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

What is Anger?The mantra to “get real” has become popular nowadays — and for good reason. We live in a society where images rule and authenticity is reserved for blue jeans and ethnic recipes. We’re trained to polish and parade a false self that we think will garner acceptance and accolades.

The isolation and disconnection that’s rampant in our society is based on a disconnection from our own genuine feelings and longings. We’re afraid to show what’s real, including our fears, insecurities, and yearning for love and intimacy. Instead, we may try to project a confident, self-assured, unruffled self that we think will win us friends and gain success. For example, we might conceal our hurt or sadness when our partner is late. Our built-up disappointment or resentment might leak out later over something trivial, which leaves our partner confused.

How to Love Yourself

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

How to Love YourselfI have a confession to make. I have a reminder on my phone that goes off every morning at 8 o’clock that says simply, “You’re awesome.” This might sound dumb but you’d be surprised how often I forget that fact.

This is just one tool in my arsenal of tricks that I use to combat the depression and paranoia that come with a mental illness.

I’ve been in some pretty dark places and I’ve thought many times about putting an end to things when I’m having a hard time, but then, every day at 8 a.m. my phone vibrates and I’m reminded that I’m awesome.

OKCupid: Let’s Manipulate Matches in the Name of ‘Research’

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

OKCupid: Wouldn't It Be Fun If We Lied to Our Users in the Name of 'Research'?Let’s imagine that, once upon a time, you signed up for an online dating service that you thought was going to provide you with the best possible matches it could based upon the information you gave it.

Let’s also imagine that the guy who ran the site decided to play a game. He decided that, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to show people the opposite of what we’d regularly show them as their best matches and see what happens?” He’ll do it under the guise of an “experiment” to make it all sound legit.

Maybe this guy doesn’t understand much about human ethics. Or maybe he just doesn’t care.

Sadly, you don’t have to imagine this scenario. Because if you’re a user of OKCupid, an online dating site, you may have been an unwitting participant in a research study its co-founder, Christian Rudder, decided to run earlier this year.

Are You Fighting Fair? 5 Ways NOT to Fight With Your Partner

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Why Fighting With Your Spouse Might Save Your Marriage

There’s a reason you aren’t getting along.

Are you finding it difficult to communicate with an ex or with your partner? If so, then this article will shed some light on why you keep having challenging and aggressive conversations.

Below are five critical mistakes I see my clients (and myself!) making to create arguments, spur hatred and disable relationships.

3 Thorny Obstacles to Being Authentic

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

More Questions to Help You Deepen Your Connection with Your PartnerWe long for intimate connections, which are essential for our emotional and physical health. But oftentimes we don’t know how to create the connections we desire. Summoning the courage to reveal what we’re experiencing inside allows people to see us and know us. Showing our authentic heart rather than blaming, attacking, or shaming people allows them to feel safer coming toward us.

Yet, we often have blocks to moving toward the authenticity that would create a fertile climate for warm connections with people. Here are some obstacles I’ve observed in my work as a marriage and family therapist for over 30 years:

4 Tips for Becoming Emotionally Resilient

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

4 Tips for Becoming Emotionally Resilient  “Emotional resilience is the ability to manage and cope with stressors …

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