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Anger

How to Survive in an Unhappy Marriage and Thrive

You’re unhappy in your marriage, but you’ve decided to stay. It’s been a gut-wrenching decision, and you’re beginning to wonder how you can stay and keep your sanity. You alternate between wanting to leave and praying that it will get easier.

This article shows how to make the best of an unhappy marriage. It takes a lot of soul-searching to make this decision. When you’ve been together for several years (or longer) and there are kids, making this choice can weigh heavily on your heart.

Despite being in an unhappy marriage, there are reasons you are willing to stay.
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Children and Teens

5 Ways to Make Happy Family Memories

The Importance of Making Positive Family Memories

Yesterday was one of those perfect late summer days at the local state park and beach. The sun was bright. The water was cool. Families from surrounding towns had come and set up their “camps” for the day. A beach umbrella or pop up canopy or just a spread out towel or two marked their spots. The air was permeated with smells of sunscreen and charcoal.
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Addiction

To Everything There Is a Season: Can Time of Year Impact Our Perspective on Death?

Recently I was speaking with a couple whose adult son died two months ago of a drug overdose. These parents adored him and knew he was dealing with emotional challenges. They did what they could to let him know he was loved and they were with him come what may. They attempted to get him help. He was surrounded by a multi-generational family who thought the world of him.

As we processed their experience and they openly shared their grief, they said something that in all my years as a therapist, I had not considered. They both acknowledged that as we approached the threshold between summer and autumn, they were experiencing a heightened sense of loss.
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Depression

Suicide Awareness: The Family Secret

When I was 8 years old my uncle died by suicide.

I remember sitting in my family living room with my twin brother during a hot summer day watching a cartoon about rabbits, when I heard the phone ring and then the most heart-wrenching wail I have ever heard come out of my mother. My father immediately came into the room in a stoic and serious manner and told us that our uncle had died. He said not to do anything or say anything to my mother, and quickly left the room.
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Books

5 Things to Do When Your Child Doesn’t Listen

You ask your child to do something. They refuse. You ask nicely. They still refuse. You raise your voice just a bit to let them know you’re serious. And they refuse, again. You try to bribe them. And you get the same reaction. You finally send them to time-out or try a different discipline technique. And they still refuse—with the added bonus of being in a full-on, ear-splitting, sobbing tantrum.

Sound familiar?
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College

Some Thoughts on Happiness After Dropping Off My Daughter at College

This was a big week in the life of my family: my older daughter Eliza has gone off to college.

In her case, she did a pre-program, where she went hiking in New Hampshire with a small group of other incoming freshmen. This step reminded me of how we did the “Separation” stage when she was starting pre-school.

During pre-school, she began the school-going experience by attending for a short day, I’d wait nearby with the other parents, and she and I got used to the idea of her going off to school by herself.
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College

Feeling Lonely at College

There's nothing so bad as feeling alone in a crowd. When you first get to college, it can feel like a pretty overwhelming event. Sure, you get to meet a lot of new people, some of who may even become your friends.

But when you're alone at night in your room, the feeling of deep loneliness can creep in as you realize there's no one here that really knows you. And being that lonely while at university can really mess with your head.

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Family

Boundaries: Learn How to Stand Your Ground

Boundaries Are Important

From a psychological perspective, boundaries are the mental, emotional, spiritual or relational limits on who and what kind of influences you accept into your life. How you expect to be treated depends on your personal history and self-evaluation. This is different for each person and circumstance. What is acceptable in one case and with one person, may not be tolerated in other instances.
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Children and Teens

Driving Your Own Bus

“I am not going to Cancun,” I barked -- defiance lining my voice.  

Eyebrows arched, my saintly mother glowed at me. “What do you mean you aren’t going to Cancun? You are not spending the week at home; you can spend the weekend in Duluth with your grandfather,” she coolly responded.

“Fine, I’ll go see Grandpa Arnold,” I smirked before stomping off in a pique of high school frustration.
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Family

Pleasure from Someone Else’s Pain

When I hear a word not commonly used in my vernacular twice in a period of a few days, I know I need not wait for a third time to explore the concept.

Schadenfreude (pronounced ‘shade n froid’) which comes from German and originates from the words ‘harm’ and ‘joy. It is defined as, “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.” Chances are, you know someone who indulges in this practice, or perhaps, you do so yourself. It may seem like human nature to wish ill will on someone who wreaks havoc or does harm to others. As much as I am aware that cause and effect ultimately occurs, I take a page from those I know who practice the religion of Wicca as they don’t believe in casting negative spells since they hold firmly to the idea that what they put out into the world, returns 10-fold. Better not to evoke bad karma.
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Addiction

5 Ways to Safely ‘Get High’ with Your Kids


Everyone needs to feel EXTRA alive sometimes.

I've been thinking lately about the term “getting high”, as it is so commonly used in our culture today.

As a student of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), I know the real power our language has in influencing our lives.

This leads me to wonder about the relationship between how we define getting high and the epidemic we now face with substance use disorder in our country.

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