I hate divorce. It's a fact I have to live with though, because I am a relationship psychotherapist and some marriages have to end. I think divorce is a lot like marriage in that you don't really know what you're getting into until you're midway in and then it's too late to turn back. So, you just keep going, feeling, and living.
First there's the shock. "Oh my God! It's happened!" Your worst fear is realized; your partner is having an affair. Anger, despair, shock, and fear all swirl around seemingly at once and cloud your thinking until it feels like there is no way out. Eventually, you and your partner decide to seek help. Calls are made, appointments are set, and with the help of a qualified therapist, you both begin the process of healing.
If there's one thing those of us who have been married for a while know, it's that staying married over the long haul ain't always easy. Thank goodness for couples therapy, right? Or ... not? An article in The New York Times this weekend kind of blew apart the notion I had of couples counseling being the THE ANSWER.
Heidi Klum and Seal, it's time you reached out for some guidance! We recently surveyed our organization of 1,100 psychotherapists, counselors, coaches and relationship professionals—you may know them as YourTango Experts—to get their input on such topics as why couples fight and how therapy affects relationships.
What can you do to improve the chances that couples therapy is worth the time and money you put into it? In other words, what makes marriage counseling work? Of course you need the help of a skilled marriage therapist, but there are several things you can do to help make your marriage counseling a success.
We all need special support when dealing with a life-threatening illness. The emotional, relational and sexual aspects of coping with prostate cancer are complex. Typically, physicians focus on dealing with eliminating the cancer. For most of us, we need additional kinds of support and healing after the cancer is gone.
"Infidelity" is defined as a breach of faith, and it occurs in a number of contexts. It does not depend on the presence of sexual behavior. Even within a close relationship, people may have extremely different ideas and perceptions of infidelity. Fidelity refers to the accuracy and integrity of self-representation, honesty, or candor in an intimate, committed relationship.
This guest article from Psych Central was written by Nadia Person, Ph.D. Imagine a heavy-duty truck riding off the road, slipping down a hill and getting stuck in thick, sticky mud. Trying to get out, it desperately spins its wheels, mud flying everywhere with no resolve. After a long time, there is finally a hopeful sight of another car. The truck begins honking like mad, desperately wanting a much needed pull.
This guest article from Psych Central was written by Odina Hatvany, MFT. The old paradigm for couples was pretty simple: The man went to work, brought home the money and paid for the house, mortgage, etc. He was the provider of security and stability. The woman’s role was to cook, clean, raise the children and take care of the home. She was the provider of emotional nurturing and comfort. The roles were clearly defined and rigid. How many of us have parents who fit this model or at least strived to?
Everyone knows that divorce is rampant in America; what they don’t know is that many of those divorces could be avoided. Here are seven steps you can take to divorce proof your marriage. Talk more often, more openly and more honestly. Be courageous about this. It takes a willingness to be vulnerable with your partner to speak openly and honestly about your needs, but the rewards are great. You can’t expect to have your needs met by your partner if they don’t understand what you need.
When my husband of almost four years asked me if I thought we should divorce, I opened my laptop, pulled up my GQueues account and drew up a to-do list. I titled it My Crumbling Marriage, and tried to get to the bottom of things. Did we still love each other? Did we still want the same things? Why were we so unhappy lately?
As a relationship therapist who counsels singles and couples, I have been privy to the fears, compulsions, deepest secrets and desires of those hoping to figure out what it takes to find and sustain love. No matter what their ages, histories or financial portfolios, the questions patients ask and the wishes they drop in my lap are heart-touchingly similar. It is likely their secret concerns echo yours. And knowing you are not alone in harboring these emotionally debilitating feelings can be a giant salve, a step toward healing.
For Jane, marriage was great once. When she was in her 20’s and even early 30’s it felt romantic and satisfying doing all the domestic things together, having kids, creating a home. Then one day she realized that 15 years of marriage to Robert had was stifling her. She didn’t know who she really was any more, except somebody else’s wife and mother. “Who am I? How do I find myself? I’m just in my forties, but my life feels over” she complained.
“O what a heaven is love! O what a hell!” said the 17th century poet, Thomas Dekker. Does love ever feel like that to you? Given that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and all sorts of other grim statistics, I guess there’s a good chance that your answer is “Yes.” But do you know why? Why should love have its dark side – other than to create a large market for romantic movies, paper handkerchiefs and voodoo dolls?