Archive for November, 2011

Learning to Recognize Your Emotions

Emotions are not something people think about very often. In fact, sometimes people become so far removed from thinking about their emotions they have difficulty identifying how they are feeling. Learning how to identify your feelings can help you regulate your emotions and your reactions, which can be helpful to your relationship. Sometimes people can’t […]

Don’t Try Harder, Try Something New

Sometimes people claim, “I’ve tried everything to make my marriage work.” However, it’s unlikely they’ve tried everything. In fact, most people try one approach. And then they keep trying that same approach over and over.  When it doesn’t seem to be working, they just keep doing more of the same until they exhaust themselves. If […]

Can Medication Help with Anger?

When people want to manage their anger, they often ask, “Can medication help with anger?” The question doesn’t have a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, anger management problems may signify underlying issues that can be treated with medication. There is no “quick fix” for anger problems that will be cured with a pill, however. […]

Your Kids, Your Relatives, and Your Friends During the Holidays, part 2.

We just talked about how to prepare your somewhat older kids for the holiday visits.  What about your younger kids—newborns to four?  What can you do to prepare them and your family and friends for the visits? The most important thing to remember is that little ones get easily overwhelmed.  A young child needs certainty, […]

Your Kids, Your Relatives, and Your Friends During the Holidays, part 1.

It’s holiday time and you’re going to take your kids to a Thanksgiving or holiday event.  You may be staying over for a period of time.  What should you do to prepare them for some of the possible tension?  What should you do to prepare your family and friends to deal with your kids?  Here […]

Becoming Independent Without Becoming Disconnected

It is healthy to have a certain level of autonomy in every relationship. However, sometimes when a marriage is not going well, people decide to increase their independence. At times, this increased independence can be confused with disconnecting from the marriage. Independence in a relationship means you have taken personal responsibility for your own happiness. […]

Take Responsibility For Your Anger Only

It is important to take responsibility for your own feelings and behaviors. It is equally important not to feel responsible for your spouse’s feelings and behaviors. Keeping these rules in perspective will help set healthy boundaries for your marriage. If you have difficulty controlling your anger, it isn’t your spouse’s fault. Even if your partner behaves […]

My Partner Refuses To Attend Couples Counseling

If you want couples counseling but your spouse refuses, what should you do? You have a few options in how you respond. Your response to your partner’s refusal can have a big impact on the relationship.It is important to carefully consider your options. If you have been discussing couples counseling, clearly you must want some […]

How Not Forgiving Your Parents Can Impact Your Marriage

Whether your parents committed a minor infraction or a major one, the inability or unwillingness to forgive them can have serious consequences. Holding a grudge against them will impact your marriage. Even if you don’t talk to your parents, your anger toward them still plays a bigger role in your life than you’d like to […]

When Parents Fight….

Should parents fight?  Should parents fight in front of their kids?  Behind locked doors?  What happens to the children when parents fight?  Here are some thoughts and ways to handle it better. People have differences, even parents.  So, how do you handle them?  Does handling involve discussion, arguments, yelling, screaming, rage, demeaning the other, hitting […]

The Negative Impact of Pornography on Marriage

Pornography can be a big issue in some marriages. Often, it’s the men who want to view it and the wives who aren’t comfortable with it. It leads to some people asking, is pornography really bad for a marriage? One of the potential problems with pornography is that it can become addictive. Watching pornographic images increases dopamine levels […]

How Do You Treat Your Spouse?

Many people would say that they treat their spouse quite well. However, it’s important to look at how you really treat your spouse each day. How many positive actions do you have compared to negative interactions? How do you treat your spouse when you are at your best? What behaviors do you exhibit? How do […]

What’s the Difference Between Anger and Abuse?

It’s important to distinguish the difference between angry behaviors and abusive behaviors. Anger is a natural and normal feeling. However, the behaviors people exhibit when they feel angry may or may not be acceptable. Abuse should not be tolerated. The underlying reasons for angry behaviors and abusive behaviors are different. When people are angry they […]

How Much of Your Communication is Complaints?

Sometimes couples don’t ever really take stock of how much complaining they do to one another. It’s imperative to periodically review your communication style and strengths as well as your weaknesses. If much of your communication includes complaints, it is important to change this. Complaining is necessary sometimes. However, if too much of your communication […]

How to Respond When Your Spouse Annoys You

Part of being married to someone means that your spouse will get on your nerves sometimes. Some of their habits are likely to annoy you. How you respond when you feel annoyed, makes a big difference in your marriage. Something important to remember when you feel annoyed by your spouse is that you annoy your […]

What Can You Learn From the Marriages Around You?

Have you ever noticed how marriages can be very different? Some couples treat each other like royalty. Other couples tend to complain about their spouse and act as if their marriage is a nuisance. It can be helpful to take a look around at the marriages around you and learn from them. People who are […]

Getting through the Holidays…

The holidays are coming up fast.  Family and friends loom at the door.  Yet the holidays sometimes mean that we are not going to be happy.  We are reminded of family fights, lost friends, other painful issues.  Are there some ways to get through the holidays without feeling depressed? Let me start off with a […]

The Dangers of Not Dealing with Anger

Many people feel guilt about feeling anger. Often, they deny that they ever even become angry. Although being slow to anger is a great quality, denying that you ever even feel angry can have serious consequences. Anger is a feeling just like happiness, sadness, and fear. It isn’t wrong to feel angry. In fact, when […]

Who’s Raising Your Kids?

We usually think that we and other people are raising our kids.  We make up our lists of those entrusted with this task—ourselves, our partners, our families and friends, our baby sitters, and our child care people.  But what about the non-people that should be on the list?  And what are our kids learning? (BTW, […]

Making Arguments Productive

Arguments can be productive to a marriage when they are done right. When they aren’t done right, they can damage the marriage. Learning to evaluate your arguments and your role in them can help you establish a plan to make them more productive. During an argument, do either of you end up feeling hurt? If […]