Monday, June 03, 2013
“He says he is going to change, but my trust is gone,” Sheila said with conviction, her brow furrowed looking intently at her husband, Ken. “He’s promised to change before. How do I trust it now?” “I have the same concerns,” Ken said, raising his eyebrows as he made his point. “I can say the same thing about you.”
Monday, May 13, 2013
I watched the couple sitting in front of me, each talking carefully and with a bit of calculation. I couldn’t understand what was going on, but knew, having watched hundreds of couples interact, that there was something stilted and stiff about their interaction. Jeff and Lori had come for a Marriage Intensive subsequent to him having ‘an emotional affair’ with a colleague.
Monday, May 06, 2013
I listened intently as my co-therapist, Diane, advised the woman at The Marriage Recovery Center to “remember to breathe and think.” What did she mean by that, I wondered. “We often get so caught up in our story,” Diane said, “that we forget to breathe and think. We escalate into our Protective Self, forgetting that we’re feeling defensive, which covers other more vulnerable feelings.” These were wise words. She continued teaching.
Monday, April 22, 2013
There are many times when it is not the major traumas in life that kill a marriage, but rather what has been labeled as “creeping normalcy”—a way of interacting that has been normal, but is devastating to a relationship. Consider the couple who attended a Marriage Intensive several weeks ago. By all outward measurements, Jim and Louise were a normal couple who had attained many of the accoutrements you would expect of a man in his 50s...
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
“Will you forgive me for hurting you,” James said sincerely, after listening to his wife tell him how his critical nature had repeatedly hurt her. He looked at her intensely, waiting for her response. “Sure,” Kathy said, though her words were hollow and lacked genuine sincerity. She still seemed to be in pain from feeling dismissed and voiceless. She looked back at him, awaiting his response. “Thank you,” James said. “I’m glad we got that settled.”
Monday, April 08, 2013
“I’m so afraid of going back home,” Lynn said cautiously. “We’ve learned so much in our Marriage Intensive, but is it going to last? We’ve had you watching us, instructing us. What’s going to happen when we leave?” Truth be told, it probably was not going to last, if by lasting we mean that all the tools she and her husband, Dan, had learned and practiced would flow as smoothly when they were home as they did in front of us.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I am not at the top of my game. This is a simple admission as I write my weekly blog on marriage and relationships. Having delivered the eulogy for my best friend and dear colleague, Chuck Knopf, MA, who fought a courageous battle with cancer—and lost, I am a bit beleaguered myself. In some ways, I feel guilty for feeling so distraught.
Monday, March 18, 2013
“We just keep repeating our mistakes,” Janell said. “Same stuff, different day.” Janell and her husband, Robb had flown to Seattle in a “last ditch attempt to save our marriage.” Her discouragement during our opening intensive was palpable. “What do you mean?” I asked. “We’ve gone to several marriage counselors, talked to our pastor, even went to a weekend marriage conference,” she sighed. “But, when we get home we slip right back into our old ways."
Monday, February 18, 2013
In a recent article I wrote about Sandy, a 50-year old woman who was swimming in a sea of confusion. We received a tremendous response to this article because, as no surprise, many of us are overwhelmed with life and find ourselves wondering which way is up. We struggle with making decisions that will bring healing and wholeness to our lives.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
“My mind is swimming with confusion,” Sandy said, her voice filled with anxiety. “I just don’t know what to do next.” Even her words belied her anxiety, as she jumped from one topic to another. In a troubled relationship, Sandy, a 50-year old woman who called in a panic, wanted to know what she should do about her philandering boyfriend.