Monday, September 08, 2014
“I can’t keep up with him,” Suzanne said anxiously. “He’s all over the place, doing this thing and that thing. I feel like I’m married to a Stairmaster.” “I’m not sure I understand Suzanne,” I said. She and her husband of 15 years, Douglas, had come to The Marriage Recovery Center in a state of crisis. “It’s hard to describe,” she said. “He’s busy with a lot of different projects and I feel like I’m one more thing on his checklist...
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
It was yet another tearful farewell to a couple leaving The Marriage Recovery Center. While it was a joyful parting, their entry into work at the Center was not nearly as gentle and compassionate. Lily and Jerry had come to the Center days earlier, “hours away from divorce.” Their detached, hostile attitude toward each other reflected the truth of that statement. Barely speaking, I could sense I had my work cut out for me.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
When was the last time you spent a weekend away with your mate? When was the last time you laughed, giggled and simply had a good time with him/ her? When I ask most couples this question, they look at me with that ‘deer in the headlight’ look. “Well, uh, does going grocery shopping count?” one asks. “Nope,” I say. “How about going to church?” the other asks. “Sounds very healthy,” I remark, “but I wouldn’t call it fun. When was the last time you had fun together?”
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
What is your emotional intelligence? In other words, how well do you know the right thing to say, at the right time and in the right way? No doubt you have plenty of smarts when it comes to things you enjoy. We tend to excel in areas we find interesting and pursue. But, knowing when to say ‘when’ is something most of us could use more schooling in.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Would you like to influence your mate? Would you like to one better than that—determine the direction of the connection? If you are like most people, you answered an emphatic ‘yes.’ Of course you’d like to influence the direction of the connection. You’d like your mate to be caring, sensitive, kind and keenly interested in you. It would be frosting on the cake if they also considered you wise, witty and great looking.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
So many of the couples we see at the Marriage Recovery Center are angry, defensive or completely withdrawn from each other. There are often years of unresolved issues that have led to complete hopelessness, which is reflected in their anger and defensiveness towards each other. At the Marriage Recovery Center, we call this “reactive behavior”—coming from one’s “Protective Self”—a part of our character designed to protect ourselves, but the same part that often creates more trouble for us.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
We have just celebrated another Independence Day, and I thought it appropriate to talk about independence—not the kind that brings joy and peace, but rather the kind that creates turmoil in a relationship. This kind of independence—self-will and independent thinking—the kind that damages relationships. In my work conducting Marriage Intensives—crisis couples counseling—at The Marriage Recovery Center, I often notice a battle of the wills. They often do not recognize it as such, but that’s what i
Monday, June 16, 2014
Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck made this definition of love famous: Extending yourself for the welfare of another. Of course this is similar to the Apostle Paul’s definition of love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) We bandy the word ‘love’ around, saying we love our mate, we love our friends, we love our church, we love our job and so on. But, do we really love these people or things according to Peck or the Apostle Paul? Do
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
He says. She says. He asserts his point of view. She asserts hers. With both people oblivious to the tension, the temperature rises. He feels threatened by her comments. She is becoming threatened by his comments. He feels inadequate to her not-so-subtle comments. She feels hurt by his abrupt responses. Next: the fight!
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Not all conversations are created equal. You know this. Some are light and airy, bringing joy and happiness. Some are a bit more serious, needing focus and deliberation. Others are even more serious, in fact critical, and can have weighty implications. Most of us prefer the light and airy conversations. I know I do. Many of us avoid the conversations that are weighty, and yet avoiding them often leads to even weightier ones in the future. Avoidance leads to feelings of resentment, irritability a