I recently gave a talk to a group of awesome people at Mariner’s Church who were either recently divorced or in the middle of a divorce. I was asked to talk to the group about what’s involved in finding love again after a divorce and how people can successfully navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of new relationships post divorce. In my experience as a therapist working with lots of people who have gone through a divorce, I’ve found there are “4 Essentials” that are necessary to finding lasting love post divorce, and if we work to ensure we have these “4 Essentials” integrated in our lives moving forward, our chances of getting everything we want in our next relationship is within our reach! [Read more…]
A common sentiment with couples that come to my therapy office is the feeling of desperation in their relationship by the time they walk through my door. Many couples, on the verge of dissolving their relationship say to me with a defeated resonance, “We should have done this a long time ago”. I agree. And I can also empathize with why they waited so long.
Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of a conflict with your partner using arguments such as “that is simply not true!” or “you’re not being rational!” or any number of “logical” statements trying to trap our partners in their web of irrational-ness! Or am I the only one that does that? When things get heated between partners, often times, our initial go-to response in attempt to defend ourselves is to employ logical and, what we believe are, highly intellectual statements to “prove” our partners wrong. Well, I blame science for this fruitless and damaging relational interaction. Science, especially in our Western cultures, has taught us that words such as “rationale”, “logic”, “proof”, and “truth”, are the holy grail of our English language and should be valued above all. However, as it goes with interpersonal relating, using scientific reasoning as a defensive strategy to against our partners “illogical” perspective has dire consequences and usually will undermine any semblance of intimacy. In this regard, “science” is wrong, and so we need to find a new vocabulary and a new way of understanding when it comes to rationale and logic.
December marks the closing of the calendar year and is a natural mile-marker for many people to reflect on the prior year. Personally, December is my favorite month, not necessarily because of the Christmas holiday (although that’s pretty great), but because December marks for me an opportunity to carve out time to do some self-reflection. [Read more…]
The holiday season comes with mixed feelings for many. On one hand, we love to see Christmas lights, the changing weather, and the buzz of holiday cheer that is in the air, and on the other hand, the holiday season is often painful time for many that can be filled with stress, feelings of overwhelm, and painful interactions with family. [Read more…]
Striking a healthy balance between being passionate lovers and steadfast friends within our marriages is a difficult task. Some couples are great in the bed and share a wonderful eroticism, but have pervasive sense of distrust with each other. Other couples live as trusted “soul-mates” and confidants, but cringe at the idea of having sex with each other. To be both, steadfast friends and passionate lovers is essential for thriving sustainability of our relationships. All of us in relationships, fall somewhere along the continuum between passionate lovers and steadfast friendship and have tendencies to lean to one side or the other. Are we better friends? Or are we great lovers? What side do you lean to? [Read more…]
As much as I try to steer clear of making universal gender assumptions when it comes to relational dynamics, sometimes I find it important to take note of, and point out certain patterns I see in my couple’s therapy practice when it comes to boys versus girls. One of these patterns is that women get “divorced”, or begin the grieving process of ending their marriage while still staying married, and men are nearly always “caught off guard” when it’s officially announced. [Read more…]
Being an ordinary parent is hardly a celebrated accomplishment in our culture. Identifying yourself as a parent will bring you no fame, and no glory. It’s an overlooked position in our social pecking order of which no one is Tweeting about. But being an ordinary parent is truly an extraordinary act, and I’m feeling it should be far more honored than it is. Ordinary parents are the ones fighting for the future of humanity as they put forth the next generation of loving people in the world. Ordinary parents are the soldiers on the front lines getting shot at and wounded, but rarely getting noticed for their heroism they deserve. In a culture that celebrates pop stars like Justin Bieber with 53 million Twitter followers, I wanted to share with you why ordinary parents are amazingly extraordinary and why they are worthy of celebration. [Read more…]
I was recently at a One-Year-Old birthday party for the baby of a friend of ours. We get invited to a lot of these now that we have a child with a similar age, and the more of them I go to; the more I realize how awkward and out-of-place I feel. It’s all-new to me; the talk about diapers, formula, sales events at Carter’s and the myriad of other things new parents discuss at these parties. At this party, in a moment of awkwardness and social anxiety I asked a Mom; “how much does your baby weigh”? [Read more…]
There is a lot of talk about the high divorce rate in the marriage helping community. Nationally, the divorce rates hovers somewhere near 50% of all marriages, and places like Orange County where I practice it has been reported as high as 70%. People have many theories as to why the divorce rate is higher than prior generations; sadly, most of these theories are rooted in shaming commendations. So, I’m going to offer my own thoughts on this phenomena and help explain why the divorce rate is where it is, and why it will likely continue to increase into the future. [Read more…]