marriage

Dear Critical Wife,

couples, marriage

Girl, I know how frustrated you are. Your husband has shut down or checked out. The more you try to talk to him, the further into himself he retreats. You tell yourself that he doesn’t care and wonder how he can be so cold or callous. Trying to resolve issues feels impossible because you can’t manage to have a conversation without it leading to explosive anger or complete silence. I want to share with you what I’ve learned about men. Including my own husband. Men perceive complaints as criticism. We feel like we are merely sharing feelings, bringing up a legitimate issue/request but their perception is that we are pointing...

Dear Unfaithful Husband,

conflict, couples, divorce, marriage, therapy

You got caught. The two worlds you’ve been living in have come crashing together. Your wife is a wreck. Her mind is now contaminated and her anxiety and anger consumes her. She feels crazy and she is making you feel crazy. You were unprepared for her intense agony. You are wondering if she will ever be able to forgive you, move on and stop asking relentless questions.   The short answer is that this depends almost entirely on you and how you behave from this point forward. Though intense, her response is a normal reaction to trauma. Yes, trauma. The foundation of her life – her husband and intact family –...

Six Simple Steps to Finding a GREAT Couples Therapist

couples, marriage

Choosing a therapist can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these six steps. Ask a trusted friend to ask their trusted friends on your behalf without sharing your identity. Don’t be afraid to admit you need help. Most couples end up seeking help at some point in their marriage. Use an on-line therapist directory such as www.goodtherapy.org or www.psychologytoday.com. Enter your zip code to begin searching for someone near you. Cast a wide net and search within a reasonable driving radius.   Read the profiles and listen to your gut. If a therapist seems interesting, go straight to their website and read everything they’ve written. Most therapists...

Dear Angry Husband

couples, marriage

I know that you have gotten a raw deal in life when it comes to the expression of emotions. I know that from as early as your toddler days you started to hear “man up!” And if you expressed vulnerable emotions such as hurt feelings, fear of rejection, feeling unloved or inferior, you were looked at as weak or pathetic. Of course when you saw women express these feelings people were understanding so you began to suspect that these sorts of feelings were feminine and certainly not masculine. You saw men who expressed these feelings become a target of ridicule so this reinforced what you already suspected. I know that...

Dear Clueless Husband,

marriage

I know you love your wife.  I know she’s the most important person in your life.  I even know that if she left, you would be lost.  Devastated even.  You are a good person with a good heart.  And this is precisely why I’m writing you this note.  Your wife is harboring secret thoughts she isn’t sharing with you.  I know this because I see women like your wife every day.  She’s lonely. She complains to me that you don’t pay attention to her.  That she feels emotionally disconnected from you.  That you spend too much time watching television or surfing on your iPad.    She keeps secretly wishing that you...

6 Steps to the Perfect Apology

couples, marriage

“I’m always the one who has to apologize.”  She says. “What?  You never apologize!  I can count on one hand how many times you’ve said you were sorry.  If anyone in this relationship apologizes it’s me,” he replies in indignation.  They are looking at one another as if the other were an alien living in an alternate reality.  Why?  Because they do live in separate realities and we don’t remember what was said.  We remember what we heard.  Write this down and post it on your fridge.  We don’t remember what was said, we remember what we heard.  That’s the only reality that matters.  So why doesn’t this couple have...