Navigating Stress and Depression Around the Holidays

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As I write this, Thanksgiving is coming up and, this year, my mother and daughter will join my wife and me, as well as an aunt who I rarely see. Others have also been or will soon be invited so we can fill the home with loved ones and enjoy time together for at least a few hours. Holidays can be a wonderful time to bring together the family that you don’t get to see every day. But, for some people, the holidays also bring stress, loneliness, or depression. To-do lists pile up this time
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Is Your Marriage Making You Sick?

For years researchers have championed the positive aspects of being married. Healthy marriages offer us opportunities to have a partner in facing stress, a mate for vacations, not to mention a companion in achieving many of life’s goals. Friend, partner, and even soul-mate. When a marriage is functioning effectively, even our bodies reflect the healing power of close and intimate friendship. But, what happens when your marriage is fraught with bickering and emotional abuse? Medical professionals are quick to inform us about the impact of stress on our bodies. We need to pay attention to what emotional tension does to
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You Reap What You Sow

I learned long ago the rule “garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, you usually get out what you put in. It is the idea of sowing and reaping. If all I plant is corn then that is all I will get. This concept can be applied to marriage as well. What do you want to reap in your relationship? Do you want a relationship that is meaningful, helpful, loving, caring and affectionate? Are you sowing what’s necessary to meet that goal? If not, perhaps you need to sow something else. In other words, change what you’re doing.
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The Value of Suffering

Disappointment and Suffering Have you ever planned a party with the excitement and anticipation of hosting the most perfect evening, where you and all your guests could relax and experience pure joy and happiness? You drew pleasure from considering all the possibilities for food, decorations, and entertainment. You were energized at the thought of bringing joy to your special guests. You even felt significant in anticipation of being complimented and thanked for providing such a special treat. You worked very hard to bring it all together. Then, at the last minute, when everything was in place, the party was canceled
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Sex and the Broken Relationship

How does sex fit into the picture when the relationship is broken and hurting? What about during separation or divorce? On one hand, we’re taught that sex is a very private, personal matter where you can decide what works for you; what you do in the privacy of your own home is up to you. Our culture certainly promotes detaching sex from relationships, claiming it’s not hurting anybody, especially if it’s consensual.
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Why Is Self-Care So Important?

Leaving Yourself Empty Many of us spend much of our lives pouring ourselves out for others. As a daughter, a son, a mother, a husband, a wife, a friend—you’ve given significant amounts of your time and energy to love, serve, care for, and bless the people around you. You’ve lived as if your love could heal them and your vision for them would empower and sustain them.
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What He Wants Her to Know

A while ago, I produced a series of videos called What She Wants Him to Know. I tried to capture the sentiment of what emotionally abused women desperately want their mate to know and understand about them—that they need to be seen as an individuals and encouraged to find and speak their voice, to be empathized with and valued, to have their anger and hurt understood, and for men to go on their own journey of in-depth healing. They want the abuse to stop so healing can begin.
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Letting Go of Snooping

I need the truth to get back to normal. The first thing we tend to do when our spouse does something to cause suspicion is go digging, scrounging up any and every possible detail and angle we can find to help us “know” what is really going on. Suddenly, we have a desperation to fit pieces together that we didn’t even realize were missing or to find evidence to disprove what we now “know” so we can “go back to normal.”
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Is emotional abuse contagious?

“I can’t believe the way I act toward my husband,” a client told me recently. “I speak in ways I never used to. I call him names, just like he does to me. I respond to him in the same angry tone he uses. I’m not proud of it, but it happens.” I often share with couples that “emotions are contagious.” Think about the last time someone spoke harshly to you. Did you speak harshly back or at least consider doing so? It is tempting to react to provocative behavior by acting in a similar manner. We’ve all done it.
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Do you have the willpower to change?

Many of us have grown up with Oprah Winfrey, and we’ve seen her evolve from the young actress in The Color Purple to the powerful businesswoman, philanthropist, and activist that she is today. These days, she appears to be capable of doing pretty much anything she sets her mind to. But for a woman who seems to have everything, we have also seen her frequently struggle with her weight. We have watched her go from overweight to healthy to overweight again, time after time. Even with access to so many of the resources, we think necessary to stay fit, trim, and healthy
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