Mastering The Art of Shutting Up

Say no more!

Face it. When it comes to marital conflict, most of us don’t know when to hush up.

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard… no, let’s be honest… it’s downright impossible to resist throwing in that one last clever comeback, that sigh, that snarky retort— even though it’s guaranteed to get the two of you all fired-up. And not in a good way.

Most of the time it seems that nothing can keep us from jumping onto the old hamster wheel and taking a run. Not even our wisest, sanest voice asking us if the thing we’re fighting about is actually worth it, suggesting we drop it, begging us to, just this once, zip our lips.

For some reason, we can’t. Or, we won’t. Continue reading

Does Your Marriage Need A Boost? Try Some Tenderness

Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.
-Dalai Lama

Three seconds. Just enough time to slam on my brakes, grab ahold of the steering wheel and hope for the best. Between good brakes and good luck, I stopped barely an inch short of the car that had suddenly pulled out in front of me. Continue reading

Interview with Winifred Reilly

I was recently interviewed by the writer Cristian Mihai who has a blog about art, expression and the craft of writing. In the course of our discussions I realized how writing and working on a marriage are in many ways one and the same: both call for perseverance, creativity and intention.

Cristian Mihai

image1One of the main themes in my stories is love. Unrequited, idiotic, shameless, idealistic, and all other kinds of love. So you’d reckon that talking to Winifred Reilly about relationships was more than fun. Also, her advice might prove useful not only in my stories.

1. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve been a life-long writer, first writing poetry when I was seven or eight. I’ve written short stories and finally found my favorite genre in writing non-fiction. Now my two passions— writing and psychology— have come together, both in the book I’m writing about marriage and in my blog.

When not writing, which at the moment takes up a huge share of my time, I work as a psychotherapist, primarily with couples. I am also an avid gardener and a walker.

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Why Changing One Thing Changes Everything

iStock_000004215488XSmallIf you had to guess the most frequently cited reason for divorce, what would you say?

Family violence? Infidelity? Money troubles?

Guess again.

In a recent study done in the UK, forty-seven percent of couples claimed that unreasonable behavior had prompted them to untie the knot.

My experience with couples in the US bears that out. It is well-documented that a vast majority of couples survive infidelity. Some studies suggest numbers as high as seventy-five percent.

Unreasonableness… that’s another thing entirely. Continue reading

How to Forgive Even If You’re A World-Class Grudge Holder

It happens to all of us. We want to forgive someone and we find that we can’t.Business Woman All we can do is think about the wrong that has been done to us— and each time we do, we’re as hurt and angry as the day we were betrayed.

If you’re like most people, when you’ve been betrayed, every waking hour can be filled with your outrage. Every song or movie, every sunset, every time someone says the word “love” or “friendship”, a switch flips inside you and there you are, once again, all worked up and upset.

People will spend years— or a lifetime— replaying and reliving the details of their injury, failing to recognize the toll it takes on their life.

Forgiveness is difficult, but it isn’t impossible, especially when you know what forgiveness is and what it is not. Continue reading