Whether you’ve been married five weeks, five years, or even five decades, date night is a ritual you should regularly observe.
I know. This is hardly a news flash. Read any advice column about how to keep the spark alive in your marriage and you’ll find date night near the top of the list.
Yet, if you’re like most couples, Continue reading
Most of us step into marriage hoping for a lifetime of love and happiness, knowing far too little about what might give us our best shot at getting there. Many of us assume that because we’re in love, because we have common values and compatible dreams we’ve got everything we need to have a marriage that lasts.
Sure, lots of couples divorce. “But, honestly…” we think, “how hard could it be?”
The answer: Continue reading
Want to guess?
Hint: I’m not talking about the laundry or housework or some wild, exotic move in the bedroom.
And no, this has nothing to do with being able to bake a souffle, or adhere to a budget, or be cheerful about putting your cranky toddler to bed.
The main thing that no spouse can be expected to do is… Continue reading
So much in life is about the little things, isn’t it? The smell of fresh coffee. A cardinal on the bird feeder. The first crocus in spring.
Even so, most of us assume that our greatest happiness comes from life’s big events, like landing our dream job, getting married, or giving birth to a child. While these extraordinary moments create a brief spike in happiness, current research confirms that sustained happiness is derived from life’s ordinary, everyday stuff. Continue reading
“Chew with your mouth closed!”
“Don’t hit your sister!”
So much of childhood is about learning the rules and then striving to follow them — at least occasionally.
While some rules are unreasonable — like being told to sit perfectly still at age five or made to skip recess, as I was, for doodling on my homework — the basic relationship skills that we learned as children were, in fact, of great value. Continue reading
It’s the first question most people ask when seeking couples therapy after an affair: “Can my marriage survive?”
Most are relieved that the answer is, yes. Continue reading
If you think marriage is hard, raise your hand.
Yep. You and everyone.
Yet, when the going gets rough, it’s as if we develop amnesia about how universally challenging marriage can be and think, instead, that our struggles are a sign that things have gone terribly wrong.
We don’t say, “No big deal. We’ll get through it. All couples struggle.”
What we do is freak out. Continue reading
They make it look easy, don’t they?
You know, those cheerful couples you see chatting away in the grocery line, holding hands in the movie theater; the ones who’ve been married forever and they’ve still got their spark.
Ever wonder, how do they do it? What do they know that I don’t?
Back when I was struggling in my marriage, everyone looked happier than my husband and I. Continue reading
None of us gets married thinking that five, ten, even twenty years down the line we’d be so frustrated or miserable that we’d be considering divorce. Most of us step into marriage with hope and enthusiasm, determined to have ours be a marriage that lasts.
But marriage is difficult in ways few of us are prepared for. And rarely do we have all the tools we need for success. Nor do we have a guidebook or a road map to make the journey easier. Continue reading
It was a typical Saturday at the small neighborhood salon where I regularly go for my manicure and pedicure: a bevy of women giving and getting haircuts, perms and manicures, chatting in an upbeat banter over the background hum of classical music and blow dryers.
Across the room from where I was waiting, two young women sat side-by-side under a pair of hairdryers, giggling and pointing as they flipped through a dog-eared copy of Modern Bride.
After the Argument
Whoever spoke first would lose something,
that was the stupid
unspoken rule. Continue reading
Raise your hand if your spouse does something that drives you totally bonkers.
The wet towel on the floor. The toilet seat left up. The kitchen scissors that never end up back in the drawer.
Marriage is chock full of these petty irritations. Sometimes we joke about them. Sometimes we gnash our teeth over them.
Still, most of us would agree that putting the empty orange juice container back in the fridge is hardly worth getting ourselves all in a twist.
But, what is?
The mortgage payment mailed late?
The milk left out to spoil?
A bad attitude?
Then again, maybe not. Continue reading
February is the month that relationship books hit the bookshelves, and every day brings a new research study or feature article asking the question, “How can a couple best keep love alive?” Continue reading
Valentine’s Day. The day that happy couples exchange kisses and chocolate and go out for a candle-lit dinner. And unhappy couples feel worse about their marriage than on any other day of the year.
With all the pressure to be romantic and passionate, to feel like starry-eyed lovers, to somehow resurrect the mystery and allure you felt in the early days of courtship — after a long day of work and a race home to pick up the kids, after picking up their pizza and your dry cleaning and double-checking with the babysitter — even reasonably happy couples may wonder are we happy enough?
And struggling couples? All the hype and heart-studded hoopla can push them over the edge.
Valentine’s Day generates record-breaking flower sales and the exchange of over a billion boxes of chocolate. It also triggers a dramatic increase in the number of calls made to divorce attorneys. Continue reading