CategoryMarriage problems

How to Avoid Getting Sucked into Your Mate’s Depression


Depression happens. Unless you’re Amish, it very likely you know someone in its grip right now. You may even know firsthand what a major depressive episode or chronic depression feels like. When it hits the person you love and pledged your life to, it can be so very frustrating. You want to help, but to date no one has demonstrated that cajoling or entertaining reduces the duration or depth...

Got an Unhappy Spouse?


I have noticed a lot of marriage advice for unhappy couples encourages them to reduce each other’s unhappiness. Personally, I never found this model very helpful. There is a time for helping reduce your spouse’s unhappiness, but it’s not while you’re seeing him or her as the cause of your own unhappiness. It’s when you’re happy. It’s when love frees up...

When Your Marriage is Limping, Fix Your Life


Do you have one of those marriages that just doesn’t feel so great? Nothing’s awful. You’re not in any danger. You don’t really want a new spouse; you just want to feel terrific about the one you married again. When this happens, before you fix the marriage, fix your life. Is there something you love to do that you no longer do? Do 5 minutes of it a day or do it for an...

Falsely Accused by Your Spouse?


I learned this from a colleague long ago. It works remarkably well with clients, friends, and spouses. Instead of arguing when you are falsely accused or when someone important to you is making a mountain out of a molehill, try saying something like this: “I really value our relationship. What could I do that would make it right again?” If you get stonewalled (“I can’t...

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Unnecessary Divorce


I love this phrase, unnecessary divorce. Not a single one of us who has ever considered divorce thought ours was unnecessary. Not unless something convinced us to take another stab at loving the person we vowed to love—and we succeeded. How in the world can we tell, in the heat of our anger and fear and frustration, whether ours would be an unnecessary divorce? I have a way you might try...

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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