5 Sets of Marriage Tips from Around The Web

Hey, don’t just take my word for it! Let’s see what my colleagues around the web are advising you on the topic “marriage tips.”     1. Marriage Max http://www.marriagemax.com/tip.asp Mort Fertel is not a marriage counselor — and he’s proud of it. He considers himself an alternative because he doesn’t care for the advice that counselors give to unhappy individuals that encourages the breakup of their marriage. I don’t blame him. His point is right on target. What’s more, his advice is sound. His tips change from time to time so you may not find the same one that I found. But the one I found asks the question: If you’re sick and tired of your spouse’s cheating, drinking, neglect, using drugs, or some other terrible habit, should you declare an ultimatum? Fertel says “No” because it won’t help. It will just cause you to feel a momentary feeling of power. What you have not done is give your spouse a reason to care about your ultimatum. What he (or she) will care about, however, is if you are connected to him. This presents its own problem because if he is disconnected from you, chances are you don’t have better tools than he does to be connected. You both found someone like yourselves –who is disconnected. Just to put in my own 2 cents, the above scenario is certainly possible. Others are also possible. It can be that in the beginning, one person is a connector and is attracted to another because she (let’s say) admires that ability in the other to be able to be alone. The...

How Anxiety Affects Marriage

Do you think anxiety gets in your way? Research finds that you are right. Anxiety — paradoxically — leads people to marry more readily than those without it, and (unfortunately) to divorce more readily, too, because of greater marital dissatisfaction. What’s more, anxiety is self-sustaining: It creates just enough havoc in a marriage to increase the dissatisfaction in that marriage — which, in turn, leads to greater anxiety. Murray Bowen (deceased) explained why all this happens and his explanation takes something that seems counter-intuitive and makes complete sense out of it. The story begins, of course, in childhood. When parents rob their children of trust in them — emotional trust — it makes children anxious. And they grow up to be anxious adults. How would this happen? Surely parents love their children and would never want to take away their trust. But they can do it just the same. Here are some ways: Blame, criticize, chastise frequently When a child complains, hit their vulnerabilities. An example of this is the following kind of conversation: Child: “I really wanted to go to X. (whining) Why didn’t [friend] invite me?” Parent: “Do you think he would invite you after you did A,B,C?” In other words, instead of soothing the child or having a constructive conversation, the parent pours salt into the child’s wounds, reminding him of his gaffs. This can be particularly painful even if the mistakes the child made were not so terrible. The point here is not to examine why the parent acts this way. It happens all the time; it’s so common that I am amazed and pleased...

How To Block People Who Argue — And Get What You Want

   Why is it that people insist on trying to win arguments by shooting themselves in the foot? Adam: “I did NOT say that I would go to your mother’s for dinner.” Sally: “Yes you did. And I don’t appreciate your letting me down.” “And you never let ME down?” Do you see where this is going? No where. And why? – Because when you try to win, it means someone else loses. Which means they will fight to the death (metaphorically speaking) to not lose. Which means they have to win. See? But…… If what you want for a result is to get whatever it was you wanted to get, there’s a much better way: Just say what you want. Plain English (or whatever language you speak in). Oh, and add in one really smart — and nice — thing. Let the person you are arguing with know that you heard them. Here’s why: I would venture to bet — and I am not alone on this (I’ll be doing a book review in a couple months on a book written by Harvard Business School people who say the same thing) — the reason people argue so much is because they don’t feel heard. Think about it. Think about all the arguments you’ve been in. And all the times you kept going round and round. You felt like you weren’t getting your point across. Think about the times you did not want to argue but the person you were arguing with would not let go. Now, remember back to those moments. Did you ever once let him or...

The Surprising Role of Body Language in Assertiveness

How does it get this good?…. “My wife and I are together, and expect to be forever. We’ve learned to deal with one another and learned to identify and control our bad habits. I’ve learned why I was an abusive man and how to not be an abuser. “Sometimes I see my old habits in others and feel empathy and compassion – and wish they had the advantages of a hundred or so sessions with Dr. Deb. Thanks so much for your help. Our time together was an investment worth more than anything I’ve ever done in my life. I believe that I owe my life to your help – certainly, I didn’t realize that I could be this happy again.” –Florida Well, of course I was pleased as punch to receive an email with this nice news. After all, YOUR happiness is what I get up for in the morning! Every day! But I was also curious. I wanted to know, how all this came about. Why was I hearing from him now out of the blue? So I wrote him back. And here is what he said: “Your assertiveness worksheet became a habit. Instead of playing intellectual one-upsmanship games with clever dialogue with a goal of “winning” some non-existent, delusional contest, I trained myself to be honest and ask myself, ‘Why am I thinking this?'” And I have to tell you, I’ve heard so many good things about my Assertive Sheet that I decided to share some of it with you here on my blog. Here goes . . . Part I of my Assertive Sheet is...

Book Review: Why Does Married Sex Go Wrong?

You and I both know that when someone is yelling at, criticizing, belittling, or ignoring a spouse, sex gets lost in the shuffle. No matter how much Person 1 apologizes, Person 2 is still hurt. After all, a smack is a smack, whether it’s physical or verbal: You feel the sting long after it’s over. So the heartfelt apology just doesn’t do it. And then if you add in a cycle of years or decades of these “mistakes” and apologies, what you get is….nothing. Sex is dead and the marriage for all intents and purposes is also dead. With that in mind, I’d like to do a review of David Schnarch’s book, Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship, 2009. Obviously, it’s always nice to find another therapist who sees things as I do. The only way that sex can work is if there is trust and respect (words that are in the subtitle of my course which includes a book). Here are some pieces that I underlined because they interested me: On p. 37 he says, “The relationship in which you seek refuge pushes you to develop a more solid self, like pushing toothpaste out of a tube by progressively winding the other end. the love relationship you thought would make you feel safe and secure pouds your fragile reflected sense of self into something solid and lasting.” Schnarch is a follower of the concepts of Murray Bowen. Bowen’s premise is that if a person has a “solid” sense of who he is, he will not be thrown by criticism. He will not feel criticized when...

Men’s Key Ingredient to a Happy, Healthy, Loving Marriage

You did know there were problems. For sure, there were problems. But you honestly did not know they were THIS bad. Your wife left. Or threatened to leave. Or saw an attorney. Or served you with divorce papers. Or had an affair. Or you find yourself paying attention to other women. What’s going on?? How did this happen?? I can tell you that it did not happen out of the clear blue sky. There were warnings. You either didn’t see them or didn’t understand what they meant. Or didn’t want to. The truth is — and I don’t care how long you’ve been married — you don’t know women. You do know that you love your wife. Or loved. Or thought you did. For sure, that is something you know. But you don’t even know why. Or maybe you do. But you still don’t understand her. And you are feeling a combination right now of panic and hopelessness. Maybe also anger. All that is normal. I get that. I get that for two reasons. First of all because I am a therapist and 50% of the people who call me for private therapy are men in your situation. And I’ve helped them! (Please see my About DrDeb page to get an idea of my interesting history and experience. Please see the blog post What’s the Difference Between Therapy and Coaching to get how I work with — and help — people.) The second reason is that I’m a woman. So I understand women. The thing is, we are really not that hard to figure out. We’re just different and...

Stop Being Needy Before You Start Dating

What do you think is the biggest dating mistake? Its being needy. What I mean is this: a person getting into a relationship has to be prepared to GIVE. Being a giver – as I’ve said before on this blog – is crucial. The reason is simple. If both people in the relationship are needy, then each is always expecting something/wanting something from the other. Neediness is like a bucket with holes in the bottom; you can never put in enough. WHY NEEDINESS IS LIKE A BUCKET WITH HOLES Let’s answer this important question by taking a zoom lense into a home with little children who are well-loved. Jimmy, 3, is building a lego tower and the whole thing won’t stay built. Down it comes! Jimmy doesn’t really know whether that means he is just stupid and incapable or whether that’s what is supposed to happen based on the laws of gravity. Jimmy hasn’t interacted with the world enough to really know. So, his dad, watching, says, “Good job!” Jimmy is puzzled. “But it came down!” he says. “Oh, yeah, that’s okay,” his dad answers. “When you put that many bricks on, it will come down. But you built it up real nice.” Now, Jimmy knows two things: he gets gravity and he gets that he is doing things the right way. Whew! He decides to put on fewer bricks next go-around to see what happens. Jimmy’s dad has done something really important for his development. By giving him simple feedback, he’s given his son the confidence to experiment without feeling shame or concern about his own capabilities. Now,...
Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkdin
Hide Buttons