When my client, who I’ll refer to as Vicky began working with me, she was trying to determine if there was any hope for her marriage that had been on the ropes for years. They were separated and ready to file papers, but she was still holding on and wasn’t sure why.One week later, her husband told her that from his perspective, he was done and the marriage was over. As you can imagine, the finality of that sent her reeling…thinking she had just wasted the last twenty years with a man who didn’t love her anymore. After the shock ...continue reading...
“Shame is a soul eating emotion.” Carl Gustav Jung
My new client, who I’ll refer to as Paula, recently found out that her husband has been having an affair with another woman for at least ten years. As you can imagine, she’s devastated.
Ten years together isn’t a fling or a simple indiscretion; it’s a relationship.
Paula is wondering why she ignored the signs.
She’s wondering where exactly the marriage broke in order for her 30-year marriage to be vulnerable to an affair.
She’s wondering how she’ll ever be able to trust again.
She vacillates between blaming herself ...continue reading...
“Rarely does anything get properly cooked on the back burner.” Susan Gale
Back when most of us got married, it felt like some sort of an accomplishment. We checked that box with a buoyant optimism and then quickly got busy with the other important life goals and building a life together.
We build a home together and buy new furniture.
We get a pet.
We often operate on stress and fumes as we achieve at work, reaching for greater and greater success each in our own way.
At some point, we begin creating a family together and bring new ...continue reading...
“Continents drift and so do hearts.” John Mark Green
In my marriage and relationship coaching practice, people reach out to me when their marriages have been struggling for years or even decades. Their relationships have become so unbearable that they’re considering leaving the marriage and are feeling paralyzed in fear because they don’t know how to fix the marriage and make it better, but they don’t know how to leave either. They tell me they feel stuck, sad, alone, scared and disconnected.
One of the questions I ask these people in my first discussion with them is, “What will ...continue reading...
“Being both soft and strong is an accomplishment that very few have mastered.” Yasmin Mogahed
In my first marriage, I was a woman who was strong and capable and driven. I was a marketing executive climbing the corporate ladder who led large teams of people and prided herself on being the one who could GSD (aka: Get Shit Done).
As you can imagine, there is no “off” switch that helped me to soften on my way home to my husband after work each night, so I unconsciously brought that same controlling energy and GSD approach into my marriage. ...continue reading...
“If I was meant to be controlled, I would have come with a remote.” Genereux Philip
Many of my clients have controlling husbands.
Their husbands are afraid that their wives are not being fully honest, so they watch their every move and monitor their phones.
Their husbands are afraid that their wives will spend too much or spend on something they don’t agree with buying, so they control the finances.
Their husbands are afraid of what other people will think if their picture-perfect life changes.
It goes the other way too; sometimes women attempt to control their husband’s ...continue reading...
“The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional.” Stephen Kendrick
Loving unconditionally is easy to say, living it is so much more difficult.
When my husband is telling me how beautiful I am and doing the things that make me happy, I am loving toward him and think loving thoughts about him. When he does something that makes me feel hurt or tells how frustrated he is with me, I shut down or punch back and become hurtful in return.
That’s loving conditionally.
When we feel heard and understood, that feels like standing in ...continue reading...
“When you know you are of worth, you don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to become rude, you don’t have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn’t have to protest.” Maya Angelou
If we are setting boundaries, people won’t like us.
If we use our voices to express out loud what is and is not okay, people will want to silence us.
If we set healthy boundaries, others will think we’re bitchy or bossy.
We avoid confrontation ...continue reading...
Occasionally a marriage will end as a result of one single incident, such as infidelity. But more often than not, it’s the day-to-day hurtful words and actions between a couple that dissolve a marriage slowly over time. And almost nothing can chip away at a marriage more directly than one or both partners’ need to be right when there’s a disagreement.
The desire to be right is something that was taught to us at a very young age. When we get the answers right in school, we get better grades. We went out into competitive working environments and those ...continue reading...
“Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.” Mao Zedong
If you were to look at the national averages for divorce rates in the US for people in the healthcare profession, it would show them beating the national averages (Physicians and Surgeons divorcing at a rate of 21.8% and Healthcare professionals 31.6% according to quartz.com*). However, that hasn’t been my experience.
I have doctors and surgeons, wives of doctors and surgeons, nurses and therapists as clients. I also have teachers, administrators, corporate execs and other professions, but people in the healthcare field certainly make up more than ...continue reading...