Browsing All posts tagged under »Marriage«

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: High Conflict Marriages and Their Impact on Children #1

October 26, 2014 by


In the last five posts I addressed several different kinds of problem marriages, where often the basic underpinnings of the marriage are weak, and thus one or more partners often ends up asking if they should stay or go. Let me just finish that topic by saying this: So many spouses in these  kinds of […]

How In the WORLD Could This Work?: The Possibilities of Mediation

October 17, 2014 by


Julie* came from a wealthy family–grew up with that proverbial silver spoon practically shoved down her throat. Were her parents thrilled when she met Jim,* who was in and out of jobs and who had never owned or rented his own apartment–and then shared the news that the two would be married within a few […]

The Triangle–What It Looks Like In Family Life

October 16, 2014 by


Molly* is a difficult [in my more honest moments I think of her as nearly tyrannical] early adolescent, who makes her mother’s life a horror. She picks on Mom’s clothes, her hairstyle–the way she chews her toast in the morning. It seems little escapes Molly’s critical eye, despite the fact that her mother Marge* has […]

“He’s MY Daddy:” Campaigning For Attention in the Blended Family: New Spouse vs. Children

October 12, 2014 by


To finish off this series on the blended family, let’s address what happens when the ones campaigning for attention of a certain parent are a child–and the new spouse. Look, let’s face it. Your child has very little cause to be invested in your new marriage. Either he’d like things to go back the way […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Changing the Ground Rules #3: “I Changed My Mind,” ct’d

October 10, 2014 by


Well, your spouse pulled that old Mitt Romney, “I changed my mind” on you, and now you don’t even recognize your own marital territory. It’s hard–and my heart goes out to you. But before you make any decisions, I think you need to get over your righteous indignation. Yes, you’re right that it’s unfair–it really […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Changing the Ground Rules: Some Suggestions

October 5, 2014 by


What do you do when faced with a situation like Trish’s, where your partner loses a career and becomes a mere shadow of him or herself? Or one like Timothy’s, where your life’s mate morphs into someone you don’t know at all? Or one where you’ve become more a nurse-maid than a spouse? Of primary […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Changing the Ground Rules #3: “I Changed My Mind”

October 4, 2014 by


Betty and Brian* were confirmed atheists, and had been since they were teenagers. So when her Catholic family and his Jewish family protested about their marriage, they laughed at the small-mindedness of their parents and threw themselves a huge wedding bash. Lisa and Leon* knew one thing for certain–they didn’t want children. It was nice […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Changing the Ground Rules #2: Illness and Disability

October 3, 2014 by


Tamika* and Timothy* had an unusual arrangement, but it worked for them. Tamika, an open-heart surgeon, became quite successful, to the point where she was able to take only private pay patients. She surely brought home the bacon. And Timothy did the frying up in the pan. He finished college with a degree in education, but never worked–they married […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Problem Marriages #2–Rescue Marriages

September 30, 2014 by


It probably seemed pretty clear how the first problem marriage structure, of the over- and under-functioning spouses, could lead to marital stress–although  many of these couples stay together for the long-term. The second ‘problem marriage,’ in my view, though, is that of the rescue marriage, and oftentimes it’s harder for people to see the problem with […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Changing the Ground Rules #1: Losing a Career

September 30, 2014 by


Before I leave the topic of issues to consider when you’re thinking of leaving your marriage, I wanted to bring up a few situations that make the decision to stay or go vastly more complicated. What happens in a marriage, and are you obligated to stay, when the very ground rules of that marriage have been […]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Low Conflict Marriages #2: So What’s Wrong?

September 29, 2014 by


Here’s a statistic from Dr. Paul Amato, sociologist at Penn State University, that I find staggering:  Around 55-60 percent of divorces occur in low-conflict marriages, where hollering is at a minimum, and arguments might even be quite rare. Dr. Amato calls these marriages “good enough” marriages, with the distinct implication that these relationships could be salvaged. So […]

Under My Thumb–Controlling Spouses, Part III

September 3, 2014 by


In the past examples the spouses came across as more aggressive and demanding. But Norah and Tali were different. Let’s look at two controlling women who passively managed to get their spouses to do their bidding. Norah never learned to drive. Norm encouraged her repeatedly throughout the years of their marriage, but she said she […]