5 RELATIONSHIP RED FLAGS YOU SHOULD NEVER IGNORE
Paying attention is half the battle but you both need to do it.
I knew that my marriage was floundering but I didn’t know how to fix it. Fifteen years in, enough of what we’d once had was so eroded that there wasn’t any real way of retrieving it. I think both of us were just sick and tired of the arguing, the relationship, and each other.
Some years ago, a wise
therapist named Susan whose practice was mainly devoted to couples’ counseling
confided a sad truth as we talked about whether joint therapy
with my then-husband would work. She shook her head and then continued: “The reality is that it’s relatively rare that the counseling works because people wait too long. Therapy is usually seen as a last-ditch effort to salvage the marriage, and it’s not always agreed to in good faith
either. A husband or wife may simply accede because he or she wants to be seen as ‘having tried everything.’ By the time they book an appointment with me, the marriage has been failing for years. And it’s just too late. For those couples, my office is just a stop and a parking lot away from the divorce
5 EASY WAYS TO STOP HANGER IN ITS TRACKS
No, none of them are drinking a glass of water.
If ‘hangry’ is a real emotion for you, we feel you. Hanger—that on-edge and easily irritated state you enter when you’re hungry—is real and happens to the best of us, and it’s also when we tend to make hasty food choices we didn’t quite mean to make.
If you’ve ever snacked on a cookie at work and then looked down and realized you accidently snacked on four cookies instead of one while zoning out, this article is for you, too. (Also, read this if sugar cravings are chronic issue for you and you want some healthier alternatives.)
We’ve already chatted about mindful eating with The Food Therapist herself, the lovely Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD, and she’s back for round two. This time we’re tackling how to snack smarter and curb those cravings. Hanger no more, friends.
ONE DAILY REMINDER THAT WILL CALM THE CHAOS IN YOUR LIFE
Life can be hectic; sometimes chaos surrounds us in every imaginable direction.
But just because the world around us is in disarray, doesn’t mean the world within us has to be too.
That’s right, I’m saying there’s a way to stay sane in insane times. I’m saying you can get rid of all the insanity inside you created by others, the past, and uncontrollable events…
Just by being a simple witness of your thoughts.
A THERAPIST EXPLAINS WHY WE’RE ALL SO TICKED OFF IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Parenting fail alert.
A couple of weeks ago, on a Sunday night, my thirteen-year-old son Aidan forgot to finish his chores. I’d relocated some plants in the yard, and I’d asked him to water them. He didn’t. I immediately decided his work ethic was lacking—probably because of YouTube—so I told him he was grounded from his phone.
He got angry.
I sent him to his room.
4 THINGS YOU MUST GIVE UP TO MOVE FORWARD TODAY
Let me share a short story and some important life lessons with you…
Last night, Marc and I received a new thank you email from a longtime reader and course student named Kevin (we’re writing about him today with his consent). He said our book and life coaching sessions helped him and his wife Laura maintain a positive, intentional mindset as they struggled and grew through one of the most difficult periods of their lives. Certain sections of his email nearly moved me to tears:
“As you know, after injuring my back, losing my job because of it, being evicted from our apartment, moving in with Laura’s parents, nursing my five-year-old through a nearly fatal bout of strep throat, I was stuck in a tragic rut for far too long. And I was sitting on the front porch feeling sorry for myself, yet again, when my old college buddy called me crying and said, ‘Mel-Mel-Mellisa, my baby girl just died in a car wreck.’ And suddenly I felt like the lucky one.”
DOES YOUR SPOUSE ANNOY YOU?
One week before I got married, I bought a “muscle car.” My brother Tom and I spent a day and a half up in Pennsylvania rebuilding the engine. A few days before the big day, I showed up in Annapolis, Maryland, ready to ride off into the future with Darcy. For the gearheads reading this, it was a ’66 Pontiac GTO. It was far from new, but Tom and I got it running like it was.
I thought Darcy would love driving it. I was wrong.
She complained about the way it tended to peel a bit of tire off every time she popped the clutch going from first to second, and sometimes even into third. That’s why I bought it! I tried to explain to her how cool that was and how hot she looked doing it. She was not impressed. She wanted something tame, manageable, and quiet.
A COUPLE’S GUIDE TO COMPLAINING
My wife Tami felt angry. “All you do after you get home from work and eat dinner is sit on the couch. Why can’t we talk, or take a walk together, or do both?”
Couples will always have complaints about each other. Unfortunately, instead of expressing their complaints, they resort to criticizing each other. Unchecked criticism leads to contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Dr. John Gottman calls these the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and when couples fall prey to the Four Horsemen, it can lead to divorce.
Tami’s criticism provoked me to defend myself. We were almost three years into our marriage, and hadn’t yet learned how to effectively air our complaints about each other.
HOW TO BE KIND WHEN YOU’RE UPSET WITH YOUR PARTNER
One of the hardest things to do in a relationship is to be nice to your partner when you’re upset with them. It’s also one of the most important moments to be kind. Dr. Gottman’s research shows that couples who start arguments gently are more likely to manage conflict effectively, without harming the relationship. In fact, it is in these moments that Dr. Gottman can predict the success or failure of the relationship with over 90% accuracy.
In a popular Atlantic Magazine interview, Dr. Julie Gottman explains that, “Kindness doesn’t mean that we don’t express our anger, but the kindness informs how we choose to express the anger. You can throw spears at your partner. Or you can explain why you’re hurt and angry, and that’s the kinder path.”
The Vow of Kindness
Kindness is not just important in the heat of an argument, rather, it is about your mindful and considerate behavior throughout your relationship.
CHRONIC STONEWALLING IMPRISONS A RELATIONSHIP
Have you ever watched a child try to get attention from their mom or dad?
“Pay attention to me.”
“Look at me.”
“Mommy, daddy, watch me.”
But what happens if the child’s attachment figure is unavailable and unresponsive? The child will experience distress.
It doesn’t matter if you are 5 months old or 45 years. There are still two basic responses to an unavailable attachment figure.