When is it time to say “This relationship is over”?


Michele Gruenhage

Frequently people come into my office unsure about whether their relationship is worth saving or if it is beyond repair.  As couples tell me the story of their relationship I hear them describe the ways they each feel hurt, lonely, and discouraged.  Sometimes couples come in soon after they recognize they need support in communicating with each other in better ways. They haven’t had much conflict and they feel terrible about the things they recently said to each other in the heat of the moment.

More often, however, couples have been coping with their painful dynamics for years, and their level of discouragement is high, and their hope is low.  They have ingrained patterns of fighting – yelling, screaming, name-calling, and/or silence. The Four Horsemen are running rampant. They feel embarrassed and worried about how all of the fighting is affecting their kids.  Maybe there has been an emotional or sexual affair. Maybe one or both partners struggle with addiction – gambling, pornography, drugs, and/or alcohol.

I often ask clients “Why do you stay in this relationship?”  Or “What is your commitment to working on this relationship?”.  These are some of the answers I hear regularly:

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Mini habits to soothe your child’s anxiety


Amberlee L. Peterson

Every child experiences it, but most don’t know how to handle it.

He was 5 years old, and he still couldn’t use the toilet. This was a daily struggle for my cousin and her little boy as they tried everything they could think of to get him potty trained. It was months and months of searching for solutions. And although there ended up being multiple factors in why this was such a challenge for him, along the way my cousin discovered a surprising factor they hadn’t expected: her little boy had anxiety.

Every child will experience anxiety to some extent, and the effects of it can pop up in surprising ways. Watching a scary movie and going to school for the first time are enough to give everyone a dose of it. But about one in eight children experience anxiety disorders. If you suspect your child has an anxiety disorder, you’ll want to seek professional help. But for smaller times when you sense your child’s anxiety building, specialists recommend these mini habits to help you all calm down together.

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Be still and know that I am God: 10 ways to recognize God’s power in times of trouble


The Bible verse Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” When we face difficulties in our life that would make it seem as if we are on a ship being tossed upon a stormy sea, how exactly can we be still while a storm rages around us?

Every time a trial comes to me or my family, I think of the words from the Bible in Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God,” and I am often comforted. Sometimes, though, I wonder just what it means to be still and what exactly I need to do to make that happen.

When we face difficulties in our life that would make it seem as if we are on a ship being tossed upon a stormy sea, how exactly can we be still and a strength to our family while a storm rages around us? As I looked up the definition of still in the online Merriam Webster Dictionary, not only was I enlightened when I learned the definition for still, but learned very valuable lessons from its synonyms as well.

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2 Important Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong


Angel Chernoff

“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother, Zelda’s, journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. It’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

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For My Sake: Standing in the Gap for Your Partner


It was my wedding night. I was so tired, and I needed a bath and rest. We had danced so much that my back was aching.

Husband was beginning to have funny ideas. He was beaming like a new born baby. In any case, I won’t blame him; any man in his position would not joke with this night because I was a warrior during our courtship. “No… No hugging. No pecking. No holding‍♀‍♀‍♀.” Top on my priority list was sexual purity till marriage.

The knock came. I was thinking, “Half past 11:00pm? Could that be Room Service?” Then with eyes popping, I heard my mother-in-law’s iron-like voice, “Tise, Michael, open up!”

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The Greater Gift Came Later

Related image


Donna Miller

My husband was seriously injured at work in August 2002. He was unable to work for about six months. Much of his income is from overtime and his disability pay did not equal even 25 percent of the income we count on. We have five children and this was a massive loss of income for our family. It became necessary for me to work a second full-time job.

Most days I went to my teaching job at 7:00 a.m., went to my second job as a cashier at a local retail store at 4:00 p.m., and dragged myself home around midnight, knowing I had to do the same thing the next day. I still had to do lesson planning and somehow squeeze in family time. I worked seven days a week, and was rarely home. My youngest child, seven years old at the time, missed me so much that he started carrying a picture of me to school in his pocket.

Until then, I’d been very active in my church. But I became too busy for most of my church life and missed many meetings. Word spread about our situation, and I received many calls with words of encouragement and emotional support from fellow church members.

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Seven Quick Tips to Lower Your Child’s or Teen’s Anxiety


Jeffrey Bernstein

Giving your child or teen the gift of less stress and worrying.

Anxiety is one of the biggest emotional health challenges facing our children and teens. It can destroy their self-esteem, reduce joy, and interfere with, or even sabotage, them from taking healthy risks in life. Being a calming, skilled, and steadying influence to help your children learn to manage anxiety is a valuable lifelong gift that you can provide to them.

Here are seven strategies to help your children manage their anxiety:

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22 Quick Tips to Change Your Anxiety Forever

Kalen Emsley/unsplash


Linda Esposito

Lead a happier, healthier life with these calming strategies.

You can read all the anti-anxiety advice in the world, but none of this matters unless you take action. To feel more relaxed, to sleep soundly at night, and to put energy into what matters, you have to stop wasting time on tasks that don’t matter.

By the end of this article, your life could become infinitely more productive and Zen-like. Your part is to commit to 15-60 minutes per day and tackle a few of the following 22 anxiety busters below.

The more you commit, the better you’ll feel.

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Breadwinning Mothers Carry the Mental Load at Home

Very busy multitasking housewife on white background. Concept of supermom and superwoman


Angela Anagnost Repke

Mothers everywhere are increasingly the breadwinners. This title looks great on paper, but with it our “mental load” gets only heavier. When my son was first born I, too, fit that role. I would wake up, feed my baby, take him to his grandparent’s, teach all day, pick up my son, and then do all of the evening stuff at home. My weekends were filled with grading papers, cleaning, meal-prep, and one squeezed-in activity with family or friends.

Sleeping was difficult. My head would rest on the pillow, but the to-do list piled up like a stack of books, keeping my eyelids open. I never felt caught-up. After reading some recent research, turns out, I wasn’t alone in accumulating this “mental load.”

The research was conducted by Business Wire and proved that when women are the breadwinners, we take on more responsibilities outside of work compared to their husbands. Yes, on top of bringing home more money, they truly did it all: cleaning, cooking, paying bills, and the planning all of the extracurriculars. All of this is known as the “mental load.”

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The Danger of Manipulative Love-Bombing in a Relationship

Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock


Dale Archer

Spot the warning signs of love bombing early and recover faster with these tips.

“Lisa,” a 30-year-old patient, came to see me regarding a tumultuous relationship: Two years prior, she had met the perfect man, “Jake.” This was a guy who called every day, sent flowers, planned romantic getaways, and was so thoughtful and understanding about everything. After just a few weeks, Lisa was head over heels in love and thought, “this must be my soul mate!”

Then one day, Lisa got a call from an out-of-town college girlfriend, who wanted to go out, have a few drinks, and catch up. She made plans to go, but rather than say, “Have a great time!” Jake became very angry. How dare she spend time with a friend without his permission? He started screaming, “You don’t deserve me,” and stormed out.

Lisa was in shock. How could this loving man, who had been attentive, caring, thoughtful, and considerate in so many ways, suddenly get so angry over something so trivial? Distraught, and desperate to put a positive spin on it, she decided his anger was further evidence of his tremendous love for her; it was protective, not controlling.

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