What I Learned From Watching 'The Bachelor'

I’d always assumed that most women view relationships with a healthy dose of reality—that there is no Prince Charming and that there is no such thing as a perfect love. But watching the finale and the reactions of the women across America, like Sleeping Beauty, I woke up.

Lost and Found: Women’s Identities Within the Family

Women are so phobic about feeling guilty that they’re much happier making sacrifices than having to face the guilt of people complaining about their choices. The worst thing you can call a woman is selfish. But when you think about that word – self-ish – isn’t it about taking care of your self?

Some Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep

Don’t Believe Anything You Think Between Midnight and 6am. One thing’s for sure, your thoughts are distorted in the middle of the night and whatever it is you’re chewing on will not seem so bad when the sun is up.

The Moment You Learned of Your Parents' Divorce

We really need to shine a light on that turning point – that divorced family’s rite of passage – the revelation to the kids that the marriage is over. This is unchartered territory for parents. They often prepare their kids more for their first trip to the dentist than they do for the revelation of their parents divorce.

If You’re Married and Your Sex Life Sucks – Act!

Most marriage counselors know that the biggest problem people face is avoidance. Many couples don’t know how to talk to each other about painful sensitive topics, so years go by with both of them skirting around issues until something breaks and the bitterness spills out.

The Simplest Way to Reduce Stress

Here’s a very simple suggestion that makes a huge difference in reducing stress. Whatever you’re doing, don’t rush. That’s it. Don’t rush. That means that you schedule enough time to get wherever you’re going ten minutes early.

Seven Steps for Moving Forward When Your Relationship Ends

The experience a break-up is so intense, whether of a marriage or a more casual relationship, that it locks us in the present moment of suffering, making it hard to see the potential for happiness in the future.

You're Happier than You Think!

I believe that happiness is a choice. If we wait for conditions to be perfect for happiness to come, we're sunk, because embedded in the perfect condition, is the seed of the realization that it won't last. The trick is to look around you, right now, even as you're reading this, and let yourself feel happy just to "be".

Emotional Freedom for Kids of Divorced Parents

Let me suggest that parents go on a personal crusade to figure out how to reduce tension with an ex-spouse and make the communication even a bit better and more natural – to have more normal conversations that are not booby-trapped but instead, permit a flow of discussion between parents, for the sake of the kids.

That Bad Bad Feeling Inside

It's a remarkable thing though, when you reflect on it, that the process of thinking something can cause such intense physical pain. Often not much has changed in our actual lives - we still live in the same apartment and do the same job, getting into the same bed each night to try to go to sleep. But inside there's an invisible world that affects us so deeply.

Throw Love at Him! C'mon! It's Kindergarten!

Women who have been abandoned often ask me about forgiveness. Is it necessary to forgive to completely heal and how to go about that? I've not known how to answer them, not feeling the need to forgive what my husband did to me, or maybe not wanting to.

A Letter from Your Ex-Spouse

One of the most painful things for many who have been left is the fact that they will never get the acknowledgement or apology they feel they deserve. So, although you will probably never receive this letter for real, here's a chance for you to read the words you need to hear. 

Watch Your Language! Your Choice of Words Can Harm You

Words have tremendous power, both to describe but also, to prescribe. The effect of a strongly negative word that you may use to describe your state of mind flows both ways. The more you describes you life events in negative terms, the more they feel that way. Your choice of language not only explains your reality, it creates and strengthens it. 

The Bruised and Battered Love

I was sitting with a friend in the Gryphon Tea Room yesterday, having scones and orange pekoe tea, when she said something that stunned me. She said, "When you're divorced, it you dig deep enough, there's always that tender spot." 

Alliances and Loyalty – Kids and Divorced Parents

I got an email the other day from a woman who writes about her frustration that her teenaged daughter wants to spend Thanksgiving with her father rather than her. The mom went on to say, "Why, when it was HIM who betrayed me and broke up the family, is she so defensive of him, and I'm cast as the bad person trying to keep them apart?" 

Kids in the Middle Post-Divorce

In some ways, the role of the father in the family is radically different than it was twenty or thirty years ago. That's great! Many fathers are as comfortable caring for their kids as their wives are. But lurking below the surface there remains a deep bias in our society that women are better at raising kids than men, and that assumption jumps out powerfully in situations of divorce.

What Married Men Need to Know so They Don't Become Divorced Men

Susan swears it wasn't an affair even though there was another man involved. It was, rather, an epiphany. And the other man? The plumber. The plumber came to fix a leaky faucet and she offered him a coffee. When they sat across from each other at the kitchen table, she talked about her life and he listened and seemed to find what she had to say interesting. He laughed at her jokes and she felt alive for the first time in a very long time. And then he left. That was all. But that was enough. 

Reaping Justice from an ex-Spouse

A while ago, I was listening to a weekly radio show on PBS called "This American Life". Each episode has a particular theme and people tell stories related to that theme. I was really taken by a story about a man who had experienced extreme injustice but was unable to correct it.

Joint Custody with your Ex and the Affair Partner

Life is cruel sometimes. As rough as it may be when your marriage ends against your will, it's a hundred times harder if you then have to send your child back and forth to the home your spouse now shares with an affair partner. One woman told me about how traumatizing it was to know that her baby son was being cared for by her husband's girlfriend - a woman whom she hated and had never even met. It grated against every primitive protective instinct that she had inside.

Don't Press "Send" While You're Still in Your Pajamas

Email - that ever so tempting medium of immediate gratification which often leads to lingering regret. How many times did you get up in the middle of a sleepless night with the absolute conviction that you must tell your ex one essential thing right that minute? If only he knew this, either he'd feel enormous regret for his actions or perhaps, if you're lucky, you could make him feel a crumb of the hurt he's made you feel. 

An Easy Trick for Taming Fear – Make a "Mantra"

This trick is very useful when you must come face-to-face with an ex-partner, whether at a kid's soccer practice or in your lawyer's office. These high-stress encounters can feel very overwhelming but you can gain a sense of control by using a mantra. Let's say you have a legal meeting related to child custody coming up. Repeating three words, such as "calm, focused, businesslike" can help you achieve the demeanor that is most likely to contribute to your success in such an important setting. You have more control over your emotions than you think! 

Where Did the Love Go?

When the relationship ends, where did the love go? Did it wear away gradually, like when dripping water knuckles a hole in a big flat rock, or did it wash away suddenly in the wake of a big wave? Time and again, mystified heartbroken people ask how a lover who had seemed so smitten at some earlier point, could turn so cold. Could that stone-cold person get the love back if he really really tried? Is it possible to resurrect romantic love?

Four Tricks to Stop Obsessing

You know the signs: that sick feeling in your stomach, those tossing/turning nights, food that tastes like cardboard and a mind that whirs relentlessly like an old-time computer that refuses to shut down. When a relationship ends, particularly when you didn't see it coming, your mind is in torment and it's exhausting. 

Stark's Ten Stations of Divorce

"Why do I still feel so wounded after all this time?" Mike stared down at his hands in his lap as he struggled to hold back the tears. "It's been three years! Why aren't I over it? Is there something wrong with me?" They'd long ago split up the property, dispensed with the legal divorce, won or lost communal friends, sorted out the bank accounts and credit card debt, but still, he thought about her every single day and ached. 

The Healing View in the Distance

Have you ever thought how therapeutic it is to cast your eyes in the distance and to look far far away? I've always felt that one of the hallmarks of really being an adult is the ability to look beyond the suffering of the moment and know that the future is always there waiting for you - to look in the distance. My mom used to say it more simply--This too shall pass.

No Way Around It - You Have to Go Through It

Two months after my husband suddenly fled our happy marriage and moved in with his girlfriend, while I was still in the depths of hell, I resorted to something radical to ease the pain. I started singing. A friend had taken pity on my miserable state and invited me to attend a rehearsal of her women's barbershop chorus. Not relishing the thought of yet another endless evening home alone with the ticking clock, I agreed to go. 

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