Why You Might Be Headed Down the Road to Divorce and What You Can Do About It

Ah love…First you meet each other, then you fall in love, and then if it reaches this point, you decide to get married. It’s wonderful, those first months and years of being in a serious relationship. It’s at that stage in your relationship that maybe you laugh more together. You do more fun things. You […]

The Two Months of the Year When Most People Divorce

When do most people file for divorce? According to recent research, the two months of the year when most people divorce are March and August. Well, at least for the state of Washington. Brian Serafini and Julie Brines from the University of Washington researched the divorce records for the state of Washington. Their study found […]

Under Construction: 3 Tips for When You’re Going Through Big Change

It’s inevitable.  At some point, if you haven’t already gone through a major life change, you will.  Maybe it’s when your kids grow up and move out, you get a divorce, there’s a job loss, the loss of a loved one, alienation of a child, an illness…things happen that can turn your world upside down.  […]

How Triangles Mess Up Your Relationships

Triangles (not the shape but the relationship dynamic) can mess up relationships especially if you aren’t aware of what they are and what they can do.  Everyone, to some extent, has relationships that are triangles.  Triangles, according to Murray Bowen*, a psychiatrist and one of the early marriage and family therapists, are “the smallest stable […]

When the Holiday Season Isn’t So Happy

“Happy holidays!” someone shouted to me.  “Mmm hmmm, ” I mumbled.  Gosh, I felt miserable then.  About ten years ago I faced my first Christmas as an almost-single woman.  We decided we would split up in early December but he’d move out of the house after our youngest daughter’s birthday in January.  So, we kept […]

How to Screw Up Your Kids After Divorce

Divorce can be tough.  My own divorce process took almost three years and it was extremely hard trying to keep the kids out of the fray.  It’s hard for most people to handle the break-up of relationships (I say “most,” but Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin seem to be doing okay with their divorce).  The […]

You Need an Attitude of Gratitude

It’s that time of year again in the United States–Thanksgiving time!  I love this time of year:  creating great memories of culinary feats, satiety, and wonderful company.  In other words: Thanksgiving is a time where good company and lots of good food combine to create wonderful memories. Thanksgiving is a day that many associate with […]

Want Life to Work Out For You?

Glenda (not her real name) isn’t happy.  It’s weird too–she feels like she should be.  She’s got a great job and her kids are busy and doing pretty well in school.  She has a great group of friends, and her parents are healthy and live an hour away from her.  Her marriage is okay.  It […]

One Little Thing They Didn’t Tell You About Co-Parenting

One of the hardest things about divorce if you’re a parent is having to now split custody of your kids with your ex.  I used to be a stay-at-home mother–a conscious decision that was made by both of us for the well-being of our children.  Then, with the break-up of our marriage, I found myself forced to […]

A Coaching (and Counseling) Tool that Can Have a HUGE Impact on Your Life

With a coaching and counseling background, I have been exposed to a lot of excellent resources that help people create better relationships with themselves, with their partner, and with their family.  I liken all of this education and knowledge to a tool box–there are all kinds of different tools therapists and coaches can use to […]

5 Habits that Help You to be Happier After Divorce

I remember it like yesterday–the day I found out my marriage was ending.  Seventeen years down the drain.  Kaput.  It was the day it felt like the very floor, not just the rug, was pulled out from under me and everything in my world was turned upside down. The timing sucked.  It was the holidays.  […]

How to Ruin a Relationship

If there were a course called Relationships 101, what would it cover?  There’s probably a course out there somewhere that’s called this, but let’s see if we can come up with some of the topics: How to communicate well How to honor your commitment How to honor each other’s dreams How to learn and grow […]

Why Complaining About Your Ex Can Actually be Bad for You

When I first separated from my ex, it was hard to refrain from stating what I was going through to a selective audience who would listen.  Most of my inner circle knew what was going on and they knew about my painful break-up after 17 years of being married.  It’s hard to shift into making […]

How not to allow divorce to suck the life out of you

Divorce.  It is one of the most stressful things you can go through, up there on the list with the death of a loved one and a major job loss.  If you’ve been through one–especially if it was acrimonious–you’ll know that while it wasn’t easy, chances are it provided you with incredible learning opportunities (whether […]

This Judge Did WHAT to these Alienated Kids?

In the news recently you probably couldn’t help but hear of the story of the three kids sent to juvenile detention center for refusing to see their father. A little background here:  A Michigan judge ordered the children, ages 9 to 15, to be sent to a juvenile detention center after failing to follow her […]

How to Have a Loving, Long-Lasting, and Successful Marriage

Our elders have a lot to teach us.  Recent research* has uncovered the reasons why long-married couples stay together–and by long-married I mean couples who have been together for 30,40, 50 or more years. What’s their advice for long-lasting love? The Top 5 Tips for Marriage Success 1.  Communicate well. 2.  Work as a team. […]

How to Get Through Life’s Toughest Challenges

I have had several challenges during my child- and adulthood that have helped define the person I am today.  And what has gotten me through them is knowing this: This too will pass. When I was seven years old, I lost my adoptive mother.  Pregnant at the time, she passed away suddenly from a pulmonary […]

3 Ways to Build Emotional Connection in Your Relationship

One thing I see a lot of in couples is the lack of emotional connection between them.  They are so busy or so distracted with other things in life, they don’t pay attention to how their relationship suffers because of the lack of attention and focus they give it.  Last week I wrote about how […]

Holding on to Anger and Resentment

Recently, I published the following quote on Twitter:  “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”- The Buddha One of the things I teach my coaching clients is to keep an inspiration file–something that allows them to […]

What’s Wrong with the “Five Love Languages”

I’m going to bet you’ve either heard of or you’ve read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  I read the book a long time ago when someone gave it to me as a gift.  I remember thinking it was really helpful (at that time, I remember too, that there were a few typos).  The […]

3 Reasons Why People Withdraw in Relationships

At the outset if I was more mature, aware, and conscious, I would have recognized that my first marriage was a disaster from the start (except that we have three beautiful children from this relationship).  Oh, our marriage was okay-ish for a long time–until we both hit middle age.  In the beginning of our marriage, […]

5 Powerful Tips to Help You Get Over a Painful Divorce

Going through a painful divorce?  Are you already divorced but having a hard time moving on?  With more than half of marriages ending up in divorce, wouldn’t you think there would be a heck of a lot more material out there on how to get over a major relationship break-up like this? Some people remain […]

It’s that Emotional Time of the Year: The Holidays!

It’s that emotional time of the year–it’s the holidays!  For some people, the stress of doing it all, and doing it perfectly creates a stressed out ball of nerves. You know what I’m talking about!  If it’s not you, you know someone like this.  I’m sure that’s not how they want to be creating lasting […]

How Dr. John Gottman Predicts Divorce

John Gottman and Nan Silver share their research-backed principles for successful marriages in the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (1999).   In the book, Gottman and Silver describe the signs they look for that can predict divorce. Their research found the following signs, signs they say predict that couples will ultimately divorce: 1.  a harsh startup […]

Secrets for a Successful Marriage

One of the assignments for a class in my Marriage and Family Therapy program was to think of an issue relevant to families today and create a program for the issue.  Fun (I love this subject!)!  Our program couldn’t be based on opinion, it had to be backed by current research.  I named my program “How not to […]

The Top 3 Reasons Why Couples Divorce

No one gets married with the intention of eventually getting a divorce.  We all want to buy into that optimistic dream of living happily ever after.  After all, who wants a divorce?  Divorce can be traumatic, expensive, it can tear apart a home, affect children for the rest of their lives, and send some people into poverty (usually […]

Life Lessons from Nine-Eleven

If you are a U.S. citizen, everyone probably remembers where they were and what they were doing on 9/11.  It was a turning point for every one of us–a huge wake-up call that we weren’t safe on our home soil.  Our troops dealt with this kind of violence on other continents, far away–nothing on this level […]

This Type of Thinking Is Terrible for Relationships

Watching the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie with my stepson and husband recently (hey–good movie, by the way!), I found myself thinking about the classic Good Guy/Bad Guy scenario where you know who the villain is and who the heroes are.  It can be pretty black and white in the movies. In real life, it’s not […]

Birthdays and the Gift of Healing

Having given birth to three beautiful, healthy baby girls and as the mother of a wonderful stepson, I can truly appreciate the concept of celebrating birthdays.  The actual birth day is a wonderful celebration of life, miracles, and love.  Each year through the concept of birthdays, we celebrate the gift of a person’s birth and […]

Playing in the Game of Life

You are not meant to sit on the sidelines of life, watching the action. You are meant to be playing in the game–playing in the Game of Life.  There is nothing wrong with being cheerleaders or supporters of the players on the field, but you owe it to yourself to engage in life, too.  Somewhere, between the sidelines and […]

What Was the Best Thing that Ever Happened to You?

What was the best thing that ever happened to you?  Maybe it was meeting your soul mate?  Having awesome kids?  Landing your dream job?  Winning the lottery?  Meeting a celebrity? Would you ever answer the question with some kind of life challenge you’ve had?  I recently came across this quote: Goliath was the best thing […]

To Tell or Not to Tell–Should Kids Know About Their Parent’s Affair?

This past week a reader (who will remain anonymous) posed a really interesting question:  Is it okay if a parent tells their child that the reason for the family splitting up is because the other parent had an affair?  And going further I would add, is there a certain age in which it’s appropriate to […]

Which Comes First: Your Marriage or Your Children?

This post came about because of caller’s dilemma on Dr. Laura’s show on Sirius Radio.  It is my reflection on Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s views of divorce and second marriages.  As a remarried mother of 4 children (three daughters and a stepson), I am aware of the claim that a majority of second marriages fail.  That […]

When Good Things Fall Apart

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~Jessica Howell I absolutely love this quote!  I’ve relied on it in the past to get me through some really tough times.  When I am going through a particularly challenging time, I remind myself to let go and let life handle the details.  When […]

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Challenges Get the Best of You

If I had to list the two worst times of my life they would be when my mother passed away suddenly when I was seven years old and my divorce which occurred when I was thirty-nine (experiencing parental alienation comes in a close third as does losing my brother on the day of his first-born […]

Suffering is a Choice–Just Like Being Happy Is

I love quotes.  I can sit for hours reading various quotes in books or on the Internet.  I collect quotes that resonate with me and keep a Word doc on the ones I like.  I think the right quote at the right time can be quite powerful.  This quote is one of my favorites (and […]

Handling Emotional Attacks

Confrontations with people who attack you emotionally can leave you feeling drained, hurt, upset, and confused.  You may wonder afterwards what it was you did to them and why you made them so angry. Instead of “taking on their stuff” and taking it personally, realize that more often than not, the attack wasn’t about you […]

Coaching Exercises that Work!

The Wheel of Life–A Coaching Exercise with Big Results! One of the life coaching tools we use for goal-setting in our coaching practice is the Wheel of Life exercise.  This is used by many coaches to help guide clients to lead a more balanced, authentic, and fulfilling life for themselves.  It’s a great tool for motivating […]

Your Life is a Masterpiece

Your life is a masterpiece.  This work of art, your life, is perfect just as it is; you are already a masterpiece.  You don’t need to do anything, say anything, or be anything–you are already enough. Since you are the artist of your life and if you choose, you can create something even more wonderful. […]