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It's Okay to Ask Your Spouse to Change! In Fact, Love Requires It, Part 1

by: Gary Stokes

Most of the married people I’ve interviewed over the past year subscribe to the marital rule that we should not try to change our spouse.

This myth dams up the potential of our marriage, so let’s adopt a new rule that allows us to emerge beyond even the best of conventional marriages:

We must help each other change with love, encouragement, and challenges !

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Three Rules for Date Night

by: Tammy Greene

We have all seen it, the couple that is focused on their phones rather than talking to each other, or the couple that sits together over dinner and doesn’t say a word to each other.Maybe that couple is you.

We have also witnessed the couple that sits over their meal arguing, easily wasting precious date time together by spending it bickering.Maybe that couple is you.

Research shows that couples that make date nights a part of their regular routine are proven to have longer lasting and healthier marriages. In order to accomplish this in your own marriage, you need to, not only, have regular date nights, but to make an effort to make the dates you have meaningful ones. It is near impossible to have a meaningful date if couples don’t communicate or if they communicate all of the wrong things.

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The Negative Spouse

by: Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC

Dear Toni- My wife has changed over the course of our 15 year marriage. The woman I married used to be fun, upbeat, positive and had a number of good friends. Now she is socially withdrawn, rarely smiles and everything out of her mouth is negative- from the little day to day discussions to those dealing with the larger issues. I have attempted different ways to address my concerns and feelings- from pointing out something she has just said, to encouraging her to lighten up and try to let go of the things that cause her more stress, to suggesting she make time to go out with friends, work out at the gym or just do something nice for herself. Her response is always along the lines of how there is no time, she is too tired and/or has to much to do at home- or that family needs have taken over and she can only cope with so much

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Getting Help

by: Jim Duzak, JD

I’ll never know for sure if counseling could have saved my first marriage (which ended in divorce after seven years), but I do know this: I was stupid not to give it a try.

Back then, I was young enough and arrogant enough to think that no one could possibly tell me something about myself or my marriage that I didn’t already know. What I failed to realize is that everyone, myself included, has blind spots. In fact, our biggest blind spots are the ones right in front of our eyes.

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Toxic Individuals and the Power of Forgiveness

by: Tina Swithin

There seems to be a great deal of discussion surrounding the power of forgiveness as it relates to divorce. Forgiveness seems to be a buzz word in religious teachings, self help books and a regular topic on the Oprah Show. Even my therapist seems to cling to the word! We are taught that in order to be free, we must forgive.

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The Cost of Losing Our Poise in Marriage

by: Gary Stokes

Often, we lose our poise with our spouse of partner, not over significant challenges, but over small provocations in the most mundane circumstances. Mary, my wife, laughs with me now about this incident of lost poise, but she didn’t find it humorous when it happened, neither did I.

Here Mary tells The Bubble Wrap Story, as it has come to be known in our house:

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Listening: Is There Enough of it In Your Relationship?

by: Jennifer Cummings, Ph.D.

Have you ever thought your relationships would be a lot better if you were just a better communicator? “If only I were more direct, more diplomatic, more expressive, more eloquent, more SOMETHING!”


Of course, being a good communicator does help relationships. Expressing yourself openly and skillfully, with clarity and disclosure helps forge meaningful bonds, and just helps you get through the day. But as we know (and often forget), being a good communicator isn’t just about talk.

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Common Denominators

by: Lisa Borchetta, MACP, CMC, ACC

My job here is to use my knowledge and expertise as a former mental health counselor and a certified life coach to assist people before, during and after a divorce with information that will assist them and their families in negotiating this challenging and difficult transition. That’s what I do – and I am happy to do it. But based on the tragic events of this week’s Boston Marathon – I feel pressed to take a slight detour today – and hope that you too, will see the common thread.

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Dating a Gentleman After Divorce

by: Dr. Felicia Clark

Dating after divorce, where do you start?This is one of a 5-part series that teaches women how to have the thriving relationship of their dreams, instead of just surviving their failed marriage. Should you get a new hairstyle, lose weight, or get a makeover? How do you compete with a bunch of hot young women? Well, you don’t – unless you just want sex. Women are often taught to attract men through triggering their mating instinct, or stimulating sexual attraction. This is the lowest form of attraction, can be devoid of connection, and often sets the stage for a difficult relationship.

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Are You Living a Double Life?

by: Jim Duzak, JD

 Having been, at various times, a divorce lawyer, a divorce mediator, and an advice columnist, I know that in marriage things aren’t always as they seem.

 I’ve had people tell me they’re gay but that they’re terrified of breaking the news to their spouse. I’ve had people tell me about their sexless marriages or their extramarital affairs. An ostensibly happily-married woman once told me that she can’t wait for her husband to die so that she can start living again.

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The Addicted Spouse

by: Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC

Dear Toni-

This may seem like an overreaction on my part, but I think my spouse is addicted to technology. At first, it was a lot of checking emails throughout the weekend and playing online games every weeknight for an hour or so. However, over time this has progressed to spending several hours an evening online and even more time on the weekends. Both our couple and family time have diminished and too often I feel like a single parent- handling all the children’s homework,

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