Currently Browsing: Relationships

The Secret Legacy of Male Depression

Whenever a successful man takes his own life, it comes as a shock to all who saw him as a success. Men who are deemed to be accomplished in life are seen as having it all. There is little room left for that man to have feelings that don’t fit the outward picture. Far too many men are suppressing feelings and needs that are simply human. It is easy for an accomplished man to feel as though he exists primarily to care for others and to deny as long as possible that he himself is in trouble emotionally.

Research on socialization of emotions, much of it done at Emory University, shows...

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Attachment Theory: Why Break Ups Hurt So Much

broken heart      Attachment theory  explains why breaking up is so painful even when you know you are not right for each other. You know in your head that you are not good together but the thought of separating is excruciating. The...

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Being Single in Atlanta

Although there are more single people living alone than at any time in prior history in the US,  it can be a challenge for many single people who perceive that world seems to be coupled. My single clients who want to find  a partner sometimes struggle with feelings of loneliness and, anger and shame. Some of them express that they feel no one has ever chosen them (never married singles) and have no validation of their lovability that they can show to others. Some feel discouraged with the quest to find a partner in love. Other patients (divorced/widowed) feel sadness that their primary relationship...

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Creating Connection in Couples

The material on the history of marriage that has been written by Stephanie Coontz makes it clear that expecting emotional closeness and affection in a marriage is a relatively new phenomenon and is related to western economies having accrued enough resources so that marriage is about other variables than having enough to eat or having children to work the land. Tying marriage to love in the twentieth century increased the divorce rate and the lack of stability of marriage. We are now far enough in the process of studying this new kind of marriage to have some data on what makes marriages work...

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The double taboo: Money and death

It is hard to have an open, contained conversation about money that includes emotions and does not end up in a difficult interaction. This is a learned skill for most of us. It is even harder to have an open and contained discussion about money and death. Whether you want to know what is in your parents’ estates and how they plan to distribute or you want to deal with your own estate issues with your grown children, people in general are reluctant to address these topics.

The adults who are hesitant to ask information of their parents are afraid of being seen as greedy,...

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American Psych Association Mental Health Blog Day: To the Caregivers

Mental Health Blog Party Badge

Today is mental health blog day for the American Psych Association and I am here today to extend compassion and understanding to all who are loving and caring for someone who has mental illness. There is still stigma involved in acknowledging that someone you are related to has symptoms of mental illness. Many adults who have family with mental problems feel as if it brings shame onto...

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The Betrayal of Trust

One of the most painful experiences that we endure as humans is the experience of feeling as though our trust has been betrayed. The trust that is broken can be with another person, a relationship, a workplace or your an institution.
A break in trust first causes us to doubt our own abilities and perceptions. If we trusted and it did not work out, then what is wrong with our own ability to see reality and size up situations? How can we trust ourselves or another again? We go through a period of doubt and questioning that can be quite profound. Emotional responses can run the gamut of anger,...

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Recovering from a Divorce

There are a number of important stages and steps to go through in the process of divorce recovery. It is important to be proactive and effortful in this process…many of those who drift through hoping that time alone will be their healer may end up in the percentage of divorcees who do not really grow or enhance their lives with this painful experience. To feel the failure of your marriage and determine that you will learn and benefit from this experience means that you will be less likely to repeat it down the road. It is estimated that about 30% of partners who dissolve a family with...

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A Difficult Mother

What does it mean to have a difficult mother? All mothers go through difficult periods due to fatigue, stress and the demands of adult life and parenting. However a truly difficult mother is difficult all the time and presents a child with an unresolvable dilemma: you can either sacrifice yourself and have a relationship with me or be your true self and I will ridicule, disapprove of or reject you. The child’s dependency on the mother is then exploited and he/she will have difficulty trusting others and developing close relationships in adulthood. Some of the characterisitics of a difficult...

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Intimacy and chemicals

I have been aware for a number of years how using recreational chemicals can impede the development of closeness in couples. The last 2 weeks in the office have really brought this home. When you are high and your special one is not,  he/she is likely to withdraw from you. You don’t  see the changes in yourself or the relationship because your perceptions are altered. It only takes a few drinks or tokes to change the energy between you both.  You  feel that you are “more yourself” or more relaxed and are likely to deny that this is a problem. It is  doesn’t meet...

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