Sharing Custody

The children are the ultimate victims of the conflict between the parents. A good analogy is a child in a boat and the parents are on the dock watching. The poor kid’s boat is sinking and the parents argue about who’s going to help and how are they going to help and accusing the other of not being there for the child. While the parents are arguing over these things, the child’s boat sinks and he is really at risk for drowning now. The same thing occurs emotionally for a child when the parents get stuck in a cycle of conflict over child support, visitation schedules, personal vendettas and who said what.
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Categories: Parenting and Transitions / Change.

To the spouse who is leaving

To the spouse who is thinking of leaving… I’m going to be saying some things here that I want you to know and consider. These are words of wisdom and counsel that I believe you need in what is one of the most critical periods of your life. Before you make any lasting decisions about your commitment to your spouse and your children, you need to be aware of the consequences of your decisions. You are likely angry or frustrated about many things right now. The fact is most people are not solving any problems or getting any peace by
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Categories: Family and Marriage.

Happiness, Marriage, and Divorce.

Can marriage make you happy?  Or, if you are unhappily married, will divorce make you feel better?  Probably it will not.  I’ve been working with couples long enough now to see patterns, tendencies, and trends in marriage and divorce.   One tendency I want to highlight here is the human tendency to pursue happiness in all the wrong places and then get upset when those places in our lives don’t produce happiness.  “The pursuit of happiness” was written into the U.S. Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson as a right of all the people, and so we Americans expect happiness to
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Categories: Divorce, Marriage, and Mental Health.

Women’s Health: What Social Science Research Tells Us

This month’s focus on women’s health provides an opportunity to share some valuable information regarding family dynamics.  Recent research has taken a serious look at the effects of marriage and family life on women’s well-being.  Much of the research in the social sciences suggests that marriage is beneficial to women’s health.  For the women who are reading this article: Before you start laughing at that last statement please understand that these studies are based on huge amounts of data from surveys of thousands of people.  The findings are based on averages, and comparisons of married women to those who are
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Categories: Marriage.

Lessons from the Love Lab

Some very compelling research on marriage has emerged from the University of Washington in the last few years.  Psychology professor John Gottman and his team of researchers have developed a lab the press has dubbed “The Love Lab.”  In their laboratory which is set up like an apartment, Gottman and his fellow researchers observe couples as they interact.  They see it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly interactions that can take place in marriage. Each partner’s stress levels are measured several times a day through heart rate monitors, stress hormone levels, video monitoring, blood pressure, and interviews.  This
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Categories: Marriage.