"Adult romantic love is an attachment bond, just like the one between mother and child." Sue Johnson Society has told us that in order to be independent, healthy adults, we need to separate ourselves from our parents, and learn to not depend on them for nurturing and comfort. However, the need to depend on one person, to know that when we call, that person will be there for us, never disappears. As psychiatrist John Bowlby said, “from the cradle to the grave,” we need to have someone to be there for us from the moment we are born until the moment we die. For this reason, romantic love is not illogical; it is, in fact, the continuation of an ordered plan for our survival. However, there is a difference: our partner doesn’t not have to be there physically. As children, we needed our caregivers in order to safe and protected. As adults, we can use mental images of our partner to call up a sense of connection. Whenever I have to do a presentation, I get anxious and nervous. What I do to calm down, is to picture my husband in mind and his encouraging words. The Laws of Love - 1

Is My Partner Depressed?

  Have you noticed changes in your partner? Have they withdrawn from activities they use to enjoy? Have their sleep patterns changed? Do they often feel sad, down or empty? If your partner is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, they may be suffering from depression.   Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. They may include one or several of the following: Feeling tired all the time Changes in sleep patterns – sleeping more or less Withdrawing from social activities Irritability Loss of interest in food, exercise and sex Thoughts of suicide We all have a bad day now and then. We may feel down, want to stay in bed, or simply want to be alone.  So how can you tell if your partner is just “having a bad day” or if they are suffering from depression? A person suffering from depression will be experiencing more than one of these symptoms on an ongoing basis (at least 1 week). These symptoms will also be impacting their ability to function on a daily basis. The CDC’s latest studies show that 1 in 10 Americans report feeling depressed. If you think that your partner is depressed, here’s what you can do to help. Be There – Let your partner know that you are there for them. Tell them that you love them and will help them through this. Listen – When your partner wants to talk about what they are feeling and what they are going through, listen to them. Don’t judge. Educate Yourself – Do your research on depression. Find out the symptoms, the triggers and the possible treatments. Depression can be misunderstood as a “loss of love” for a partner since they [...]

Do You Need Pre-Marital Counseling?

As we are preparing to enter into the “Wedding Season” of 2013, I wanted to take the opportunity to give some input and perspective into the benefits of pre-marital counseling. Some religions require for couples to go through session prior to marriage to make sure that they are embarking on this journey for the right reasons.  In lieu of any religious requirements or in addition to them, pre-marital counseling can be a great benefit to a lasting marriage. Even in the most intimate relationships, it can be difficult to discuss your hopes, dreams and expectations. While we can agree on where we will live, how we will pay the bills and whether we will have children, there are other issues that can be more easily addressed during a counseling session then in a one-on-one discussion with your fiancé. One of the biggest benefits of pre-marital counseling is the ability to learn how to communicate effectively with your partner. All relationships are based in communication. Yet often times with our most intimate relationships, we think that the other person “knows” or “understands” what we are thinking or saying. This is not the case. A counselor can give your tips and strategies to improve the communication in the relationship and make sure you understand each other’s needs. During the session, you will be asked questions to determine areas where you are compatible and non-compatible. While these differences may not be deal-breakers, by identifying them early on, you can help alleviate problems further down the road. Also, by knowing where these differences are, you can work to compromise in these areas instead of moving forward and possible causing areas of contention. Marriage is hard work. You need to [...]

By |April 16th, 2013|Categories: Blog, Counseling, Couples, Marriage, Relationships|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Do You Need Pre-Marital Counseling?

Try These Tips for a Long Lasting Marriage

  We all hear the statistics of how 50% of all marriages end in divorce. So if you are already married or about to get married, what can you do to avoid becoming a divorce statistic? Here are some thoughts that can increase the likelihood of making your marriage last.   Communication – This is critical to any relationship, but especially to a marriage. If you don’t talk about the good, the bad and even the ugly, your spouse is going to have no idea that something is wrong. Ask about your spouse’s day, how they are feeling. Getting comfortable with the small talk will make the “Big Talks” less stressful. Have Fun – Let’s face it, we all like to have fun. Make sure that you have fun together. Whether it is a sport, a movie, or even playing a board game, do something fun together. Make them laugh and don’t forget to laugh at yourself. Respect Their Space - We all need some “me” time. How often can vary by person and by what is going on in their life. Give your spouse that space. Whether it is letting them sleep in on a Saturday morning, going for a solo walk or drive, let them go. They will appreciate the time on their own and will love you even more for giving it to them. Forgive – No one on this Earth is perfect. We are all going to make mistakes at some point in our marriage. Learn to forgive your spouse. Holding on to past grievances is not only toxic for a marriage, but it can affect your health. Now I’m not saying you should become a doormat and let your spouse [...]

Celebrate The Women In Your Life

Let’s face it; we all have at least one woman in our lives. Whether it is a mother, wife, daughter, friend or mentor, a woman has made a difference in our lives. Too often, these women go unrecognized for all that they do for those around them. This Friday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. Why not use that day to show your appreciation to all of the women in your life? So what is International Women’s Day? Here’s some background on the holiday. International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s. It was started to give a voice to the inequalities that were occurring towards women at the time. Since then, it has grown to be an observed holiday in over 70 countries. This year there will be over 1100 events held throughout these countries. Want to find out more about events in the US? Click here. For more information on events in Orlando, click here. If you can’t participate in these events, here are a few ideas to show your love and appreciation to the women in your life. Show Respect – For those important women in your life that are no longer with us, do something in their honor. It can be as simple as visiting their gravesite, or sharing stories about their lives with others. If they were active in a particular organization, or were an avid volunteer, share your time or treasure in honor of their service. View Their Achievements – Tour a local art museum featuring works by women. While touring, consider the additional difficulties these women faced as artists in a field made up predominately of men. Share the Love – Tell your special ladies, how [...]

You’ve Got The Ring, So Now What?

You and your honey have been together for a while now, you know that he is the one and now he has finally popped the question and given you a ring. You are both happy and have been sharing your news with friends and family. Everyone has been asking “When is the big day?” and you have no idea. We all anticipate that getting married is something that we will only do once, so planning a wedding can be a daunting task. Wedding planning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some basic tips to get you off to a good start. Determine a Date Range – While you can’t nail down an exact date right away, you need to decide on a date range. This could be an entire month or a few weekends. This will also help you in determining your budget.    Who’s Paying? – Gone are the days when the bride’s parents would pay for the wedding and the groom’s parents would pay for the rehearsal dinner. Many couples are waiting longer to get married and are more financially able to foot the bill for their wedding. Everyone’s situation is unique so work with both sets of parents to come up with a solution that works for everyone. Keep in mind, that if either set of parents is paying for a portion or all of the wedding, they will expect to have some say in how things are done.    Set a Budget and Stick to It – Now that you know who responsible for paying, make sure and set a budget…. And STICK TO IT!!  You don’t want to start off your life together surrounded by a mountain of debt. Furthermore, [...]

5 Reasons Why Your Ex Should Stay Your Ex

There are many major life moments that each person may go through. Some are easier than others, and then you have the truly hard ones. The hardest thing for most people to go through is breaking up with someone that they care intimately about for multiple reasons. When you share a connection with someone that you think may be the one and it comes to a point where your paths no longer are shared, breaking up is sometimes the answer. Often times, when someone leaves a significant other, they have regrets and consider reconciling and getting back together with them. In a recent study, 44% of emerging adults in the last two years have had a reunion with their ex. With emotions being incredibly intense after a break-up, it is no wonder people may have the regret of breaking up and want to reconcile. However, it is important to look at the situation and evaluate why you left that person in the first place. There is the old saying that many people say of “Your ex is an ex for a reason”. So should you reconcile with your significant other? Take a look at why they are your ex and what made you incompatible with them in the end. These are some reasons why you should not reconcile with an ex: 1. You changed who you were for them – Many times in relationships, one, or both parties, will change who they are for the other person. Yes, there is such thing as changing for the better, but you cannot sacrifice all of who you are for someone else. If you did this, get back to who you are, not who you “were” for that [...]

5 Warning Signs For Substance Abuse

This past week, we learned that country star Mindy McCready ended up committing suicide. As authorities go through their reports and autopsy performed, much of the speculation of why she did this circulates around substance abuse. With this being such a sad event, lets touch on the subject of how to help someone who may be struggling with mental health issues and who may turn to substance abuse as a way of escape. Sometimes, you may not be able to recognize the signs, but with this article, we hope to help you be able to reach out to those around you. Many times, people begin to look for ways to escape the stress in their life. This can usually be something from a vacation, to a day at the beach, or even a calming day at the spa. For others, this escape can lead to substance abuse. If someone does not know how to handle what is going on in a safe way or seek out the help they need through friends, family, or counselors, it could go a very wrong way. What are some of the signs you should look for? How can you reach out and help this person? What if they don’t want help? Some of these are easier answered than others but here are some things to remember: 1. This persons eyes may appear bloodshot more often then normal and they may have drastically smaller or larger pupils. 2. If this person suddenly has weight gain or loss that is of significance and you notice that their sleeping or eating habits have changed, this may be a sign. They may also begin to have an increased lack of caring how they [...]

5 Warning Signs Of An Abusive Relationship

With the death of South African model Reeva Steenkamp, this puts a light on the fact that there are situations out there that many women may be in, and need help. Whether Oscar Pistorious meant to murder his girlfriend, or truly thought it was an intruder, may never be known. However, when faced with this situation, you have to think what type of relationship it may have been and if it was possibly an abusive relationship. How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship? Here are some things to look for: 1. If someone is extremely controlling or jealous, this could be a potential problem. Wanting to know where you are, whom you are with, what you are doing every time you talk to them or making you ask permission to do anything is not a good sign. 2. When someone does not assume responsibility or own up for any mistakes, yet blames it on others, you could be facing a problem. They will tell you how you have made them frustrated or how you could have made the situation better instead of owning up on the problems. 3. As your friends and family begin to fade away and your time with them becomes less and less, you slowly get isolated from the real world. This is a control tactic to make sure you are under their control at any point and time. One wrong move, and it could go very bad. 4. Do not get involved with someone who has a background of hurting someone physically, mentally, or enjoys threatening violence on anyone or anything. These right here are clear warning signs. 5. Mood swings; verbal abuse, and inflicting pain are [...]

By |February 20th, 2013|Categories: Anger, Blog, Co-Dependence, Couples|0 Comments

5 Tips To Show Your Love After Valentine’s Day

As the candles have been blown out, the romantic dinners had, gifts exchanged, and memories created, what do you do now to keep the love moving forward? Just because Valentines Day is over does not mean you have to stop showing the love that you have for someone. Love should not require us to show our significant others the love that they deserve just once a year, but instead daily. Love is something that, given enough tenderness, will grow deeper than you can imagine. Many people have this thought that once Valentines Day is over, that’s it. No need to be extra romantic or extra special towards the one you care for. However, it is even more important to show your significant other after the holiday to remind them what a major factor they are in your life. Here are some simple things to do to keep that romance alive through the year: 1. Flowers – Girls love flowers. Even better, your girl loves flowers sent to her job with a secret little note reminding her of how incredible she is to you. It makes everyone around her jealous and makes her blush and feel important. 2. Dinner – Don’t let going out or cooking for your significant other happen once a year. Make it a romantic occasion at least once a month. Find their favorite recipe, light some candles, put on some romantic music, and when they walk in the door, sweep them off their feet. It’s not every day that someone will sweep his or her significant other off the floor by going above and beyond. Who knows, you might have the romantic evening returned one day! 3. Baths – Really. After a [...]