April 11, 2021

After years of seeing and helping patients with boundary issues, I began researching the topic to gain clarity and information. Many of my clients need assistance in setting clearer boundaries in relationships. They complain that they often give too much to others, feel depleted, and have trouble saying “no” to others. For example, Nina, 50, a client of mine (fictitious name) often spends endless hours running errands for her mother, Susan, age  75. Even if she has her own work… Read more

April 4, 2021

Dear Terry, I read your column weekly and have to admit that I’m struggling in my marriage. I’ve been married fifteen years and Conner and I have two sons ages ten and thirteen. We argue more recently since Conner lost his job, have not had sex in almost a year, and are drifting apart. Whenever we do talk, we seem to have the same fight over and over and both get defensive. Please tell me some of the warning signs… Read more

March 28, 2021

The divorce epidemic reached its peak in the late 1970’s. Since then, the divorce rate has remained high – over 45% of first marriages end in divorce and more than 60% of second marriages. These statistics have impacted many adults willingness or interest in making a commitment to a romantic partner or to tie the knot. In the twenty-first century, many people see divorce as a viable option to the inevitable hard times of marriage. Stable and healthy marriages seem… Read more

March 20, 2021

There are many reasons why adults raised in divorced homes get stuck in the past and have difficulty establishing healthy relationships in the present. You might find yourself in relationship patterns that mirror your family of origin. It’s understandable that you might repeat patterns that you observed in your childhood home. Another factor may be what Freud referred to as repetition compulsion. This is a tendency that people have to repeat patterns from the past as a way to gain… Read more

March 14, 2021

During our first couples counseling session, Derek, 48, looked skeptical and asked about the process. In other words, he felt curious and a bit apprehensive since I requested that he and his wife, Shelly, 47, make a commitment to at least twelve weekly counseling sessions. After answering Derek’s question, I explained that I would gather information about the history of their relationship during our first session. Then during our second session, I always meet with couples individually to hear their… Read more

March 7, 2021

The key ingredients to a successful remarriage are selecting a partner who is realistic about the challenges ahead and willing to work through the inevitable hard times of blending families. Although second marriages have a higher divorce rate that first ones, they can be even better than firsts if you approach your partnership with your eyes wide open and adopt a mindset of “We’re in this together.” It’s normal to feel disillusioned about marriage if you’ve endured a divorce and… Read more

February 27, 2021

Dear Terry, My husband Kyle and I are drifting apart. We’ve been married sixteen years and are in our early forties. This situation makes me feel increasingly alone and it feels like we are roommates rather than loving spouses. It feels like Kyle ignores me and I’m not sure what to do about it. Even though we are sharing the same spaces and are together a lot due to working at home, Kyle and I rarely spend meaningful time together…. Read more

February 21, 2021

In a recently-released article by Anggun Bawinur for The Good Men Project’s website, the writer unpacks the challenges of a long-distance relationship amidst the pandemic. Drawing on his perspective of being in an especially long, long-distance partnership — in his case, a romance in which one partner is in Canada and the other is in Southeast Asia — Bawinur shares the very relatable feelings of isolation, uncertainty, and the ever-changing dynamics of COVID-19 rates. He also discusses relevant issues in… Read more

February 13, 2021

Dear Terry, I was divorced three years ago and my question is “when my children will recover and get used to living in two homes?” I’m a forty-two year old teacher who was married for fifteen years and I have three children ages 10, 12, and 15. My marriage had been very bad for a long time and we argued often. I think we were all relieved for the first few months after my ex-husband moved out but then my… Read more

February 7, 2021

For better or worse, most couples follow similar patterns that they saw their parents’ model for them. However, with self-awareness of our core beliefs and behaviors, we can begin to make intentions about having a different kind of marriage. This comes down to how we are taught to view ourselves as capable or inadequate of having a successful marriage, and whether we are deserving of love or unworthy. Most experts believe that the first step in getting out from the… Read more

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