How women make mistakes in marriage and what to do about it
The article in today’s Huffington Post on Divorce Causes: 6 Marriage Mistakes to Avoid is useful for summarizing some common landmines of marriage. It’s addressed to women in heterosexual relationships, but it’s probably pretty generalizable.
While the mistakes don’t have to lead to divorce, they certainly don’t make things any easier:
- badmouthing your husband to your girlfriends
- not knowing how to talk to men in marriage
- thinking your husband has to change in order for you to be happy
- living parallel lives, thus growing apart over time
- expecting the worst from your husband
- having a sense of entitlement
I found the article refreshing in thinking of my own 12-year-old marriage, which sometimes displays qualities of a clueless adolescent. I certainly have room for improvement. (Yes, even marriage and family therapists can have challenging relationships. If your therapist doesn’t admit to being imperfect, I would be concerned…)
The advice to work on yourself is always timely: a mature relationship depends on your working on your own happiness, without neglecting the relationship.
Parenting Tips For Stress-Free Holidays
The holidays are a joyous time when loved ones come together to share traditions and to celebrate. But for many families, the holidays can also be a time of stress and frustration, sometimes unintentionally resulting in an increased risk of child abuse and neglect.
Research tells us that economic and personal stress are leading contributors to child abuse and neglect. For too many parents, the holidays increase stress levels because of extra demands on their time, money and energy. To minimize the risk of abuse, it’s best to reduce unnecessary stress by planning ahead. Continue reading
Having the bravery to hug your partner can be a challenge in itself. Can you relax enough to give a hug that sends a message of unconditional friendship and caring, if not love? If you can, not only might it improve your relationship. It might actually be good for your own health.
Try it. At least twice a day (but with no maximum, as long as it’s welcome by your partner), hug for 10 seconds at least. Obviously, this isn’t the quick hi-and-bye kind of hug. It’s a full-body hugging-and-breathing exercise. See if you don’t feel better.
Another study explored the value of saying “we” more often when talking with your partner. Results in this study have some similarity to the hugging study – our blood pressure drops and we feel less stressed. Try to remember this in the next argument. If you tend to be too self-protective and self-justifying, this might be tough! At least don’t use “your” and “my” to hurt and score points in the argument.
Read this wonderful article about marriage, from this weekend’s New York Times.