Depression in a Partner – How To Cope

By Eve Pearce Depression is a major problem in Western society, affecting more and more people every year. When a partner is afflicted with this horrible disease, it can put a huge strain on a relationship. While one partner becomes emotionally withdrawn, unmotivated, and perpetually sad, the other may become worried, frustrated, or wonder if this change is permanent and the person they love is lost forever. Depression is still a misunderstood condition. Its attendant emotions are very difficult for someone not suffering from it to comprehend, and even harder to witness in a loved one. If your partner is…
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Rules for Fair Fighting: Couples Therapy

This is used in couples therapy to help my clients have productive conversations.  If you can follow these rules, you are much more likely to have productive discussions. 1. Decide upon a time of day and time limit before you begin and stick to it. Make this session last around 20 minutes-don't overdo it. If you don't finish in that allotted time, schedule another time the next day. 2. Decide how many “zaps” you'll permit before you (or the other) walk out. A zap is a hurtful remark, an insult, a threat, a sarcastic dig and so on. Any attempt…
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Creating a Peaceful Holiday for your Family

Aren’t holidays great?  There are presents, food, time off work (for those fortunate enough), and time with family.  However, the time with family can quickly turn into disagreements, which then lead to out right fighting. Its all too often the times we all think should be enjoyed turn into episodes of family drama. Before getting together with family this holiday season, think about the triggers that cause these family problems.  Maybe Uncle Bobby is the one who starts problems by drinking too much.  Possibly it is Aunt Mildred who starts on a rant because Uncle Bobby is drinking too much,…
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Living Within Your Means

Keeping up with the Joneses, go big or go home, and livin’ large are all mantras of our society.  These mantras may very well sound appealing.  However, they seem to cause a great deal of pain for many. In my office, I see people who are spending much more money than they are earning.  After the credit cards are maxed and the second or third mortgage has been taken out, people often find there is no place to turn and they are quite unhappy. What you own is now owning you, as the old saying goes.  It is unfortunate how…
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Marriage Counseling

People often come to me for marriage counseling. Actually, I prefer to call it couples counseling because I see all types of couples- many who do not fit into that marriage category. I come from the perspective that both people in the relationship have some responsibility for the good things in the relationship, as well as the bad stuff. Often I get a partner in the relationship or marriage who states that it is all the other person's fault. As we talk more, it becomes more and more apparent to both people that there is responsibility on each side. In…
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Trying Too Hard?

MANAGE your anger. CONTROL your anxiety. STOP having panic attacks. FIX the relationship. All of these are great ideas and actually work for a large percentage of people. However, for some, the more they emphasize on attacking the problem, the worse it gets. How can this be? You have to take the bull by the horns, right? Well, most of the time you do. But not always. There really is such a thing as trying too hard. Yes, believe it or not! Sometimes, I urge people to accept the feelings they are having. There can be a lot said by…
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Prescription Sex Enhancing Drugs

Drugs = better sex?? When we watch TV, we get this message. If we subscribe to much of the popular culture, we get this message. Is it true? Well, I don't subscribe to this philosophy. Of course drugs can enhance sex, but it often does not work and certainly has its drawbacks. I see many people in my office who are having some sort of sex problem…like lack of desire, impotence, or just boring sex. Often, they have turned to prescription sex enhancing drugs to help them. Usually, they are quite surprised when these drugs do not work as advertised.…
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Talk Sex?

Sexuality is often one of those things people have great difficulty discussing. So much of the time, people have sex, but they do not have discussions about sex. I wonder how many of you do not really discuss sex with your partner(s). I see many people in my office and on the phone who are very sexually active and are quite open minded. However, it is very interesting to see that so many of them do not have solid adult to adult conversations about sex. The lack of these conversations seems to result in misunderstandings. I think of the classic…
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Marriage Counseling as a Last Resort?

I see a lot of couples in my office who are striving to better their relationships and, often, save their relationships. The disturbing trend I see is couples therapy or marriage counseling being used as a last resort. Many couples will tell me that they have tried psychiatric medication (often antidepressants) and different forms of arguing, as well as separations, threats of lawsuits, and who knows what else. Of course...this is all before trying couples therapy. The problem I see is that many couples do not look for finding ways to better their communication, appreciate one another, or develop ways…
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Couples Therapy as a First Resort

Couples often hurt…they have arguments that seem to last forever…maybe each argument reverts back to those old hurts that occurred months or even years ago. Many couples can relate to these arguments that never end and never resolve anything. Actually, these types of arguments usually just make the couple grow further and further apart. Should you only change the oil in your car when the engine is about to lock up? Should you only go to the dentist when you fear you are about to get dentures? Why is it that couples often wait until they are on the brink…
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