Mother’s Day As A Single Mom

Mother’s Day As A Single Mom. As I was the one who asked my husband for a divorce I became a single mom in 1991 raising a three year old and starting a Master’s program in Counseling Psychology. Divorce is never a happy experience. Even when you’re the one who wanted the divorce. There were mixed emotions for me when deriving at that decision. Included in mine were feelings of love for my “ex” as a person and father of my child, but not “in love” feelings, guilt for breaking up the family, and fear as I was becoming a single parent. In my family there was a degree of shame that came along with my decision.  My parents couldn’t even tell extended family members I was divorced for two years.  When we were at family parties when asked where was my husband they would respond “oh, he’s working.”  Of course I felt terrible and brushed it off as that was their problem and tried to not make it mine.

Mother’s Day As A Single Mom

Mother’s Day As A Single Mom. During this period of my life I had to adjust to doing “life” without anyone taking care of me anymore. My father was the first person to step in that role then my husband. Although I was viewed as quite an independent and strong person I felt scared to be on my own and with a with a 3 year-old daughter to boot. The first time I pumped gas into my car as a single mom I felt so liberated and free. I was pampered for most of my life and small things like getting my car washed, oil changes, and gas filled were primarily the job of the men in my life. I exercised learned helplessness in those days and I don’t recommend it. It debilitating and made me feel bad about myself. I was an angry person in those days as I knew there was something I wanted and needed to do but was so busy getting other people’s needs met I neglected ME. In my book, Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In a Relationship. I share my story of individuating and differentiating, learning to become the individual I was to become and becoming more different from the family that raised me and all relationships.

So during the next 7 years of my single mom life I got to work. Let me share with you now it wasn’t easy but definitely worth the journey. My daughter who is 32 years old has given me the gift of feedback that validates my efforts in making our lives work for the better. The process was one that I encourage anyone to take who believes they want more from their relationship to validate your own beliefs about how you want to live your life and role model for your children what that looks like.

For more information about needing to make changes in your life or adjust what’s not currently working please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

What Phase In Marriage Is Infidelity At High Risk?

What Phase In Marriage Is Infidelity At High Risk? Seems it doesn’t matter if it’s been two, four, or seven years; more studies are finding that whatever year mile marker you’re in can place their toll on a marriage. Whatever recent statistic you choose to accept couples tend to head for divorce after certain periods of their married life. Whether it’s after the two year mark, the four or five year mark, or that infamous 7-year mark – more than double the number are divorced after they meet their relationship peak for whatever their reasons. This period of time is comically referred to as the “seven-year itch.”  There are Four Phases couples go through in relationships.  There is the Honeymoon Stage, the Conflict Stage, the Stability Stage and the Commitment Stage.

What Phase In Marriage Is Infidelity At High Risk?

Remaining in a committed relationship can be incredibly fulfilling and incredibly difficult, even for the healthiest couples. Our definitions of “love” and what it means to be in a satisfying relationship also weighs heavily on our ability to weather the difficult and disconnected times that can actually be a bridge to even deeper levels of intimacy.

People often confuse the rush of excitement and infatuation that characterizes the start of a relationship with true love. They are then disappointed when this rush fades and they encounter serious challenges in the relationship. These challenges, though, can be a doorway into deeper and more satisfying phases of the relationship. Here are the 3 phases of marriage (which build on each other), that emerged during Dr. John Gottman’s research:

1.  The Honeymoon Stage is where you feel the most in love.  For most couples, the beginning of a relationship is the easiest.  Some say it’s like a drug addiction.  This is where you feel the most chemistry. You seem to be on the same page about most issues. Getting along is almost effortless. Some couples describe this as a merging of two people.  The Honeymoon phase typically last about eighteen months to 2 years.  Part of the thrill of falling in love is due to the fact that you see only the best in your partner.

2.  The Conflict Stage – As time goes on, each partner realizes that everything really isn’t perfect. This is the Conflict Stage where power struggles emerge.  It is typically around the 3rd or 4th year as each look at their differences and respond to them where they either predict a happy relationship or continuing struggles. This is the stage where most couples break up or survive.

This is where Couples Counseling comes in.  Marital discord peaks around the 4th year and then starts to taper off.  This period of time may be a combination of dwindling sexual chemistry and adjusting to each other’s idiosyncrasies.  The early years of marriage are when you replace the illusions with reality.  The “good behavior” put on at the beginning of the relationship is now normalized by being “just you” which could include being messy, displaying short temper, and not being as romantic as before.

3.  The Stability Stage is when conflict resolution and coping skills are learned and both have clear boundaries about each other.  The relationship is more balanced and both partner’s are usually getting their needs met and are fairly happy.

4.  The Commitment Stage is where the couple chooses each other consciously deciding they want a future together and whether have children by co-creating or blending families from previous relationships and making a stronger commitment for longevity in their union.

As couples move through these phases over years and decades, life happens. As wonderful as it is to have children, most couples experience a sharp decline in their marital satisfaction during that time. If we live long enough, we’ll lose jobs, face significant set-backs, and dear friends and family will pass on. Our partners will inevitably disappoint and hurt us.

The marker of a good marriage isn’t whether or not the dark times will come (they most certainly will), it’s whether or not the dark times will permanently damage the relationship or whether they’re used to eventually create an even deeper level of commitment, intimacy, and sense of shared purpose.

For more information on prevention and affair recovery contact me at (858) 735-1139.

 

Spring And Infidelity

Spring And Infidelity. Spring is in the air and new beginnings come with the temptation to feel alive. Having affairs can do just that. Those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) love Spring and the summer months as exposure to sunshine ultimately allows them to feel happier.  The increased levels of Serotonin enables people to feel more confident and more social

Spring And Infidelity

As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, Spring typically jump starts someone’s decision to start an affair.  I’m often asked why people have affairs.  And if more men than women have affairs in general.  As every couple is different with their own set of unique circumstances there is no one size fits all answer to the first question.  Regarding the percentages of males and females cheating the numbers are almost equal.  As an Affair Recovery Specialist, I help couples through the devastation of discovery or disclosure of any kind of infidelity.  Again, there are many reasons why people have affairs.  One reason is they want to feel different and being with someone else meets that objective.  When you’ve been in a long term relationship the feelings of familiarity and security are nice.  The excitement level, however, decreases as familiarity can bring about routine.  Routine is often times boring to say the least.

As an Affair Recovery Specialist, I see first hand how betrayal hurts.  Being cheated on effects the core of our existence as it leaves us with the loss of being significant to our partner. Spring And Infidelity

For those of you who are thinking about starting an affair please be mindful that if and when an affair is discovered the repercussions are grave.  If you are found out the best course of action is not to deny but be forthcoming and admit.  In working with couples throughout my 24 years in practice, admission is ultimately the best thing you can do.  Admission enables you to finally be honest.  With admission affair recovery can lead to being more open and honest about what went wrong and why, as well as what is needed to develop the relationship you both want for moving forward.  Coming clean is the first step to trying to save your marriage/relationship.  Continuing to deny worsen your ability to be honest.

It may sound counterintuitive to admit to your affair after it is discovered but for true healing to occur that is the right first step to affair recovery.  If you are having an affair and want help in disclosing or your affair has just been discovered contact me at (858) 735-139 to ensure you get what you want out of this ordeal.

Spring And Infidelity

Spring And Infidelity. Spring is in the air and new beginnings come with the temptation to feel alive. Having affairs can do just that. Those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) love Spring and the summer months as exposure to sunshine ultimately allows them to feel happier.  The increased levels of Serotonin enables people to feel more confident and more social

Spring And Infidelity

As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, Spring typically jump starts someone’s decision to start an affair.  I’m often asked why people have affairs.  And if more men than women have affairs in general.  As every couple is different with their own set of unique circumstances there is no one size fits all answer to the first question.  Regarding the percentages of males and females cheating the numbers are almost equal.  As an Affair Recovery Specialist, I help couples through the devastation of discovery or disclosure of any kind of infidelity.  Again, there are many reasons why people have affairs.  One reason is they want to feel different and being with someone else meets that objective.  When you’ve been in a long term relationship the feelings of familiarity and security are nice.  The excitement level, however, decreases as familiarity can bring about routine.  Routine is often times boring to say the least.

As an Affair Recovery Specialist, I see first hand how betrayal hurts.  Being cheated on effects the core of our existence as it leaves us with the loss of being significant to our partner. Spring And Infidelity

For those of you who are thinking about starting an affair please be mindful that if and when an affair is discovered the repercussions are grave.  If you are found out the best course of action is not to deny but be forthcoming and admit.  In working with couples throughout my 24 years in practice, admission is ultimately the best thing you can do.  Admission enables you to finally be honest.  With admission affair recovery can lead to being more open and honest about what went wrong and why, as well as what is needed to develop the relationship you both want for moving forward.  Coming clean is the first step to trying to save your marriage/relationship.  Continuing to deny worsen your ability to be honest.

It may sound counterintuitive to admit to your affair after it is discovered but for true healing to occur that is the right first step to affair recovery.  If you are having an affair and want help in disclosing or your affair has just been discovered contact me at (858) 735-139 to ensure you get what you want out of this ordeal.

Are You Seen and Heard?

Are You Seen and Heard? Everyone wants to be loved. To feel significant. To be seen. When those needs aren’t met, we end up in power struggles without even realizing it. We feel cut off and don’t have the intimacy we used to have. We can’t come to a happy concensus, because we don’t know what we want. Even if we do, we don’t know how to get it in a healthy, honest way.

Are You Seen and Heard?

There are no college classes on relationships. No one teaches us conflict resolution. When problems come up, we feel angry, disappointed, and overwhelmed. Of course we wind up frustrated and resentful. Disappointed, we keep rehashing the same problem with no relief. We end up stuck in a loop. Crushed that someone who used to be so important to us no longer feels that way, we wall ourselves off. We try to make sure we can never get hurt again. That emotional disconnect grows worse and worse, and the pattern starts all over again.

Are You Seen and Heard?

How many of these statements describe your disappointment with your relationship?

  • Conflict resolution is hard for me. I don’t know how to talk to people.
  • I have thought, heard, or said, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore.”
  • I feel cut off from my partner. I even feel disdain for my partner, and it affects the intimacy in our relationship.
  • I feel angry, frustrated, disappointed, overwhelmed, and resentful.
  • I’m frustrated with the state of our relationship, and I’m deciding whether to stay or go.

  • I’m upset about not being heard. My partner doesn’t listen, and we no longer come to a happy consensus when we disagree.
  • My partner and I fight a lot. This creates immature or acting-out behavior.
  • I keep going over the same problem without my relief. I’m stuck in a loop, and I don’t know how to break it.
  • My perspectives are never validated or understood. I don’t feel I can speak up and share my opinion.
  • I have an idealized version of what a relationship should look like, and when it doesn’t meet that vision, I’m disappointed and upset.
  • I’m sad because my needs aren’t being met.
  • The person who was once the most important person in my world doesn’t act like we still share the bond. I don’t feel important anymore. There’s an emotional disconnect.

There are common problems in relationships, and they can feel insurmountable. But they’re not. The pattern can be broken.

It’s time to get back to yourself, to remember who you are–who your intuition, insight, and choices want you to be. It’s time to get back to me. When you know yourself, your me, you know what you want–and how to get it. My book “Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In A Relationship” shows you just how to do that.

Please contact me for more information at (858) 735-1139 or go to my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com