You are here
Mary feels disconnected from her husband Joe— “I just feel so alone” she says. Married for 20 years with three children, she’s going through a hard time. They love each other, but Joe is a very different person than Mary. She’s more emotional—wanting touch and affection. Joe is more likely to intellectualize his feelings. I can see that Joe feels bad about Mary’s loneliness.
They haven’t been spending much time with each other. Mary’s busy with the kids and Joe works long hours. Over time, they stopped going out as a couple. At the end of each day, they both drop into bed exhausted... Read More
Recently, I came across a collection of stories about a friend of mine, who passed away in his early adulthood, including one that I wrote about our teenage years. It made me sad to think about his untimely death. He had an alcohol problem and died while drunk behind the wheel of a car. It made me reflect on my coming of age in the late 1960’s. And it made me think about young people who are coming of age today.
The 1960’s were both an exciting and a scary time. I remember watching, on our black and white TV, the new rock n roll sensation from England, perform on the Ed Sullivan... Read More
Meet the Smiths, a typical American family. Just married, John and Mary have four children! Sally 14, and Joe, 12, are John’s. David, 10, and Bill, 4, are Mary’s.
The new American family is a blend of mine, yours, and ours—brought to you by a divorce rate of about 41% of first marriages and a remarriage rate of 52-64% of divorced couples.
The natural life history of divorce and remarriage brings about new facts of family life. From the rubble of marital dissolution rises the single-parent family, usually headed by Mom. Dad has the kids every other... Read More
I remember my childhood chum, Dennis. We did everything together. We played ping pong until we fell from exhaustion. A brief snack later, we played Monopoly until his parents sent me home. I returned after dinner to play basketball into the night. Who needed to see the hoop? We were best friends. All we needed was each other.
Ultimately, I moved away, and our friendship faded. But childhood friendships stay alive in adult minds. They bring forth warm memories of innocence, loyalty, and love.
Adolescent male relationships have a unique flavor. They taste of adventure and... Read More
The other night I was tired, hungry, and feeling overwhelmed when I got home from work. It was a long day. My wife, who had a cold for several days, asked me to do something. I barked back at her.
I felt terrible.
Jill and Jim, with a new baby, both of whom work full-time, are often grumpy when their infant has a bad night. On those days, getting into a disagreement is as frequent as rainy days in a Northwest winter. But, when they’re sleep deprived—a minor conflict can turn into a vicious yelling match. After it’s over, they both feel awful.
How often do we lose our... Read More
In this Sunday’s New York Times (2/25/18), Sasha Cohen, the 2006 Figure Skating Olympic Silver medalist, shared the story of her retirement from skating. She spent her childhood and adolescence training for competition. Like all Internationally ranked athletes, her entire life was her sport. But after she stepped off Olympic ice, she was unprepared for her future as an ordinary civilian. She felt lost and uncertain. Michael Phelps, the most decorated swimmer of all time,... Read More
When I was in my early 40’s, my mother came for a visit. She let me know that she didn’t feel that I acknowledged her birthday. She told me that every year her feelings were hurt. And, she added, she had been feeling this way for many years, but finally decided to tell me. I realized, after some reflection, that she was right. I also realized that my lack of recognition of her had to do with some of my deep feelings that I hadn’t entirely owned.
That day, I went out and bought her a birthday cake (it was months after her birthday) and promised her that I would spend every birthday... Read More
On December 18th, Diane and I will have been married for 40 years! Wow! Where did all that time go? It seems like a lifetime ago that we got married in her parent’s living room, surrounded by family and friends. It was a small, inexpensive wedding by today’s standards. But everyone was as happy and as celebratory as they are at today’s bigger ceremonies.
As I reflect back on these forty years, I have learned a few important lessons that I’d like to share with you. As my wife would agree, I am a slow learner and I can be very stubborn! So anything I do figure out takes me a long time... Read More