by Mira and Charles on February 16th, 2015
Here in Boston, we have 7 feet of snow on the ground with more to come and we’re looking forward to a week of overnight temps getting down to zero or below. No temp above freezing on the horizon.
And it’s starting to get to people here. Everything is harder–driving is crazy and parking is impossible–and lots of things go wrong that you didn’t imagine could go wrong. For example, most people I know have melted ice leaking through their roofs, and there’s not much they can do about.
But let’s not feel sorry for ourselves. Everyone everywhere faces all kinds of challenges we often can’t imagine. They present a happy image on Facebook, but inside they’re too often struggling to keep their head above water.
So the need for emotional energy is as great now as ever. Which is exactly why Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on February 12th, 2015
This happens to us all the time. We read some piece of advice, like this one, and one of us turns to the others here at The Chestnut Hill Institute and says, “Hey, we’ve been saying this for years!” There are mixed feelings. We’re happy that good advice is out there. Frustrated that this advice has actually been available, because of us, for a long, long time.
In this case the advice says that a criticism is just a really bad way of making a request. So why don’t you just make the request? And since we’re talking about it, let’s flesh it out.
There you are, upset about something your partner did or did not do. Or didn’t do the “right” way. Or not when you wanted him to do it. So you Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on February 3rd, 2015
When I woke up this morning, a question from a reader was waiting for me:
How do I bring up going to marriage counseling when my husband is completely clueless about there being a problem? We’re not fighting or arguing, but we’ve drifted apart…. Dangerously apart. I don’t know how to start the conversation when he thinks everything is fine.
This issue comes up a lot. A LOT! But it took a reader’s question to make me think I should write about it. Thank you so much for the question.
Now suppose you just came out and said, “Honey, I’d like us to go into marriage counseling.”
He might just reply, “Really? Well…uh…sure. Let’s do it.”
And you’d fall off your chair.
So the question really is, Why might he say No? If you understand why your partner would be reluctant to go into marriage counseling, you’ll know how to bring it up.
There are five main reasons why people resist going into marriage counseling: Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on January 29th, 2015
How nice it is that the world is so full of so many nice women. Isn’t that nice? If only more people were nice, what a nice world it would be. Can’t we all just be nice?
But at the risk of being not nice I need to ask, what is this thing we call being nice?
This is important because—I’m here to tell you—a lot women, and men, and relationships too are dying inside from being nice.
If this were Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on January 23rd, 2015
If you’ve been thinking about giving up on the idea of marriage, or if you’ve been wondering about what kind of person you should marry, you could either consult your Aunt Agnes or turn to real solid research. Now I’ve got nothing against your Aunt Agnes, but if I have a choice I always go with the research. Better the experience of thousands of people, intelligently analyzed, than the experience of one woman who frankly…well, let’s just leave Aunt Agnes alone.
This research answers a couple of questions.
First, does being married actually make us happy or is it just that happy people are the ones who get married?
Answer: even when you Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on January 12th, 2015
We are all drowning in a sea of advice. Not just bad advice—which is bad enough—but advice of all kinds, and it’s causing lots of problems. This advice assault can, and WILL, wash over you no matter what you’re struggling with: from being stuck in traffic to having a dog with cancer, from losing your job to losing your hair, from breaking up with your lover to breaking out in pimples, from getting sick to getting old.
Here’s an example of how this plague of advice works. A woman I know is going through a very painful time. Her marriage has just blown up. Horrible! Family, friends, everyone at work, mere acquaintances know all about it, and seem determined to make things worse. The advice never stops. This woman has to walk a gauntlet of mostly well intentioned people saying a lot of things that are almost always more hurtful than helpful.
It begins with Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 30th, 2014
Making sure you keep your resolutions this year
I know what you’re thinking. Here comes another new year, and there are those things you don’t like about yourself or your life. And as sure as winter brings cold and snow to me up here in Boston, you probably feel a determination bubble up within you to change things. “This will be the year…” And like lots of us you feel on the verge yet again to make a New Year’s resolution.
I’ll bet your past resolutions haven’t always brought you the major changes you were hoping for. In fact, New Year’s Resolutions are too often a set-up for failure and discouragement. Sorry, but it’s true, and you know it.
And do you know why New Year’s resolutions so often fail? It’s because we’re hoping determination and commitment will carry us through. And that’s rarely the case.
But how would you like good, quick help right here, right now? The real secret of people who are successful with their New Year’s Resolutions is Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 24th, 2014
For many families, the holidays bring the same battle every year: no one can agree on where to spend Christmas. You like my mother, but my father always gets drunk and obnoxious. I like your dad, but your mom can’t cook. My sister lives so far away it’s an awful drive. Your brother lives in a dump. I’d like to have people over our house, but the last time we did it it was so much trouble it ruined Christmas for us.
And so what should be one of the happiest, most loving times of the year turns into a conflict-filled, stressed-out disaster.
There’s got to be a better way. And there is. Here are the basic principles. If you Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 17th, 2014
…and just in the nick of time! If there ever was a season when people were running low on emotional energy, Christmas is it. So much to do. So little time to do it. Lots of us find that Christmas is a week away and we haven’t even started with all the stuff we have to do.
Now new research shows that emotional energy is even more important than many of us have thought. Check this out: it turns out that Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 9th, 2014
Let’s thank the New York Times for a report on the state of our unions today: a report on what’s happening with divorce in America today.
What would you guess is happening? Is our national divorce rate rising? You keep hearing commentators say so, but is it true?
Well, if you take the divorce rate as an indicator of the health of the modern American marriage, we’re doing Read the rest of this entry. »