by Mira and Charles on January 15th, 2016
I don’t know, but that seems like a fair question when someone writes a newspaper article titled “Can an Affair Save a Marriage?” and then goes on to say
US marriage therapist Mira Kirshenbaum outraged many with her book When Good People Have Affairs, which claimed the “right kind” of fling could “jolt people from their inertia”.
The author then goes on to imply that we’re starting a movement of people having affairs to shake up their marriage. The affair as a marriage tonic.
But IS that what we say?
Of course not. Yes, it sometimes happens that Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 15th, 2015
Well, you probably saw this coming. The world is going to hell, so why not: grandma and grandpa are getting divorced. So sad. So selfish. So silly. Do they even know what they’re doing? Who put these dopey ideas in their heads?
Well, maybe not your grandma and grandpa. But evidently lots of them, according to a NYTimes article that sniffs out a heating up of post-50 divorce:
Late-life divorce (also called “silver” or “gray” divorce) is becoming more common, and more acceptable. In 2014, people age 50 and above were twice as likely to go through a divorce than in 1990
Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 4th, 2015
If you ask most people, they’ll say there’s too much divorce. And they’re likely to say that half of all marriages end in divorce. Scary, isn’t it? they’ll say.
But the fact is that things are both much better than that…and far worse. This is something we’d all better come to terms with, because the story isn’t about how marriage is in trouble in this country. It’s a story about how our country itself is in trouble.
As far as marriage is concerned, among people who married about 7 years ago, only 11% of them have gotten divorced. That’s practically nothing when you factor in the reality that divorce tends to happen early on and that a lot of people make huge mistakes in who they marry.
If marriage itself was in trouble, there wouldn’t be this 11% figure. Except that, oops, I left one thing out. Those people I was talking about are all Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on November 18th, 2015
Ripped from the headlines
Well, this was an interesting interview! We’ve often been asked how likely it is that your partner will cheat on you. This, for a major women’s publication, switches it around and asks us to talk about how likely it is you will cheat. And that’s a really valuable question, because the pressures can build up without our being aware, and then as if out of nowhere we find we’re having an affair. Yes: it does happen like that more often than you’d think.
So here’s what you need to know:
Q: Most women and men don’t wake up one day and think “I’m going to cheat on my partner today.” Is infidelity a storm that builds slowly or happens out of nowhere—and why?
CHI: One of the reasons some people cheat is that Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on October 27th, 2015
The great health pioneer Dean Ornish, in the Huffington Post, has just written a lovely piece about The Emotional Energy Factor. Ornish really gets what we’re trying to do in that book, as when he quotes me saying in O Magazine,
Emotional energy is the precondition for everything that we care about. Everything worth doing that’s difficult gets lost without it. Marriages fail when we run out of the emotional energy to reach one more time across the divide of anger and silence. Dreams die when we lack the emotional energy to hang in there in the face of all the obstacles.
And Ornish emphasizes that we go on to SHOW you how to increase your emotional energy. Check out the book: you’ll see! (BTW, it’s a 5-star book on Amazon—a pretty rare achievement.)
by Mira and Charles on October 27th, 2015
In today’s NYTimes, there’s an important piece that validates what we said in our book Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: that you can be happy staying in your marriage, if that’s right for you. And you can be happy being single, if that’s right for you.
But the worst thing for your mental and physical health is to stay stuck in ambivalence about your marriage, neither leaving it or really giving yourself to it. Be in or be out, but sitting on the fence will kill you.
Well, now there is important support for our claim that ambivalence hurts your physical health. Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on September 30th, 2015
A recent piece in the NYTimes tells a story of love and family restored after divorce. No, the marriage wasn’t restored. And no, the kind of love that brings people into a relationship wasn’t restored either. But here is a real, and realistic, picture of happy family life post-divorce.
Let’s call this family restoration. The divorce is a given. The grownups are definitely moving on to new lives, perhaps new relationships. But the grownups get along like grownups, and there is the possible of real affection between them. The co-parenting may not go more smoothly than co-parenting does in the typical marriage, but it happens without any unnecessary disagreement. And the family spends happy, comfortable time together. Not a grim facade of fake getting along. But real family feeling—the kind that makes the kids happy to be there, and the grownups too.
Is this a fairy tale? Not at all. It happens all the time, in big ways and small, such as this heartwarming story of Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on September 23rd, 2015
Ripped from the headlines
Was just interviewed by CNN on this topic based on our award-winning book The Emotional Energy Factor (which has a 5-star rating on Amazon!)…but first a disclaimer. We don’t do politics here. I’ll be talking about some candidates, but please understand: if I don’t slam a candidate you hate, that’s doesn’t mean I like that candidate. And if I don’t fawn over a candidate you love, that doesn’t mean I hate that candidate. This is about you, not the election.
OK, then. The CNN interview was about Donald Trump’s talking about Jeb Bush being “low energy” and about himself being “high energy.” And that’s not the only time emotional energy had something to do with the campaign. Vice President Joe Biden was reported to say that he doesn’t know if he has the emotional energy for a run for the presidency, given that his son Beau died only a couple of months ago.
So what does emotional energy have to do with campaigning?
A lot. But first of all, calling Jeb Bush “low energy” is Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on September 1st, 2015
“Is this the person I’ve been looking for?” Part 2
Last time we talked about a NY Times article about a woman who grilled a man on their very first date. Grilled and drilled. Asked him every question she could think of about who he really was and what he liked and what he really wanted out of life: children? Chinese food? church? You name it, she asked about it.
Because, of course, she didn’t want to waste any more of her time in go-nowhere relationships. (And by the way: he loved her inquisition. So we ended the last blog with a question: “Was this a good move on her part?” Should a first date be about an inquisition or about just flirtation and chitchat?
Women I’ve talked to—patients over the years and women I’ve queried about this exact question in the last few weeks—are mostly of the opinion that Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on August 17th, 2015
Well, we got up this morning to find an email from our wonderful literary agent waiting for us. It seems there was an article in today’s New York times that mentioned Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay.
He went on to say, “Nice to know your book has become so iconic.”
What a lovely thought! Our book an icon, a very image, of self-help literature or, as we like to call it, bibliotherapy! But it’s way more than an icon. It’s a tool, one that has changed the lives of countless people.
TGTL, as we call it, has been mostly used by people who’ve been together for a while and are now wondering if they should continue together or move on separately. But the Times article, entitled “An Inquisition on Their First Date, and Then a Slow Burn,” is about someone using TGTL on their very first date, and I wonder what you’ll think Read the rest of this entry. »