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Marriage Archives

The Depression Rules: How One Marriage Overcomes a Chronic Illness

posted by Beyond Blue

For Valentine’s Day, I wrote a piece for Everyday Health on how Eric and I stick together despite an illness that taxes both of us physically and emotionally. To read the piece, click this link. Here is the beginning …. […]

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Getting the Love You Want, Over and Over Again

posted by Beyond Blue

In his New York Times bestseller, Getting the Love Your Want, psychologist Harville Hendrix explains why people who grew up in homes — well, a little like the one in the 2006 flick Little Miss Sunshine — without proper emotional […]

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In Sickness and In Health

posted by Beyond Blue

“On Wednesday, I will leave my husband of twelve years. He is a depressive. He uses prescribed medication and has available to him a phalanx of good therapists. But he also self-medicates with alcohol. He disdains therapy. He refuses to […]

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12 Depression Busters for Divorced People

posted by Beyond Blue

Divorce is the second most stressful life event, preceded only by the death of a spouse. And what is stress is capable of? Expediting a severe bout of depression and anxiety to your limbic system (the brain’s emotional center) if […]

8 Survival Tips for the Spouse of a Terminally Ill Person: An Interview With Owen Surman, M.D.

posted by Beyond Blue

Today I have the honor of interviewing Owen Stanley Surman, M.D., a practicing hospital psychiatrist known internationally for his work on psychiatric and ethical aspects of solid organ transplantation. Following the death of his wife, Dr. Surman devoted six years […]

9 Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

According to Peggy Vaugn, the author of “The Monogamy Myth” and the website “Dear Peggy.com,” 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in their marriage. In other words, the person who […]

The 10 Red Flags of an Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

I found this piece by Jeff Herring last year. Now Beliefnet has made it into a nice gallery for the Emotional Affairs Resource Page. To get to The 10 Red Flags of an Emotional Affair, click here. It begins …. […]

14 Ways to Recover from an Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

An anonymous reader writes: Over the last several months, I began an online relationship with a man. I was taken aback by our ability to connect. It was uncanny to me how much we understood each other. The sense of […]

You Deplete Me: 10 Steps to End a Toxic Relationship

posted by Beyond Blue

“You complete me.” You know that line, right … from “Jerry McGuire”? It comes right before “You had me at hello” (another puker). The completing-the-other bit nauseates me a tad because we relationship-analyzers (some with the right initials after their […]

Therapy Thursday: Stir the Oatmeal

posted by Beyond Blue

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. […]

Maybe It’s Not Your Marriage: The Longing to Leave

posted by Beyond Blue

On the blog, “Storied Mind,” one of my favorite posts is “The Longing to Leave.” It’s one of the most insightful pieces I’ve ever read about how depression can really mess up a marriage. Because when a person plummets into […]

The Science of Risk-Taking

posted by Beyond Blue

Kate Stinchfield wrote a fascinating article in “Time” about all the chemicals that go into risk-taking. Why do men such at Spitzer with so much at stake risk it in an act of sheer stupidity? Maybe something in his noggin […]

5 Ways to Pray Together as a Couple

posted by Beyond Blue

Consider for a moment these statistics: According to the Americans for Divorce Reform, the divorce rate in this country will stay at somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of marriages if current trends continue. And Jennifer Baker of the Forest […]

Seeking Happily Ever After: Some Tips for Singles

posted by Beyond Blue

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 40 percent of adults were single in 2009. Researchers have found that the “single stigma” is worst for women in their mid-20’s through mid-30’s. Women 35 and older are more content with their […]

6 Steps to Improve Your Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

I usually stay away from these kinds of lists–at least ones compiled by other people, because I know my own advice is so right (kidding)–but my therapist friend, Elvira Aletta has a way of crafting advice pieces in a way […]

Tipper and Al Gore: Why Divorce After 40 Years?

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m the skeptical, jaded type who believes the passionate kiss former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper exchanged in front of the Democratic National Convention in July of 2004 was most likely staged. But I am truly puzzled, […]

12 Depression Busters for Divorce

posted by Beyond Blue

A dozen tips for battling depression after divorce.

Surviving Domestic Violence: An Interview with Kathy Lockhart

posted by Beyond Blue

Today I have the honor of interviewing a woman who is a survivor in all meanings of that word. Kathy Lockhart is a professional Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Virginia and a […]

Signs That You’re In an Abusive Relationship

posted by Beyond Blue

I thought the following chart I found on helpguide.org might be helpful for those of you wondering if your relationship is abusive.

Staying Together (Despite the Kids)

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back my friend Michelle said to the congregation at her husband’s funeral service: “He never spoke an unkind word to me.”   Another girlfriend and I looked at each other, jaws dropped. And then she whispered, “They didn’t have […]

Five Things a Loved One Should Know About Bipolar Disorder: An Interview with Bruce Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.

posted by Beyond Blue

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Bruce Cohen, M.D., Ph.D, who is Director of the Harvard University McLean Psychiatric Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is also the coauthor, with Chelsea Lowe, of the recently […]

Rules for Date Night

posted by Beyond Blue

1. No kid talk 2. No eavesdropping 3. No fighting 4. No flirting (with other people) 5. No whining or crying 6. No flatulence or incontinence 7. No technology (cellphones, BlackBerries, iPhones, or iPods) 8. No interrupting 9. No belching, […]

For Men: 50 Ways to Keep Your Lover

posted by Beyond Blue

1. Light a match when you’re in the can, Dan 2. Eat low-cal, Al 3. Communication is key, Lee 4. Be nice to her mom, Tom 5. Throw out your plan, Stan 6. Treat her like a lady, Brady 7. […]

In Sickness and Health: 8 Ways to Help Your Bipolar Loved One Cope

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back I published a post about tips to help a loved one cope with bipolar disorder. Holly and her helpers compiled it into a lovely gallery which is part of the bipolar resource page. I’ve excerpted my introduction below, but […]

Tiger Woods Cheating Scandal: 8 Steps To Find Hope After An Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

With rumors of Tiger Woods having an affair, talk of cheating surfaces once more. Here are eight great tips for marriages where one or both partners are unfaithful.

Should You Snoop On Your Spouse Online?

posted by Beyond Blue

Check out the discussion on what you should do if you think you’re spouse is having an emotional affair.

Emotional Affairs Support Center

posted by Beyond Blue

If you are struggling with an emotional affair, please check out Beliefnet’s new Emotional Affairs Support Center by clicking here. Included on the page: a quiz to see if you are in a toxic relationship, the 10 red flags of […]

Not So Brady: 4 Rules for Staying Together When You Remarry with Kids

posted by Beyond Blue

Marriage tips from an expert in stepfamilies.

The Highly Sensitive Person in Love

posted by Beyond Blue

Elaine Aron, whose book “The Highly Sensitive Person” I’ve discussed often on Beyond Blue, also writes about the topic of sensitive-types in relationships. In fact, she devoted a whole book to it, “The Highly Sensitive Person in Love.” Here are […]

Trash Night: What About Sex?

posted by Beyond Blue

I published the following post on the Huffington Post two days ago. Judging by the 400-plus comments, I apparently hit a raw nerve. I only read two comments before feeling nauseous. And I didn’t go back because my friends who […]

Mindful Monday: Mary or Martha … Who Has the Better Part?

posted by Beyond Blue

On Mindful Monday, my readers and I practice the art of pausing, TRYING to be still, or considering, ever so briefly, the big picture. We’re hoping this soul time will provide enough peace of mind to get us through the […]

Gretchen Rubin: 5 Mistakes I Make in My Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

I enjoyed Gretchen Rubin’s blog post, “Five Mistakes I Make in My Marriage,” because I make the same ones. To get to her original post, click here. Here are her picks:   1. My demand for gold stars. Oh, how […]

Mindful Monday: On Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

On Mindful Monday, my readers and I practice the art of pausing, TRYING to be still, or considering, ever so briefly, the big picture. We’re hoping this soul time will provide enough peace of mind to get us through the […]

5 Secrets to a Successful Long-Term Relationship or Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

Titles like this usually make me cringe. Because I’m waiting to hear some easy solution to all the complications that arise in almost any long-term relationship. But this piece by John Grohol of Psych Central I found to be solid, […]

The Clutter and Hoarding Police: I Smell an Intervention

posted by Beyond Blue

This is one of the more popular pieces from my archives. The sad truth is that I haven’t gotten any better. Look at these photos I took the other day. Now I not only hoard books. I hoard nuts as […]

On the Huffington Post: 8 Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

Wow. There are 97 comments on my post “8 Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage” over at The Huffington Post. I just had to include the link because I love the image they selected to go with it. And, of course, […]

Christina Gombar: An Interview About Childless Women and Infertility

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s amazing how the right topics come to me … as if delivered by the Holy Spirit (or a really networked friend, i.e. Priscilla Warner) because I have been wanting to discuss the subject of fertility and depression for some […]

Friday’s Question: How Can I Make My Spouse Understand My Bipolar?

posted by Beyond Blue

On Fridays I will address a question related to depression and find the answer from an expert. If you have a question you want answered, please ask it on the combox of this post, and I’ll try my best to […]

Bipolar II Meets Bipolar I (and all hell breaks loose): One Woman’s Trip to the Dark Side and Back

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Lilit Marcus for finding this fascinating article about a bipolar woman (Bipolar II) who married a Bipolar I guy. The article’s author, Janine Millerton, articulates all the drama of the relationship in such incisive language that the bipolar […]

Mr. Dooce On Living With a Depressive

posted by Beyond Blue

A few days ago I published the essay by Jon Armstrong, Mr. Dooce, on what it’s like living with someone who suffers from chronic depression. I did not cite the source for this article and I shouldn’t have excerpted its […]

Mindful Monday: Replacing Old Tapes With New Ones

posted by Beyond Blue

On Mindful Monday, my readers and I practice the art of pausing, TRYING to be still, or considering, ever so briefly, the big picture. We’re hoping this soul time will provide enough peace of mind to get us through the […]

BustedHalo on Dealing With a Loved One Who’s Depressed

posted by Beyond Blue

Dr. Christine Whelon, author of “Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women” and columnist with BustedHalo.com wrote an important column recently to address a reader, Susan, who had been dating a man struggling with depression. Following are some excerpts from the […]

“T” on Emotional Affairs

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Beyond Blue reader “T” who posted the following comment on the combox of my post, “10 Steps to End an Affair”: The biggest mistake I ever made in my life was to allow myself to become attached emotionally […]

The Vocation of Marriage: Holy, But No Fairy Tale

posted by Beyond Blue

I was recently invited by my parish, St. Mary’s in Annapolis, Maryland, to write a reflection about the vocation of marriage. Since Eric and I are coming up on our 12th anniversary (this Sunday), it gave me an opportunity to […]

Evander and Fotini Lomke: Little Miracle

posted by Beyond Blue

In the book that Mike Leach and I compiled, “I Like Being Married,” we devoted a chapter to “In Good Times and Bad.” My favorite story in that section is about a couple, Evander And Fotini Lomke, caring for their […]

10 Steps to End an Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Given that I’ve been discussing my article “9 Ways to Affair Proof Your Marriage” on radio shows this week, I have been reading with interest the comments on the Group Beyond Blue discussion thread, “Ending an Affair,” at Beliefnet Community, […]

Group Beyond Blue: Ending an Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Join the stimulating discussion thread, “Ending an Affair,” at Group Beyond Blue on Beliefnet’s social networking site by clicking here.

10 Red Flags of an Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Jeff Herring, a marriage and family therapist, and an internationally syndicated relationship columnist (Knight-Ridder/Tribune Media Services) identifies ten warning signs of an impending emotional affair: 1) Thinking or saying, “We’re just friends.” If you have caught yourself thinking or saying, […]

Loving a Manic Depressive

posted by Beyond Blue

Among my favorite essays on loving someone with a mental illness are those penned by Anna Bishop, my blogging buddy James’s wife. She’s written five outstanding posts on what it’s like to be a passenger on the rollercoaster of a […]

Liza Mundy: The Marriage Vow

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of marriage vows, Liza Mundy highlighted an incredible commitment of love in her Washington Post magazine piece about a devoted husband, Dave Kendell, who cares for a disabled wife, Diana, and all that entails: preparing her meals, fixing her […]

Michael Leach: How Do You Move Beyond Blue?

posted by Beyond Blue

Because both Eric’s and my parents are divorced, we have had to find other role models in our lives to show us what a good marriage looks like. I have been lucky to know several happy couples in my life. […]

Fr. Mike Meets Hot Chick In Bar (or something like that)

posted by Beyond Blue

Below is Mike and Vickie’s love story–the details about how they met (when, ahem, Mike was a priest). It’s a beautiful and refreshing tale, and my favorite chapter of our book on marriage. Please don’t judge him too harshly for […]

Love Knows No Obstacle: “Away From Her” (Beliefnet’s Film Awards) and Mike’s Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

Today I had planned an interview with my writing mentor, Mike Leach, whose marriage I hold in high esteem. Whenever I’m unsure of how to tackle something in my own marriage, I call up Mike and listen to his sage […]

The Best Valentine’s Day Ever: A Husband Who Gets His Wife

posted by Beyond Blue

Yesterday was a day in which I better understood why, according to a November 2003 article in “Psychology Today,” 90 percent of marriages involving a person who has bipolar disorder end in divorce; that, according to “The Sidney Morning Herald,” […]

Erma Bombeck: We Needed One Another

posted by Beyond Blue

Slowly, awkwardly, with tears streaming down our faces, we reluctantly reached out to one another. Neither of us knew how much strength we had to give, but we were willing to share it. We gave one another something that most […]

Video: Rules for Date Night

posted by Beyond Blue

This video is a rerun, but since it’s relationships week I think we should review it. If only for the laugh at the end, courtesy of John Travolta’s understudy. I also tell the story of last year’s Valentine’s Day dinner. […]

What Is Love? By Marquos

posted by Beyond Blue

Many Beyond Blue readers commented on this beautiful and lyrical response from Marquos on the message board of my “Dear God: The Holy and Not So Holy Family” post. Thanks for this, Marquos. As you might suspect I am an […]

Margaret’s 27 Ways to Keep Your Lover

posted by Beyond Blue

My, my, my, what have we started! Here’s Margaret’s list: 1. TREAT HER LIKE AN EQUAL, CECIL! 2. Be nice to her mother, brother! 3. Bring her breakfast in bed, Fred. 4. Respect her job, Rob 5. don’t leer at […]

Automatic Confession

posted by Beyond Blue

Gingerbread Houses and Compatibility

posted by Beyond Blue

From last year this time: You sure do learn a lot about a person’s personality and temperament when you assemble a gingerbread house. And even more when you make 14 of them. I’m thinking about patenting this activity as a […]

Number 51: How to Keep Your Lover

posted by Beyond Blue

You really should read through some of the comments on “Dear God: 40 Ways to Keep Your Lover.” They’re quite funny. And some have compiled their own lists, which are hysterical, like this one from reader Jill: Holy Moly! No […]

Marriage Isn’t a Love Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Last week I received the most meaningful e-mail from a Beyond Blue reader, Mike, who recently lost his wife and was celebrating Thanksgiving without her for the first time. “I lost my girlfriend, wife, and mother of my children,” he […]

Forget the Media on Marriage

posted by Beyond Blue

I really like what my friend James from “Finding Optimism” wrote on the message board of my post, “Marriage Is a Discipline,” regarding how to effectively keep his spouse around: My wife and I have been married for 13 years. […]

Loving a Bipolar Person

posted by Beyond Blue

I joked about the woman in the gospel being bipolar only because I can’t imagine the patience it takes to live with a manic-depression. Anna Bishop, James’s wife (from “Finding Optimism“) has written five outstanding posts on what it’s like […]

Sex Night: Beyond Blue Balls

posted by Beyond Blue

The sticker system I’ve been using on David—where he gets a sticker for good behavior, which translates into money toward a toy–has been working so well that last night I started Eric on one. We have, in our house, what […]

Marriage Is a Discipline

posted by Beyond Blue

My good friend, Sue, celebrates 55 years of marriage today. I asked her what, more than anything else, kept her and her husband together for so long. “Compromise,” she said. “And friendship.” “Oh, thank God,” I replied, “I thought you […]

Sex Gets Better With Years

posted by Beyond Blue

I also printed out reader Marty’s comment. Back on the message board of “The Myth of Safe Sex.” Because I found it consoling. Oh my god! There’s hope for me!?! You used the phrase “debunks the assumption that good sex […]

Educate A Depressive’s Spouse

posted by Beyond Blue

For a week or so, I’ve been pondering the following question by reader JCH: I have also been married for a little over a year. My husband knew on our third or fourth date about my depression and saw it […]

The Depression Dialogue with Spouses

posted by Beyond Blue

James at “Finding Optimism” is devoting several posts to this specific topic because of all of your feedback to his great post “12 Ways to Care for Someone with Depression” and “Things to Say to Someone with Depression.” His wife, […]

Spouses of Depressives: Know the Enemy

posted by Beyond Blue

Anna’s second post is entitled “Know the Enemy,” and is as excellent as her first, “The Depression Dialogue“: Know the enemy. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? But I’m talking about the illness, not the person who is sick. When that dawned […]

The Case for Family Support

posted by Beyond Blue

According to Dr. Mark Gold (who wrote “The Good News About Depression“–have I mentioned I hate that title?), a major problem in today’s society is that there is no support from extended family for depressed mothers. Gold says this: In […]

Marriage and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Have you ever been at a wedding reception when the best man stands us and toasts his glass of champagne to the bride, who is “so much better than the last one”? An awkward silence ensues, followed by an explosion […]

Get Help for Me

posted by Beyond Blue

I write about the closest thing that Eric ever came to issuing me an ultimatum in this post, “In Sickness and in Health,” and how I went to Johns Hopkins’ Mood Disorder Clinic for him, when I was convinced nothing […]

Breaking Up with Someone Else’s Spouse

posted by Beyond Blue

In “How to Break Your Addiction to a Person,” Howard Halpern says that “the most tragic and self-defeating addiction is an addiction to someone who is tied to someone else, particularly by marriage.” He offers six guidelines to help you […]

For Highly Sensitive Husbands/Wives: Four Ways to Relate to In-Laws

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Anonymous who wrote the following note on the message board of my “Six Strategies to Calm Yourself Down” post: How do you “get out of the situation” if you have to be around in-laws that talk about […]

Mr. and Mrs. Happy’s Advice on In-Laws

posted by Beyond Blue

I absolutely love “The Mr. and Mrs. Happy Handbook” by co-host of “Fox and Friends” Steve Doocy and his wife. Here are a few universal truths he says about in-laws: 1. You were not their first choice to be their […]

The “We” Pronoun

posted by Beyond Blue

Yesterday I popped in on Bill to see how he was doing. I suspect the week after the funeral is the hardest, when all the company has left, and you’re there among her dresses and jewelry and paintings and books, […]

Reader Response: ‘Til Death Do Us Part

posted by Beyond Blue

Another Reader Question: one reader asked if she should leave her husband of 30 years (did I get that right?) because he is unsupportive of her depression. (Feel free to fill in the gaps of the situation on the message […]

The Dangers of Head Sex and the Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Believe it or not, extramarital “head sex”–the emotional bond formed with a secret lover of sorts–may be worse (at least for depression) than real sex outside a marriage, according to Peggy Vaughan, author of “The Monogamy Myth” and creator of […]

Resources for the Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve found several excellent articles on the topic of emotional cheating. Here are a few of them: “Is Your Crush Harmless? 7 Signs of Emotional Cheating” by Carly Young, at LifeScript.com. “Love But Don’t Touch” by Mark Teich in “Psychology […]

Breaking Up From an Emotional Affair and Moving On

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s what the hospital therapists/nurses advised Marjorie to do about her emotional affair: 1) Since the affair had crossed that hidden and tenuous line into a physical relationship (with the kissing), she should sell her portion of their engineering business, […]

Relax…Have Fun

posted by Beyond Blue

Relax…have fun. It seems like an easy enough way to prevent and relieve depression. But my last two date nights with Eric haven’t gone so well. We spent our Valentine’s Day dinner listening to the couple next to us get […]

When You Know You’re Better

posted by Beyond Blue

The date night before Valentine’s Day was the evening Eric and I almost got shot. Again, in an effort to put our worries and responsibilities aside for a moment and have fun. Psychologists advice against talking about your kids on […]

Beyond Blue Balls

posted by Beyond Blue

Eric wants to call this blog “Beyond Blue Balls.” That’s his way of saying two things: I’m working too much at night, and I’m not meeting his physical needs. If he compared notes with other husbands of sleep-deprived mothers, he […]

In Sickness and In Health

posted by Beyond Blue

Yesterday a friend e-mailed me this: “On Wednesday, I will leave my husband of twelve years. He is a depressive. He uses prescribed medication and has available to him a phalanx of good therapists. But he also self-medicates with alcohol. […]

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »

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