Leaving room for divorce contributes to marital dissatisfaction?

When asked if there is a trick to staying married as long as we have (28 years as I write this), I’ve been known to reply “Don’t get divorced.” My family heritage and faith emphasize marriage as a commitment and I must admit that at times I’ve felt apologetic and counter-cultural for carrying on that stance. My younger friends are just as likely to say things like, “It’s OK. If it doesn’t work out, we can just get divorced. No biggee.” Obviously, if you know you have a choice in the matter from the start, you’ll feel less trapped and happier, right?

Wrong. According to Daniel Gilbert (Department of Psychology at Harvard University), “The psychological immune system works best when we are totally stuck, when we are trapped.”

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What is Sadness?

Tears are tasteless by Megyarsh, on Flickr

What does it mean to be "sad?"

Is sadness the opposite of happiness? Clinicians, do you have a real definition? It seems ridiculous, but I’m not entirely sure I know.

During some quiet time, my wife and I were sharing answers to a few of the questions I’d read while flipping through the Love Maps app from the Gottman Institute.

The question for me was, “What was your partner’s happiest moment?”

That one was a easy – our wedding day. If you saw the smile on her face that day, the choice was obvious. Her face literally hurt at the end of the day. We talked about why that day made her happy. She talked about feelings of love, joy, accomplishment, and even relief. Like I say, an obvious choice.

But then the obvious discussion point coming back to me was “What was the saddest day in your life?” Continue reading

Boundaries vs. Expectations?

What are boundaries?

I started writing a blog post on expectations in relationships and quickly came to the realization that I am not entirely clear on the distinction between “boundaries” and “expectations.” i.e. If “I won’t allow someone to yell at me” is one of my boundaries, doesn’t that also imply that I have the expectation that your heartmate won’t yell at me?

Who originated the term boundaries in the context of relationship psychology?

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