As we get older, there are many life lessons that we learn, and most of the time, it’s the hard way. I normally have a “no regrets” attitude, because all of the mistakes I have made have taught me something, and made the person I am today. (And I like myself!) However, if I knew when I was young what I know now, I might have dealt with things slightly differently. Or perhaps I would have been better equipped to handle when the fit hit the shan. Maybe we can’t go back and fix the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t impart a little wisdom. If you could be Yoda for a day, and say something to your younger self, what would it be? More
Topic: relationship advice
Among the many relationship dilemmas we’ve tackled here at Blisstree, recently we’ve brought you When to Tell a White Lie: 10 Situations Where Honesty Doesn’t Pay, My Marriage Survived a Cheating Affair and So Can Yours, and, just yesterday, An Affair May Be the Best Thing That Happens to Your Marriage. You might say we’re a little obsessed with the idea of infidelity in a relationship, whether or not couples can ever get past it, and, perhaps more controversially, whether or not you should always admit an infidelity to your partner. Because if you don’t, that pretty much counts as lying, doesn’t it? And we’re never supposed to lie to our partners or spouses. Or are we? I have to admit that I found myself more than a little confused about these relationship rules, so I asked renowned psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig (you’ve probably seen her on TV) to weigh in on what place, if any, lies have in a marriage or otherwise serious, committed relationship. More
At Blisstree, we’re all about trying to get happier and healthier in order to live better, and we hope to help you do the same every day. But, of course, it’s not always easy to know how to make that intangible dream of happiness a reality. And even if you do know how to do it, it’s pretty challenging to keep all the parts of your life in balance so that often-elusive health and happiness last as long as possible. So I asked M.D., board-certified psychiatrist, and Blisstree contributor Dale Archer to give us ten steps we can take to promote and achieve lasting happiness in our own lives (and these are tactics he actually shares with his patients). So what are we waiting for? Let’s get happy — and healthy.
I know people who never think about having another drink once they’ve given up booze. They hit their bottom line, came to their senses, and walked away from the stuff with little afterthought. They are not tempted.
I sure as hell wish I were one of them.
The truth is that for me, not drinking is still hard. Sure, it’s much easier than it was 22 years ago, when I white-knuckled it through every weekend on a campus of 20-year-olds whose favorite pastime was getting completely trashed. I’m pretty sure that staying sober throughout my four years of college will go down as one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life – an impressible feat that nurtured with me a source of self-esteem and self-confidence I didn’t know I had.
So, yes, it’s far easier today. But it’s not easy. More
The Walkers are the worst communicators ever. If you’ve never had the dubious pleasure of seeing an episode of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, featuring the Walker family’s antics and dramas, then you’ll just have to take my word for it. Odd that a big family who spends so much damn time on their cell phones talking to each other (often on irritating three-way calls) has such chronic difficulty actually saying anything important to one another, particularly when the timing really matters.
Last night’s episode was a perfect TV example of how poor communication skills can really do a number on relationships in real life. Justin wasn’t being straight with Nora (his mom) about two major life events (involving her ex-boyfriend and an unknown grandchild), and, for that matter, neither was daughter Sarah (albeit about a different issue). But Nora’s no saint, either: She wouldn’t reveal a shocking, life-changing secret to Sarah, even though (or because ) it would mean Sarah would find out that her father wasn’t actually her father. Meanwhile, Scotty was keeping something that I’d consider to be pretty important (locating stolen baby, anyone?) from his husband, Kevin. And Uncle Saul was trying to get Sarah and Luc to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, but only by approaching them furtively and individually. More
We recently published two controversial posts here on Blisstree, Domestic Violence Debate: It’s Not Wrong for Women to Hit Men and the follow-up, Women vs. Men: The Domestic Violence Double-Standard, but your heated comments told us that we weren’t quite finished with this often-taboo subject. However, I knew we needed a specific type of expert to weigh in on the tricky debates that surround issues of domestic violence. So, based on the recommendation of a clinical psychologist friend, I tracked down Dr. Linda G. Mills, who’s a professor of social work, public policy, and law at NYU, as well as a recognized authority on the subjects of violence and recovery. I asked her eight questions that challenge the typical perception of domestic violence (she prefers the term “intimate abuse”), and whether or not relationships and marriages can ever survive and thrive after such traumatic incidents. Here’s what the doctor ordered: More
A few weeks ago, Blisstree contributor Rebecca Dawson wrote a brave and honest post for us called My Marriage Survived a Cheating Affair and So Can Yours. Sure, that was just one person’s personal experience, but I’ve always wondered if there were any hard and fast rules about infidelity in serious, committed relationships. Is screwing around always a dealbreaker? Or can couples use unfortunate sexual indiscretions to actually strengthen their bonds of matrimony? I’ve seen both examples in real life (as I’m sure you have), so I asked psychotherapist, sexpert, and Blisstree contributor Dr. Julie Elledge six questions about the cheating heart, and how an affair may be the best thing that ever happens to your marriage. More
It happened again. Last night, as I was channel-surfing between Bravo’s Pregnant In Heels (to watch my personal trainer Lacey Stone make an appearance) and the season finale of NBC’s Parenthood, I was reminded of just how often art can imitate life and vice versa. (And yes, I realize that calling Parenthood “art” is a bit of a stretch. Humor me.) As the complicated relationship saga of Crosby and Jasmine came to a head last night (which I’ve previously blogged about here), I was discomfited to find that their complicated situation mirrored one of my serious romantic relationships, albeit before I was married. (Crosby and Jasmine had been engaged.)
The gist is this: He and I were together for a long while. Things were good. We were happy. But then something changed; I’m still not entirely sure what. We fought. He kind of acted like a big jerk. (Although in our case, infidelity wasn’t involved as it was for Crosby and Jasmine.) We broke up. I attempted to move on. He realized his mistake and launched an unrelenting quest to win me back. I rejected him. (And I dated someone else for quite a while; but Jasmine hasn’t had time to do that, what with the challenges of seasonal TV programming and all.) He persisted. I told him to forget it, that it was too late. He persisted some more. More
My reasons for watching TV are manifold: Escapism, boredom, I-can’t-sleep-ism, it’s like having company over, (which I think was my grandma’s reason), to make myself feel better about myself, and just out of plain old (mostly bad) habit. But sometimes I watch TV simply to terrify myself to the core. Not by watching anything in the horror genre, but by catching a show like Relapse on A&E.
This network is king of docu-reality series that focus on serious mental and physical health issues (Heavy, Hoarders, and Intervention are also very well done, though Intervention is a little too “Dateline NBC” for my tastes.) Relapse makes tough-love weight-loss reality TV shows like Heavy and The Biggest Loser look like springtime picnics in the park.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that Relapse is where, as a last resort, they sic a professional sober coach (on this show, Seth, pictured at left, a recovering addict and former federal prison convict who is nothing short of phenomenal) on a junkie or two. Then hardcore, amazing Seth tries to intervene, work with any family members, and get that junkie into serious rehab so they can get clean – STAT, and for good.
Recently, psychotherapist and sexpert Dr. Julie Elledge has given us her take on controversial subjects including open marriages (yike) and sexless marriages (eww). Today I’m grilling her about that trendy new condition which the likes of David Duchovny, Tiger Woods, and Russell Brand have made famous (or infamous, as the case may be): Sex addiction. Personally, I think the whole concept of sex addiction is a fabricated scam perpetuated by serial philanderers who need a crutch on which to lean their lame-o domestic and relationship habits. Now let’s see what the good doctor has to say when we talk about being addicted to love: More
Groom Together, Stay Together – Do you and your partner have similar hygiene habits? (The Frisky)
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Three ways men tick women off – without knowing it. (Betty Confidential)
Yesterday, M.D. and board-certified psychiatrist Dale Archer talked to me about ten ways to tell someone the painful truth. Now, those ten techniques are all well and good and helpful and necessary, but then I started wondering how and when to know if spilling a painful truth is just a bad idea all around — for everyone involved. (I recently told my loved one about their chronic bad breath. Was that a misstep? No? Whew.) So I asked the good doctor to tell us when we never, ever should tell someone a painful truth, regardless of how much and how well we think it may serve them. (Opt for that little white lie instead!) Dr. Archer gave us two good pieces of advice, and I’ve added eight of my own suggestions to round out the list. Do you agree or disagree? Have any more specific examples to add to our tally, or, better yet, personal painful truth tales to tell — either on the giving or receiving end? Sound off in our comments section. Truthfully, please. More
Painful truths are always difficult to tell and hear; if they weren’t, they’d call them no-problem-o truths. I recently had to confront this dilemma in the form of telling someone close to me that their breath has been chronically very, very bad for a while, and that I’m worried about this issue for health reasons, and would they please consider making an appointment with a dentist and/or regular doctor ASAP? The reason I felt that I needed to tell this painful truth wasn’t because I was smelling the offending breath all the time. (I wasn’t; the other person and I don’t live in the same state.) It was because chronic bad breath can be a sign of advanced tooth decay, which can lead to serious infections of the blood. (Bad breath can also be a sign of ongoing reflux.) I love this person, so I don’t want this person to die. And I certainly don’t want them to die of a totally preventable blood infection. Now, this kind of painful truth truly is tough to navigate and negotiate; and I’m not sure if being emotionally close to the person makes spilling the goods (or bads) easier or harder. (I ended up spilling mine via email, which seems to have worked fairly well so far, but we’ll see.) Still, I wanted to ask a professional for their take on this touchy subject. Enter M.D. and board-certified psychiatrist Dale Archer, who talked to me about when and how to go about breaking bad or really uncomfortable news to someone you care about. Plus, he gave us ten techniques to help make telling a painful truth a lot more bearable for the other person — and ourselves. More
Last night on NBC’s Parenthood, Crosby learned a valuable life lesson the hard way. Or, rather, Crosby didn’t learn a valuable life lesson at all. He had cheated on his fiancee, Jasmine, in a sloppy one-night stand, which caused her to kick him out of their apartment, and pretty much say: It’s over. Crosby then reacted by doing what most men do when they realize that they’ve been caught or they messed up or they understand that they’re about to lose someone or something that’s very important to them: He panicked. When this kind of thing happens, the cheater (in this case a man, but could easily be a woman) tends to overcompensate. He acts rashly — kind of like he did when he had the one-night-stand in the first place. He’s suddenly convinced that his only mission in life is to win his partner back, whatever it takes, whatever the cost. After all, a thief is almost always sorry after he gets caught. The problem is, once someone has fallen out of love with you, it’s pretty damn near impossible to make that someone love you again. More