Posts Tagged "divorce"

Marriage Killers: What Not to Say

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Marriage Killers: What Not to Say

Dear George and Amal, Congratulations on your recent nuptials! We were not there, but we did hear about the beautiful wedding from a friend (more specifically, Access Hollywood) and saw the beautiful photos from another (People Magazine). There are a few things we’d like to share with you based on our years of experience as (married) relationships experts and sex therapists so that when you return home from your Honeymoon (November? December?) you’ll steer clear of some of these common marriage killers We’ve also pulled lines from some of your famous characters, George, as reminders of what not to say in certain situations: Affirmation starvation: It may become easy to take for granted all the qualities that fueled your attraction to each other. Make a point of expressing what you admire and appreciate about each other. Strive for this every day. Even if you’re only successful half the time, you’ll be nurturing your relationship quite well. What not to say: “Deceitful, two-faced she-woman!” (“O’ Brother Where Art Thou?”) Late-night arguing: Everyone reaches a time in the evening when fatigue overrides their best selves. Whatever time that is for each of you, pick the earlier time and pledge NOT to discuss anything of importance after that hour. Better to pick it up again with a fresh mind the next day than adhere to the Old Testament tenet to “not let the sun set on your anger.” It just might prevent a fight of Biblical proportions. What not to say: “Why is it that all the beautiful ones are homicidal maniacs? Is it me?” (Batman & Robin) Keeping score: You’re officially a team now and good teammates don’t keep track of how many times she didn’t answer her cell phone or how many times he forgot to put his socks in the hamper this month. If something feels imbalanced or if you notice a pattern of undesirable behavior, address it directly, but without citing your accounting results. What not to say: “This is why Superman works alone.” (Batman & Robin) Bedroom boredom: Finding familiar comfort in the Bedroom with your spouse is a clear benefit of marriage, but when that familiarity turns to routine, it’s time to add some novelty. Take our Sexual Preferences Survey together now, revisit it each anniversary and watch your sexual communication soar to new levels. What not to say: “You’re either in or your’re out. Right now.” (Oceans Eleven) or “I always find the fish. Always!” (The Perfect Storm) Financial infidelity: Money is a huge cause of marital discord, regardless of your tax bracket.  So no matter how tight the prenup, we recommend regular financial meetings where you discuss goals, concerns (we know, we know) and open up the books. What not to say: “Is this your first time being robbed? You’re doing great.” (Out of Sight)       Drs. Bill & Ginger Bercaw Clinical Psychologists, Certified Sex Addiction Therapists and Certified Sex Therapists. Drs. Bill and Ginger Bercaw are the only Licensed Clinical Psychologists who hold both the Certified Sex Therapist Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Certified Sex Therapist (CST) certifications. ​info@drsbercaw.com 626.375.9483...

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Conscious UnCoupling

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Conscious UnCoupling

Conscious UnCoupling “The conscious uncoupling model is so incredibly sound in terms of the pro-relational attitudes and skills it teaches, but it’s like waiting until you have a mouthful of cavities to start brushing and flossing. Good as a rule at any time, but waaaay better on the early side of things.” – Drs. Bill and Ginger Bercaw Today the world woke up to some shocking news and a new entry into our cultural lexicon. No, it had nothing to do with Malaysian flight 370 or the conflict in Crimea or the tragic mudslide in Oso, Washington. No, this was bigger than all three combined. Gwyneth and Chris were through (as announced by Gwyneth’s every-woman website, Goop.com). Well, they didn’t quite put it in such clear terms, but instead introduced the term “conscious uncoupling” into everyone’s morning commute. Now lest you think this is a term bantered about in shrink-land, we can assure you that we had never heard of it, and a quick sampling of our colleagues told us we hadn’t been asleep at the wheel.  Some efficient research revealed that conscious uncoupling is the modern alternative to divorce. Well, you still split up, but on your way to ending your marriage, you learn how to have a great relationship with each other (more on this later). This is done with great intentionality, carefully choosing to avoid blame and resentment in order to keep negative energy at bay.  Rather than working against each other (or having each spouse’s lawyers work against each other) the emphasis is on working together. Hard to argue with that approach, especially when kids are in the mix. But some deeper digging exposed a philosophical underpinning of conscious uncoupling: Due to increasing life expectancies, humans cannot be expecting to stay married forever.  In other words, if you do stay married long enough, eventually the romance will run its course and each partner should be prepared to bow out gracefully. Conscious uncoupling provides the approach for a soft landing during this inevitable transition. So this got us thinking… intentionally caring for your relationship by: Giving it the time and attention it needs, Striving to own personal responsibility for relationship dissatisfaction, Proactively avoiding blame and resentment, Modeling healthy-relating for our children, Choosing to contribute positive relational energy, If couples took such conscious steps consistently during their marriage — not waiting until they have drifted so far off course — and with an eye toward continually increasing their bond, wouldn’t this decrease the need for the UN-coupling part? The conscious uncoupling model is so incredibly sound in terms of the pro-relational attitudes and skills it teaches, but it’s like waiting until you have a mouthful of cavities to start brushing and flossing. Good as a rule at any time, but waaaay better on the early side of things. So here’s to hoping these trendsetters find peace in their uncoupling transition, and that married couples everywhere go as far as they can to get the UN out of there....

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