“Can we talk for a second outside?” Phillip, my young-adults’ leader asked, pulling me aside.
“Sure,” I said, smiling wide. The evening was going well. I’d introduced my new boyfriend to the group and they seemed to like him. Phillip especially. He and my boyfriend had spent most of the night in animated conversation, bouncing off each other with their equally large, extroverted personalities.
His opinion held a lot of sway for me. If Phillip said “no” that day, I would’ve most likely broken it off with my boyfriend. I trusted his leadership and his wisdom more than my own.
He sat on the couch, complaining about an expensive business venture which had failed. His biggest failure to date. It had cost us thousands, a price which sat unspoken between us. Another elephant in the room of our marriage.
“If people had backed it more it would have worked! We need to move somewhere that people are more supportive of forward thinking ideas. This town is too stuck in its ways.”
Moving? Again? We’d only been in our new house a matter of months. “Why can’t this be enough? What you have here?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” he…
It took two years to buy my dream bedroom set, but when I placed the final pillows I felt like a huge part of my life had healed. Symbolism can be powerful in times of grief and healing. We weave rituals and symbolism into our cultures, often without even being fully aware of it. Our funerals, marriages, birth celebrations, and birthdays are full of symbolic gestures and rituals.
Few people realize the power of creating their own rituals.
When I left my abusive marriage I very consciously embraced a gesture that bought a lot of meaning for me: replacing my…
This story deals with sexual coercion. If you feel sexual aggression or coercion may be a factor in your relationship you can find out more at The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
“What will you do to him tonight?” he asked. He loved knowing the details of sex with my husband and describing them sent heat waves through my body. Having never sexted before, it left me panting and turned on.
I hadn’t sought out an online affair when I went on the game site. It was a way to fill in the time. A way to avoid my life, avoid…
Mid-afternoon my phone rang. My friend’s adult son was on the other end and he sounded panicked.
“Please hurry, something happened.”
I dropped what I was doing and raced over. It wasn’t the first time I’d been called over for urgent situations. My friend had major health concerns and often needed help.
But when I arrived this time, I could hear her wailing as I approached the house. It sounded bad. I wondered briefly why no one had rung an ambulance, but then her son filled me in, his eyes brimming with tears.
“We were arguing and she punched me…
My new husband and I have quite similar personalities, and unfortunately so do our exes. In fact, my husband’s ex reminds me so much of mine that every time we have any form of contact with her, even written, I end up a crying mess.
Initially, because she’s the mother of my stepchild, I thought I should be friendly with her. Show her I was supportive of our co-parenting situation. Supportive of her. When the handovers became high-conflict between her and my husband, I agreed to do pickups and drops-offs of our daughter instead. I get along with most people…
“That was great!” my husband smiled at me from across the table as I hung up on my ex, mid-sentence.
“It used to be so painful listening to you talk to him. He’d be bullying you and you’d just give in. Wow! Look at you now!”
I smiled back, placed the phone on the table. For the first time in years, I felt calm after an argument with my ex. Almost completely unfazed. I laughed. “Pretty different.”
Who was that woman four years ago, ten years ago, who passively stood by and accepted abuse from people? Not just from my…
You may have heard of Jekyll and Hyde Narcissists. People who, like the famous literary character, are charming and friendly sometimes; cruel and heartless at others. It’s a dual nature that’s incredibly confusing if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist. It can also be what keeps you with them.
According to Dan Neuharth Ph.D., MFT people with narcissism display several double standards. They “demand attention but are poor listeners. They seem supremely confident yet are terribly insecure. They expect special treatment yet rarely reciprocate — unless they get something in return.”
For me, it all sounds very familiar, but…
“Go have fun with your boyfriend.”
I stormed off in silence, Miles speed walking beside me: offended and spitting insults about my husband. Who does he think he is saying something like that? The way he treats you... That guy…Damn, he can be a dick at times. We were at a gathering and when the tension between my husband and I had become visible to our friends, Miles had been the one to step up and suggest I take a walk around the sprawling garden with him.
Now, three of us were mad and upset. As usual, I fumed in…
The counsellor’s voice on the other end of the phone sounded panicked. “You’re not going back to him are you?” she asked. For a second I paused, confused by the call. Were couple’s therapists meant to take sides? I thought they always tried to save relationships. That’s what every other therapist had tried to do with my husband and I in the past decade.
“No. I’m not planning on going back,” I replied. I’d made up my mind to go for a divorce and was only agreeing to therapy because my ex pressured me into it. …
Breaking the silence. Offering hope.