In 1969 the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, signed the first "no-fault" divorce law which made it possible for couples to divorce without first proving the other guilty of adultery, abuse, or other spousal wrongdoing. Within 5 years, the idea caught on and 20 states passed similar laws. In today's courtrooms, "no-fault" divorces are common occurrences initiated by one or both of the litigants in all 50 states.
This couple prove the obvious - men and women have different communication styles. Brad typifies many men. He withdraws in order to deal with problems and concerns. If he's tired and pressured, he has nothing to give to Kathy. It's hard for Kathy to understand that it's almost physically painful for Brad to be with her when he's in this state.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I feel like I am going to go crazy! I teach engineering in college and I am a training officer in law-enforcement. I am a combat veteran, saw lots of action and was listed as killed in action for few days. I have traveled extensively and been through lots, then met my wife and fell in love with her. My problem is friends and family and my wife's tantrums when they're around. If I have a friend over she will make an issue out of it.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, My husband says he only loves me sometimes. He doesn't even want to come home, even when I am not at home! When I am at home he says the reason he does not want to come home is because he "does not want to put up with me." He says one day that he wants a divorce, and the next day he doesn't. I do not want a divorce, I love my husband very, very much. I would like him to love me again! Please help me if you can.
Dear Whole Family Counselor, My husband is a very good provider and is a good man in many ways, but I am very unhappy in our marriage and I need your help. He has been verbally abusive with me for a long time. This is his nature, just the way he talks to people in general. He has done the same with our 2 children, now preteens. For years, I made excuses, said "that's just the way he is", talked to him about my feelings and my needs, gone to counseling (alone, he wouldn't go)
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, Well, my story, like most others, is about choices. In my situation, I am looking for truth and all I get from my wife is smoke and mirrors. I have found my inner truth and realize that my heart is not in the marriage. I am currently sticking around due to the substantial financial downfall of divorce as well as my own guilt about putting our son through a divorce.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, My wife is leaving the house to move down the street to live in an apartment. She says that she is still going to meet all her responsibilities to our two boys, David (13) and Jeffrey (11). She claims she can't live with the children's father anymore and this means me. The biggest reason she gives is that we fight all the time and she has told me this many times through our marriage. I think the last fight I had with her was sometime in 1997. My wife was brought up in a family with a father who was an alcoholic. From what I understand, she battled with him for several years.
Dear WholeFamily, I am about to file for divorce. Searching for help I came across your address. I have to say that the advice that you gave the lady with the problem about x-mas was good but in the same breath and in the next thousand I have to let you know that people with far deeper problems (not to minimize the others) can't find the help we need. I need. I have been married for ten years, together for fourteen, the last nine years have been awful, and the last seven even worse. I have tried everything from counseling together, just me, me and the kids (we have 2, 7, and 5-years-old) reading countless books, videos, talking to friends, talking to clergy, crying, pleading, yelling, writing letters, nothing has worked with my husband, and finally I found a little peace, I read that it's not my fault, it's not my job to make him love and respect me and the children, it's HIS!!!!!!!!!!! He has to want to make this marriage work too.
Dear Dr. Tobin, Is it normal for me and my husband to live totally separate lives? He has developed a whole persona at a job 50 miles from where we live. I have never met any of his co-workers and he has never invited me to his office. On two recent occasions he half-heartedly asked if I wanted to go to parties for coworkers of his, but since he has become a complete stranger to me, I thought it would be embarrassing to go to a party and see all of these people who know him so much better than I ever did. I know your advice might be that I just try it and start to get to know one another again, but we've really never had a close relationship and I am not at all motivated to start developing one now.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I have been married 15 years and have two children, ages six and 14. Over the past 15 years, every time my wife has found things about the marriage or me that she doesn't like, she has either said that she has no love for me, or that she wants a divorce. Each time I have accepted blame and fault for the problems, and have made numerous promises to change. I have finally realized that throughout our marriage I have been the first to apologize and amend.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, Aren't there some situations where divorce is justified?? My husband I have been married 18 years. We have two beautiful boys age three and seven. But now, I can no longer tolerate his immaturity. He has hit me in the past (bruises, not broken bones). He has also struck a child in our home one year ago, for which he has now received a court order to go to counseling. He tells me that he is looking forward to counseling (now that he knows I am contemplating divorce).
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I will be celebrating my 23rd anniversary next month. For the first 10 years we had an exquisite sexual relationship. We connected and it was always great. Then my husband injured his foot and developed severe complications, which lead to many operations and continued problems. He eventually went to a rehab center and they did wonders for him. He came home and sex was again great for a year or so. Then nothing. Three years ago he fell on the ice and broke his hip. So because of all this, he takes medication for the pain and we have not had sexual relations for about ten years. We occasionally kiss each other and always say we love each other but that's it.
Join the Austen-Kutchinskys as they struggle to make their new blended family work.
Listen to others Think it only happens to you? Families in conflict reveal their innermost struggles to communicate.
Learn how to express yourself through letter writing- using proven techniques for creating positive relationships.
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