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Now browsing: Hometown News > Columnist Archives > Counseling - Ask the Marriage Counselor

April 27, 2007
Take 'time out' before you say it - Q: When I get in arguments with my wife, she deliberately tries to make me mad by calling me names. She usually says something like, "You've always been so selfish, you never think of anyone but yourself," or worse, "You are a filthy slob." If I make a mistake or forget to pay a bill, she calls me a moron. I try to laugh it off and just think she... Full Story

March 30, 2007
Marriages sometimes need an overhaul - Q. I have been married for 14 years, and have two children, 9 and 11 years old. Recently, I have noticed myself flirting with one of the female accountants in our large company who works on another floor in our building. I am not unhappy at all in my marriage, we get along fine, our kids are great, the only complaint I would have is that our marri... Full Story

March 16, 2007
Grieving a lost life is a process - Q. I recently remarried a widower who is 68. I am 65. He lost his wife five years ago and we met two years ago. I thought he had worked through his grief over the loss of his wife, but I am afraid I have been misled. I frequently feel compared to his dear departed wife. Whether it is the way I make spaghetti sauce, the type of sheets I buy for the... Full Story

March 9, 2007
Choices mean setting boundaries - Q. I have been married for three years and my husband says he is not yet ready to have children. He wants to have them "someday," but is not ready financially or emotionally at this point. My problem is that my mother keeps asking me when I am going to get pregnant. She says I am not getting any younger, (I am 32), that it is a lot safer to have ... Full Story

March 2, 2007
Time to renegotiate marriage contract - Q. My husband assumes that I will do all the housework. That was fine when he was working, but now he is retired and his only "job" is playing golf and paying the bills. Our relationship is the same as when he was working full-time. Once in a while he will "help out" if I ask, but mostly everything, laundry, putting dishes away, cooking, changing ... Full Story

February 23, 2007
Micromanage your moods to feel good - Q: My husband has annoying traits that drive me crazy. He cracks his knuckles, chews his food loud and tells annoying jokes that he thinks are funny, but are usually just stupid. He is especially annoying when we are out to dinner and he jokes with waitresses who laugh at his jokes and egg him on. They are just doing it to get a bigger tip, but he... Full Story

February 16, 2007
Team players listen to each other - Q: I like to do special things for my wife to make her happy, but nothing I do ever seems to make a difference. I bring her flowers, and she says, "Don't waste our money we have bills to pay." I ask her to spend time with me out on date and she says we don't have enough time with the kids as a family and she'd rather take the kids along. Granted,... Full Story

February 9, 2007
Rethinking partner's motives may prevent meltdowns - Q: My wife deliberately brings up fights that she knows will upset me. I have told her that I don't like having Sunday dinner at her parent's home, but she will make arrangements with them during the week to go there without consulting me. When I complain, she says it's too late now to change the arrangements; her mother has already started to pla... Full Story

January 26, 2007
Be clear, calm and connect the dots - Q. My husband never does anything I ask him to do around the house. Sure, he goes, "Yes dear," when I ask him to fix something, take something outside or move something for me. But does it ever get done? I don't want to keep asking because I sound like a nag. I usually wait for a day or two and if it isn't done I just do it myself. I am angry the... Full Story

December 1, 2006
Small wonders create a culture of love - This week, my The article this week celebrates thanksgiving in marriage. Dr. John Gottman, author of "The Relationship Cure," has a special exercise for couples called "The Thanksgiving Exercise." It's a wonderful exercise for everyone in a relationship to remember to do, and not just on Thanksgiving. Here is how it's done. For one week, try to ... Full Story

November 24, 2006
Protect your mate's feelings - Q: My wife needs to lose weight. It's really for her health, but she doesn't look very attractive in the floppy tee shirts and sweat pants she always wears. She doesn't want to buy new clothes because she is planning on "losing weight." If I bring up the fact that she needs to go on a diet, she gets really mad or hurt. If she asks me if she looks... Full Story

November 3, 2006
Trust is about vulnerability - Q: Sometimes I feel so angry with my husband that I want to scream. In fact I do end up screaming. I can't stand to see myself act this way, but I can't help it, he gets me crazy. When I try to talk to him about something serious, or talk about feelings or even approach him for some affection, he's always making a "joke" out of it. The joke defl... Full Story

October 6, 2006
Time can slip away if not managed - "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date; no time to say hello-goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" So bemoans the White Rabbit as Alice watches him scurrying down the rabbit hole. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this was just a scene from a movie or pages from a book? However, this same lament is muttered in households all over the globe. An... Full Story

September 29, 2006
Understanding how withdrawl patterns develop - Q: When I try to talk to my wife about personal matters anymore, she just seems to blame me for how I feel. She didn't used to be this way when we were dating. We used to be able to talk for hours about everything that mattered, and we were so close. Now, if I bring up something that is bothering me, she feels I am attacking her and blaming her so... Full Story

September 22, 2006
Spouses can't abdicate partnership responsibilities - Q: My husband is a slob. He leaves his socks and clothes on the floor where they drop. He leaves his dishes on the table and walks away after dinner to flop in front of the TV. He "can't remember" to take out the trash on garbage day. When he leaves the house on garbage day, and he drives by all our neighbors with their trash by the driveway, he's... Full Story

September 8, 2006
Positive parenting in divorced families - Q: I have been divorced from my children's father for three years now. My problem is that my teen-age son, who is 15, reminds me of my ex-husband in not so flattering ways. He is lazy, he procrastinates and he gets nasty to me sometimes when I ask him to do reasonable things around the house, such as take out the garage twice a week. I think my hu... Full Story

September 1, 2006
Is it always right to be right? - Q: My husband and I are building our dream home here in Florida. Most people would be happy, but we are having terrible fights about what to put in the house. I have hired a decorator and together we have decided on a contemporary theme with understated colors and natural woods. However, my husband, who comes from a traditional New England backgr... Full Story

August 25, 2006
Compromise builds goodwill - Q: I enjoy going to the beach every summer. The problem is, my wife won't go with me. She doesn't like the sun, is afraid to swim in the ocean, says it's too hot and doesn't like to be seen in a bathing suit. If she does go she is irritable and makes my life miserable because she wants to leave as soon as we have set up the chairs, umbrella and ca... Full Story

August 11, 2006
Privacy needs in couple relationships - Q: I have been dating a beautiful girl for about four months now. She is 15 years younger than I and has three children from her last relationship. Soon after we met, the lease was running out on her apartment. I asked her and her children to come live with me. Her car was breaking down, so I also gave her my old Infinity, which really was only tw... Full Story

August 4, 2006
Suspicions about marital affairs need resolution - Q:My husband has been staying late at work recently. I believe he is developing a relationship, or even having an affair, with his office manager who is 23 years old. I am 53 and he is 56. He has been very successful in his corporate career, and has recently had a big promotion and pay raise. Many of his colleagues at work, even though they are mar... Full Story


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