How to Move Forward After Cheating, According to a Therapist

man and woman looking away

For as long as people have made promises to be faithful to their partners, people have been breaking those promises. Aside from the hurt that comes with infidelity, romantic partners — both the cheated and the cheated upon — may feel guilt, betrayal, anger, foolishness, and loss of trust.

And yet, people still do it. They do it even when they know it’s wrong, even when they said they won’t, and even though they might — or will — get caught. This begs two questions: The first is why, and the second is how do couples move forward if it happens? Continue reading How to Move Forward After Cheating, According to a Therapist

How to Avoid Destructive Behavior in Your Relationship

couple sitting on bench looking on phones

We see it all the time in movies, TV shows, with our friends, and maybe even with ourselves (guilty as charged) — people engaging in destructive behaviors in a relationship, thereby sabotaging it. The bad behavior takes a toll on the relationship, sometimes causing it to end, and the sabotager is left feeling heartbroken…even though, uh, it was kind of their own fault.

It’s pretty common for us humans to self-sabotage and not always in relationships, sometimes it’s our career, schooling, or general well-being. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re doing it, hurting ourselves (or others), until it’s too late. Continue reading How to Avoid Destructive Behavior in Your Relationship

Is It OK to Break Up With Someone Struggling With Mental Health?

partners hugging under umbrella

A few years ago, my boyfriend broke up with me because of my mental illness. To be more specific, I was dumped because of the behavior my mental illness was causing, and the strain it took on our relationship. It was one of my biggest fears come true, to be “too much to handle” in a relationship.

I’d been struggling with depression for years prior to the relationship, but while we were together, I was going through one of my darkest and lowest points ever — having mood swings and sobbing at the snap of a finger. He had to deal with my crying spells, refusal to go out and socialize with his friends, and my late night anxiety attacks. I had zero control over my emotions. Continue reading Is It OK to Break Up With Someone Struggling With Mental Health?

How Quality Time With Your Partner Improves Your Mental Health

partners holding hands on a walk

My husband and I just got back from a vacation in Maine, where we spent a few glorious days hiking in Acadia National Park. We ate lobster rolls, searched tidepools, and took naps on the ocean rocks like the nearby seals. The best part? There was no service. Without the constant flood of emails, text messages, and social media updates, we could simply enjoy each other’s presence. A luxury.

Quality in-person time is especially important in our digital age because, as a recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows, higher rates of social media use are tied to greater loneliness. Tweeting at your sweetie, might not be as hot as holding their hand on a nice hike.

Like many couples, my husband and I have a hard time carving out quality time for just the two of us. At any given moment, we are either working, meeting up with friends, visiting family, or running errands. It takes conscious effort to set aside time for us to spend together doing something just for fun. But it’s been vital to our relationship and my personal happiness. Continue reading How Quality Time With Your Partner Improves Your Mental Health

How Financial Infidelity Impacts Mental Health

Until debt tear us apart sign

Before we tied the knot and merged our finances, my husband and I decided to each hang on to a credit card from our single days. Higher limits in case of an emergency and the ability to charge a surprise gift unnoticed solidified our decision. But as I scanned our joint credit card charges last month, I thought back to our individual cards and how easy it would be for either of us to be financially unfaithful.

Marital infidelity is widely known, but research shows that financial infidelity is on the rise. 41% of American adults reported that they’ve hidden accounts, debt, or spending habits from their partner. A recent survey determined that millennials are nearly twice as likely to hide money or accounts from partners than other generations. Continue reading How Financial Infidelity Impacts Mental Health

5 Reasons Couple’s Counseling Is Not Just for Crisis

man and woman standing on dock facing toward camera

If your relationship is on the rocks, breaking up isn’t the only option: couples counseling can salvage a struggling marriage — or even improve a good marriage. Just ask rocker P!nk, who has attended couples counseling with her husband, Carey Hart, for most of their 17-year relationship. She told Today host Carson Daly that couples counseling saved her marriage. “It’s the only reason we’re still together,” she said. Continue reading 5 Reasons Couple’s Counseling Is Not Just for Crisis

5 Signs Your Partner May be Spiraling Into Depression

view down a spiraling staircase

You know that feeling, the one that leaves you longing for an ordinary day? Suddenly mundane tasks like the morning coffee routine, the ritual of a late afternoon text to make happy hour plans, or the ability to crush a list of errands in one fell swoop feel pretty extraordinary.

When we find ourselves longing for the ordinary, it is often a sign that something in our lives is out of balance. Sometimes the fix is simple: be more present, exercise more, sleep eight hours. But when depression is the culprit, things are rarely so simple. Continue reading 5 Signs Your Partner May be Spiraling Into Depression

How Fertility Issues Impact Mental Health

couple standing front to back loosely holding hands

I will never forget the fertility struggles my husband and I faced as we attempted to conceive our first child. We were both young and healthy. I had regular menstrual cycles, no reproductive issues (that I knew about), and always assumed that getting pregnant would happen instantly. Each month we tried to get pregnant, I was shocked that the little plus sign on the pregnancy test never appeared – not even once.

But my shock turned to despair when – after 18 months of trying and a million, sometimes very invasive fertility tests – we were told that my husband had a low sperm count. The first doctor we saw told us that his count was so low that our only hope of conceiving would be to use IVF, which we could not afford. I remember lying in bed, looking at the ceiling, feeling a level of hopelessness in my bones that I had never experienced before. Continue reading How Fertility Issues Impact Mental Health