What is Emotional Abuse?

“Emotional Abuse” is defined as  
Willful Cruelty
Mental Suffering 
 Unjustifiable Punishment


Don't underestimate your support system

"I've come a long way but I have a long way to go"...


Integrity Restored

A brand new book and resource for Catholic families struggling with pornography. Integrity Restored


What Makes a Happy Couple

Happy couples have five positive interactions for every negative one.
Happy couples talk more.
Happy couples can easily name three strengths of their partner.
Happy couples have two happy individuals.


How to Balance Life

Freud said work and play made a whole man. Simplistic.
Leaving PTO on the table indicates one is out of balance. Who in their right mind wouldn't take paid time off? Answering emails and text during the night, never getting a complete 24 hours off, feeling indispensable and that no one else will do your job is unbalanced. 

These same principles apply to homemakers, teachers, executives equally...
We can be unbalanced with too much play and not enough work. 
Balance looks like equal parts rest, friends, exercise, work, creativity, service to others. 

Of course, this all ebbs and flows...sometimes we work really hard at deadlines, or have a much needed "taking a break."
To be unbalanced is avoidant...what am I avoiding or neglecting?
Balance is a discipline. Being a balanced person, living a balanced life, doesn't just happen because we want it to or hear people recommend it. 
Praying for it doesn't help...much like praying for muscles or laundry to get done won't work. It's a mindful, intentional practice and the benefits include more focus at work, more patient with children, more affectionate to our children, and more physically fit.
What else is there?


6 Things That Predict Divorce

The 6 Things That Predict Divorce

The 6 Things that Predict Divorce
By Michael Fulwiler 

The first step toward improving or enhancing your marriage is to understand what happens when relationships fail. This has been well documented by Dr. John Gottman’s extensive research into couples that were not able to save their marriages. Learning about the failures can prevent your relationship from making the same mistakes – or rescue it if it already has.

In The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman lists the 6 things that predict divorce. His ability to predict divorce is based in part on his analysis of the 130 newlywed couples who were observed at his “Love Lab” apartment at the University of Washington. Among other things, he asked these couples to spend fifteen minutes in the lab trying to resolve an ongoing disagreement they were having while he videotaped them. As they spoke, sensors attached to their bodies gauged their stress levels based on various measurements of their circulatory system. This is what he found.

1.  Harsh Startup
The most obvious indicator that a conflict discussion (and marriage) is not going to go well is the way it begins. When a discussion leads off with criticism and/or sarcasm (a form on contempt), it has begun with a “harsh startup.” The research shows that if your discussion begins with a harsh startup, it will inevitably end on a negative note. Statistics tell the story: 96% of the time, you can predict the outcome of a conversation based on the first three minutes of the interaction.

2. The Four Horsemen
Certain kinds of negativity, if allowed to run rampant, are so lethal to a relationship that we call them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Usually these four horsemen clip-clop into the heart of a marriage in the following order: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling. Read more about The Four Horsemen and their antidotes here.

3. Flooding 
Flooding means that your partner’s negativity – whether in the guise of criticism or contempt or even defensiveness – is so overwhelming, and so sudden, that it leaves you shell-shocked. A marriage’s meltdown can be predicted, then, by habitual harsh startup and frequent flooding brought on by the relentless presence of the four horsemen during disagreements. Although each of these factors alone can predict a divorce, they usually coexist in an unhappy marriage.

4. Body Language 
When Dr. Gottman monitored couples for bodily changes during a conflict discussion, he could see just how physically distressing flooding was. One of the most apparent of these physical reactions is that the heart speeds up – pounding away at more than 100 beats per minute – even as high as 165. Hormonal changes occur, too, including the secretion of adrenaline. Blood pressure also mounts. The physical sensations of feeling flooded make it virtually impossible to have a productive, problem-solving discussion.

5. Failed Repair Attempts 
It takes time for the four horsemen and flooding that comes in their wake to overrun a marriage. And yet, divorce can so often be predicted by listening to a single conversation. How can this be? The answer is that by analyzing any disagreement a couple has, you get a good sense of the pattern they tend to follow. A crucial part of that pattern is whether their repair attempts succeed or fail. Repair attempts are efforts the couple makes to deescalate the tension during a discussion. The failure of these attempts is an accurate marker for an unhappy future. Read more about repair attempts here.

6. Bad Memories
When Dr. Gottman interviews couples, he asks them about the history of their relationship. In a happy marriage, couples tend to look back on their early days fondly. They remember how positive they felt early on, how excited they were when they met, and how much admiration they had for each other. When they talk about the tough times they’ve had, they glorify the struggles they’ve been through, drawing strength from the adversity they weathered together. Conduct your own Oral History Interview here.


The Universe Makes Allowances...


To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.
George MacDonald