Marriage trouble

Divorce is a Legitimate Choice

For many men and women in a wide variety of situations divorce is a legitimate and appropriate choice.

Getting divorced is a process and consists of 3 main elements:

  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Legal

Healing from divorce is not easy. It is often a long and excruciating process and always brings out strong emotions. The divorce process frequently leaves people feeling lonely, flawed, enraged, undesirable, helpless, empty and emotionally raw and overwhelmed.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, the best recommendation I have is to put together a team of knowledgeable, experienced professionals who will work on your behalf for the best possible outcome for you!

Lawyers, mediators, therapists, coaches, accountants, clergy and financial planners all have valuable points of view to consider. If you have children, stay in close communication with your children’s teachers and the parents of their friends.

An important part of the repair process is learning to honor and heal the many emotions of divorce. Please remember that all these emotions are a normal and natural response to divorce: Continue reading

The End of a Relationship Can Be a Terrible Loss

Breaking up, getting divorced and the death of your partner are among the biggest loss events in life.

There are three important things to remember:

  1. Grief is the reaction to a loss event
  2. Grieving is the normal, natural, and necessary process that restores us to wholeness
  3. Grieving is a wholly feeling experience

Grieving is as unique as your fingerprints. No two people will react to the same loss event in the same way and no two people will grieve the same way.

The cognitive or thinking part of self is not the grieving part of self. Think of your personal energy as being 100%. In a perfect world, 50% of your personal energy is your outside self and 50% of your personal energy is your inside self.

The job of the outside self is to think, assess, evaluate, make decisions, go to work, pay your bills, read the paper, plan for your future, remember to send your mother a birthday card; behaviors that occur outside of you.

The job of the inside self is to feel your feelings, be creative, intuitive, inspired, insightful, spiritual, intimate, passionate, joyful, compassionate; experiences that occur inside you.

If you fall down and injure your leg, the blood supply leaves parts of your body and goes to the injured leg to help it heal. You will respect the injury, modify your physical activity, not stress or otherwise re-injure the injured leg, and allow it time to heal.

Similarly, it is correct to think about the injury to your emotions as an emotional rupture. Your normal, natural, and necessary emotional response to an emotional rupture includes shock, numbness, disbelief, anger, sheer terror, and many other feelings and physical body responses.

Continue reading

Understanding and Resolving Conflict

Conflict is inevitable and a normal part of life. Healthy conflict can lead to positive changes in personal relationships. Negative conflict can be very destructive and can sap energy from everyone around.

Causes of Conflict

Searching for the causes can be helpful in resolving the conflict. Here are some common causes to be aware of:

  • Misunderstandings
  • Personality clashes
  • Differences in values or goals
  • Unclear responsibilities
  • Needs or wants are not being met
  • Values are being challenged
  • Boundaries are being violated
  • Perceptions are being questioned
  • Assumptions are being made
  • Perceived lack of resources
  • Dissatisfaction or disappointment
  • Change of any kind
  • Awareness or knowledge is minimal
  • Expectations are too high/too low

Conflict Can Be Constructive

While it is true that most of us are not particularly comfortable with conflict, it can be a positive and productive way to achieve desirable outcomes:

  • Clarify important problems and issues
  • Achieve solutions to problems together
  • Resolve mutually important issues
  • Find your authentic voice and tell your personal truth
  • Ease emotions and stress when you experience one of the common causes of conflicts
  • Build cooperation between you and another person when you reveal more about yourself and make it your priority to really hear the other person
  • Increase your awareness about yourself and another person
  • Develop deeper understanding, empathy and communication skills

Don’t be afraid of conflict that may arise in your relationships. Learn the all-important skills to resolve conflict respectively and constructively. Create the love relationship, family relationships and business relationships that match your emotional intelligence and maturity.

Continue reading

Why Are Boundaries Important?

If your life is filled with discord and you don’t feel that others respect you, it’s time to set your boundaries.

Each of us experiences our reality in four ways:

Body – what we look like
Thinking – how we give meaning to incoming data
Feelings – our emotional response
Behavior – what we do or don’t do

Intact boundaries give measured protection to your body, thinking, feelings and behaviors as you evaluate and assess the words and actions of other people in your life.

You filter your experiences through your cognitive mind and your feelings. Through the use of your boundaries you determine which words and actions you will accept and which you will block when they are unacceptable.

We set boundaries to protect our body, thinking, feelings and behavior.

This week give some thought to how well you set and maintain your own boundaries and honor the boundaries of others.

What are your boundaries?

Where do you draw the line?

How do you react when someone sets a boundary on you?

To find out, think of instances in the past few weeks or months when you felt intense emotion in response to something someone did or said to you.

Do you tend to give in?

Do you act against yourself or allow others to do things against your wishes?

Do you tolerate unacceptable conditions?

What did your family teach you about boundaries?

Do you have difficulty saying no or hearing no said to you?

The person who has hurt you says, “I’m sorry,” but what does the behavior say to you?


Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC ~

Stay inspired and in the know by subscribing to the RSS
feed for Dr. Jackie’s weekly podcast, “Just Between Us”

Dr Jackie Black Newsletter

Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at