What is the purpose of relationships?

Romantic couple drinking a toast to their many years together
Romantic couple drinking a toast to their many years together

Relationships are about learning, growth and connection, beginning with our first relationships with our parents. We did huge amounts of learning during those growing up years. Besides the physical stuff we learned language so we could communicate our needs and then begin to understand the needs of others. We learned the rudiments of love and connection.All of this was essential to our being able to connect successfully with others as adults. We are hardwired to seek connection with others and hardwired to seek intimacy…

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After Marriage Failure: Could We Make It Work Again?

A reader wrote, “If my husband who has been gone for a year and is with another woman decided to… change his life around and come back to his family, do you think we could ever make it work again. I ask this because I ponder why you never tried to correct your previous relationship and I wonder why.”

This is an excellent question, albeit with a personal twist…

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In Love Again?

In Love AgainWhen Is the Right Time to Enter a New Relationship?

As human beings we are social creatures and seem to be hardwired to be in relationships. Previous to about a century ago marriages lasted on average less than nine years, ending with the death of one. The survivor would remarry and stay married until one of them died. Serial monogamy is alive and well today, the only difference being that divorce replaces death in the transition to a new relationship.

Today the typical transition from one marriage to the next follows one of the following sequences…

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Alcohol Abuse and Codependency: Two Sides of the Same Coin

addiction / codependencyAs my sister-in-law’s ex-military husband sank into his confined world of alcoholism, she refused to shrink along with him. She was very clear she would not go through another divorce. Instead, she vigorously pursued her garden, bridge and investment club activities. She maintained a strong bond with her middle-aged daughter and many friends…until cancer ended her life.

Her approach was not typical. To her credit, she chose to look after herself, rather than adjusting her behavior to keep the marriage in balance.

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The Real Cost to Your Marriage of an Affair

The Office Affair

You enter into an exclusive, romantic, sexual relationship in good faith. You have the intention of “forever,” in spite of knowing the statistics on marriage casualty. I certainly did, and I completely believed my partner did too… each time. (In July we celebrated the 31st anniversary of our third marriage.)

In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, marriages lasted between eight and nine years. That was how long it took on average for one of the partners to die. In the 20th century as people started living longer, divorce gradually replaced death as a way of ending a marriage. Up to 1970 infidelity was the only grounds for divorce in Canada. As that became unworkable, divorce laws were liberalized. At the same time increasing numbers of committed couples simply did not legalize their marriages.

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