Blog Section

50 Wise Ways To De-Stress Your Life

People have many reasons for why their life is so stressful. Why they can’t de-stress. 
Why they feel so out-of-control. Why they believe it will just never change.

While many reasons exist, my experience is that people have three key reasons why they can’t seem
to de-stress their lives. Here are a few to think about.

1) My life is too complicated to change!
 
I’ve heard this reason or derivations of this excuse many times. Whether it’s multi-tasking a crazy schedule
or simply feeling there is nothing I can change, this line of reasoning hamstrings us.

2) Life never gives me a darn break!
 
While this reason sounds similar to number 1, it’s actually quite different. Whether it’s a mom who is
exhausted by their 3 kids or a dad trying to close that important deal to support their family, it’s exhausting.
By the way, these roles can be switched and aren’t gender exclusive. The point is, we need to SEEK a break in
our lives.

3) Stress keeps me young!
 
I’ve spoken with people who have told me that stress is “motivating” or that stress keeps me
“involved in life.” And yes, even that it “keeps me young.” The latter has been spoken with a knowing
chagrinned glance that it actually isn’t helping. Which actually begs the question of “how well is that working for
you?” The reality is, it simply is NOT helping.

Ideas That Work!

Here are 50 wise and proven ways to de-stress your lives (Hint: The hard part is actually making the time, not
in doing them!)
 
Read
Garden
Movies
Hike
Piano
Affection
Backpack
New outfit
Vacation
Work (job) less
Bucket list
Friends
Work out
Increase Intimacy
Get away
Spirituality
Sex
Travel
Education
Walk
Step back
Make Love
Change careers
Re-connect
Healthy Emotions
Trail Run
Date
Flower Garden
Exercise
Religion
Journal
Volunteer
Arts
Ski
Creativity
Crafts
Mountains
Yoga
Rock Climbing
Symphony
The Mighty 5
Bear Lake
Sunset
Opera
Sunrise
Thunder
The Beach
Work smarter
Self-care
Alone time
Switch it up!

There are easily 50 more ideas to add to this list. However, that’s not the point, i.e., to add more stress. The critical
point is that unless we make changes and do more for ourselves, we suffer. We’ll just experience more and more stress
that just simply perpetuates itself. That. Makes. No. Sense!
 
What makes perfect sense is choosing several of the items from my list and just doing them. Hiking is amazing in the
Wasatch. Watching a summer movie rocks. Journaling is helpful. Reading a book energizing!
 
And, I can (almost) guarantee that your stress level will drop. You will want to do more for yourself. Become fiercely loyal
to it!!!

Michael Boman, LCSW has 20 years experience in helping people de-stress and reconnect. Reach out to him at 801.944.4555,
if you feel this blog has moved you to want to take back your life.
More

HELP! FAITH CRISIS

Have you noticed a trend of people questioning their long-time religious beliefs? Perhaps looking for answers in areas that you may even question the veracity of their approach in doing so?

When someone we know, perhaps even our wife (or husband), begins to question their religious faith it can be distressing. When this same person tells us that they’re going to leave their faith (or spiritual belief) it can seem outright gut-wrenching.

What can we do to help our spouse or significant other in their faith journey? It can be much more about hearing the person than it is about changing their mind.

5 Items to truly consider

Lend a Listening ear

Your tendency will be to want to ask questions. Seek answers. Perhaps even to try to change your wife’s mind regarding her decision. It has been my experience that this will not be helpful. In fact, it will likely only push your spouse away. Listening in an understanding way that shows you truly care will likely be a much better approach to take.

Understand that it’s really not about you

While every part of you may feel that it’s absolutely about you, recognize your focus needs to be on supporting your family member in their decision and journey.

You don’t have to agree

Learning to support your husband in his decision doesn’t mean you have to agree with his decision. This can be comforting as the initial shock begins to recede. Many people want to continue to attend their life long church even with the changes her husband is experiencing.

You didn’t cause the crisis

While it is important that you continue to attend your church of choice if you desire, recognize that you didn’t cause your spouse’s faith crisis. In fact, the faith crisis may have been brewing for some time and is just now being acknowledged.

Recognize that your Marriage core is still there

While change is difficult, please recognize that the love and closeness that you have cherished for so long is still there. That your marriage core is still very viable. That the journey may seem long and difficult but that what you’ve known as “us” doesn’t need to vanish. This is difficult to manage early on in the faith journey but will become clearer as your husband’s faith crisis clarifies.

Where do we go from here?  

As your wife’s faith crisis clarifies, so will the equilibrium in your marriage and other key relationships. While it may take some time to have things feel comfortable, continue to do what you’ve always done. That is, go on consistent dates. Go the movies. Go out to dinner. Spend time at the gym. Try skiing at your favorite resort in the Cottonwoods or tubing with the family. In other words, do what you’ve always done.

Please don’t be surprised when some of these events feel wonderfully connective and others a bit forced or uncomfortable. The key is being fiercely loyal to your spouse and family…not hindered by which church you’re attending on Sunday.

A parting thought

Sometimes seeking advice from your church pastor or bishop can feel wonderful for the spouse not leaving their faith. And, not so wonderful for the spouse leaving that particular faith, be it Catholic, Protestant, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Learn to balance and support your husband as he moves forward on his journey. You may also want to consider seeking professional advice from a therapist that has experience helping couples wind their way through this challenging journey of (re)discovering one’s faith.

Relationship, couple and family therapist Michael Boman, LCSW has nearly 20 years experience assisting couples and families work their way through challenges in their relationships.  

More

5 Solid Ways to Make Winter Your BFF

As a teen growing up in Cache Valley, I loved summer. The outdoor possibilities were endless. However, I couldn’t understand why my mood took such a terrible hit in October and November. As an adult and many years later, I do now!

Do you dread the thought of winter? Its long nights and short, hazy, or foggy days? Does the thought of snow and cold make you long for the warmth of spring with its longer days and beautiful green grass?

If so, this blog is for you.

How to Beat Winter

Over the years I’ve noticed that many, many people struggle with their mood in winter. In fact, health care professionals have even created a term for it. That is, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Here’s 5 solid ways to turn winter from your sworn enemy to your BFF.

Get Out of the House

Sitting in your home and lamenting winter from November through March isn’t going to help. In fact, it will only make you detest winter more. Definitely move your body!

Get To the Gym

Exercise during winter will help you fight the feeling of low energy and lethargy. You don’t have to be a gym rat to get a significant boost to your mood and motivation. Just be consistent and take it one easy/moderate/challenging workout at a time.

Get Outside

We all know the benefits of getting summer sun in moderation on our bodies. The sun promotes vitamin D development which enhances our mood. It stands to reason that if you hole up inside all winter your mood will take a significant hit. Get outside, even in January, to feel better.

Get Out of Dodge

While many of us would love to live in St. George or even Phoenix during the winter, that isn’t feasible for most. What is feasible is taking a vacation down south. Whether it’s St. George, Phoenix, or even Honolulu, definitely get of out Dodge. Your mood and motivation will love you for it!

Get To the Mountains

When the inversion season hits (and it will), most people find the weather intolerable. Want a solution? Simply get to the mountains. Getting above the inversion will revitalize you as the sun feels amazing. Whether it’s to ski, snowshoe, or just to drive to Park City, you’ll definitely feel a benefit when the sun warms your face.

A Parting thought

These five ways to change your thinking about winter will definitely help. Choose 2 of the 5 and do them consistently. You WILL feel a difference!

While this is a likely a subject for another blog post, eating healthier, getting adequate (don’t over do it!) sleep, and surrounding yourself with emotionally healthy people will also pay you wonderful winter benefits.

Michael Boman, LCSW is a therapist with 18+ years experience working with individuals, couples, and families. He is also a believer in exercise and taking care of oneself. He welcomes your comments.

More

Getting Naked in Marriage

Many people believe they want to get naked in their marriage. Truly naked. They go into marriage with a belief that good things will just “happen.” That methods they’ve learned from their friends or even their parents will allow their clothing to just come off. No risk! Just the potential for an excellent reward.

The deeper challenge is that getting emotionally naked in your marriage takes focused practice and understanding. So much so, that people often don’t put forth the effort to get there.

Over the years I’ve developed a number of key strategies for couples to peel off their emotional clothing. To become truly naked to their spouse in ways that seems foreign at first. In reality, somewhat painful at best!

Staying Fully Clothed Emotionally

When working with couples I’ve had derivations of the following conversation on a number of occasions. It goes something like this: addressing the husband, I may say something like “You know your wife wants to hear from you even when you’re having a terrible day. She wants to connect deeply with you.” When asked supportively if this is correct, she will often give a knowing and definitive nod. He seems completely taken aback by this as he was taught essentially that sharing feelings is “weak.” Certainly not manly or desirable. And who wants to be seen as a wimp in marriage? No one!!!

Of perhaps greater import, is that unless a couple can become emotionally open with each other they’ll rarely (if ever!) feel completely connected. She will be unable to trust him on a consistent basis. He will feel that she doesn’t want to dig in deeply on things that matter to him. In reality, why should she want to do so? When she does reach out to him he can seem to be aloof and disinterested. Meanwhile, he can perceive her as distant and not wanting to connect with him in physically intimate or affectionate way. This leads to disconnection and a belief that this will never change. Ouch!

Learning to “Bare It All” Emotionally  

I’ve heard it said that it’s easier for some couples to be physically naked with their spouse than risking emotional nudity. Acquiring new ways to trust emotionally doesn’t need to seem like rocket science. Indeed, it isn’t really rocket science. In fact, it takes two people gradually becoming willing to share, errr, BARE it all. One key item for men is making the paradigm shift from essentially always keeping feelings hidden to sharing even his most key fears. This can be done with a well-trained marriage therapist or even gradually at home as the couple is ready. Either way, it can work.

One key challenge is that most believe “we’ve already tried that. Believe me, it did NOT go well!” The difference now is that you’ll be following three key ideas. Check this out.

First, realize it will be a gradual journey to go from emotionally withdrawn to connective. I like to ask some of the couples I work with to just improve one out of four times initially, i.e., that’s just 25 percent. That is, wives risk asking your husband how he is feeling when he looks really overwhelmed by his day. Husbands, be willing to share your feelings with her, even when it looks like your job may be at risk of being RIF’d in the near future.

Next, recognize that ANYTHING worth doing in this life comes at a risk. Going back to school comes with a risk. Asking your boss for a raise comes with a risk. In fact, asking (and accepting!) your wife to marry you came with a risk. The key point here is that if you don’t risk you’ll be in the same position 1 month or even 10 years from now. Do you REALLY want that???

Thirdly, make sure that you recognize that improvement takes consistency. Don’t just try for awhile and then give up because it wasn’t perfect. Recognize what the universe wants you to know, it will NEVER be perfect. Just keep risking and recognize it will get better.

Becoming Naked Together

Now you maybe thinking “Michael, I’m getting major goose bumps from the cold winds just thinking about becoming exposed emotionally.” Hey, I get that. Please know that there are wonderful resources to help you out. One on my favorites is speaker/author Brene’ Brown (https://Brenebrown.com). One of her most profound concepts is that of “vulnerability.” When I ask men what the word means to them, almost exclusively they’ll respond “weak.” Women generally see it as something to be desired. Totally sought after. Pursued and captured. Exactly!

Moving from seeing vulnerability (or risking) as “weak” to a strength is a journey. One that is so worth it for your marriage to truly become amazing. And, isn’t your marriage worth the effort to go from emotionally disconnected to a feeling of comfort as the emotional clothing peels off? I absolutely believe it is!

Michael Boman, LCSW has years of experience helping couples to reach their full potential in marriage. You can reach him by email at Info@wasatchfamilytherapy.com.

More

5 Reasons Healing Outdoors Can Work for You

Have you been looking for an alternative to traditional office therapy that includes an outdoor component? Then you would very likely find that Healing Outdoors therapy is a compelling option for you.

I’ve had people tell me for some time “when you start doing therapy outside, let me know.” That time has arrived! I’m letting people know.

Therapy or Healing Outdoors on the trail works because you’re outdoors in amazing beauty. You feel better. You’re being active. Feeling alive. Feeling real!

Check out these five reasons why Healing Outdoors can just work for you.

You Love the Outdoors

People that love the outdoors seek to be outdoors. They look for every reason or excuse to hit the local hiking trail or go for a walk in the park. They find that being inside, even during the winter, is awful. They can’t wait for the day to end or the weekend to begin. Why? Because they want to be outside! If this description resonates with you, then having your therapy on the trail may be just the ticket for you.

You think Office Therapy is boring

Does the thought of being in an office setting for therapy bore you? Does it sound monotonous? Or at the very least make you feel a bit anxious? Have you tried office therapy and it just didn’t seem to work for you? Then Healing Outdoors is likely something you’d find worthwhile.

Therapy on the trail or in a local park is invigorating. Talking about life’s problems or concerns outdoors seems so much more doable. If this resonates with you, then definitely consider Healing Outdoors in the central Wasatch Mountains. 

You Want to be Outside. It just Feels Better

Does being inside on a sunny day make the day seem 16 hours long? Do you find yourself glancing out the window almost as often as we check our smart phones? If this sounds like you, then Healing Outdoors therapy sessions could very well work for you.

Clients and others in the community have told me for years that being inside can seem depressing. Exactly! Why not fight your depression, anxiety, or relationship problems on the trail?

You Believe that Moving Around Opens up Your Mind

Hiking or walking during a therapy session just seems to open up your mind and clear your head. Not only do you think more clearly, but you feel better. You’re definitely much less likely to have your mind wander during a Healing Outdoors therapy session. Oh, and if your mind does wander, it’s only because the beauty is so captivating that you were distracted by nature’s awesomeness.

You Find that Nature is Healing for You

This may be the most compelling reason for wanting to seek therapy on a local trail. Many people find being outside healing in and of itself. Combine that with the opportunity to talk through a problem or two on the trail and you’ve likely got a winning combination.

Hey that’s cool! What’s next?

If you found my 5 reasons I’ve listed to be compelling, please follow the link below to get additional information. You’ll also be shown how to schedule your own Healing Outdoors therapy session. You can then begin your therapeutic journey to find that happier and more effective you that you’ve been desperately wanting to discover.

 

Healing Outdoors

 

 

More

5 Surprising Reasons Why Today’s 50’s are Yesterday’s 30’s

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just not as young as I used to be.” or, “how did I get to be so old” with a laugh, as if the years have just flown by?

What is really cool about aging in 2018 is that the old rules simply do NOT apply. People in their 50’s (or 60’s) are actually much more like people in their (age) 30’s years ago. Why? Here are 5 compelling reasons that will likely to take you aback some.

We Are Living Healthier

Let’s face it; many people are absolutely living a healthier lifestyle today. Whether it’s eating healthier, hitting the gym on a more consistent basis, or just striving to become emotionally healthy. Living a healthier lifestyle is just what many people do. As a result, we just feel much better in our 50’s than many anticipated they would.

Modern Medicine

I read recently that a child born today could potentially live to be 100 years of age. Not only that individual child either; it could include a significant portion of his/her cohort such that their average lifespan could reach the amazing age of 100. Wow!

That said, we’re living longer today. We are living healthier today as well. This means the old school thinking of “you’re getting old at 60” just isn’t correct.    

More Opportunities

It has been my experience that people in their 50’s today are more like the 30’s of last century. Why? I would surmise that it’s due to many, many more opportunities available in our world today. Like being able to return to school or start a business. Or enjoying the time at home augmented by many choices such as traveling or beginning a new job. Yes, even in your 50’s and 60’s. Either way, it keeps us younger and more vital. We just FEEL better about ourselves.

We Love to Exercise

Okay maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. But! Many people are hitting the gym now or the track and the backcountry trail. And, perhaps much more consistently than when we were younger. Exercise tends to clear your mind. Certainly it can lower depression. Furthermore, it can ramp up your immune system so that you tend to get sick less often. Taken as a whole, why wouldn’t we want to exercise?  

The Empty Nesters

Many people in their mid to late 50’s are a bit surprised to find out how much they enjoy having their spouse or partner to themselves. Now don’t take me wrong, they absolutely love being parents and raising a family together. Now they ABSOLUTELY love the extra time they have together to nurture their couple relationship. Oh, and being able to send the grandkids home with their parents is definitely a plus!

A Few More Ideas

I have a friend who says on a regular basis, “Sixty is the new 30!” He hikes often and takes pretty good care of himself overall. Interestingly enough, he turns 60 later this year. He also loves to snowshoe in the Wasatch. And, he’s retired!

I also read an article recently referencing research by the Office for National Statistics that asserted that the happiest time of our lives is actually the age 65 – 79. Perhaps this old poem by an unknown author will add to this premise.

At ten, we have just fun
At twenty, we are still naughty
At thirty, we think lofty
At forty, we get shifty
At fifty, we confront reality
At sixty, we seek serenity

Unknown author

Whether you’re in your 50’s or just approaching that great age, possibly from a distance, isn’t perhaps the key point. What is key is that we’re living longer and happier. The old “age” stereotypes are just that, stereotypes. Get out there and stretch yourself a bit!

Michael Boman, LCSW is a therapist with 18+ years experience working with individuals, couples, and families. He is also a believer in exercise and taking care of oneself. He welcomes your comments.

More

Beating Depression

Michaelblog3 Michaelblog1

Many people that struggle with depression have tried a myriad of ways to manage it:

Some have tried the frequently suggested “boot strap” approach. You know, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and forge ahead. As if willing your way to work or school will cause the depression to just go away.

Now I am not suggesting that moving forward in a determined fashion isn’t a good idea. In fact, I believe that it can help and am a huge proponent of putting your best effort on the table. What I am suggesting is that there might be an overall better way. A way that you may not have not have considered as viable for you (0r your spouse or family member that struggles with depression). What is it?

It involves Healing Outdoors.

It involves making a concerted effort to be outside in Utah’s wondrous outdoors. It involves actually enjoying it.

Understanding that depression is difficult to manage or treat, I provide these 5 hopeful ways to beat depression outdoors.

#1) Get Outside in the Garden and Yard

More

4 Reasons Why Successful Men Make Horrible Husbands

canstockphoto13808660
We’ve all heard the statement, “find a successful man, and marry him. You’ll live happily ever after. And you’ll have everything a girl can desire!”

But is that actually really TRUE?

So true that you would be willing to invest your entire future on this fairy tale belief you learned as a child?

Here are 4 startling reasons that should give you pause. And if you’re already married to a successful man, reason to shed a concerned tear or two:

1- He Loves His Office

Now this one may seem a bit obvious. He loves his career, and he’s good at it (if you wondering, ask him and he will likely tell you with some bravado about how good he really is). As a result, he just has to spend long hours at the office. You’ve even told yourself that he’s doing it for you and the children. But is that really true? And does it make you feel any better about your future?

2- Daddy Issues

While the workaholic thing may have seemed rather obvious, struggles with daddy may come as a bit of a shock. Does this successful man that appears to have all the bases covered struggle with daddy issues? Yup. Your handsome husband that seems to be the rock that no one can penetrate? Yes indeed! He is likely using excessive work hours to hide from his past and the deep feelings of loss he experienced from his disconnected father.

3- He Doesn’t Like Himself

Although he won’t probably cop to this, all that charm that he seems to be able to call on at parties may not be real. His ability to close those business deals may be just a cover. Successful men often are unable to look inside. Why? Because they don’t like what’s inside or they’ve never really looked there. They’re also fearful that others will discover that they’re really not all that secure. As a result, they must work harder to cover their insecurities and fears that they will ultimately fail.

4- The Stage Sucks

Being a successful man comes at a cost. This cost often shows up in how he treats his family. Being on the stage requires that he gives ALL to things that ultimately don’t really matter. While wives and partners want his total attention, he can never really provide it. He’s constantly thinking of bettering himself through work. The problem is that he’s like the gym addict who believes that one more hour on the treadmill will make him feel better about himself. The perplexing challenge is that when you don’t like yourself on the inside, all the sculpted abs in the world will never be good enough. EVER!

You may actually be asking yourself, “who would want a man with these challenging issues?” while simultaneously thinking, “you just described my husband.” Well, what’s a woman, wife, or partner to do?

Three Things That Can Really Help

1- Get off the Treadmill!

Success is like a treadmill. It’s quite easy to get on one but difficult to get off. Being on the treadmill of success will never produce true happiness. Getting off that treadmill requires concerted effort on the part of the success addicted male. This focus includes learning to live a balanced life. One with healthy boundaries that become rock-solid as they’re gradually implemented. One that includes consistently putting his wife or partner highest on his list of critical priorities. Nice!

2- Seek Counseling

Searching out a solid therapist with experience in working with overachieving males may seem obvious. The challenge is that it will also seem weak to a success-saturated man. The daddy issues mentioned earlier likely included the “success at all-costs” mantra so common in men. Counseling that includes a huge focus on putting the past beyond the “rear view mirror” is critical.

3- Look North NOT South!

In other words, look to the future, not the past! Most relationships where successful men avoid key responsibilities is that they will continue to hide at work until reality sets in. That awful moment where what really matters in life has passed them by. Don’t allow it! You can’t change yesterday, but you can certainly change today. And more importantly, tomorrow and your future by being home and totally “present” tonight!

Michael Boman, LCSW is a clinical therapist at Wasatch Family Therapy in Salt Lake City. He has many years of experience assisting men and their wives/partners get their relationships back on a healthy track. You can schedule an appointment with Michael by clicking here. http://www.wasatchfamilytherapy.com/archives/doctor/michael-boman-lcsw

Save

More

The 5 Best Kept Secrets of Marriage Relationship Self-Care

Wasatch Family Therapy Marriage Counseling

We’ve all been there. We believe our relationship with our spouse (or partner) is going south. Yet we’re too busy to give it the time that it needs. We’ll get to it. We really will!

The problem is, we never seem to actually “get to it.”

And if we ever really do find the time to get to it, we’ve become so much like angry “roommates” that even talking about improvement leads to yet another argument. Ouch!

Here are the 5 best kept marriage relationship secrets to get your relationship game back where it needs to be.

(These examples are not gender specific. Please swap male/female where needed)

1- Self-Care for You

Since you can’t change your husband, you need to work on changing you. To do otherwise is like having a bee land on your hand and swatting at your husbands face to get rid of the hornet. You’ve solved nothing and likely got a nasty sting in the process. Change can feel as painful as a surprise bee sting. Take back your self-care life gradually by beginning TODAY. You deserve it!

2- Ditch the Past

Relationships that live in the past repeat the past. If you truly desire a better relationship, stop it! An example is when a wife believes in her heart that “…he will never understand me.” Or “he will never meet my need for ‘_______’ (fill in the blank).” This belief will only perpetuate itself with hurt feelings. A much better way to manage the past is live in the PRESENT. Tell him what you need. Expect him to step up to the relationship plate by trusting that he will do it. Risk and actually ASK him. It really works!

3- Be the Boundary King (or Queen)!

More

3 Sure Fire Ways to Destroy Your 2nd Marriage!

canstock empty-nesters

Popular wisdom would claim that 2nd marriages succeed more often than first marriages. “Hey, I’ve learned from my past mistakes. I’m smarter.” Or “we’ll do better!”

Sadly, this absolutely just isn’t true.

Based on what I’ve observed for 17 years in working with couples, I’ve come of with 3 ways that will absolutely destroy your second marriage. Please take a moment to learn from other’s bad choices to make this marriage be your Last marriage.

  1. Let the Comparison Shopping Begin

(These examples are not gender specific. Please swap male/female where needed)

Okay so you may not actually be shopping for a new spouse. But let’s face it. You’ve probably noticed qualities in other men that are appealing. Qualities you don’t believe your new spouse has. Talents you thought were there when you said “yes” for the second time. Now you’re not so sure at all.

Stop it! Comparison shopping for another spouse in a new marriage is like buyers remorse with a new car. Yes that other car at the competitions dealership was awesome. The price seemed right. The luxury features appealing. Yet not quite right! Remember how a month later you were soooo glad you’d purchased the right car? Relieved you didn’t overact? Second marriage’s can be very similar. Give it time. Stop comparison shopping even if only figurative in nature. Catch your awesome new husband doing something right. Like the paycheck. Like the living room he vacuumed. Like the “spilled milk” he cleaned up. Oh, btw, it’s all paltry spilled milk in comparison. Get over it. Don’t look back!

  1. Ditch the Ex!

Not only is moving on difficult, it can seem impossible not to experience at least some of these damaging examples:

The EX                                                                                   NEW Wife

Bugged you! Because she kept the house spotless                Bugs You! Because she doesn’t clean enough

Nagged you! To keep the yard immaculate                            Nags You! To spend more time with her

Hounded you! For more sex. Better sex!                                Ignores You! She’s too tired for sex

Watched! Every penny of the budget                                      Spends! Every penny of the budget

Reminded you! To pick up the kids from school                   Reminds you! That they’re YOUR kids

Some of these sound true? Maybe even all too correct? If so, please remember that the grass is NEVER greener on the other side of the fence (or in your previous marriage). You must ditch the ex-wife. Move on completely! Focus on your new marriage. Recognize that no one is perfect.

Not even You!

  1. When Two Worlds Collide (Or the War of Two Worlds)

Immediately following the new marriage, two family planets are on a course to collide. While the couple has anticipated some challenges with the “blended family,” they don’t foresee any REAL trouble. Most new marriages aren’t equipped for managing problems, let alone the explosion.

Going into a second marriage unequipped is like having a pilot flying into LAX without an air traffic controller to guide him safely home. Approaching potentially volatile airspace without a trained guide experienced in acquiring a smooth landing. A safe landing. In fact, even the mere mention of such a circumstance sounds ridiculous in the extreme.

However, the problem is that most 2nd marriages don’t have a Relationship air traffic controller. Someone to infuse insight into the day to day challenges that are common in almost all new relationships. Each person enters the new marriage with tender feelings. Very likely still stinging from the agonizing pain of their first divorce. As a result, they fall-back on their own often tainted experiences. Experiences that exacerbated the problems in marriage number one that resulted in divorce. Ouch!

What Can Help?

* If you’re reading this and recently divorced, absolutely eschew new relationship(s) for at least one year preferably two. Give yourself time to heal. Casual dating is fine. Hanging out is great. Getting serious will totally put you in a position to simply repeat divorce #1.

* If you’re reading this and you’re in a struggling 2nd marriage, absolutely seek help. Seek out a trusted bishop or clergy member with sage advice. Consider a therapist with many years of experience helping those struggling in the marital realm. But! Please don’t think that this will just pass. I’m overreacting. It likely won’t JUST change.

* Most of all, take care of YOU. Make sure that you’re giving yourself great self-care time. Reach out to trusted (and healthy!) friends. Give yourself time. Space. And if you are recently “single,” totally avoid the friends that say “the best way to heal from your divorce is to jump right back in!”

No, it really isn’t!

Michael Boman, LCSW, is a relationship, marriage, and Healing Outdoors expert at Wasatch Family Therapy in Cottonwood Heights, UT.

More