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Attempt at humour aside, David Brooks give a great introduction to the role emotions play, and should play, in our daily lives via this TED video. David Brooks, author of The Social Animal, examines how society is entering a “revolution of consciousness”. Despite the many technological and scientific advances of recent years, it is becoming ever more apparent that we are not entirely, or even primarily, rational creatures.  We are governed in great part by unconscious forces and our emotions are central to this process. Emotions tell us what we value. Instead of ignoring, dismissing, or suppressing emotions, we should seek to learn more about them.

Vanessa Milne, a blogger at Chatelaine, spoke with Dr. Cohen last week about weight gain after marriage. Has this happened to you or is it something you’re concerned about for the future? If so, check out Vanessa’s post on the subject.

In the interview, Dr. Cohen recommended The Beck Diet, a diet book written by the daughter of Aaron T. Beck–the founder of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy or CBT. CBT is a leading therapy for many psychological issues and disorders including anxiety and depression and has been adapted for use with other common struggles, including weight management.

We have strong expertise in CBT here at Dr. Eliana Cohen & Associates. In fact, our associate Jenny has trained with Aaron T. Beck himself at some of the top North American centres! There is a ton of information on CBT available online, but please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!

What type of answer do you think you would get if you asked a married coupled how they are going to feel after their kids moved out? Free!?? Maybe not so much… While some couples may feel a sense of freedom after their children have grown up and developed some form of independence from the household, other individuals may feel terrified. After all, for many couples, this will be the first time they have been alone together for close to two decades. In her book, Grown-up Marriage, Judith Viorst talks about this very issue.

As Viorst declares, having more time with each other can be a source of pure delight or utter apprehension. For some couples, it is hard to imagine the lovers they used to be prior to having children. “What will we talk about? How should we act? What on earth are we going to do with all that time on our hands?” For some, the departure of children may force parents to confront problems that exist between the two of them, problems that could be pushed aside when the children were still in the house. Great at a family but not so great at husband and wife anymore? These feelings are completely natural and par for the course of growing old together. Confronting and talking about possible relationship issues that may surface once the kids leave home can make for an easier transition back to that “just the two of us” (in the house) state.

Did you have an affair? Do you blame your marriage for it? Think again. Marriage can be difficult and all marriages have areas of weakness. We have a tendency to confuse a “good marriage” with a “ perfect marriage”. Sometimes difficulties in the marriage can open the door to infidelity. However, affairs don’t just happen because “the marriage was bad”. They happen as a result of a number of variables, some of which are individual variables, such as stress, exhaustion, a need to be validated, low self-esteem, risk taking behavior, etc.…

When we do something that goes against our morals we feel puzzled. There is then a tendency to try and justify this out of character behavior through finding external causes. Why did you have an affair? There are always a number of factors to consider, first look at your individual variables, and then look at your marriage. While marital variables may be there, they are not the entire story. Furthermore, if you plan to stay in your marriage, and if you need your partner to forgive you, it is very important not to sound like you are blaming all your indiscretions on the marriage.

Couples therapy can help you recover your marriage after an affair. The first step is to help your partner accept the new reality and to be empathic to their pain.  The next step is for you to grieve the loss of the relationship. Affairs happen to good people. Bad choices happen to good people. Therapy offers a non-judgmental, non-moralistic space to understand yourself and what it all means. You can then address the weaknesses in your marriage, without linking them to your affair. This can help open a dialogue about the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship. In therapy, you also can focus on understanding the personal variables that made you vulnerable to the affair in the first place.