The Blog

In Marriage, big boxes can be trouble

This week we feature an exerpt from this very funny story by Cindy Chupack in the NY Times. Humour is an indespensible asset in a marriage. In any marriage, even the best marriage, there will come a day when you wonder why you married this person. It’s hard to fathom at your wedding. This handsome, tuxedoed […]

And baby makes three… or not

The big family planning issue for most couples used to be how to avoid unexpected pregnancies. As more couples marry later in life, increasingly this is shifting to get the pregnancy they desire. Sociological studies suggest there is an optimum age to marry in order to minimise divorce risk ( here).  This is somewhere between the mid-twenties and […]

Making marriage last is all in the intention

No matter how easy it may seem to fall in love, staying in love requires attention and effort. We all start out in marriage bright in hope and full of brimming love. Yet rarely do those wonderful, euphoric experiences of early love persist unabated; for many of us disillusionment creeps its way into our consciousness […]

Resilience of the marital kind

Let’s face it – marriage can be a tough gig these days. Living in a culture that almost expects marriage to fail, couples wonder what they can do to immunise their relationship against the tragedy of divorce. Marital resilience starts with a well-grounded understanding of what marriage is and what it isn’t. A lot of […]

How often do men need to have sex?

Shaunti Feldhahn is an author and social researcher who specialises in marital relationships. In this article she responds to a question from a female reader about how often men need sex: “Even though I can go weeks or months and not miss it, he says he wants me to want it like he does.” How […]

Gratitude: Superfood for Relationships

We all seek happiness and are drawn to the things we believe will make us happy. But sometimes, the things we desire fail to deliver. Whether it’s a lotto payout, the dream job, the celebrity-style wedding or the mega mansion in the best part of town, it often turns out that the things we think […]

Marriage Enemy #1: Lethargy

Marriage Enemy #1: Lethargy We asked a marriage counselor friend of ours about why a marriage fails. We were expecting a long complex answer so we already had a bottle of wine open. Yet her answer was short. According to her, if there are no addictions or mental illness involved, then most marriages fail through […]

Part 5: The Quest for Happiness Series

The Marriage Myth Too many times have we heard the complaint – “I’m just not happy in this marriage anymore”. For couples today, personal happiness has become the measure of whether a marriage is ‘working’. The mass media and our romantic fantasies conspire to convince us that we have a right to expect happiness from […]

Part 4: Quest for Happiness Series

What is happiness anyway? Speaking of what makes a wife or husband happy (Quest for Happiness Series) perhaps we should look at what happiness is and more importantly, whether it really is the ultimate goal. ‘Happiness’ should be distinguished from ‘joy’. Happiness can be defined as the feeling of pleasure when a need or desire […]

Part 3: Quest for Happiness Series

What do men want? In all the discussions about what makes a wife happy (see Quest for Happiness Series: What Women Really Want & The Equality Myth), it strikes us that the happiness of husbands is often overlooked. Actually, it’s rarely on the agenda. That in itself says something about us as a society. Perhaps this […]

Part 2: Quest for Happiness Series

What women really want If equality in work isn’t the answer for making happy wives (see Part 1: Quest for Happiness Series, The Equality Myth), what is? According to the same study that looked at the division of labour*, the best predictor of marital satisfaction among wives was emotional connection. ‘Emotion work’, as psychologists call […]

Part 1: Quest for Happiness Series

The Equality Myth Inequality in the division of labour at home has long been a sore point for married women. In theory, the egalitarian model of the modern dual-income, shared-homemaking marriage should solve this problem; as women move into the paid workforce, men would assume more responsibility at home.Right? This is the typical understanding of […]

Why don’t parents like playing with their kids?

I had just returned from a long bike ride with my friend, Dave. It was a hot summer’s day. My children were in the pool, and Dave and I decided to cool off after our ride. As I dipped my toe into the water I began to have second thoughts. I was hot. The water […]

Hopeful kids are happy kids

Think of two children you have regular contact with: one who is resilient and happy, and one who is struggling and languishing. Imagine you are interviewing each of them, and you ask them to respond to each of these six questionnaire items:    I think I am doing pretty well    I can think of […]

“The Kids are out of control!”

“Kids these days are out of control.” It’s the universal standard line about the state of our nation’s youth in many of our papers, from our radio talk-back hosts, and commentators of all stripes and persuasions. The remedy the self-proclaimed experts proscribe? “These kids need someone to pull them into line. We need to make […]

3 Pillars of Practically Perfect Parenting

ne of my favourite questions for parents is “What do we want most for our children?” The two most consistent and predictable responses I receive in my parenting workshops are that we want our children to be happy, and to be responsible, contributing members of a community. Sadly, and in spite of our nation’s prosperity, […]

5 signs your relationship with your child is in trouble

No parent wakes up in the morning asking, “What can I do today to make my child’s life hell?” However, some days we do wonder whether our children have woken up asking themselves, “What can I do today to make my parents’ life hell?” Sometimes it seems as though our children exist for no reason other […]

5 ideas to improve your Marriage

A lot of people feel trapped in a dissatisfying or troubled marriage. They feel powerless to ‘fix’ it because their spouse refuses to join them in counselling or a marriage enrichment course. Yet in truth, there are lots of things a husband or wife can do on their own that can have a dramatic impact. […]

Flashy Wedding = Short Marriage

Weddings aren’t getting any cheaper. According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the average wedding in Australia costs $36,200. Around half ($18,683) goes on the reception (food, alcohol, venue), with the balance going on clothing (~$4,000), photography (~$4,000), entertainment (~$3,000), flowers (~$3,000), the ceremony (~$1,000) and [...]

“How do I get my 10 yr old to grow up?”

Dear Dr Justin , My child won’t grow up. She is ten but is obsessed with Disney and barbie and this has caused many fights between us. I simply don’t know what to do. Please help me, S Dr Justin responds: As parents we all want the very best for our children. When they are […]


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