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Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT's Blog (15)

The Therapist Couch: How's Your Marriage Balance?

How's the "you," "me" and "we" of your marriage? Are you balanced in a way that works for you both?

For a couple who is tipped way over onto the "me" side, they might live separate lives with different friends, few mutual decisions and little time spent together. I once had a couple who literally never sat down to eat with one another and had separate bedrooms. They essentially had barely a shred of focus on the "we"…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on September 20, 2010 at 5:52pm — No Comments

The Therapist Couch: The Problem of Letting Resentment Build up in Marriage

As a couple's therapist, I see the gamut of marital dissatisfaction. Ideally people come to me before their unhappiness creates a massive canyon of disconnect and hurt feelings but unfortunately, this is not often the case. Couples still tend to show up in my either really angry or really shut down. Upon closer inspection, there are often unmet needs and unattended hurt feelings at the core of their distress.

Unexpressed…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on August 2, 2010 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Your Husband May Struggle with the Ups and Downs of Your Marriage More Thank You Think!

I just read an interesting article about a recent study that concluded that young men are more vulnerable to the "ups and downs" of relationships than you might think. Though the study looked at 1000 unmarried, 18-23 year olds only, it got me thinking about the possible implications for men in general, whether married or not.

Men are conditioned to put on a brave face and not show their distress. The study indicated that these young men actually suffered more than they let on…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on June 14, 2010 at 12:37pm — No Comments

Want a Lasting Marriage? Get Back to the Basics - part 7

This is the seventh and last post in my Hitched series on premarital tips for married couples who either never learned - or have forgotten how to keep the foundation under their "marriage house" as strong as possible.

7 ) Define Your Personal, Couple and Family Goals: Have you ever discussed your goals with your spouse? Even if you did at one time, have they changed? For long term marriages so much can change within the…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on June 7, 2010 at 3:56pm — 1 Comment

Want a Lasting Marriage? Get Back to the Basics - part 6

We're talking about how to "get back to the basics" around creating a lasting, solid relationship over time. This is the sixth post in my Hitched series on premarital tips for married couples who either never learned - or have forgotten how to keep the foundation under their "marriage house" as strong as possible. They are the guide posts I describe in…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on May 25, 2010 at 4:28pm — No Comments

Want a Lasting Marriage? Get Back to the Basics - part 5

We're looking at "the basics" of creating a lasting, solid marriage over time. This is the fifth post in my Hitched series on premarital tips for married couples who either never learned - or have forgotten how to keep the foundation under their "marriage house" as strong as possible.

5 ) Identify Problematic Family of Origin Issues: Sometimes, couples play out relationship dynamics they learned from their parents, and in some cases the…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on May 15, 2010 at 1:34pm — No Comments

Want a Lasting Marriage? Get Back to the Basics - part 4

We're talking about how to "get back to the basics" of creating a lasting, solid marriage over time. This is the fourth post in my Hitched series on premarital tips for married couples who either never learned - or have forgotten how to keep the foundation under their "marriage house" as strong as possible. They are the guide posts I describe in…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on May 6, 2010 at 3:11pm — No Comments

Want a Lasting Marriage? Get Back to the Basics - part 3

We're talking about how to "get back to the basics" around creating a lasting, solid marriage over time. This is the third post in my Hitched series on premarital tips for married couples who either never learned - or have forgotten how to keep the foundation under their "marriage house" as strong as possible. They are the guide posts I describe in…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on May 4, 2010 at 5:13pm — No Comments

Want a Lasting Marriage? Get Back to the Basics - part 2

We're talking about how to "get back to the basics" around creating a lasting, solid relationship over time. This is the second post in my Hitched series on premarital tips for married couples who either never learned - or have forgotten how to keep the foundation under their "marriage house" as strong as possible. They are the guide posts I describe in…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on April 26, 2010 at 2:36pm — No Comments

Want a Lasting Marriage? Get Back to the Basics

If you're married and didn't get any kind of premarital education - you're not alone. Though many know of the benefits, when you're in the honymoon phase of your relationship it's pretty easy to think you won't be one of the statistics. If you're married, you likely have some idea that married life isn't necessarily as easy as you might have thought it would be. Though incredibly rewarding much of the time, the reality is there are ups and downs as you navigate through life together with…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on April 22, 2010 at 3:44pm — No Comments

Communication Challenge: How Well do You and Your Spouse Listen to Each Other?

How well do you listen to your spouse? How well does he/she listen to you?

When working with couples on communication, one thing that comes up a lot is frustration around not feeling heard. I'm not only referring to not listening to each other - but also not hearing each other. People can think they've heard each other but a simple misunderstanding or incorrect assumption can totally derail the communication process.

One way to be sure you and your…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on April 14, 2010 at 3:31pm — No Comments

Affair Recovery Tip: Allow for Tranparency

Infidelity can one of the most challenging and painful things a marriage can go through. Thankfully, there are effective ways to work through it, especially if both are open to it. Working with couples on the road to affair recovery, I encourage a number of basic rules for the work to be as effective and successful as possible. Here is one:

Allow for Transparency

With the rebuilding of trust being one of the most important elements of healing…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on April 1, 2010 at 11:52am — No Comments

Hug your partner. Increase oxytocin. Feel loved.

Did you know that if you give your partner a full contact body hug for at least 20 seconds at a time you both have the potential to release oxytocin, the "love" hormone? For couples in distress, both people are likely releasing damaging cortisol (the stress hormone). Because a sense of safety can release oxytocin, this makes the 20 second body hug a wonderful (and fun) antidote for the other. The more times a day you can do this with your partner the better but great times are in…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on April 1, 2010 at 11:51am — No Comments

Sustaining Healthy Relationships - 5 tips

Today I was asked to participate in an upcoming podcast for my local state Marriage and Family Therapist chapter. The topic is to provide 5 tips to help couples sustain their relationships/marriages. As I sorted through my mental files of all the useful ideas there are in this area - I wondered if there is a better way than to simply list "5 tips" (which might go in one ear of the listener - and out the other soon after). I remembered old test taking strategies and how helpful acronyms can…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on March 31, 2010 at 2:46pm — 2 Comments

Get onboard with some of your partner's interests

The other day I went on a mountain biking trek with my husband - up Mt. Tamalpais, a majestic and beloved mountain to our area - with a view of the San Francisco skyline on a clear day. He is an avid mountain and road biker - and the sport is a big part of his life. He trains, he monitors himself with high tech gadgets and spends a lot of time lovingly caring for his gear. I'm a very active person as well but biking hasn't historically been on the top of my list. But - when I went biking…

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Added by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on March 31, 2010 at 2:43pm — No Comments






Hitched Podcast

Episode 511: Honoring the Decision-Making Process

We all have different ways of making decisions and the process in reaching conclusions can vary. Dr. Tomi Bryan explains how she and her husband honor their different processes and how they got there.

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