We Have Ruined Childhood

For youngsters these days, an hour of free play is like a drop of water in the desert. Of course they’re miserable.

According to the psychologist Peter Gray, children today are more depressed than they were during the Great Depression and more anxious than they were at the height of the Cold War. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression rose by more than 60 percent among those ages 14 to 17, and 47 percent among those ages 12 to 13. This isn’t just a matter of increased diagnoses. The number of children and teenagers who were seen in emergency rooms with suicidal thoughts or having attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2015.

To put it simply, our kids are not O.K.

For a long time, as a mother and as a writer, I searched for a single culprit. Was it the screens? The food? The lack of fresh air and free time, the rise of the overscheduled, overprotected child, the overarching culture of anxiety and fear?

Those things might all contribute. But I’ve come to believe that the problems with children’s mental and emotional health are caused not by any single change in kids’ environment but by a fundamental shift in the way we view children and child-rearing, and the way this shift has transformed our schools, our neighborhoods and our relationships to one another and our communities.

The work of raising children, once seen as socially necessary labor benefiting the common good, is an isolated endeavor for all but the most well-off parents. Parents are entirely on their own when it comes to their offspring’s well-being. Many have had to prioritize physical safety and adult supervision over healthy emotional and social development.

No longer able to rely on communal structures for child care or allow children time alone, parents who need to work are forced to warehouse their youngsters for long stretches of time. School days are longer and more regimented. Kindergarten, which used to be focused on play, is now an academic training ground for the first grade. Young children are assigned homework even though numerous studies have found it harmful. STEM, standardized testing and active-shooter drills have largely replaced recess, leisurely lunches, art and music.

The role of school stress in mental distress is backed up by data on the timing of child suicide. “The suicide rate for children is twice what it is for children during months when school is in session than when it’s not in session,” according to Dr. Gray. “That’s true for suicide completion, suicide attempts and suicidal ideas, whereas for adults, it’s higher in the summer.” But the problems with kids’ mental and emotional health are not only caused by what goes on in the classroom. They also reflect what’s happening in our communities. The scarcity of resources of every kind, including but not limited to access to mental health services, health care, affordable housing and higher education, means that many parents are working longer and harder than ever. At the same time that more is demanded of parents, childhood free time and self-directed activities have become taboo.

And so for many children, when the school day is over, it hardly matters; the hours outside school are more like school than ever. Children spend afternoons, weekends and summers in aftercare and camps while their parents work. The areas where children once congregated for unstructured, unsupervised play are now often off limits. And so those who can afford it drive their children from one structured activity to another. Those who can’t keep them inside. Free play and childhood independence have become relics, insurance risks, at times criminal offenses.

Tali Raviv, the associate director of the Center for Childhood Resilience, says many children today are suffering a social-skills deficit. She told me kids today “have fewer opportunities to practice social-emotional skills, whether it’s because they live in a violent community where they can’t go outside, or whether it’s because there’s overprotection of kids and they don’t get the independence to walk down to the corner store.” They don’t learn “how to start a friendship, how to start a relationship, what to do when someone’s bothering you, how to solve a problem.”

 

Many parents and pediatricians speculate about the role that screen time and social media might play in this social deficit. But it’s important to acknowledge that simply taking away or limiting screens is not enough. Children turn to screens because opportunities for real-life human interaction have vanished; the public places and spaces where kids used to learn to be people have been decimated or deemed too dangerous for those under 18.

And so for many Americans, the nuclear family has become a lonely institution — and childhood, one long unpaid internship meant to secure a spot in a dwindling middle class.

Something has to change, says Denise Pope, a co-founder of Challenge Success, an organization based in Palo Alto, Calif., that helps schools make research-backed changes to improve children’s mental health. Kids need recess. They need longer lunches. They need free play, family time, meal time. They need less homework, fewer tests, a greater emphasis on social-emotional learning.

Challenge Success also works with parents, encouraging them to get together with their neighbors and organize things like extracurricular-free days when kids can simply play, and teaching them how not to intervene in normal peer conflict so that children can build problem-solving skills themselves. A similar organization, Let Grow, helps schools set up unstructured free play before and after the school day.

Dr. Gray told me it’s no surprise that the program, which he consults for, has been well received. “Children are willing to get up an hour early to have free play, one hour a week,” he said. “It’s like a drop of water if you’ve been in the desert.”

These groups are doing important work, but if that kind of desperation is any indication, we shouldn’t be surprised that so many kids are so unhappy. Investing in a segment of the population means finding a way to make them both safe and free. When it comes to kids, we too often fall short. It’s no wonder so many are succumbing to despair. In many ways, America has given up on childhood, and on children.

 

This blog has been dating and relationships for years. Should I start to write some more self help pieces like this?

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Instagram: @phicklephilly      Facebook: phicklephilly   Twitter: @phicklephilly

Kita – Chapter 40 – While You’re Away – Part 1

Kita… When I first met you I liked you immediately. I can’t put my finger on it.

Actually I can put all of my fingers on it. You were sweet, nice and a lovely young girl. Asian. Loves to go tanning, a flash of blonde hair over your dark roots that actually creates a halo of gold around your lovely head.

I started writing about you before I knew you. I never do that. I only write about real encounters but I knew very little about you. But meeting you was an inspiration. I don’t know why. You never know when the spark will come but it feels so good when it does. There’s certainly nothing special about your persona.

You’re cute and fit and tan. You and your sister were adopted from China by a couple of Americans and they are very powerful people in the US Military. That’s pretty cool and I’ve done my research and they are a couple of high up important people. So that anybody that gets to know you will have to understand that protocol.

But quite magically I had the honor to get to know you. A lucky girl snatched from an orphanage in China by a great couple that maybe couldn’t have kids. It’s almost on a Brad Pitt and Angelelina Jolie rescue.  You and your sisters are lucky girls. Lottery lucky.

I had the pleasure of getting to know you. What are the chances? A middle-aged man who writes a dating blog for Philadelphia about all of his dating foibles and relationships. You transplant from Florida and attend Drexel University for Hospitality Management . Nothing extraordinary about that.

But you love to be tan. There is only a handful of you that are really addicted. It’s okay. Sunlight is what we deliver here at the salon and I’m one of the best salesmen in the city. So if you want results you’ve come to the right place.

But I had the chance to actually get to know you. You’re 21 years old. A child. Not like my former co-worker, Summer. She has so much experience when it comes to life, boys and social, but you’ve been sheltered.

Not in a bad way but in a way that has been detrimental to your development when it comes to navigating the world of romance and relationships.

You like to hang around the salon and chat with the old lion that has fought so many battles in regard to love. Not all battles, but maybe some wrestling matches.

I give you advice and wisdom my lithe gazelle. I know so much about your family now. I’m good at reading people and profiling personalities over time. Your story is textbook, darling.

Decorated military dad who is so important he’s not around. I like him and admire what he’s done for our nation. Mom is in the same force but retired. Dad kinda knows his kids but is busy and good with opening the wallet. Mom is a little more loose with words and questions but a little tighter with money and budget.

It’s a nice balance and I think you have a nice family. I have that too and it all makes me smile.

But you and your lovely sis went to private school for girls. That’s no boys. You gotta know boys unfortunately and make mistakes with boys to navigate the world of woman adulthood.

You chicks missed that.

You had the one guy somewhere around 16 and he broke your heart. That should be nothings and you move on to the next hottie.

But you couldn’t eat and had some real depression. Totally normal. That’s what pain depression and sadness is. Depression and sadness is like an illness you’re born with and gets worse during events.  Your mom gave you meds to combat your sadness.

Mistake.

Sick kids need to suffer and get well with the tools they have and the people around them. You don’t stuff pills down a child’s throat to shut off the feelings of illness. The child or the adult needs to feel the searing pain of sadness and loss and heal on their own. (Surrounded by family and friends)

But nobody has the patience to console and wait anymore. They give you a pill to get you in line.

You are killing the child’s development. You think You’re doing the right thing and saving your child but you’re ruining their development and their future coping skills. I know you didn’t mean it and were trying to help your child… the adopted child that is not your blood but you fucked up.

She needs to be sick and sad. She needs to heal in a natural way that will make her evolve and be strong. She will be a better stronger woman on the other side.

Fuck sake… no drugs!

Then Kita gets with some other white boy romance loser. He sends out his best representative to get in her sweet pants. Who knows, maybe he liked her, maybe he thought he loved her, but after a few years he grew tired of her.  People change… they grow.

Maybe he’s and asshole. I don’t know. But JR basically fazed Kita out. Terrible, but I get it. He may have grown tired of the super tanned, needy, Asian chick he closed on some passionate sweaty night.

His family didn’t like her and her family thought she was trading down into some lowlife Delaware county trash. Because her family is rich and powerful. Very powerful.

After 3 years JR has had enough. He wants to drink, drug, and kiss some other babies. Kita has zero experience, doesn’t drink, isn’t all that interesting, and kind of isn’t fun for him. He wants the hot bitches in the club. Kita is a scheduled, nice, conservative, needy, very communicative young girl that could be viewed as a burden to a young man.

So after some time he tires of her. I don’t see that in this moment because she’s a 21 year old gorgeous Asian, fit baby, but it happens.

I was once at a wedding with my brother in law and he asked who a specific girl was.

I told him it was the bride’s hairdresser.

He said: ” She’s hot. But somebody’s tired of that.”

I never forgot that simple wisdom.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Instagram: @phicklephilly        Facebook: phicklephilly        twitter: @phicklephilly

California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Truth of Dare

I was over at Vicki Yamamato’s parents’ house on my 21st birthday in her room watching TV and she says to me “Babe you wanna play truth or dare?” I said: “What are you 14?” She replied “No! I think you’re just chicken.” Now I couldn’t just let her win so I said: “Sure, come on let’s play.”

It started off with just a few simple questions because we both did truths like do you love me and little things like that. I started getting bored with it and said dare. I should have never said it. She sat and thought about it and with an evil little grin she said: “okay my parents are not home so I got a great dare for you.”

So my mind went straight to the gutter, I mean what guys mind wouldn’t right? I said: “What’s this big bad dare you got in your pretty little mind?” She looked me dead in my eye and said: “You gotta run around the entire house naked!”

I thought okay that’s easy, I mean her parents had a huge house, but it wouldn’t take long to run around inside. And the worst that could happen is that her parents show up and then I gotta explain we were just playing truth or dare.

So I said: “Alright the basement too?” She smiled again and said: “no.” Then she laughed and I asked what was funny? She said: “The entire outside of the house!” I told myself don’t be a sissy just do it. So I said: “Okay I’ll do it.”

I got naked went outside and darted around the entire house as quick as I could, but as I opened the front door to get in there stood half of Vicki’s family standing in the living room. I ran upstairs and got dressed as quick as I could. She had really got me, when I came down she was holding a cake smiling and the cake read “Happy 21st, DON’T END UP IN YOUR B-DAY SUIT”

I had never been that embarrassed or pranked that bad in my whole life.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

7 Ways Being Unfaithful Changes You & Your Relationship for Good

It affects you more deeply than you might think.

Experiencing the thrill of infidelity changes everything. On one hand, the world seems more vibrant and you feel more alive than you’ve felt in years. On the other, the relationship you’ve spent so long building is suddenly in peril of being destroyed because of the choice you made to stray.

These wildly divergent realities of your life put tension and strain on every single part of your existence. And the pressure will change you in myriad ways.

Here is how cheating changes you and your relationship’s future.

1. You will be humiliated

At some point, most, if not all of the people in your life catch on to what is happening.

You have failed to protect and defend the very values you swore to honor, and everyone knows. Even people who don’t know you seem to know. And God forbid the news hits social media.

2. Your spouse has permanent ammunition against you

No matter your reasons for straying or your efforts toward penance, you will always be “the one who cheated”.

Your spouse may use that sin as a dumping ground for everything involving blame, anger, judgment, and abuse.

3. Your children may blame you

Children will not know how to properly process their fears and sense of loss without professional help, especially if they know something damning about one or both parents.

Even as adults, they may reach back and blame you for their own choices or unfulfilled lives.

4. You can’t trust others to be loyal to you

As you try to balance your ability to cheat on your spouse against what you know to be a personal core of goodness, you have to face the irony.

If you are capable of doing something so unthinkable, what’s to keep someone else from doing the same to you?

5. Everything you do is questioned

You know you can’t blame your spouse for not trusting you, but you also can’t live forever under a microscope. Short of having a spouse-appointed chaperone, you will always have the company of “who, what, where, when, and why.”

If you and your spouse decide to work on your marriage, you will have to be painfully, humbly transparent while your spouse inches toward a new kind of trust. And that means answering a lot of questions.

6. You lose credibility

You may do a lot of soul-searching to answer for your infidelity and take responsibility for it but there will always be those who resort to the “once a cheater always a cheater” conclusion.

7. Your confidence may get a boost

During the affair, that is. After all, neuroscience reminds us that people who are addicted are seeking a dopamine rush. And settling into a long marriage isn’t known for those feel-good jolts.

An affair, on the other hand, can reawaken the confidence that comes from a dopamine rush. However, as with an addiction, that confidence can easily come crashing down in a pile of guilt. And that guilt can play a huge role in your attitudes and behaviors going forward.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Kita – Chapter 37 – Second Date – Xmas – Part 1

“Is there a time between now and when you leave for Florida that I can see you outside of this salon for lunch or dinner?”

“Open your calendar.”

“Is there a time between now and when you leave for Florida that I can see you outside of this salon for lunch or dinner?”

“Open your calendar.”

So it was on for my 2nd date with Kita. I set it up at one of my go to lunch spots and headed over there.

Misconduct is a nautical themed sports bar. I arrived a half an hour early so I could chat with my friend Mary the hostess. (See: Mary – Unexpected Table for Two) Unfortunately because business was slow they cut her early. The place was dead which I like but of course some idiot was responsible for playing the music too loud in the restaurant. That happens more than less and Mary and I both hate it. Why would you crank the music up during lunch when there are business people there and then be stupid enough to leave it at that level when the place is nearly empty?

I mentioned it to my server and she didn’t seem thrilled about asking whoever controls the volume to turn that shit down. If it weren’t for Mary and the great food there I’d boycott that place. She either didn’t make the request or the person ignored it because the music stayed at the same level the entire time I was there. But… I’ll let that go and we’ll go forward.

At least I’m at my favorite table, #12. It’s a high top by the front windows and close to the hostess and service area. It’s also the quietest spot in the restaurant.

I get a text from Kita.

“On my way!”

“You’re the best.”

“I’m in an Uber pool so I’ll be there soon.”

Uber Pool takes a little longer because they usually have a couple of people in the car and the driver has to drop them all off at their destinations.

I see her come in the door and I walk from the table to greet her. She looks so cute in her puffy winter coat. She gives me a big hug, her hair smells delicious.

We sit and the server brings her a water. I already know what I want. I get the same thing every time I go there. Chicken tenders with dipping sauce, and a small bowl of mac and cheese with a side of sriracha to share.

I notice that it seems to take little Kita an exorbitant amount of time to decide what she wants to eat. It’s cute now to watch her struggle with all the choices on the menu. But I’m sure that shit would get super annoying if I were in a relationship with her. You know, you get to the restaurant, you’re hungry, she’s running late. You already know what you want and she’s taking forever to decide between a salad or a sandwich.

I’m just saying… I’ve been at this awhile.

So Kita can’t make up her mind and actually sends the server away twice. The music volume hasn’t been lowered, and now I see our waitress sitting across the room at one of the tables against the wall and is eating.

This server sucks, but I get it. We’re her only customer, she probably put her food order in because it’s dead now and she can actually finally get something to eat before happy hour when the place is cranking in here. But because Kita can’t make up her mind, she probably is like, “fuck her I’m going to eat.”

So when Kita finally knows what she wants the server lets us rot for awhile. I really wanted to thrash her in a bad Yelp review, but this is my last little Christmas lunch date for awhile with this cute baby. So I can’t really get upset because I’m just stupid happy to look across the table and see who came all the way down here into the city to have lunch with ME!

Kita is young, fit and beautiful. She can have lunch with any guy she wants. But I asked and she’s sitting here with me and I adore her.

The server finally drags herself back to our table and thankfully, Kita is ready. We order and then settle back into warm conversation. We talk about the holidays, our families. She tells me her Dad is such a high ranking official in the military she’s doesn’t really know what he does. But she shows me some pics on her phone of her dad and mom flying in what appears to be a small jet. They’re sitting what almost appear to be big plush chairs you’d have in your living room.

“Is that a Gulf Stream?”

“Yea. That’s how my dad gets around. in a Lear Jet.”

“Holy crap! I can’t top that with anything. That’s so cool. Did you or your sister every get to fly on it?”

“No. But if my dad was in Philly and was headed back to Florida, I would most definitely fly on it with him. But I can’t fly on it by myself because that would be a waste of the taxpayers dollars.”

“Speaking of that, what do you think of our current administration?”

“I can’t speak on that because my father has to embrace the President because of his high ranking position in the military. That’s all of his buddies in there. He hangs out with a lot of those guys in Washington.”

“Wow. That’s interesting.” I decide to veer away from that subject.

We’re talking about tanning and the salon, and I don’t know how but we chat about some of the interesting characters that come through on a daily basis. She spends so much time there with me she’s even met a few of them. She has a good memory, is organized, and very bright. She just lacks experience.

That will come, and I can help.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish everyday.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly   twitter: @phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – Rod Stewart was a Teen Dad

Like Charlie Sheen, ’70s rock legend Rod Stewart had a reputation for being quite the ladies man. So, it’s not surprising that he also became a dad in his late teens. According to The Daily Mail, Stewart got his girlfriend of one year, Susannah Boffey, pregnant with their daughter, Sarah Streeter, when they were both 18-years-old in 1963. Stewart, who had yet to find success in his singing career, wanted to give the child up for adoption. Boffey initially refused, and tried to raise baby Sarah on her own, but found it too difficult, and after several months, eventually agreed to the suggestion.

After many years, and several awkward encounters during the ’80s when her true identity was discovered, Streeter and Stewart started piecing their relationship back together around 2010, after the death of Streeter’s adoptive mother. Streeter remained estranged from her birth mother for “20 years,” telling The Mail they “don’t get on.”

“The relationship broke down somewhat because she was a bit awkward and had a big chip on her shoulder which I can’t blame her [for]. But in the last couple of years we’ve become somewhat close,” Stewart told Piers Morgan of his once-estranged daughter in 2011 (via The Daily Mail.) “It’s all water under the bridge now. It’s nerve-racking, too, but just as much so for him as it is for me,” Streeter told The Mail.

Stewart went on to impregnate four other women with seven other children (pictured above), of whom he now says, “It’s the best, proudest feeling to look at your kids.” Well, we sure hope so, Rod, you busy boy, you.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Instagram: @phicklephilly         Facebook: phicklephilly   twitter: @phicklephilly

A relationship therapist breaks down the 10 most common fights couples have

The most common fights couples have aren’t regarding infidelity or childcare.

They’re relatively trivial things, like chores and social media, according toRachel Sussman, a relationship expert and marriage counselor in New York City.

Sussman explained that the fight isn’t so much about the issue itself as it is about a lack of communication. “If you’re someone who has really poor communication skills,” she told Business Insider, “that might mean that the minute your partner brings something up, you get very defensive, or you start with the ‘tit for tat.'” Which means that “no matter what you’re arguing about, that could escalate into a really big fight.”

Sussman described 10 of the most common sources of conflict among the couples she sees — and importantly, she said, working on your communication skills is the key to resolving them all. “If you can communicate well, you can get through these issues in a way that can actually bring you closer together,” she said. “And if you can’t communicate well, it makes it so much worse and can actually tear you apart.”

Couples fight when one partner feels like they’re more committed than the other.

Couples fight when one partner feels like they're more committed than the other.Pavel Yavnik/Shutterstock

When unmarried couples come to see Sussman, they often want to talk about commitment. Typically, Sussman said, one partner feels like they’re more committed than the other. Or one partner wants to “move the relationship forward” by moving in together or getting engaged and is encountering some resistance.

If couples are fighting about household chores, Sussman said, it’s probably because “one person feels like they’re taking the lion’s share of the work.”

If couples are fighting about household chores, Sussman said, it's probably because Shutterstock

In Sussman’s experience working with heterosexual couples, that person is usually the woman. Meanwhile, she added, “I often hear the men feeling that they’re doing a lot but they don’t get credit for it. They get picked on a lot.”

In fact, American moms are spending more time in the labor force than in the past, but also more time on childcare, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center report. Moms spend 16 more hours a week on paid work than they did 50 years ago, yet four more hours a week on childcare.

Younger couples get frustrated with their partner’s overuse of social media.

Younger couples get frustrated with their partner's overuse of social media.Flickr/m01229

Sussman said she’s seen a spike in the number of complaints about a partner’s social media habits in the last five years. Typically, couples with these kinds of problems are in their 20s and 30s.

One person might complain, for example, “that their life is plastered all over social media or they think their partner is addicted to their phone.” Sussman’s also heard from people who are worried that their partner is following a ton of models on Instagram.

Another common issue? Staying in touch with an ex on social media.

Fights about money come up later in a relationship.

“It’s very normal in a couple that one person is a spender and one is a saver,” Sussman said. The problem is “you think you’re justified and the other person is at fault.” The saver might accuse the spender of being fiscally irresponsible; the spender might accuse the saver of being cheap.

Don Cloud, president and founder of Cloud Financial Inc., previously told Business Insider that he frequently works with spender/saver couples. The first step, he said, is for each partner to share their beliefs and feelings about money.

Yet Sussman said issues also tend to arise when couples move in together or get married and face the decision about whether to combine finances, a notoriously difficult choice. If they’re hesitant, “might this show that there’s a lack of trust?”

Or, fights about money might come up later. Maybe both partners worked when they started dating, but once they had kids, one partner stayed home. The partner who works might be “holding that over [the other partner’s] head,” or even engage in financial blackmail, Sussman said.

Couples fight when one partner prioritizes work over the relationship.

Couples fight when one partner prioritizes work over the relationship.Hero Images/Getty Images

“Someone might be a workaholic,” Sussman said, “or someone might be prioritizing work over relationships.”

As Michael McNulty, a master trainer from The Gottman Institute and founder of the Chicago Relationship Center, told Business Insider’s Rachel Gillett, “Having a spouse addicted to work can feel like as much of a betrayal as extramarital affair to the other spouse.”

Couples can sometimes argue over addiction.

Couples can sometimes argue over addiction.David Silverman/Getty Images

Sometimes people bring their partner to see Sussman because the partner has an alcohol problem — or at least the person perceives it that way.

As it turns out, one small study, published 2013 in the journal Couple and Family Psychology, found that substance abuse was a common “final straw” in the decision to get divorced.

After couples have children, they often argue about not spending enough time with one another anymore.

After couples have children, they often argue about not spending enough time with one another anymore.Hrecheniuk Oleksii/Shutterstock

Sussman says she sees a lot of couples with small children who aren’t finding enough time to connect with one another. Sometimes they feel “their relationship has become very transactional.”

Scientists who have studied the transition to parenting say there are three factors that help a couple maintain intimacy after having a baby:

• “Building fondness and affection for your partner”
• “Being aware of what is going on in your spouse’s life and being responsive to it”
• “Approaching problems as something you and your partner can control and solve together as a couple”

Couples fight if there is too little (or too much) sex.

Couples fight if there is too little (or too much) sex.t.germeau / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sometimes one partner wants sex more than the other, Sussman said. She’s also been told that one of them is “feeling that their sex life has died.”

Bat Sheva Marcus, the sexual dysfunction specialist and clinical director of The Medical Center For Female Sexuality, previously told Business Insider about the usefulness of a “sex schedule,” which is exactly what it sounds like. “If you want to have sex, you need to schedule sex,” Marcus said, especially when both partners are busy, or when they have different desire levels. “That doesn’t make the sex any less special.”

Infidelity can be detrimental to relationships.

Infidelity can be detrimental to relationships.StockLite/Shutterstock

This is something Sussman said she sees plenty of in her practice.

While the discovery of an affair can potentially destroy a relationship, it doesn’t have to. Couples therapist Esther Perel previously told Business Insider that couples can sometimes become closer and more honest with each other in the wake of infidelity, almost as though they’re entering into another marriage.

Couples disagree over how to raise their children.

Couples disagree over how to raise their children.Areipa.lt/Shutterstock

A common parenting problem Sussman sees is that one parent is more lenient and one parent is stricter.

That’s why Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist who’s written multiple books about parenting, previously told Business Insider that the No. 1 question you and your partner should discuss before having kids is: How do you manage joint decision-making?

“If you have parents who have a hard time bridging disagreements,” Pickhardt said, “that’s probably not a great sign. They’ve got to be able to know how to communicate, and how to change, and how to make concessions, and how to compromise.”

The bottom line: If you’re arguing over and over about the same thing, it may be time to see a couples counselor.

The bottom line: If you're arguing over and over about the same thing, it may be time to see a couples counselor.‘The Break-up’/Universal Studios

“Too much bickering will wear down any relationship,” Sussman said. “I’ve heard people say, ‘This relationship ended by death by a thousand paper cuts.'”

That’s why she makes the following recommendation: “If you’re going over and over again about something and you can’t seem to create a solution, go see a couples counselor — not to solve the problem, but to learn the skill set so you can do a better job of working through these conflicts as they come up in your life.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly