The Art of Balance: Managing Your Work and Family Life


In the average day, most working parents are forced to choose between numerous priorities that fill their schedule.  However, as you may have found, there are days when 24 hours isn’t enough time to meet all these demands and you find yourself pulled in different directions.  Do you miss date night so you can work late to make your son’s basketball game tomorrow or do miss your daughter’s dance recital to work late so you can spend the whole weekend with your family?  We are all busy and unfortunately something usually gets pushed aside to accommodate for a more pressing matter.  Keep in mind that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to balance and time management, but with a few tips and a little creativity on your part, you can create the ultimate plan to balancing all your priorities.

Schedule, Schedule, and Schedule Some More

While you might want to live life flying by the seat of your pants, keeping it exciting and spontaneous, this is not always realistic for busy people.  If you already know what your priorities are, get organized by penciling things into your calendar.  You might not be able to make every soccer game, recital, or your partner’s work events, but with a little scheduling you will be more aware of how your time is spent and won’t let one thing overtake another.  If you don’t already, you and your partner can sync and color coordinate your calendars to make scheduling a little easier.

Set Boundaries 

If you’ve taken the time to schedule events, set boundaries to maintain the promises you set.  If you have dinner scheduled with the family and your boss needs you to stay late, ask if you can come to the office early.  Make sure you are not compromising one priority for another by setting limits.  It’s okay to tell someone “no.”  If you are not in jeopardy of losing your job, it’s perfectly acceptable to negotiate a plan with your boss.  And while you would like to make every school event and extracurricular activity, you children can learn a valuable lesson in compromise, as long as you are not missing every parent-teacher conference or sporting event.

If Possible, Compartmentalize 

This may not always be easy, but try to leave the office at the office and your family life at home.  Kids get sick, work emails need to be responded to immediately, and phone calls need to be answered.  However, to stay focused on work tasks, try to avoid texting your partner or answering unnecessary personal emails or phone calls.  Not only will this help you stay focused on work tasks, it may also help you get home to your family a little faster because you won’t be stuck at the office finishing a time-sensitive project.  On the flip side, while you are at home, be present with your family.  Give them your full attention by avoiding bringing work home.

Take Advantage of Home Delivery

A lot of grocery stores have started home delivery services.  This also holds true for other services as well.  If you have the means, spend a little extra money to have someone complete activities that eat up your time.  Hire someone to mow the lawn or clean the house to free up some time.

Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Find ways to combine activities.  Turn cooking dinner into a family bonding activity or have a working lunch so you can leave early to make your child’s school play.  By combining activities, you can give yourself a little extra time in your day.

Don’t Skimp on Self-Care

To be at your best at work, for your partner, and children, remember to take care of yourself.  Maybe you wake up an hour before the kids get up to enjoy a cup of coffee and read a book or you and your partner switch off days so one of your can go to the gym.  Whatever it is, make sure you are taking some time for yourself so you are able to be present at work and with your family.

As I said before, there isn’t a single approach to creating a more balanced life.  However, by having awareness of how your time is spent, you can start equalizing your priorities so one does not overtake another.

Lori Dougherty is a Marriage and Family Counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. As a marriage and family counselor, she helps couples navigate the many difficulties that arise in their relationship. She also helps couples rebuild happiness together so they can have the fulfilling relationship with their partner they've always wanted.

Dating after divorce: Is it too soon?


So…you find yourself single after building a life with someone you thought you would be with 'til death. Now you ask yourself “should I start dating…wait, how the heck does one date these days”? What will people say if I start dating…is it too soon”?

Tips for Dating After Divorce

Before getting back in the saddle for dating make sure your divorce is final. There may be circumstances which make it okay before the divorce is final. For example, you may have an agreement to start dating, you may have been separated for years or your ex leaves the state/country and begins moving on with their own life with another.

I don’t believe we can determine the “right time” for jumping back into the dating game, but I do believe in preparation before opening the door into your newly found dating world. First, let’s do an emotional, physical and identity scan of you. Where are you at personally – do you feel your feet on the ground and ready to start building a new life? How are you feeling about yourself?

Make Sure You're Ready Emotionally and Physically

The goal is to be ready for this new season of life. Emotionally, you may still grieve or miss your previous marriage – this is okay! However, if you’re still hoping and wishing to reconnect with your now ex-spouse, it’s probably not a good idea to start dating. In the case of having deep hurts and wounds from your past relationship, seek professional help to process these. The last thing you want to do is bring emotional baggage into your next relationship.

Physically, you should feel confident in your body and skin – work out, eat healthy, get a mani/pedi (yes, men can get these too), get a new outfit, or maybe there is something cosmetically you want done. Getting facials or a massage are other ways to feel better on the outside. Whatever you need to do, walk into dating with confidence.

Assess For Any Other Damage

Now that you’ve experienced a divorce, assess the damage done. Who are you now? How do you identify yourself – as a victim, or a survivor? Are you going to be overcome or are you going to overcome your experience? No matter what the circumstances are of your divorce, it sucks and will be one of the worst experiences you’ve faced. Moving forward find out what you want and expect out of a relationship. Explore what attracts you to another; how communication is easy vs. hard with some; be willing to be direct with your expectations (because you should know them right?); and ask the tough questions, don’t beat around the bush when it comes to beliefs, values, goals, dreams, sex, desires, and wants. Don’t settle the next time around.

Last, have some close friends to encourage you, push you, and support your new steps into dating. I remember the first guy who expressed interest in me. I was shocked at first, and all was good until I realized I had no clue what I was doing! When asked for my number, I stuttered and stammered and had it not been for my close friend being right there I would have never gotten the numbers out. When asked on my first date I questioned if now was the right time, my sister and friends pushed me to go. As much as I wanted a self-help book on the ins-and-outs of dating and what protocols to follow, it was my friends who gave me sound advice.

If and when someone questions the timeliness of your dating life my advice is if you’ve covered the above advice, then it’s no one’s business when you should or should not start dating. If you feel comfortable and confident about then you're in a great place.

Tristan Beymer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and marriage and family counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. She specializes in helping couples rebuild their relationship to be strong, healthy and passionate. She also works with individuals to overcome difficulties related to trauma and addictions.

Why You'd Rather Have an Affair Than Work on Your Marriage


If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: marriage is tough. And not the kind of tough where all it takes is a little extra effort and the rest is down hill from there. It's the kind of tough that makes you keep working a little more day after day and year after year and you still feel like you can barely keep up.

If you're like most people you think that marriage shouldn't take this much work. After all, when you fell in love it was pretty effortless. In fact, when you fell in love you hardly had to do anything at all. Your partner did all kinds of things that just swept you off your feet. And because it seemed so effortless you knew you two were compatible and got married. But it doesn't take long until that effortless relationship wears off and you begin to wonder if you were really so compatible after all.

And even though you may have never considered it before, when times get tough you've probably considered ending the relationship to be with someone else. You may not have had a specific person in mind or had immediate plans but you've thought about it. Everyone has.  There are times in all relationships where being with someone else sounds pretty good right about now.

Don't worry, just because you think about it doesn't mean you're a bad person. It doesn't even mean that you're going to have an affair. It simply means that you're human. And because you're human you have a natural inclination to change course when things get tough. You learned about this in your high school science class. It's called survival of the fittest. Those who can adapt survive and those who don't flounder. So the sooner you can change the one you're with and change your circumstances the better off you'll be.

It makes sense, then, why you'd want to leave your partner when marriage gets tough: your animal instincts are telling you to get rid of the dead weight and move on to someone else who is more compatible with you; Someone who can change and adapt at your pace. But just because it's a a natural human response, doesn't mean it's a healthy one. And it doesn't mean that you should look outside your marriage to fix your problems, In fact, looking outside your marriage is one of the worst things you can do. Here's why:

Marriage is like a PhD in relationships

Humans are one of the only species on the planet who are monogamous and mate for life. And some people think that something must have gone wrong in evolution for this to happen because it keeps us back from our higher potential as primates. But the truth is, this is what puts us at the top of the food chain.

We humans have the most advanced brains on the planet. So instead of just abandoning our loved ones when things get tough, we're able to think things through, create intentional solutions and adapt. Being with one person and all their limitations for the rest of our lives means we have to be adaptable. If we weren't adaptable we wouldn't be able to do it - and we'd move from relationship to relationship like the rest of our primate cousins.

You Can't Help Your Instincts

But because we humans are still a part of the animal kingdom you can't help but want to follow your instinctual urges and leave your relationship when the going gets tough. It's the survivor in you that wants to leave the baggage behind so you can move on to greener pastures and other, more immediately compatible relationships.

So when the going gets tough in your relationship and you begin wondering whether your life wouldbe better with someone else, stop and recognize that that's your lesser advanced brain doing the talking. Your more evolved brain allows you to be adaptable and come up with creative solutions to the problems you're facing. Listening to the more evolved part will make you more adaptable and better off in the long run.

And by listening to your more evolved brain, you can not only fix your problems, but you can have the happy marriage that you've always wanted.  After all, you have the highest order brain of any other animal on the planet. You are capable of working through the challenges in your marriage. It may not be easy but you can make it be happy.

Aaron Anderson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert.  In his spare time (whatever that is) he is secretly preparing to be the next great chef. You can find him on Twitter @MarriageDr and on Facebook giving great info without the psychobabble.

Healing After a Breakup


So, maybe you’ve found yourself in a bad relationship and want to end things before it gets even messier or maybe your relationship suddenly ended.  Either way, you’re left to deal with the aftermath of the break-up.  Unfortunately, because every break-up is different and we all handle things in our own way, there is not step-by-step guide.  However, there are a number of ways that you can start the recovery process, whether you ended the relationship or not.

Cleanse Your Home and Mind 

In the beginning, it might be helpful to remove any objects that will remind you of your partner.  While you do not have to go through the extreme of donating everything to Goodwill or burning every memory, storing items at the back of a closet will put it out of sight and hopefully out of mind.  A quick sweep of your home might do your mind some good, as well as avoiding any songs, books, activities, and restaurants, basically anything that might be too painful in the first couple of weeks.

Above all, Grieve 

When going through a break-up, grieving often gets overlooked.  For better or worse, the presence of this person impacted your life and it’s okay to take time to mourn the loss.  Reach out to friends for a coffee or dinner date and share what you’re feeling.  Vent, cry, and laugh.    Be angry if you need to.  Just make sure you are releasing those feelings in a safe way.  Maybe you go for a run or punch your pillow.  While it might be appealing to hit the bars in search of your next love affair, ask yourself it it’s really in your best interest.

Try Something New

Break-ups are the best time to refocus on becoming the best version of you.  Maybe there’s a yoga class you’ve wanted to take but never did because it conflicted with date night.  Now that you have a little extra free time, indulge in a new hobby or interest.  Try that restaurant your partner never wanted to go to or conquer that 14’er your partner never had any interest in hiking.  Go skydiving or for a hot air balloon ride.  When you break out of your comfort zone, you break out of your daily patterns and you just might find a little joy in mixing up your mundane routine.

Get Back To Your Most Authentic Self

During a relationship, you might take on some of your partner’s traits or interests.  While this is normal and okay, to start moving on it’s time to rediscover you.  If you were spending every weekend in the mountains and you don’t even like to ski, it’s time to rethink what you actually value.  What hobbies got pushed to the backburner while you were pursuing the one?  What friends or family did you miss out on seeing?  Again, it’s normal for your habits and daily routines to change while you’re dating someone to accommodate their likes, but if you truly did not enjoy every minute of it, start reengaging in activities that your find pleasurable.

Distract Yourself

While I don’t promote the whole idea of completely avoiding the break-up and not taking time to grieve, distracting yourself can help you avoid obsessing.  It’s normal and we’ve all done it, but if you’re constantly thinking about the good times, it’s going to make it harder to move on.  On the flip side, if all you can focus on is how your ex wronged you, your anger will consume you.  Think about your role in the relationship and move on.  Exercise, hang out with friends, go to the dog park, but don’t sit at home fixating on every detail.

Eventually you may find that life is better without your ex.  However, that is going to take time.  So grab a couple of friends to hit the gym or the nearest coffeehouse.  The more you can take care of yourself, the better you will feel and the less time you will spend obsessing over the ending of the relationship.  Just remember, relationships are not always perfect and yours ended for a reason.  Now, only you can make the choice to move forward.

Lori Dougherty is a Marriage and Family Counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. As a marriage and family counselor, she helps couples navigate the many difficulties that arise in their relationship. She also helps couples rebuild happiness together so they can have the fulfilling relationship with their partner they've always wanted.

He Said/She Said: Should a Girl Ask a Guy Out?


Dear Aaron and Rachel,

I’m 36 years old and divorced. Thankfully, we were only married a few years and didn’t have any children. But I’ve been single for 4 years now and after my divorce I decided that I will only date guys who I can see myself getting serious with. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice and make a major decision based on lust and butterflies.

Should a Girl Ask a Guy Out?

Anyway, since I won’t date someone seriously I usually just hang out with my girlfriends or go out on the town with a group. But lately there’s been a guy in our group who I’m beginning to really like. He’s single and I feel a real attraction to him. He’s very stable, has a good job, is responsible towards his children (he’s divorced, too) and he likes most of the same things I do. We’ve flirted back and forth for a few weeks but he won’t ask me out! My friends tell me he wants to ask me out but he just hasn’t yet. I’m thinking about asking him out myself.

I know it’s the 21st century and all but, still, I don’t know any girls who ask guys out. I’ve heard things like “It just chases them away” or “you’ll give him the impression that you’re easy”. I’ve also heard that “guys don’t like girls who ask them out because they feel intimidated” and “it starts the relationship off on the wrong foot”. I’d love to get a girl AND a guys’ opinion about if it’s okay for a girl to ask a guy out.

Single in the 21st Century

She Said 

Kudos to you for taking your past relationship and learning from it. It is only natural that you'd be more cautious the second time around. It sounds like there may be some potential compatibility with this guy in your group, but there is one not-so-slight problem: He doesn't realize it enough man to man up and do something about it!

You should be very cautious about getting involved with a man who isn't sure if he sees romantic potential in you. Yes, yes, it is 2015, and no one has to stick to strict gender roles that stifle them. You can ask him out if you want to, but I do not advise it. Call me "old school" or "rulesy," but I have never asked a man out or advised my female clients or friends to do so.(And it has worked out pretty well for us all!)

The truth is: If a guy is really into you, he will ask you out. He will get over shyness. He will get past the fear of rejection. He won't worry about risking the friendship. He will put on his big boy panties and just do it!  He just didn't get around to it? PUH-LEASE. I didn't get around to my taxes either. But if I was a guy who understood that men are still expected to pursue the women that they are interested in, I would surely take a moment to ask a woman out!

Men know this. If he's not asking you out, there is a reason. Maybe he's not over his divorce. Maybe he doesn't want to make it awkward for your group. Maybe he's, (sigh), "just not that into you". If you want a man who will pursue you, do not ask him out. If you are willing to take the risk of developing real feelings for a man who may have not asked you out in the first place, you can do it. You will teach him how to treat you. While you can't change him or really control the outcome of the dynamic, you can try to set things up in a way that will get you what you want. The real question is: What kind of relationship do you want?

He Said

Hmm, your question is one that I honestly struggle with. I personally believe that there are many normal behaviors in dating that set couples up for failure in marriage. And the one you're talking about where guys are expected to ask the girl out is one of them. Here's why:

When couples date, it's mostly the guys' responsibility to not only ask the girl out, but they're also supposed to anticipate what the girl wants to do, plan the date, and followup with a phone call to go out again. If she likes what he plans then she goes out with him again. But if not, she stops returning his texts. The girl, then, just goes along for the ride to see how good he is at reading her mind to find out if they're "compatible".This puts a lot of responsibility on the guy and the girl has very little responsibility.

In marriage, however, couples should behave much differently. Instead of the guy doing all the work, both partners should be trying to show each other affection. And instead of expecting guys to be good mindreaders, women (and men) should openly communicate about what they want, how they feel, etc.  So as you're pondering Rachel's question of what kind of relationship you want, keep in mind this gender norm and if it's really how you want your relationship.

Having said that, I don't see why you shouldn't just go ahead and ask him out. There are ways to do it that don't sound like a date (e.g. "hey, there are a bunch of us getting together, why don't you come with me?") that makes it sound more natural but lets him know your interested in him. If he says no because he's intimidated by your forwardness and emotional security, then you've just dodged a bullet and you can move on. If he says yes, then you're a match made for each other (and you have a really good story for your grandkids)!

About Rachel:  Rachel Russo is a Dating, Relationship, & Image Coach who works with marriage-minded singles and couples in NYC and throughout the US. Checkout her website at

About Aaron: Aaron Anderson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He also writes for various magazines and websites all on the topic of marriage and relationships.

Anxiety and Your Teen - Black and White Thinking


Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes. Anxiety can be feelings of uneasiness, worry, nervousness, or even dread. It’s natural and healthy for your teen to experience some anxiety at different times. Sometimes, anxiety can even be motivating; like if it encourages your teen to study for that science test! But teens can also experience unhealthy and troublesome anxiety. As a teen experiencing new responsibilities, friendships, and changes, new feelings of anxiety can also arise. When anxiety is affecting your teen’s daily life and happiness, this might indicate a problem. As a parent, you can help your teen manage those anxious feelings by identifying them, normalizing them, and being open to talking about them.
Anxiety is very common. It is also preventable and manageable as you learn to understand how it affects you as an individual. How your teen perceives and reacts to things that happen to him will directly affect his level of anxiety. One way of thinking and responding to events that increases anxiety levels is called “all or nothing” thinking, or “black and white” thinking.

What is black and white thinking?

“Black and white” thinking, or “all or nothing” thinking, occurs when an individual looks at thing as completely one way or another, with limited thinking or insight about all the possibilities in the middle. It looks at the extremes, without considering the middle area and all of those shades of gray. This can raise anxiety because it is not realistic to expect things to occur in this way. For example, it creates anxiety when a teen expects perfect grades from himself and considers himself to be a failure when that doesn’t happen. This way of thinking looks at two extremes, without considering the possibility that a B on that science test is just a reflection of one grade rather than an indication that one is a failure.



What does reality look like?

Talking with your teen about what reality looks like between those extreme black and white areas can help her to process those feelings and looks at more realistic expectations. For example, when your teen is disappointed that she didn’t win first place at her track meet, allow her to express those feelings. But if she’s feeling like she’s a horrible athlete because of one event or track meet, help her to look at the other possibilities as well. Look out for words that come up in the way your teen talks about himself. Words like always, never, impossible, perfect, and failure, might indicate your teen is missing those shades of gray.

Most things in life are not all black or all white but come in many shades of gray. Naming all of these possibilities in the middle and having open, honest conversations about all this middle area is a great tool to prevent and manage anxiety. By recognizing that situations are not “all or nothing”, some of the pressure is lifted as it normalizes many other outcomes. Challenge yourself and your teen this week to examine the way you’re thinking and consider those shades of gray!
Amanda Regalia, M.A. is a marriage and family counselor and clinician for The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. Amanda specializes in working with families and children ages 5 and up. She is passionate about helping people to create practical solutions that support them in achieving their goals and improving their relationships and life.

Help… My Spouse Wants Out!


People often ask me what I do for a living and I get a variety of responses when I reply “I’m a really tough spot to be in, not only for the person asking, but for me as well. Anything I say in those vulnerable moments can go so many directions from complete meltdown to further probing questions in a not so private setting.
marriage and family therapist”. All too often someone looks me straight in the eyes and asks me what they should do because their partner has either stopped talking/touching them or wants to end the marriage. Let me tell you…this is a

This is so common that A LOT of people ask me this question. So instead of waiting to find me on the street, here is a list of things you can do if your relationship is in crisis.

What to Do if Your Spouse Wants Out

Find supports. You need to have unbiased supports who won’t persuade you one way or another with your spouse. Talk to your supports about what you need – an ear to listen; someone who will not bad mouth your partner; someone who will not spread rumors or talk behind your back. Having multiple people support you in times of crisis or transition is a good thing. Life crises’ can be too much for a single support to help you.

Take care of yourself! When your relationship is in crisis, the first things to go are usually sleep, healthy eating habits, exercise and hobbies. Maybe you find yourself drinking alcohol more often or recreational drug use. This will not help! Alcohol or drug use can increase depression and discourse in your relationship. Stay healthy! If you find yourself depressed for a long time, go see your doctor and investigate options for an antidepressant. Stay connected to the things you enjoy. Carve out time to be with loved ones and people who help you laugh. Pamper yourself – get a massage, new haircut, a new fishing pole, just make sure you take care of you.

Seek professional help: encourage your partner to seek help from a Marriage/Couples and Family Therapist. Professional help not only is an objective support with hordes of tools and resources, but also trained to work with the crisis or relational breakdown you are in. I’m continually amazed at the layers of healing and restoration couples experience in the counseling room.  Professional help is critical when children are involved.

Make a plan: Plan for an emergency place to stay just in case you are going to do a trial separation. Decide who will move out and if there are kids involved, how you will schedule their care and needs. Look at your financial situation and decide what you can manage Discuss expectations to move forward with resolution or dissolving the marriage. Consult a lawyer. Consult family and trusted supports. Project best and worst case scenarios. Abstain sex or from developing a new relationship with someone else before ending your current situation.

Whatever your situation is, make decisions and take actions with the least amount of regret. That way if the relationship ends, you'll know you did everything possible to make it work. You'll know you tried every option and avenue with honor and integrity. And that will be one more thing to help you through those sleepless nights.

Tristan Beymer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and marriage and family counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. She specializes in helping couples rebuild their relationship to be strong, healthy and passionate. She also works with individuals to overcome difficulties related to trauma and addictions. 

Remaining True to Yourself When Your Partner Has Different Goals


In relationships, there should be three relationships: 1) the one you share with yourself, 2) the one your partner has with him or herself, and 3) your relationship together.  However, sometimes one or two of these are tossed to the side when you start dating and commit to one another.  And the most common one to lose is the relationship with yourself. You just get so caught up and fascinated with someone else it's easy to lose yourself.

While it’s important to create a healthy boundary around your partnership, you don’t want to lose yourself.  You've probably been in this situation before and realized your relationship was over when you lost sight of what you wanted or started putting your partner’s needs and ambitions before your own.  You don’t need to share every goal for your relationship to function, but it’s important to be aligned on those big life decisions, such as marriage and children.  That said, it is possible to have differing goals in life and still have a healthy relationship in which you are supporting your collective ambitions.

Get Clear on What You Want

First, you need to be honest about what you want out of life.  If you are somewhat of a chameleon and change your wants and needs depending on the relationship, it’s time to sit down and figure out who you are, without letting other’s expectations define your life goals.  Ask yourself what you really want from life; what do you value, what’s of importance to you?  If you are like some of my friends, marriage and children are off the table.  They dream of owning their own businesses, traveling the world, and basically being their most authentic selves…and this has remained true throughout all their relationships.  When you are clear about what you want out of life, you are able to be clearer with your partner.    

Get On Board with your Partner’s Goals

Your partner will more than likely have individual goals.  Will you be supportive as your partner surveys individual ambitions or will you get frustrated because his or her goals do not align closely enough with your goals as a couple?  If your partner is interested in travel and possibly living abroad and you dream of buying a home, how supportive will you be?  Be really honest with yourself here, if you can’t get on board and be supportive, your relationship might be headed for Splitsville, because after months or years of putting off your goals, that bitterness will eventually bubble inside you.

Get on the Same Page

In relationships, it’s important to have conversations at natural transitions to make sure you’re on the same page, which is a must if you two are committed to moving forward together.  For the sake of not being too pushy, conversations about marriage and children may have gotten pushed to the side.  However, if you’re ready to get married or have your first child and your partner is determined to start a business within the next few years, it’s time to have a conversation; make your intentions known and discuss your non-negotiables.  Through this conversation, you can decide how you want to proceed. You might discover your goals are too different and you will struggle to happily support your partner, or you might be a little more flexible and put the relationship goals before your personal aspirations.  Either way, when it comes to the big decisions, you need to be on the same wavelength so it doesn’t cause tension later in the relationship.

Stay True to Yourself

If you decide you can be a little flexible, you still need to stay true to yourself.  If you want to focus on going back to school or buying a house and your partner just lost his or her job, you have to decide if you can be flexible while not compromising your own goals and ambitions.  You are the only one who can make this decision.  Listen to your gut instinct and decide what is best for you.  If you are not staying true to yourself, you will eventually resent your partner, which can quickly destroy your relationship.

Now, I’m not saying your relationship is doomed if you and your partner do not share common ambitions, interests, or values but your goals should align on major life decisions.  From there, you need to remain true to yourself by first getting clear on what you want and what is not negotiable. If you bend too much, chances are you will become unhappy and resent your partner for forcing you to put your life on hold.

Lori Dougherty is a Marriage and Family Counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. As a marriage and family counselor, she helps couples navigate the many difficulties that arise in their relationship. She also helps couples rebuild happiness together so they can have the fulfilling relationship with their partner they've always wanted.

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