When Did We Stop Getting Along?


I work with a lot of couples and have discovered that disharmony can sneak up on couples. The most common kind of disharmony that catches couples by surprise is that created by values. It is easy to forget that we each have our own cultural values, which may differ from our partner’s even if we share a country of origin. When we talk about culture and marriage, what we are really talking about is how we view our role and our partner’s role. How traditionally gendered are our views? What did we imagine our role to be? How much do we expect our partner to do financially, emotionally, and domestically? These are all important things to figure out, and many of us enter the relationship assuming that our partner shares our views. Sadly, this is not always the case. (read more…)

Good Parenting Requires Good Self-Care


I’m always surprised by how many parents feel guilty any time they do something for themselves. This guilt creates a self-care deficit that robs parents of vital energy and patience. Ironically, energy and patience are two of the most important things for giving our children what they need. It is easier to have patience and energy when our own needs are being met. When our needs are met, we are better parents. We all know this. So, how do we practice it? Well, the first step is acknowledging how exhausting parenting is. (read more…)

Taking Care of Yourself Socially and Emotionally in Summer


Summertime weather in Japan is oppressive, and coping with the heat and humidity can take a psychological and emotional toll because extra energy is needed to get through the day. To make life during summer even more draining, many Japanese companies increase production expectations, which results in more required overtime. For college students, this is when the final push for graduation begins. For new arrivals to Japan, trying to settle in during the least hospitable time of year is difficult. People are coping with many such issues during the summer months. (read more…)

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