Is being a caregiver wrecking your marriage?

Is being a caregiver destroying your marriage?


How do I split my time between taking care of the kids, care for Mom, have a career, and make time for my marriage? 

Simultaneous commitments of aging parents, children, career and maintain a healthy relationship can result in stress for couples being sandwiched by the overwhelming responsibilities.

Divorce is becoming increasingly common for people in the sandwich generation. Think about your circle of friends? It’s hard to hold on the foundations of your relationship when you are being pulled in a million different directions, and everything seems equally important. 


Important questions like how I split my time between children, mom, marriage, and work do not come with easy answers. By establishing boundaries, open communication, and hard work divorce does not need to be the narrative for your marriage.


Many couples become so busy, connection, and communication often will be the first thing that falls off. Many couples will fail to see bids for connection their partner is making. According to Dr. John Gottman there are verbal bids and nonverbal bids for connection that is important. Nonverbal bids include affectionate touching such as a kiss, trying to hold hands, returning a smile, or opening the door for you. Verbal bids may include your partner asking you if you take a walk together or sharing a story about something they feel in interesting. A failed bid is being consumed you consistently fail to see or acknowledge the attend to connect.  When these bids for connection are ignored this can deepen a lack of connection in the relationship and create strain.


Many couple hesitate to seek professional help or wait until it’s too late. Therapy can help you hope with the feelings of anger, anticipatory grief, help establish boundaries, and provide tools to help cope with demands of work and maintaining a healthy relationship. 


Therapy feels expensive and time consuming, but the price divorce financially and emotionally is huge. Couples therapy can help you see what is possible for you and your partners and provide tools to navigate very difficult waters. 


What in the world is EMDR?


Last week I completed part 1 on the road to EMDR therapy training. It was the most fulling and emotional taxing trainings I have ever engaged in. It was 1000% worth it!

EMDR has been proven to be one of the most effective treatments for people with trauma. Because so many people have trauma, I treat people with trauma in my therapy practice. I also provide clinical supervision and need to keep the clinical tools in my tool box sharp. At the end of the day I wanted to ensure I can offer the best therapy practices to my clients. 


As a black therapist the majority of my clients are black singles, black couples, or people in a multicultural relationship. The history of generational trauma runs deep for many, and I feel it’s critical for people of color to have access to clinicians they identify with who are trauma trained. 


What exactly is EMDR you may ask?


EMDR, as with most therapy approaches focuses on the present concerns of people, while going back. The approach of EMDR believes past emotionally charged experiences and trauma tend to overly influence the present emotions and thoughts a person believes about themselves. One common example of this is a person may have deep feelings of being worthless, although they know they have to be a worthwhile person.


EMDR Therapy helps you break through the emotional blocks that keep people from living a healthy emotionally life.


How exactly does EMDR achieve this? 


EMDR uses rapid sets of eye movements to help people “update” distbuting experiencing, similarly to what occurs in deep sleep know as REM sleep. During REM sleep people alternate between regular sleep and REM. This sleep pattern helps people process things that are troubling.


EMDR Therapy replicates this sleep pattern by alternating between sets of eye movements or tapping and brief reports about what you are noticing. This alternating process helps people “update “the memories to a healthier present perspective. 


EMDR really works. in complete transparency I was skeptical at first. Maybe it’s the Brooklyn in me and I needed to experience it to believe it’s effectiveness. EMDR really works and I am a believer!

If you are grappling with trauma from your childhood, a recent incident seeking support from a therapist trained in EMDR may be worth exploring.