Jennifer Castoro

Can This Marriage Be Saved? Royal Wedding Bonanza

April 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm , by

It’s a Royal Wedding World, and we’re just living in it. Whatever your opinion of the noble nuptials, one thing’s for sure: You’ll know alllll about every detail of this entire blissful day by the time the party’s over. Of course, the spectacle is a bright spot for the royal family, a bit of happy news for a drama-drenched monarchy. The world will see and hear (and scrutinize) all the couple’s choices for their big day, from the music and the food to the guest list and the dress. (And really, I’m not all that invested in the Big Show myself, but I am SUPER curious about the dress!!) Every bride can probably relate to fixating on the tiny details of her wedding day to make it perfect – whatever perfect may mean to her.

But one thing that seems to get lost in the planning of any wedding – royal or common – is that after the whole big shebang is over, the bride and groom will be. . . husband and wife. Yes, they’ll be thrilled if the day is success, but it’s not a great DJ, a top-notch photographer or a kick-butt fillet mignon that makes or breaks a marriage.

We happen to think that, with their years-long courtship, sincere love for each other and general rational-seeming personalities, Wills and Kate will do just fine. But in the spirit of remembering that after the wedding comes the marriage, we’d like to offer the happy couple some of our surprising secrets to a lifelong union, as told by relationship experts of all sorts. Read more


Can This Marriage Be Saved? We Constantly Fight About Money

April 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm , by

In honor of that much-loathed, not-to-be-mentioned April deadline (which was Monday, in case you missed it), this week’s Can This Marriage Be Saved? tale follows a couple who butt heads about financial decisions big and small – and are allowing those fights to wear down the health of their marriage.

Lisa, a successful PR-firm owner and mom of three teens, has been married to Drew for 21 years. Though he’s held good jobs throughout their marriage, she’s always been the breadwinner – and she’s also spent like one.

Lisa’s turn Her husband is a nagging tightwad who monitors all her financial decisions, even though she’s the one who’s supporting their family. When times were good, her quick-draw spending style wasn’t an issue, since they had enough money to cover her impulse purchases without a second thought. But Drew lost a job and had to take a pay cut when he took a new position, so now he’s reacting by freaking out when she makes any purchases. She admits they’re not in a great situation – they lost money in the stock market and her business is slowing down, too – but thinks after ditching nonessentials like vacations and dinners out that they’ve cut back enough already. She’s supported herself since her late teens, so she knows she can handle her finances and resents his constant monitoring. She’s also worried that their kids are feeling their parents’ anxieties. Read more


Can This Marriage Be Saved? Our Son Died

April 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm , by

1106_FinalAs if a marriage with healthy kids and humdrum daily stress weren’t tough enough, the couple in this month’s new Can This Marriage Be Saved? column is facing a parent’s worse nightmare: the death of a child. Thirty-four-year-old Bree, a stay at home mom to two girls, and Dan, 35, have been married for 14 years. Their son, Sean, died two years ago at age 6 from a metabolic disorder he had from birth, and the couple haven’t been the same since.

Bree’s turn She is so deeply, horribly depressed that she can’t get herself out of bed most days. When Sean was born, she was told he wouldn’t live past a year, but he made it to 6 and became the sole focus of her life. She feels Dan is no help with any of the kids, since he’s always traveling for business for weeks at a time, and is resentful because of it. Dan is also demanding and exhausting and gets upset when Bree doesn’t give him enough attention. She swings between feeling guilty that she didn’t do enough for Sean and angry at her husband, her girls and life in general. And she doesn’t understand how Dan has seemingly moved on with his life, gone back to work and wants to have sex, which she can’t even fathom. Their marriage died along with their son. Read more


Can This Marriage Be Saved? He’s A Sports-aholic

April 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm , by

p_101043133I love sports. Watching them on TV, going to games, playing them. . . .I may as well be a dude. This makes my baseball-obsessed boyfriend very happy. But what happens when your husband is consumed with all sports, all the time and you’d rather spend the day trapped in a jail cell with a rabid raccoon than watch a game? Could a sports obsession actually doom a marriage?

That’s the issue this week’s couple, Carlos and Gloria, are facing. When they met, Carlos was a divorced, doting dad who loved taking his new lady out on the town, while Gloria impressed him with her cooking and her loving way with his daughter. Now, they’re locked in a passive-aggressive battle worthy of one of Carlos’s beloved teams’ matchups.

Gloria’s turn Everything her husband does involves sports: watching them, going to see them, playing them or teaching them to his daughter. Gloria’s lonely and bored because, though he’s often in the same room, her husband just isn’t there. She hates sports and initially tried to watch with him but now can’t even bother. She didn’t know how obsessed Carlos was until they moved in together after they wed, and now she misses the things they used to do while they were dating. Read more


Can This Marriage Be Saved? He Fell In Love With Another Woman

March 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm , by

Affairs are clear no-nos. Sleep with a person other than your spouse and you are pretty indisputably in the wrong. But what about unconsummated relationships? Does an affair of the heart equal an affair of the flesh? Or, in plain terms, if you fall for someone else but you never get it on, are you still a cheater?

This week’s Can This Marriage couple, Larry and Liz, are dealing with that very issue. Larry, a partner in his family’s contracting business, has been married to Liz, a stay-at-home mom of three boys, for 10 years. He chose their anniversary dinner as the venue to tell his blindsided wife about his emotional affair.

Liz’s turn She should have seen this coming. Larry’s been spending all his time at the office or the gym, getting fit for his new love, and they haven’t had sex in ages. Liz gained significant weight with each pregnancy, so she’s not surprised her husband isn’t attracted to her anymore, but it’s not as if he couldn’t have guessed she’d put on some pounds: They met at a Weight Watchers meeting. In the early years of their dating, they worked out together and kept each other in check. Now, Larry works out with the other woman – a receptionist at his office who’s fitter and younger than Liz. Larry tried to sleep with the coworker, but she turned him down, saying she didn’t think of him that way. What hurts Liz the most is that Larry seems to think it’s okay since he didn’t physically cheat. Read more


Marriage, Mad-Men Style

March 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm , by

The marriages of Mad Men may be dysfunctional, deceitful or just plain doomed, but watching all that drama unfold sure is entertaining. Season 4 of the series comes to DVD and Blu-Ray tomorrow, with all 13 episodes plus special features and commentary.

One of those features is a three-part documentary on divorce in the 1960s, a time when the all-American-family ideal reigned supreme. And no discussion of marriage in the 50′s and 60′s is complete without a nod to Ladies’ Home Journal‘s classic Can This Marriage Be Saved? column, which debuted in January 1953. Check out the clip below from the Mad Men documentary for LHJ‘s shout-out.

Check out our take on Don and Betty’s marriage, when it still existed, through the perspective of one of our therapists. Pick up Season 4 on DVD for the rest of the documentary – and every addicting episode!


A Heroic Pup and a Lesson in Friendship

March 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm , by

This week, we’re taking a break from our regularĀ  Can This Marriage Be Saved? posts to bring you a little something about relationships of the animal kind. I have been somewhat-obsessively watching video after video of the events in Japan, but this show of loyalty and tenderness between two animals got to me more than any other clip. (Maybe that’s weird.) I’ll let the video speak for itself, but a word of caution: When the brown dog puts his paw lovingly on the injured dog’s head around 2:03, prepare to sob. Maybe we could all learn a lesson from this little brown guy about devotion in the face of horrible tragedy.

I’m sure you’re wondering, as I did, about the fate of these pups: They’re okay! If you’re moved to help the animal victims of the crisis in Japan, or any other, you can donate to the American Humane Association. (See a list of other ways to help from editor Amanda here.)

Tell us about your love for your pets! How have they helped you when you were down on your luck? Does this video surprise you? On a related but much less serious note, check out our Can This Marriage Be Saved? video, “She Loves the Dog More Than Me.”


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