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Kathy Marshack News

Male Menopause - Fact or Fiction?

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Have you ever wondered if male menopause is real? You've probably heard about it, but what does it really mean and does it happen to every man? According to a study at the New England Journal of Medicine, male menopause is rare, affecting about 2% of men 40 and older. In order for a male to have male menopause, he must have low testosterone and three other sexual symptoms like erectile dysfunction, low desire, and poor morning erection.

Hormones changes are consistent with aging. Testosterone in males gradually decreases with age. It's estimated that after age 30, testosterone levels decrease by 1% every year. Every male is different and how their body reacts to changes is testosterone levels is different as well. If you are a male and are concerned about Low T and male menopause, speak to your doctor and have your testosterone levels checked. Don't be shy to share your symptoms with your doctor. They are used to discussing these sensitive issues. Be sure to ask your doctor about the pros and cons to taking testosterone.

If your hormone levels are where they should be and sex and intimacy are not functioning normally, you may want to make an appointment with a marriage counselor. For more information, visit Marriage Counseling - Love, Sex, and Intimacy

Where to Find Empathy in an Asperger Relationship

Monday, February 04, 2013

As promised, empathy in Asperger relationships is up for discussion again. On February 16, 2013, Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group will be meeting to discuss - "Empathy Explains It All." I find myself talking about this topic again and again because it explains much about the mismatch in communication between someone with Asperger Syndrome and their Neuro-Typical partner.

 Why is empathy so important in relationships? Empathy is the ability to connect and know where the other is coming from at the same time that you know where you are coming from as well.  You don't have to agree with the other person to have empathy. You don't have to even be terribly interested in their interests. When you listen and are listened to...with empathy...a powerful connection occurs. It is the interpersonal world of connectedness that makes us feel loved and satisfied or even just okay. Empathy is so powerful that even research shows that a doctor who treats his patients with empathy will have better results.   

Empathy is usually lacking in an Asperger relationship. This can cause deep emotional pain for their NT partner. I chose this topic for the upcoming Meetup so we can listen to one another and empathize. Maybe empathy is lacking in the marriage, but you can find empathy amongst others who are dealing with a similar problem. Please join us for this important discussion whether it be in person or online.    

Visit Asperger Syndrome Support for more information. My book, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going over the Edge? is available for purchase. It is a practical guide for a Neuro-Typical individual in an Asperger relationship. 


Develop the Element of Surprise in a Marriage

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Do you remember the beginning stages of your marriage? Often times they are described as exciting, blissful, and passionate. Research shows that on average that lasts around 2 years.   

But what happens after? That period is often called "the slump." It's interesting to note that if couples push through the slump, they usually rekindle that initial phase after the children leave the home. Life becomes new, fresh, and exciting once again.    

Long-term passionate love is not realistic. It comes and goes. When it is gone, many couples suffer. It's not necessarily the passion they are missing, it is the element of surprise. Surprise stems from the brain. It affects the positive emotion in our brains, promoting a stronger emotional reaction.   

How can you develop the element of surprise in your marriage? One simple way is by doing new and exciting activities together. Pick an activity that you both would consider exciting. The fun and excitement you experience together as a couple will only bring you closer. If you do the same-old, same-old date night every week that is bound to be boring and keep you both complacent. Another way is to look for little opportunities to surprise your mate. How about slip a note into their briefcase? Or take your husband out to a ball game? When something is unexpected and loving, your bond will only grow closer. It takes thinking ahead and hard work, but it will be worth your while! (Read The New York Times article - New Love: A Short Shelf Life.)   

For more information, visit Marriage Counseling - Maintaining a Strong Marriage

New Location Added for Asperger Syndrome: Partners and Family of Adults with ASD

Monday, December 31, 2012

Asperger Syndrome: Partners and Family of Adults with ASD Support Group continues to grow. There are three locations in Oregon: Eastside Portland, Westside Portland, and Beaverton. I am happy to announce that we are moving to California!    

This Meetup will be based in the Los Angeles area, but will rotate to different locations since LA County is so large. The first Meetup will be held in Pasadena on January 26, 2013. The following month, the Meetup will be in Redondo Beach. 

If you are interested in attending, please visit the Asperger Syndrome: Partners and Family of Adults with ASD webpage. Don't forget you can also become an online member if there are no meetings in your local area.

I look forward to hearing about the continued success of this group! Click here to read about how to find the right support group for you and your needs. 

Defining the Solo Entrepreneur with a Supportive Spouse

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What is an entrepreneurial couple? Since I wrote a book about entrepreneurial couples, I frequently hear that question. There are three types of entrepreneurial couples: solo entrepreneur with a support spouse, dual entrepreneurs, and copreneurs. It is important as an entrepreneurial couple to define which one you are. Let's now focus on one type: the solo entrepreneur with a support spouse.




●  One partner owns and manages the business

●  The supportive partner helps out with the business part-time or psychologically

●  The supportive partner may be employed outside the business




Bob and Carol used to work together in their successful nursery and garden supply business, but Bob has since returned to his old employer leaving Carol to manage the business on her own, as a solo-entrepreneur. Bob has become the supportive spouse. He is employed elsewhere, providing emotional support to his wife’s business, but not really involved in the day-to-day management and headaches of running it. Carol, on the other hand, recognizes her talent as an entrepreneur and is much better suited to running the operation on her own as a sole proprietor.




While each entrepreneur brings his or her own character, strengths, and weaknesses to the business, the supportive spouse also has qualities that balance with the qualities of their entrepreneurial spouse to create a specific relationship style and business. To learn more about the solo entrepreneur with a supportive spouse, download my eBook - Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home

Entrepreneurial Couples: Making it Work at Work and at Home – Now Available for Download

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A growing phenomenon are husbands and wives joining forces in an entrepreneurial venture to make their dreams come true. For years I’ve been coaching and writing about these "entrepreneurial couples." And what I’ve observed, and my research supports, is that becoming an entrepreneurial couple is risky both professionally and personally. There are many challenges that come with this lifestyle. It's not an easy road, but the payoff can be great. 


My book, Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home - was written to address what it really is like to be an entrepreneurial couple. This book uses real-life examples to identify the challenges of this entrepreneurial lifestyle, as well as offer specific advice to help couples find the right balance at home and at work. It includes interactive questionnaires that help assess strengths and weaknesses in each area of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. If you’re a busy couple, this book is just what you need to help you design a more balanced, integrated, and meaningful entrepreneurial life.


Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home – has just been made available on my website as an e-Book. Download this PDF and share a copy with your spouse for easy and convenient access via laptop or tablet. Take it with you on your next vacation or business trip! Click here to download your own copy for only $9.95. 

Out of Mind - Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome

Friday, November 16, 2012

Great news! My new book, Out of Mind - Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome, is finished. I wrote this book to specifically address the unique issues that come up when you’re co-parenting with an Asperger Syndrome partner.

In this book, there are extremes on both ends such as poignant stories with deep despair along with progressive thrills of discovery. I focus on the harsh realities that NTs (Neuro-Typicals or without Asperger’s) face when co-parenting with an Aspie. I discuss the NTs’ fears and anguish and losses. I also give you hope and ideas on how to co-parent more successfully. But it is important to recognize that if we don’t reveal the dark side of these relationships, we can’t search for solutions to the all too real problems of the AS/NT family. The last thing I want to do is leave NT parents with the feeling that they are alone. Erasing that aloneness is the first step toward parenting successfully with an Aspie co-parent.

If you’re parenting with an AS partner, I believe you should learn all you can about Asperger Syndrome because information clears up the mystery of the Aspie behavior. This will help you detach from the emotional distress of reacting to those not-so-ordinary moments.

Out of Mind - Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome will be available very soon. I am eagerly anticipating its release and will keep you updated through my blog and the Enriching Your Life Newsletter.

Until then, please download a free sample chapter! If you live in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area, please join me for the Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group on November 17, 2012. The topic for discussion is "How to Find and Work with a Decent Psychotherapist." Hope to see you there.

Entrepreneurial Couples - Don't Be a Divorce Statistic

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Divorce is all too common for entrepreneurial couples. If you are an entrepreneurial couple, you must make a concerted effort to save your marriage before the trouble ever starts. Simply, the best insurance against divorce is to attend to the relationship first, the business second. Sadly, the opposite seems to be what most entrepreneurial couples do. The pull of the business is strong, immediate and concrete. The pull of the marriage is strong too, but not as immediate and certainly fuzzy. Because it is easier to react and answer the phone call rather than remember to say something loving to one's spouse, the typical entrepreneur opts for responding to business needs first.


Business is about competition and marriage is about love. In business the goal is to compete, to win, to make a profit. In marriage there is no goal, but rather a process . . . that of exchanging love. Being loving and receiving love are the basics of a healthy marriage. How much work is love anyway? How much effort is there in telling your spouse he or she is loved? How hard is it to carve out one night a month to go on a date? Is it such an extravagance to bring home flowers for your sweetheart or treat him or her to basketball tickets? Along with all of the other e-mails you respond to each day, would it take so much of your precious work time to send an e-mail of appreciation to your spouse too?


To put it simply, put the marriage first by doing one loving thing each day for your spouse. You can do battle and conquer all day long in the business world, but at the end of your day, switch modes and have a conversation about nothing at all with your spouse. Don't search for the bottom line. Don't anticipate the close. Instead hold her hand, look into his eyes, talk a little, and congratulate yourself on how lucky you are to have a business partner who is the love of your life.


For more information, visit Marriage Counseling - Couples at Work and Home.


Available for purchase, Dr. Marshack's Book - Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home  


Marriage Counselor’s Tips on How to Prepare for Remarriage

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Even after a difficult divorce, many divorcees eventually remarry. A second marriage can be a success. In order for that to be the case, it is important to recognize that it will be a challenge and you must be willing to put in the work to make it work!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering remarriage:

  • Prospective remarriage partners should build a relationship slowly, getting to know each other together and as individuals. Listen to family and friends who know who you are. They knew you when you were married before so their impressions are important. 

  • Remember to use your second marriage to become a better partner yourself. Usually the opportunity for conflict and disappointment is increased in second marriages because the challenges are greater. So you need to learn to love the complexity. 

  • You or your partner might still be grieving over the loss of your prior relationship. Vent your grief as a way to defuse anger. Take a joint exploration of your previous relationships and understand your history. If necessary consider seeking help from a marriage and family therapist.

For more information, visit Marriage Counseling - Maintaining a Strong Marriage. If children will be involved in the remarriage, read How Parents (and Stepparents) Can Help Their Children Adjust to Change.

How Parents (and Stepparents) Can Help Their Children Adjust to Change

Thursday, August 23, 2012

As a young child, your son or daughter counts on you to help him or her make sense of major changes in his or her life. When marital problems can be resolved only through divorce, or when a child is expected to accept a new family configuration through blending, you must take the time to help him or her understand and adjust.

The guiding principle here is to slow down. You may be lonely, or feel you are ready to start a new relationship, but is your child ready for that? Talk to your child or children about what is happening. Answer their questions. If you notice a peculiar behavior, get

professional help. Research shows that following a divorce, children get less attention from their mothers than before the divorce, but more from their fathers. This change is neither good nor bad, but it is a change that children must adjust to. Help them with it.

One mistake you cannot afford to make is to deprive your child of the other parent. Even if you remarry, even if your ex-spouse is a derelict, children need access to that parent. They will always be attached to their parents in profound and inexplicable ways. No stepparent can take the place of Daddy or Mommy.

Stepparents need to understand this and not get their feelings hurt. As a stepmother or stepfather you can become the child's friend. You can be one of the role models your stepchild may imitate. Your stepchild may even prefer your company to that of her Dad or Mom, but in her heart her first parents come first. After all, it is through her first parents, all those years ago, that she had her first experience with discovering herself. That was a memorable period even if only in terms of feelings. Psychologists call this process bonding, and it is something that cannot be learned later in life.

It is important to honor this bond even if the child seldom has a chance to see the noncustodial parent. Being willing to talk about the absent parent, sharing photographs of happier times, and helping the child to learn the story of his or her earlier life keep the continuity of life going for the child. Your children need to know that they have a whole life that is unique to them, that has helped to shape them, that may be slightly different from yours. And they need to know that all they have been through is helping them to grow stronger and more beautiful each day—even extreme hardship. They are not bad because bad things have happened to them; and you can prove this by being willing to experience life with them.

For more information, visit Blended Families.

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