The Best Advice Your Mother Never Gave You

Whether you’re single, divorced or separated — or in a long relationship that feels increasingly unsatisfying — it’s never too late to find love or make your existing relationship more healthy and loving, according to author Cathy Lumsden in her new book The Best Advice Your Mother Never Gave You: A Guide for Finding Love in the 21st Century.

Lumsden, a psychotherapist and international speaker with over 25 years of experience working with adults and children, says that much of what we believe and expect from love is passed down from generation to generation, or what is referred to as intergenerational patterns. And our mothers — and fathers — or other relatives likely didn’t have the same expectations for emotional connectedness in their relationships that many of us do today.

The Best Advice Your Mother Never Gave You is the advice your mother would have lovingly given you — if she, herself, had been schooled and educated in having healthy and loving relationships,” Lumsden writes. “But it is not too late to learn these skills and put an end to lifeless, unsatisfying relationships.”

The book, which includes exercises and worksheets as well as advice and examples stemming from her extensive professional and personal experience, contends that self-awareness is key to fostering a more healthy relationship. She, in fact, begins the book with a quote from the Talmud (200 C.E.): “We see things not as they are, but as we are.”

Some of the key issues the book addresses:
— Ways to quickly identify old, problematic behaviors and patterns
— How to stop reacting and start responding
— Developing more patience and compassion
— Shutting down negative brain chatter and changing how you think
— How to deepen and rekindle partnerships
— Decreasing divorce and separation by reducing anger and frustration

It’s a book that (sadly) speaks to our times. According to the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, close to 40 per cent of marriages will end in divorce before their 30th wedding anniversary. And according to some experts, late-life divorce is becoming more commonplace as more couples are choosing to separate after investing 30 or 40 years in a relationship. (See Late-life divorce.)

Watch this interview with Cathy Lumsden:

Cathy Lumsden is an Ottawa-based psychotherapist, author, researcher, and international speaker. She also developed BRAINSENSE, an educational program that promotes knowledge and awareness of how our brain impacts our lives.

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