• Lesley Friedland and the FamilyKind Team

December 22, 2021 Roundup


Recent family-related news included obituaries of two luminaries in the fields of divorce and sex therapy – both professionals dedicated their careers to removing the stigma around these topics and to raising awareness concerning the importance of healthy communication between partners. Also in the news was: a clarion call to include “coercion and control” in the legal definition of domestic violence; a look at the progress made in the portrayal of lesbian relationships onscreen and finally a hopeful account of how a divorce can be painful, but often makes way for a healthier family configuration.


After a Painful Split, a Functioning Family

Louise Rafkin, The New York Times, December 1, 2021

Rebecca and Drew Kuntz say they have had a healthier relationship since their five-year marriage ended…They have spent holidays together as a family; he and she live about three miles from each other and share custody of their daughter. “We‘re fair to each other and also flexible,” he said. “We try to keep it easy for everybody, including our daughter.”


At Long Last, Onscreen Portrayals of Lesbian Relationships Are Getting Complex

Maya Salam, The New York Times, December 3, 2021

“…lesbian portrayals onscreen are finally starting to become deeper, more varied and more inclusive, moving beyond the aspirational (mostly rich, mostly white) women who dominated programs…” in the past.


Constance Ahrons, Advocate of ‘Good Divorce,’ Dies at 84

Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, December 5, 2021

Constance Ahrons, a prominent psychotherapist and mediator who challenged negative stereotypes about divorce and sought to show couples how they could achieve what she called a “good divorce.” A divorce could be made good, and could be better than an unhappy marriage, she posited, if couples handled it right — if they did not bad-mouth each other to the children, and if they cooperated in meeting the children’s emotional and physical needs…Ahrons coined the term “binuclear” to denote two separate households connected by familial bonds, and sought to replace pejoratives like “broken home.”


A Call To Amend Domestic Violence Laws Nationwide To Include Coercion And Control

Patricia Fersch, Forbes, December 8, 2021

The author shares that…“If the Domestic Violence Laws nationwide are not amended to include coercion and control, more women will fear coming to court to tell their stories because they will fear the defenses raised by abusive husbands and partners. More women will suffer.”


Shirley Zussman, Indefatigable Sex Therapist, Is Dead at 107

Penelope Green, The New York Times, December 18, 2021

“With exercises both physical and psychological — the Zussmans encouraged their patients to plumb their upbringing for clues to their attitudes about sex and relationships, and to examine how work, family and societal pressures affected their intimacy…”

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