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7 posts from August 2007

August 31, 2007

RELATIONSHIPS REQUIRE A LOT OF INDIVIDUAL WORK: The art of Changing Me, Changes We

Before you can complain about all the things your partner is or is not doing, you have to clean up your act. You’ve heard me say it too many times to count, and yet it still remains true: the only person you can control is yourself.

So start controlling yourself and back off of your partner!

Stop telling your partner things like:
• “You’re acting like that because of your unresolved issues from your childhood.”
• “You’re just like your mother/father…get help!”
• “You’re seriously depressed and need to take medication.”
• “Your therapist is not good; you should change and call this therapist instead.”

Continue reading "RELATIONSHIPS REQUIRE A LOT OF INDIVIDUAL WORK: The art of Changing Me, Changes We" »

August 27, 2007

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS START YOUNG: Teaching our boys to be relational, respectful, and connected.

I recently was at a U12 boy’s championship soccer game. All boys on the team were either eleven or twelve years of age. At the end of the game, the winning team took a victory jog across the field toward the parents. The parents looked upon their boys with pride.

The boys were psyched and came across the field chanting something in unison. As the boys got closer I swore I heard…No, I’m sure I must’ve been mistaken. They said it again??? Am I hearing things? I asked one of the fathers if they said what I thought they said. “Yep. You heard them right.”

I looked around to see the response of the other parents…nothing.

As the boys gathered together to take a team picture, they said it again—“TITTIES”!

Continue reading "HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS START YOUNG: Teaching our boys to be relational, respectful, and connected." »

August 23, 2007

HEALTHY PARENTING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN

HEALTHY PARENTING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN

Children learn from their parents, how to be in this world, in three ways:
1. By how their parents treat them
2. By how their parents treat others
3. By how their parents treat themselves

Many parents are smart enough to know that if they scream at their children, call them names (i.e., stupid, dumb, brat, etc.), hit them, or otherwise shame them, this behavior will negatively impact their child and is likely to cause long-term problems. As a result, many parents work hard to not do any of the above behaviors--to their child.

They often forget, however, to not do these behaviors toward others.

Our children learn by what they see. Treating our children respectfully is only one component of what they see. They also watch how we treat our partners, our friends, the grocery store clerk, the neighbor, etc. And, they watch how we treat ourselves.

Continue reading "HEALTHY PARENTING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN" »

August 20, 2007

GRIEF: SHOULDN’T I FEEL MORE SAD?

After the initial tears at my father’s bedside and gravesite, I was struck by how much I didn’t feel. I kept hearing from so many people how the grief will come in waves; one moment I’ll be fine and the next moment I’ll be overcome by a wave of sadness.

For several months after my father’s death, I kept waiting for these so-called waves. My husband felt them when his brother died, my friend felt them when her mother died…why wasn’t I feeling it when my father died? I wondered if I was just an unfeeling person; perhaps something was wrong with me.

I began to inquire about this with my siblings, friends, and others who had lost close family members. What I found out was quite interesting: Many of them had the same experience as me.

Continue reading "GRIEF: SHOULDN’T I FEEL MORE SAD?" »

August 13, 2007

RELATIONSHIPS AND JUDGMENTS DON’T GO WELL TOGETHER: Having humility in all our interactions

Have you ever noticed the constant judgments we make about people? In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to determine that someone’s an idiot, stupid, a *itch etc., in the blink of an eye. It’s amazing how quickly we think we can sum up a person by their looks, their mistakes, or their (fill in the blank).

When the tables are turned however, and we are the ones being judged, we hate it. We want others to give us the benefit of the doubt and believe it’s unfair when we are judged too quickly or too harshly. In fact, we often don’t want others to negatively judge us at all. I wonder what it would be like if we gave others that same gift?

When it comes to relationships, it’s best to take judgments off the table. The judgments I’m speaking about are the ones that are negative, condescending, and arrogant. When we are on our high-horse making hurtful, snap judgments about others, we are not being relational.

Continue reading "RELATIONSHIPS AND JUDGMENTS DON’T GO WELL TOGETHER: Having humility in all our interactions" »

August 09, 2007

ARE YOU HANGING ON TOO LONG? WHEN TO END A RELATIONSHIP GUILT-FREE

Are you in a relationship that is adding very little to your life? If so, you’re not alone. There are many people who stay in unhealthy relationships for various reasons: fear, money, depression, poor self-care, children, religion etc. In some relationships, staying for any reason--is a wrong reason.

Here are some stories of relationships that go on all the time:
• Susie decides to stay with Tom who’s an active alcoholic. He rages twice a week at her and her children, falls off his chair at dinner because he’s so high, and is emotionally abusive to her daily.
• Dianne has been married to Rick for fifteen years and has decided to stay with him after his third affair. He has little remorse and flirts with other women constantly in her presence.
• Dan’s wife Carol is currently having an affair with someone she works with and although she wants to stay married, she refuses to give up her affair. She also refuses to go to counseling. Dan decides to stay anyway.
• Jennifer has been married to Jim who has barely given her the time of day for the past five years. He’s cold, does his own thing whenever he wants, and rarely has a kind word to say about her.

Continue reading "ARE YOU HANGING ON TOO LONG? WHEN TO END A RELATIONSHIP GUILT-FREE" »

August 02, 2007

LEARNING TO LET GO IN RELATIONSHIPS: How micro-managing and being over-responsible can impact your relationship.

Recently the issue of control has been coming up in my work with many people. The control I’m talking about can look like micro-managing or being over-responsible. Micro-managing someone is telling them what to do, how to do it, and even when to do it. This can include telling your partner how to clean the dishes, how to spend his/her free time, how and when to exercise, how to put your children to bed, etc.

The inherent assumption with micro-managing someone is, “I know best and you should do things my way.” Another way to say this is, “You’re wrong and you don’t know how to do anything.”

Micro-managing others is condescending and contemptuous. It would be helpful for you to remember that you’re not your partner’s parent. In fact, your partner actually managed to make it to adulthood without you, so chances are s/he isn’t nearly as inept as you believe. You also may want to have the humility of realizing that you do not have all the answers--you only have some. There are many ways to do the same thing and just because it’s not your way, doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way.

Being over-responsible, in contrast, is taking over--almost everything. It may show up as being in charge of the scheduling, the children, sport events, cooking, getting the kids ready for school, packing for vacations, and on and on. Being over-responsible can seem like you are a single parent in a two-parent family.

Continue reading "LEARNING TO LET GO IN RELATIONSHIPS: How micro-managing and being over-responsible can impact your relationship." »

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