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5 posts from April 2008

April 28, 2008

CHILDREN AS OUR TEACHERS: CHOOSING HAPPINESS OVER SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

A very wise client sent me the following clip a while ago (thank you):

Boston Globe columnist Linda Weltner tells a story about being at a playground, watching children at play.  Two children got into an argument over a toy, had nasty words, separated and then came together moments later to continue playing.  Ms. Weltner asked a mother sharing the bench, “How do children manage to be so angry with each other one minute, and then the best of friends the next?”  The mother said, “It’s easy.  They chose happiness over righteousness.”

Children not only know how to forgive, they also know that enjoying times with their friends is a top priority.  The longer they waste fighting, the less time they have for fun…and they are all about having fun.  Seems like a pretty simple equation to me.

Continue reading "CHILDREN AS OUR TEACHERS: CHOOSING HAPPINESS OVER SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS " »

April 23, 2008

EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN RELATIONSHIPS: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT A SHOW STOPPER?

Over the years I’ve heard many excuses for partners treating each other in emotionally abusive ways.  When I say emotionally abusive, what I mean is: calling your partner names, swearing at him/her, yelling or screaming at your partner, belittling him/her, harshly criticizing him/her, saying hurtful things because you are angry, and threatening your partner in any way. 

Any and all of the above constitutes poor treatment.  Any and all of the above is disrespectful every time and for any reason.  There is no justification, rationalization, or excuse for treating your partner in this way… period.  This is true whether you are a man or a woman.

That said, it does not mean that we are all perfect and will not have our moments.  We are human and will make mistakes.  There’s a difference however between making a mistake and owning it, versus justifying that mistake and blaming the other person for it.

Continue reading "EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN RELATIONSHIPS: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT A SHOW STOPPER?" »

April 16, 2008

ARE YOU FUELING YOUR PARTNER’S ANGER BY RUNNING FROM IT?

• Stacey’s son throws a temper tantrum every time he doesn’t get his way.  Stacey responds by trying her best to placate her son and settle him down. 

She teaches her son that his tantrums work.

• Steve’s wife often gets so angry and reactive when she doesn’t like something he’s doing that he just clams up and does what she tells him.   

He teaches his wife that her anger and reactivity work. 

• Laura hates it when her husband gets angry and short with her.  He becomes demanding and she gives him what he wants to avoid an escalation. 

She teaches him that his anger and entitlement work. 

Many couples struggle with anger issues.  Typically one partner is quick to anger while the other partner is quick to duck and give in.  When I speak about the importance of not fueling the flame of their partner’s anger, the ducking partner often responds by saying they walk on eggshells to insure they don’t fuel any more anger from their partner.  My response: “Walking on eggshells is like lighting a match to their partner’s anger.”   

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April 10, 2008

HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO STAY WHILE YOUR PARTNER CONTINUES TO HAVE AN AFFAIR? IF SO, IT’S TIME TO LOOK AT THAT DECISION

It may be surprising to know that many people decide to stay in their marriages while their partner’s openly having an affair.  There are many reasons for this including:

  • Fear of being alone
  • Believing that if they stay and do everything right their partner will come to his/her senses and decide to end the affair
  • Lack of resources and finances
  • A desperate longing to be loved

If you are making this same choice, I want you to do so while being conscious of the repercussions of that decision.  In the short run this decision might feel good--you get to put off a sudden end to the marriage, you still get a part of your partner, and as long as your partner stays you feel somewhat loved. 

The problem happens…in the long run.

Continue reading "HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO STAY WHILE YOUR PARTNER CONTINUES TO HAVE AN AFFAIR? IF SO, IT’S TIME TO LOOK AT THAT DECISION" »

April 04, 2008

STANDING UP FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS: WILL YOUR HUSBAND OR BOYFRIEND RISE TO THE OCCASION OR TURN AND RUN?

Many women I work with struggle with wanting a different relationship yet not wanting to stand up to their partners to get one.  They just wish that their partners would step up and be more relational on their own.  I can’t help but think how I would love that same thing regarding my children. I just want them to speak respectfully, do their chores, and follow the limits--on their own. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

Well, as wonderful as that may be, I don’t see it happening. Men, women, and children for that matter, are all creatures of habit and that habit often does not change just because you wish it to.  In fact, the more you watch the habit and hope for it to change, the more it grows bigger.

It’s frequently not until you stand up, be clear about what you need and want, and then stand behind that request, that things begin to change.  Although there are times when even this won’t work, it’s your best shot at getting the relationship you’ve always wanted.

.

Continue reading "STANDING UP FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS: WILL YOUR HUSBAND OR BOYFRIEND RISE TO THE OCCASION OR TURN AND RUN?" »

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