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8 posts from October 2008

October 28, 2008

FIVE WARNING FLAGS FOLLOWING AN AFFAIR

It’s no secret that affairs rock relationships; they break the trust and shake the foundation to its core.  Most people don’t realize that even in the best of circumstances, healing from an affair often takes between three to five years.  For those couples who don’t have the best of circumstances in place, it can take forever, if it heals at all.

 

If your relationship has been impacted by an affair, here are some red flags to watch out for.   If, within the first six months to a year following the discovery of the affair, any of these are present in your relationship, I suggest you and your partner seek professional help to aid with the healing.

 

  1. Your partner does not want to talk about it and keeps asking if you’re ever going to let him/her hear the end of it.  If your partner is not willing to discuss the affair with you, it’s unlikely you both will be able to heal from it.  If your partner gets angry whenever you get triggered rather than turning to comfort you, then know you’re on shaky ground. 

Continue reading "FIVE WARNING FLAGS FOLLOWING AN AFFAIR" »

October 24, 2008

RELATIONSHIP BOOTCAMP: ANNOUNCING A NEW ARTICLE IN SELF MAGAZINE

As many of you know, I do a lot of work with the author and renowned couples' therapist Terry Real.  Recently (November issue) Self Magazine did an article on one of Terry's 3-day skills workshop.  The article is informative and a great representation of what goes on at these workshops (which I highly recommend, by the way) and there's even a couple quotes from yours truly (that's me of course).  So if you have some time, check out the article titled "Relationship Boot Camp" in the November issue of Self Magazine and let me know what you think.

DO NOT ASK MORE OF YOUR KIDS THAN YOU DO YOURSELF: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO…DOESN’T WORK

Mr. Smith was so angry at his son Scott that he could barely look at him.  Apparently Scott had been punching walls, swearing, and generally getting out of control, more times than not, when he was angry.  Mr. Smith had had it.  Mrs. Smith had had it.  Scott was annoyed that he actually had to sit there with his parents and this stupid therapist discussing his anger.  He thought it was ironic that all eyes were on him when he certainly was not the only one in this house who had anger issues.

 

You cannot imagine the look on Scott’s face when he heard this “stupid” therapist (yes the stupid therapist was me) ask: “So who else in this family has a hard time handling their anger?”

 

 You could have heard a pin drop.  Mr. Smith became indignant, Mrs. Smith shrunk in her seat, and Scott…he enjoyed every second, and of course did not hesitate to rat his father out. 

 

My response: “You can’t ask your son to do something that you, as an adult, are unable to do yourself”.

Continue reading "DO NOT ASK MORE OF YOUR KIDS THAN YOU DO YOURSELF: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO…DOESN’T WORK" »

October 20, 2008

WITHDRAWAL...A DEATH SENTENCE TO MANY RELATIONSHIPS

One of the best predictors of divorce is…withdrawal.  Being that I, myself, am a recovered withdrawer, imagine my surprise when I first found this out. Yikes!  I remember years ago when my husband and I would get mad about something and I would clam up and shut down.  Inevitably my husband would try talking to me about it and I would just stay in lock down mode for sometimes 2-3 hours.  I didn’t just get quiet and take some time to myself, I would instead refuse to speak and passive aggressively make him pay for whatever imperfection he showed.  I can’t imagine how utterly frustrating that was for him…

Fortunately, somewhere along the line, I learned the error of my ways and actually became relational--which is good for my husband of course, and for you readers. 

Over the past decade I have come across numerous withdrawers who have utterly frustrated their partners to no end and truly wreaked havoc on their relationships. From one fellow withdrawer to another, I’m here to tell you that although many of us are great people, the withdrawal is horrible to be around and is truly toxic.  

• Jim is so passive aggressive and avoidant that he goes stone silent when his girlfriend tries to speak about the slightest possible conflict.  He has been known to blankly stare at her for two hours while she is franticly begging him to talk to her.  (I have no idea why the heck his girlfriend is sitting there taking his outrageous behavior but…that’s another post).

Continue reading "WITHDRAWAL...A DEATH SENTENCE TO MANY RELATIONSHIPS" »

October 16, 2008

ANNOUNCING NEW WEB SITE

I'm pleased to say that I've just launched my new web site.  Check it out at www.relationalcoaching.com.  I'm delighted with the way it turned out, but please let me have your feedback and suggestions for how we can continue to make it even better.  Web sites are like relationships:  authentic feedback given with love helps improve them, and working on them as a team creates amazing results!

I'm also beginning to speak to groups on a topic close to my heart:  Why Smart Women Settle for Dumb Relationships.  We've all met them – the women who blaze a successful trail throughout their careers, but redefine dysfunctional in their relationships:  The Detailer, who micromanages her spouse so that he's helpless and she's exhausted. The Go-Getter, who's relentlessly competent and responsible for everything in the home, refusing to ask for or expect any help – and meanwhile she's seething inside.  The Escapee, who spends all her time with friends, with kids, with her kids' friends, avoiding the emptiness at home.  But little by little, it's killing her.

I've worked with them all, and others too, helping them and their spouses transform their relationships into the kind they've always wanted rather than the kind they prayed they would never have. 

If you know of a group or association that would be interested in having me speak on this topic, please let me know.  The talk is fun, soul-searching, and it will make you see your relationships in new ways.  It's very interactive, and you come away with specific ideas about what you can do to improve your own relationships.  Again, I welcome your feedback.

CHALLENGE:  Take a look at my web site and let me know what you think!  Also if you're interested in having me speak there's more information on that on my site also.

October 15, 2008

FINANCIAL TURBULANCE ON WALL STREET; ARE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MANAGING THE STRESS?

It’s hard to listen to the news or read a paper without being pounded by our nation’s financial crisis.  Regardless of whether the reports have to do with stocks plummeting, banks going under, corporate buyouts, etc., the message is loud and clear that our nation’s in financial trouble.  All these headlines can wreak havoc in relationships if couples aren’t careful.

As with any topic or issue, the most important thing for couples to do when faced with fear, is to not let that fear over take them.  Too often we can get caught up in the hype and begin to panic or imagine the worst scenario in the world; this seldom, if ever, helps.  In fact, panicking is a sure fire way of making things worse.


If you feel yourself panicking, intervene in a firm and quick fashion by telling yourself, loud and clear, to STOP IT.   Do not allow yourself to move into extreme thinking for even a moment.  Instead, be proactive by first getting calm and then following some of the tips below.

Continue reading "FINANCIAL TURBULANCE ON WALL STREET; ARE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MANAGING THE STRESS?" »

October 08, 2008

A HEALTHIER YOU CREATES A HEALTHIER WE: TEN WAYS TO BUILD YOUR INTERNAL STRENGTH

Lmb1 I tell people all the time that they deserve to be treated well; many say they know, yet few live like they do.  Healthy relationships start with you; they start from the inside out.  If your partner’s unhealthy and you’re with him/her, then you are unhealthy too.  The bottom line is healthy people don’t settle for unhealthy relationships.

If you’re in an unhealthy relationship or have a history of unhealthy relationships work on getting yourself healthier. The key place to start is with practicing healthy self-esteem.  If you believe you are worthy, capable, and deserving, than you will attract others who believe you are the same…and who treat you as though you are.

Below are several things you can do to get yourself healthier and stronger; choose three of these and begin working on you today so you will have a healthier and more fulfilling we tomorrow.

Continue reading "A HEALTHIER YOU CREATES A HEALTHIER WE: TEN WAYS TO BUILD YOUR INTERNAL STRENGTH" »

October 03, 2008

ARE THE MUNDANE “NECESSITIES” OF LIFE GETTING IN THE WAY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? All important relationships require time and attention

Lmb2

I remember one day many years ago, (not sooooo many years mind you!) a friend from high school began to act more interested in my life and what was going on with me.  When I asked her what was up, she said that she realized that in order to have a friend, she had to be a friend.  It was a turning point in our friendship.

Since that time, I’ve realized that I’ve forgotten this all important lesson. Unfortunately with the onset of marriage, kids, work, traveling, writing, etc., I’ve spent less and less attention on my friends thinking that they will always be there.  Although this may be true, that’s not me being a friend.

This happens in romantic relationships all the time.  We take each other for granted because we assume our partner will always be there.  We get tired, busy, and complacent, taking care of all the mundane “necessities” in life; meanwhile the days…keep… passing…by.  Before we know it, we feel distant, drained, and unsatisfied; we wonder what happened and hope to God we can get it back.

Continue reading "ARE THE MUNDANE “NECESSITIES” OF LIFE GETTING IN THE WAY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? All important relationships require time and attention" »

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