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7 posts from December 2008

December 31, 2008

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS…A COUPLES APPROACH

Happy New Year!  It’s that time of year again, a time to review all your successes and well, your lack of successes shall we say.  If you’re like many people, you’re also likely to come up with another wish list of goals for the coming year.  And, like many people, these goals are likely to be focused on intensely for the first week, month, or even six weeks for those who are truly committed, only to fall off as the year goes on.  

 

We’ve all heard the suggestions:

  • Write your goals down.  There’s something about putting your goals in writing that actually helps you to do them.
  • Be specific.  Make measurable, specific goals (I.e. I want to have seven thousand dollars in our savings account by December 31, 2009) rather than general goals such as I want to save more money.
  • Break each goal down into smaller chunks.  Breaking goals down into bite size chunks helps you to keep track of how you’re doing with your goals and makes the goal a bit easier to attain.
  • Place your goals within eyesight.  Placing your goals on your desk, refrigerator, on your palm pilot etc., keeps them in your consciousness.  The more often you’re thinking about them, the more likely you are to work them.

 And many other suggestions…all good, helpful, and…hard to follow.

 

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December 26, 2008

WOULD YOU JUST LISTEN?! GOOD LISTENING IS AN AMAZING APHRODISIAC FOR MANY WOMEN

 

I’m constantly hearing from women that their partners just don’t listen:

  • “I’m telling him about something that happened at work and instead of listening he tries to problem solve with me.”
  • “I tell him I don’t like the way he’s speaking to me and he says I’m too sensitive.”
  • “I ask him to pick up something from the store and he comes home without it saying I never told him.”
  • “I tell him I’m feeling lonely in this relationship and would like us to talk more and he says he can never do anything right, all I ever do is complain.”

 

The examples are countless of men not listening and women getting frustrated with repeatedly trying to get through to them.  The men say the women are always complaining and the women say the men never listen.  The result:  women keep talking and men continue to not listen.

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December 22, 2008

MAKING THE HOLIDAYS A FIGHT-FREE ZONE FOR YOUR SAKE AND THE SAKE OF YOUR FAMILY

This year, perhaps more than ever before, families are under an enormous amount of stress.  If it’s not the normal holiday stresses, it’s the heavy weight of a downward spiraling economy, loss jobs, outrageous credit card interest rates or you name it.  With all this stress it’s no wonder there’s a lot of arguing happening on the home front.

 

AND…it’s more important than ever to keep oneself in check.  Making an already stressful situation even more stressful is not helpful to you, your partner, or your family.  It’s also unnecessary. 

 

Below are several tips to help you get through the holiday season with more joy and less fireworks for all.

  1. Commit to yourself and your partner that you will do everything in your power to take all yelling, screaming, name calling, and disrespect off the table; Period. Allow this to be one of your holiday gifts to your family.
  2. Do not become wonder woman or super man and try to do all the gift shopping, cooking, party planning etc.  Remember if you take over, your partner will give it over.  If your partner refuses to share in the help (which is incredibly non-relational-but can be dealt with at a different time) then do what you can reasonably do without feeling resentful.  Let go of the rest and don’t beat yourself up for not being able to be everything for everyone…that’s codependence not health anyway.
  3. If you’re struggling financially, do creative gift giving rather than spending what you don’t have.  Give your extended family (and children) the heads up so they know and ask them not to go too big this year.  If they go big anyway, don’t feel bad; that was their choice and it has nothing to do with you.  Some creative gifts include:  giving a friend a night of free babysitting, your partner a night to him/herself, one on one time with your child, cooking someone their favorite meal, a day of games etc. 
  4. Create a one day negative free zone for your family.  On the holiday itself be determined to not say anything negative come hell or high water!!!  You cannot control what someone else does but you most certainly can control what you do.  Make sure you control what comes out of your mouth and walk away if you feel you will be unable to maintain calm.  This is one day a year—no excuses.
  5. Pay attention to the positives and be determined to take those precious moments in.  Notice your child laughing, your parent smiling, the taste of good food, the luxury of having electricity, the ability to share this time with others.  Stay focused in the present and view each positive moment as a luxury that many other people don’t have.  Take it in and be thankful.

 

 

Wishing everyone a joyous, conflict-free, peaceful and loving holiday! 

Warm regards,

Lisa  

December 19, 2008

RELATIONSHIP REALITY: THE MORE YOU TAKE OVER, THE MORE YOUR PARTNER WILL GIVE IT OVER

Recently, my husband and I had a very interesting conversation about something that was going on in our relationship.  Although I’m a bit embarrassed to share it, I realize it is a great learning opportunity for my readers…(as I write this I will continue to remind myself that I’m enough and I matter despite this storyJ).

 

Over the years one of the most common complaints I would hear from women is that their partners don’t help at home (with the kids, cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.).  This is not to say that only women become over responsible however, I definitely hear about it more from the women.  My response to this type of complaint has always been to stop taking it over when he doesn’t do it or he’ll do less and less, she’ll do more and more and resentment will creep in soon after.

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December 15, 2008

MICROMANAGEMENT PART III: WHAT TO DO (and not to do) WHEN SOMEONE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS TRYING TO MICROMANAGE YOU

 

The previous two posts were all about those who micromanage and how to stop.  Let’s take a look at what those on the receiving end of micromanagement can do…just in case their partner’s don’t stopJ.

 

Let me start by telling what NOT to do: 

  1. Do NOT call your partner names when s/he is trying to tell you what to do. (If your partner is female, I especially recommend that you steer clear of any word that ends in “itch”--no matter how much she is micromanaging).  Name calling is unlikely to reduce the micromanagement and highly likely to escalate some angry heat.
  2. Do NOT throw, slam, or pound any objects out of frustration and say anything remotely like, “You don’t like the way I’m washing the dishes?! Fine, wash your own damn dishes!!!”  This is highly unlikely to emit feelings of warmth between you and your partner.
  3. Do NOT say you will do things just like your partner asks when you know darn well that you have no intention of doing it his/her way.  That’s called being passive-aggressive.  It’s better to say nothing or no, then it is to lie.  Lying does not induce warm feelings either.

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December 12, 2008

MICROMANAGEMENT IN RELATIONSHIPS PART II: LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY

Last post I talked about the impact of micromanagement in relationships and how important it is to NOT do it.  I can only imagine what many people who happen to like things done a certain way must be thinking after reading that post:

  • But what if everything falls apart because I let my partner do things his way?
  • Great, I’ll get off his back and then I’ll have to suffer the consequences and clean up after him.
  • Yeah Lisa, easy for you to say, you don’t know what my husband would do if I weren’t telling him how to do things.  Our house would be a mess, our kids would be eating sugar and candy all day, and (fill in the blank).
  • But there is a right way to do things and why should I feel bad ensuring that things get down correctly.
  • Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

 

In my experience many of these worries are imagined and greatly exaggerated.  I’ve never met a parent (father or otherwise) who has fed their child sugar and candy non-stop for days on end.  Have some parents fed their children poorly on occasion? Certainly… myself included.  I’ve heard from mothers that if they left the feeding up to their husbands then the kids would eat pizza every time she wasn’t home.  And???  Are the kids going to die because they have pizza once a week when mom’s gone? NO.  It may not be the best thing for them, and it’s also not the worst. 

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December 09, 2008

ARE YOU MICRO-MANAGING YOUR RELATIONSHIP? If so…STOP!

In my experience, many women believe their way is THE way.  Whether it’s how to take care of the children, how to wash the dishes, or how to pick up the laundry, many women believe they know best.  Unfortunately, they’re not afraid to point this out to their partners…again, and again, and again.

 

I totally understand believing that your way is the right way…and many times it may truly be the “right” way, however, constantly correcting people (i.e. your partner) is off putting to say the least.  People don’t like to be told, time and time again, that what they’re doing is wrong.  In fact, it gets annoying. 

 

The truth is, many times your partner may be doing things differently, however, that does not mean he’s doing them wrong.  Sometimes…many times…you’re wrong.  When you’re constantly directing people in your life, you’re trying to control them.  Directing sounds like this:  “Put the dishes way after you dry them.  Don’t you know that?!”; “Wash the colored clothes in cold water not warm.”; “You need to pack four diapers in the diaper bag not three!”  There are a thousand examples of micromanaging and people do it all the time.  The bottom line however, is that people don’t like to be managed. There are many ways to get things done and more often than not, your way is not THE way. 

 

Continue reading "ARE YOU MICRO-MANAGING YOUR RELATIONSHIP? If so…STOP!" »

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