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5 posts from May 2009

May 29, 2009

MAKING YOUR RELATIONSHIP AN AFFAIR-FREE ZONE

I continually get couples into my office following an affair, in the midst of an affair, on the brink of an affair or in the early stages of a potential affair.

These affairs or potential affairs are…killing marriages.

Those of us in committed relationships need to stop playing with fire.  If we play with fire enough, eventually we will get burned.  Here are four ways that people in committed relationships play with potential affair fires:

1. They go out, alone, with a person of the opposite sex (or same sex if you’re gay).  “Going out” does not just refer to a date or to dinner.  It can also include: breakfast, a cup of coffee, a drink, dinner or a snack.  The bottom line is -- when you go out individually with someone of the opposite sex (who is not a blood relative), you are opening yourself up for potential feelings, friendships and attractions.  It’s best to avoid this risk whenever possible.  Bottom Line:  going out one-on-one with a person of the opposite sex is a BAD idea. (NOTE:  The occasional meeting is fine...but I mean occasional.  It should be the exception not the rule).

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May 26, 2009

“I AM WHO I AM—TAKE ME OR LEAVE ME”…A DANGEROUS ATTITUDE IN HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS


I’ve heard the sentiment take-me-or-leave-me thrown around a lot in relationships:


• Joe says, “I’m not a people person.  She knew that when she met me.  I never liked to talk.”

• Jane says, “I’m Italian and Italians are passionate.  So what if I get a little intense, that’s who I am.
• Tom says, “Damn right I’m going to raise my voice when I’m mad.  That’s just something she’s going to have to deal with.  I’m not going to be one of those pansies who always try to talk things out.  That’s just not who I am.”

It’s as though we disconnect ourselves behind a huge shield of dysfunctional armor.  Where in the world did we get this notion that we can act however the heck we want to act and people just have to deal with us?  That is an absolutely nutty notion.  I don’t care if you’re a hot head, Italian, Mexican, Caucasian, an introvert, a snob, socially inept or (fill in the blank)…the bottom line is:  If you’re going to live your life by the notion of take-me-or leave-me…you’re likely to get left.  AND...rightly so.

Continue reading "“I AM WHO I AM—TAKE ME OR LEAVE ME”…A DANGEROUS ATTITUDE IN HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS" »

May 19, 2009

RELATIONSHIP BLINDERS: DARE TO SEE WHAT YOU SEE

 “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
Maya Angelou

While reading Pam Slim’s new book, Escape From Cubicle Nation (a great book, by the way), I came across this Maya Angelou quote.  The quote hit a chord in me regarding my work with women and relationships.  I single out women, because it’s my experience that women struggle with blinders on an entirely different scale from men.

Women often fail, or refuse to see, the person right in front of them—even when that person is wearing a neon sign.  For example, they’ll be drawn to a man who is known to be a “player,” yet become shocked when he ends up “playing” with someone else.  It’s an interesting thing we women do -- we see the issue, but we don’t think that issue will apply to us.  It’s crazy, I know, but that’s what we do.  We think we can change him or wow him, or we cloud our lens enough to make his issue go away.  We are then shocked when the issue shows up again. 

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May 14, 2009

RELATIONSHIP TAKE-AWAY FROM THE DALAI LAMA: SUFFERING IS CAUSED BY DELUSION AND ATTACHMENT

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to the Dalai Lama recently.  He was funny, grounded and full of wisdom.  From a relationship standpoint, I was struck by his comment that all suffering is caused by delusion and attachment.  As I played with the way this concept applies to relationships, it really started to make sense.

People are often deluded into thinking they’re not worthy, not good enough or not deserving.  This delusion leads people to “take” all sorts of things they shouldn’t be taking: abuse, lies, contempt, addiction, etc.  When we are deluded into thinking we’re not worthy, we begin to feel bad about ourselves.  This feeling permeates our reality and stays with us like a gray cloud.  We begin to think less of ourselves, which sets us up to expect less from others.  This reduced expectation results in our receiving less.

When this delusion is combined with attachment, it’s the final nail in the coffin for relationships.  With respect to relationships, we are often attached to them working well.  We want to be liked.  We want a family.  We want someone to love us.  We don’t want to be alone.  We can have an endless number of attachments in terms of relationships.  When these attachments go beyond a “like” and into a desperate wanting, our relationships are in trouble.

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May 06, 2009

RELATIONSHIP PAY IT FORWARD: ONE ACT OF KINDNESS CAN SET IN MOTION A RIPPLE EFFECT OF KINDNESS TO THOSE AROUND YOU

Too often we get caught up in the doom and gloom of those around us.  Have you ever noticed how you can be in a perfectly good mood and BAM -- all of a sudden someone comes into your space who’s grumpy, irritable or mean-spirited and suddenly your good mood has vanished?  It can truly wreck your day if you’re not on top of your game.

We forget, however, that this phenomenon can just as easily work the opposite way.  If we’re in a bad space and someone meets us with loving kindness, it can turn our day around.  Whether that someone is a stranger, child, partner or friend is irrelevant.  The power is in the act.

When we give love and kindness, it comes back to us tenfold.  Giving often feels as good as—if not better than—receiving.  One kind act can change a person’s day, including your own.  When we take the time to get out of our angry position, overwhelmed state or our stubborn adherence to an unflattering view of our partner, we leave room for kindness.  When we let go of the negativity—even for a moment—we breathe life and hope back into our relationship.

Continue reading "RELATIONSHIP PAY IT FORWARD: ONE ACT OF KINDNESS CAN SET IN MOTION A RIPPLE EFFECT OF KINDNESS TO THOSE AROUND YOU" »

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