5 posts from June 2011

June 27, 2011

8 THINGS I TRY TO LIVE BY (Inspired by Andrea Lee)

IStock_0eyesallBelow is a post from my new blog Enjoy!

I just read an article by Andrea Lee about 8 things she tries to live by.  It got me thinking about what my 8 things were.  Here’s what I came up with.  I challenge you to do the same…and please do share.
1.    Practice what I preach:  If I teach it, I better live it.  Although I’m human and will continue to have my slips and imperfect moments, by and large, I do my best to follow my own advice when it comes to relationships.
2.    Do no harm: It’s important to me that I do no harm to others and do not allow others to do harm to me.  If I’m angry, I do my best to speak that anger from a centered, grounded place and respect the humanity of the person I’m speaking to.  I hold others to that same expectation.
3.    Be authentic: It’s important to me that people trust that I will give them honest feedback if they ask.  I believe feedback is a gift when we are courageous enough to give it and receive it.  I hold those in my inner circle accountable for giving me authentic feedback as well.  Telling me what I want to hear is not helpful to me.  Telling me what I need to hear—that’s helpful (even if it’s tough to hear it).
4.    Laugh: I love a good sense of humor and try to incorporate that into my everyday life.  I have no problem laughing at myself and enjoy being around people who can do the same (please laugh with me, however, not at me). I’d rather laugh than cry and love to be around people who can lighten things up without hurting others in the process.
5.    I prefer to talk about myself rather than gossip about others:  I don’t find gossip to be helpful to me or the people I’m talking about so I try my best to avoid it.  When I slip, I feel yuck inside.  When others slip, I try to re-direct the conversation to them or me and away from others. 
6.    Say it straight: If I’m upset about something, I will tell you directly.  I don’t like having to guess why someone might be upset with me and don’t want others to have to do the same.  I want to know what’s really going on with others and expect them to tell me and vice versa.  I believe this level of honesty often deepens relationships rather than damaging them.
7.    Be supportive: If someone in my life is unhappy about something (career, money, living situation), I believe it’s my job to hear them and do what I can to make things better.  If I want to move for example, I would like my family to help explore that option with me rather than squash it.  I want to make sure I do the same for them.  Keeping my loved ones stuck in an unhappy situation is not helpful to them or me so I try to look for solutions, not roadblocks.
8.    Live in integrity: To the best of my ability, I try to do the right thing in even the most difficult of moments.  I believe that implicit in silence is acceptance and I do my best not to accept the unacceptable (in a respectful way).  I believe in standing up, not backing down to the poor treatment of others or myself.  The bystander phenomenon drives me crazy and I wish we could count on one another to help protect one another.
8 PLUS 1, because I can’t keep it to just 8…
9.    Self-growth: I realize that the more work I do on myself, the more work I have to do.  I’m committed to continually trying to become a better, wiser more self-actualized person/parent/partner/friend in my journey in life.

Challenge: Take some time to think about what your “8 things you try to live by” principles are and send them along.  I’d love to hear some…plus it’s an interesting exercise in clarity.  Good Luck!

June 23, 2011

Are You Living With A Woman Who Struggles with Intensity? What To Do and Not to Do

IStock_00angry womenl A common union I see in couples is a very strong woman partnered with a fairly passive man.  The men often say their partners are overbearing, controlling, intense, critical and never satisfied.  The women say the men don’t talk, are walled off, often passive-aggressive and say yes just to get the women off their backs.  Often they’re both right: the women are over the top and the men are too passive.

If you’re a male and happen to be living with a woman who matches the descriptions above, here’s your cheat sheet for being in relationship with her. 

1.    Stop ducking in response to intensity.  The worst thing you can do with an angry woman (or man for that matter) is to duck.  If your partner is coming at you with high intensity (yelling, swearing, raging, name-calling, etc.), then set a limit on the intensity.  Don’t try to talk her down or jump to do what she’s asking of you until you address the way she is speaking to you.
2.    Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Learn to become a man of integrity and stop lying to avoid her intensity.  Do not just “yes” her to get her off your back.  If you say you will do something, do it.  Otherwise, say no.
3.    Ask for your needs and wants.  Stop being resentful that you’re constantly trying to please her and stand up for yourself.  Healthy relationships require that both partners ask for their needs and wants.  The more you try to do what she wants without asking for what you want, the more resentful you will get.  Pay attention to what you want and learn to ask for it.

Continue reading "Are You Living With A Woman Who Struggles with Intensity? What To Do and Not to Do" »

June 14, 2011

Lessons to Learn From the Fall of Three Powerful Men

IStock_0threesomeall Too many women are wooed by money, fame and power.  Add a man to any of these and they serve as an almost irresistable aphrodisiac to countless women.  What is going on with so many women when it comes to men?  It seems that men, money, fame and power leave far too many women blinded.  In some cases, women are blinded by men period.  What is up?

There are several lessons to learn from the recent falls of these powerful men and I pray that women reading this truly take these lessons to heart.
1.    Respect yourself.  If you don’t have enough self-respect to see yourself as an equal to any man—and yes these men as well—then no man will treat you as an equal.  Don’t try to dress provocatively to get a man’s attention—it cheapens you.  Don’t tell him what you think he wants to hear—you will lose yourself. And, don’t sleep with him in order to keep him—he’s a louse if he would leave because you wouldn’t sleep with him. If having a man in your life is your goal, trust me you are aiming far too low.
2.    If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and walks like a duck…it’s a duck.  These men and many more like them, had glaring red flags regarding their treatment of women.  Several women came forward over the years stating that Arnold sexually assaulted, groped or sexually harassed them.  Dominic Strauss-Kahn was known for his “womanizing” which is the least of his offenses.  Weiner reports, "My wife has known about some of these online relationships since before we were married".  Dare to see what’s right in front of you and don’t try to dress it up to be something different—it’s not.
3.    You will not change him.  Women start relationships with men who are known “players”, flirts, partiers etc., thinking they will be the one to change him.  This is crazy thinking.  For one thing why in the world would you want to be with a guy who has a history of playing women, getting drunk all the time or flirting with your friends? Women—listen up:  The men are showing and telling you who they are as men from the moment you first meet them.  Often they do this with a figurative gigantic neon sign—open your eyes and read it, don’t try to find the white out and change it.
4.    Respect other women. Don’t be so desperate for the attention of men that you go after another woman’s partner.  Please, if he’s willing to cheat on his girlfriend or wife you better know that he’d be willing to cheat on you as well. If he likes you that much then he wouldn’t be sneaking around with you…even if you were his housekeeper. Never allow yourself to be with another woman’s husband/paramour—you deserve better than that and so does she.

Women are pivotal to the process of change in our world. One vital change we need is for the treatment of women to be more respectful, less sexualized and less violent.  This shift can only happen when we, as women first and foremost respect ourselves.  

Challenge: Have the courage to learn from the fall of these three men: respect yourself, don’t wear blinders, respect other women and don’t think you can change a man.

NOTE: For another perspective on this read from my Straight Talk 4 Women blog

June 08, 2011

Another Lesson From a Politician’s Fallout: Deal With Your Issues Before They Flip Your World Upside Down

IStock_0ducking Rep. Anthony Weiner is the next political fall-out in yet another sordid story about sexual exploits. The greatest lesson all these politician’s have to teach us is not how to run a government.  Their greatest gift to us is how NOT to run your life.  If we have anything to learn from all these powerful men who seem to be dropping like flies, it’s to stop running from your demons. 

Author Pia Mellody says it best, “Face your demons or they’ll bite you in the ass.”  When we run from problems, they always catch up to us; if not now, then when we least expect it and have the most to lose. 

Regardless of whether the issue is sex addiction, alcohol/drug addiction, rage, control issues or (Fill in the blank), if we don’t look at it, the issue will keep growing.  These men are no different than you or I. They have problems that need to be dealt with just like every other human being.  They just happen to be in the lime-light when their issues become too big to hide. 

Use Weiner’s public announcement as a reminder for you to look at your stuff.  Face your demons and work like a dog to get healthy.  Don’t wait until you’ve rotted out the foundation of your home and life before you choose to deal with your problems.  The longer you wait to address your issues, the bigger those issues become and the more damage they cause. 

Challenge:  Time the time to look at what issues may be a problem in your life and take the time to work on them.  Are you self-medicating via alcohol, gambling, sex etc.?  Are you passive-aggressive or conflict avoidant?  Do you struggle with rage? Are you having a affair?  Remember to face your demons before they become your worst nightmare.

June 01, 2011

Sexless Marriages: What if Your Partner Does Not Want a Sexual Marriage?

IStock_0pensivewomanll Many couples are struggling with trying to figure out how in the world to bring the sex back into their relationships.  Bringing sex back into a marriage is a great idea, if both partners agree they want it back.  What if, however, one of the partners has no interest in bringing the sex back?  Is there anything you can do in this situation?

If you’re in a sexless marriage, the first thing you need to do is decide if that’s okay for you.  Don’t think about whether your partner wants a sexual marriage or even what your partner would say about the topic; just think about what you want.  If your answer is yes, your next question to answer is: Is having a sexual marriage non-negotiable?  Non-negotiable means that you want a sexual marriage and if you don’t have one, the marriage will be in trouble.

Once you are clear that you want a sexual marriage, sit down with your partner and have an honest discussion.  Inform your partner that you’ve given the sexual aspect of your marriage a lot of thought and that you know you no longer want a sexless marriage.  Be clear that you’re not willing to go the next 5, 10, 15 years with no sexual intimacy.  Ask your partner to consider where they stand on this issue so you can decide what your next move is. 

If your partner says they’re willing to try, then come up with a plan.  Start with each of you reading The Sex-Starved Marriage by Michele Weiner Davis.  If your partner has lost their sexual desire, ask that they meet with their doctor to rule out any medical condition and to discuss options.  Finally, get professional help as a couple. 

Continue reading "Sexless Marriages: What if Your Partner Does Not Want a Sexual Marriage?" »

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