Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘building trust in relationships’

Show Your Mother (& Mother-in-law) Some Love

CrazyYou choose the person whom you marry, but you don’t choose your in-laws…… Relationship problems with in-laws are among the most common happiness challenges – whether people are complaining about their spouse’s parents or about their kids’ spouses. In-laws have a unique power to drive us crazy.

Click here to read more about how to show love to mothers and mother-in-law’s.

Wise Words From My Morther-In-Law

n-HAPPY-MIDDLE-AGED-COUPLE-large570Is advice from a 60 year relationship worth listening to? I think so! My in-laws have just celebrated their 60 year anniversary, and recently my mother-in-law had some words of wisdom that she shared with me. One of her grandchildren had asked her “how can you tell when you are in love”, and  this is what she said.

“How do you tell when you’re in love? I had to stop and think. My mind came up with several words- all that begin with the letter P.

Privacy– way up there as a priority, it lets a person feel free and be himself.

Passion– way up there too, what’s the fun without it?

Politeness, Persistence, and Patience

Politeness– way up there, treat the one you love as politely as you would a stranger. Other basics- bite your tongue, don’t put words in the air you’ll have to apologize for later, and perhaps, most of all,  a wanting more to be with someone than not to be with someone.”

“A person needs to fall in love over and over again- how nice if it’s with the same person each time!

People change and I believe about every five years you recognize, hey, is he (she) different now? Then it’s time  to take inventory of yourself and your life, and for me, to remember back to how loving someone all started and finding if the spark is still there? For me, the answer keeps being Yes, and I find myself really falling in love again. That’s what makes life fun- with the new person that I’m living with.”

My father-in-law also put in his two cents at our wedding. He was asked by the DJ what he thought the best relationship advice was- and his answer? Just one word- “Trust”.

Personally, I don’t have the experience and wisdom of 60 years behind me, but I have seen quite a few couples over the years in the practice. It’s very true= the couples that do well with improving their relationships are patient and kind to each other, and willing to see each other from a new perspective, even through some really difficult times. Couples that treat each other with disrespect and disdain are destined for divorce. (I know, a lot of “D words” but it’s true.) Fondness and admiration can go a long way in helping to solve problems, generate resolutions and create intimacy.

So, take these words of wisdom from a successful, long term relationship to heart. And to my mother-in-law:

Thank you, Phyl, for the sage words and wisdom from the heart. I truly appreciate you being a marriage mentor in my life. 

October Message

Welcome to Fall!

  • Here in Albuquerque that means:
  • The aroma of roasted chilies filling the air
  • International Balloon Fiesta
  • McCall’s Haunted Farm
  • Rio Grande Corn Maze

Really, there are so many events to do in October that you can be busy every weekend!
But, one very special weekend event that I want you to reserve is November 8- so that you can Fall in Love All Over Again. This is a fantastic day long seminar for all couples- based on John Gottman’s book “The 7 Principles of Marriage”
Note- you do not have to be married to attend!
Make your relationship rock solid before the stressful holiday season sets in, and don’t wait to register- seating is very limited. Some early bird seats are still open, with extra savings!
Registration information here.


August Message

AugustToday is August 1st, and school is right around the corner. For some of us it’s been a long, hot summer, for others it seems to have barely begun. Whatever your perspective, there is a always a noticeable shift in energy when school begins again. The school calendar helps us all to stay on track with achieving goals and feeling productive. In this month’s issue, we look at how getting married can derail a relationship (and how to prevent that from happening!) along with some helpful apps for students. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Freedom in Love

Two HeartsWhat is the distinction between mature love and the symbiotic relationship? Mature love is stable, a union of two people who respect themselves and each other. Symbiotic love is needy and dependent….read on for the difference between the two:

Mature love relationship: requires giving your love with no strings attached, with no expectations. Many of us have learned from society that to give means “to give up” or “to give away” — in essence, creating a deficit in ourselves. Further, we learn to give only as much as we expect to receive in return, lest we end up feeling cheated by giving more. Giving, as it exists in mature love, is quite different from these types of messages we have received. Rather than being seen as a sacrifice or an investment in future returns, giving in mature love comes from a desire to give and an ability to do so.

Upset coupleSymbiotic relationship: one partner gives up a significant part of himself or herself in order to maintain a peaceful relationship. This individual, ruled by a fear of being alone, will sacrifice parts of his or her identity for the sake of keeping the relationship intact. Short-term conflict is avoided, and the status quo is maintained. In the long run, though, there is a price to be paid: the loss of one’s individuality. If one partner idolizes the other and is willing to sacrifice himself more completely, then the other partner has more power and control over the relationship. When the balance of power is unequal, the relationship becomes unsatisfying for both partners; almost inevitably, it ends. There are a lot of people willing to give up an awful lot to avoid being alone. They are willing to give up who they are, what they are, and what they want and need. They are willing to sacrifice their individuality for the love of another.

Read next weeks post to find out more about maintaining your individuality in a relationship from Paul Mauchline – “The Art of Loving”. . .

“Biggest loser” is the big winner in love continued. . .

Losing weight is not easy- we can all relate to that. Potential contestants of the show must also be willing to be vulnerable, take risks and work harder than they ever have on a goal, without any certainty that the goal will be met. All contestants have a common interest, that of losing weight, regaining their health and improving their lives in the process. Watching someone else struggle with exercise, learning how to cook together and successfully changing eating habits supports the love requirement of mutual admiration, and as the contestants complete each of their baby steps towards their goals their admiration grows along with their feelings for each other.  At the same time, they are depositing  positive experiences to their emotional “bank accounts”, memories stored for the future that enhance the feelings of affection and love.  As these contestants support each other in the achievement of their goals, they are building a foundation that can last a lifetime.

Compare this to the contrived environment of the “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” and you can see how any romance that might blossom would be short lived, and based on an artificial standard.  No common interests, respect, admiration or likability- and nothing to build a relationship on. At the end of the show, it’s just a couple of good looking people that have competed to be the one to get the “proposal”.

So, what do you want?

Refresh and Renew Your Relationship Continued

Thank you

(image source:

Praise, praise and thank you…and more praise. Rather than concentrating on what your partner “doesn’t do anymore”, think about what they do. He may not bring you flowers like in the beginning of your courtship, but his consideration in packing your lunch or giving you some time with the girls is another type of “blossom”. If she doesn’t seem to be as affectionate as when you first dated, appreciate her watching the game with you, especially if she is not a sports fan. The saying “seeing your glass full or half empty” has validity. If we compliment people on what they DO, instead of harping on what they don’t, we’d be surprised how responsive a person can be. Being appreciated with a “thank you”, makes most people enthusiastic about doing more. Complimenting your partner on their qualities of patience or creativity will easily be a high point in their day. And with enough Thank yous and compliments, you never know. That bouquet of flowers might just follow.

Strengthen your art of conversation. If you find yourself with “nothing to talk about anymore”, find something to start the conversation. Fill your partner in on the “funny“ things that happened at work, the gossip; anything trivial and interesting. Remember, we all need to use our partners as a “sounding board,” but if that is the only conversation that we are having with our “significant other,” even the most sympathetic listener can have a breaking point. Make “sharing your day” a pleasure event, not a dreaded evil.

Be a good listener. There still is the time when your partner will need you to be there, just to listen. You have probably heard the joke a thousand times and heard the family issue twice that often, so listening to your partner is not always easy. The extra effort, however, can be priceless. Remember, often people don’t want their problems solved, just a shoulder to lean on. Taking away the burden of “fixing it,” might make it easier.

Make love often and with passion. The beauty of a long term sexual relationship is that the intimacy builds over the years. That intimacy makes sex much more genuine, gratifying and fulfilling. It is also an area that is not often put high on the importance scale. Work, career, school, and kids often exhaust our energy so we find it hard to “be in the mood.” Make the intimate part of your relation a high priority. Make time for “love sessions.” Take time to “make love” rather than just have sex. Use candles, perfume, or whatever that is that get your juices flowing. Like all else in life, intimacy dies if it is not nourished. Feeding it with affection, compliments and time will make it something that feels less like an obligation at the end of a hard day, but something to look forward to.

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