Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘Caring’

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. 

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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”. . .

Welcome June. . .

June is the official start of summer, Father’s Day and is the one month out of the year with the most daylight hours. If you are looking for some ideas for Father’s day events, check this out. For gift ideas, here‘s a good list.

Want to take advantage of those starry summer nights? Check out these apps for stargazing– what could be better than a warm night, a glass of wine, and your sweetie by your side as you look up at the stars and learn the constellations?

Enjoy!

Starting Off Right

Starting off on the right footAs the New Year begins, sometimes we feel depressed after the hectic holidays.

The celebrations are over, weather is cold, business seems quiet, and you may be at a loss for how to get yourself going again. We can begin to mentally prepare for this coming year by taking time to assess our personal and professional challenges and accomplishments for the past year. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What have I accomplished this year? Be specific. Write it all down. Schedule some time to celebrate this!

2. What have I learned this year? What skills did you pick up? What emotional lessons?

3. What got in my way? This is where your work will be next year. Be honest if it was your own self that got in the way.

4. Who contributed to my successes? What can you do to recognize these members of your personal or professional team?

5. What mistakes did I make, and what did I learn from them? Writing these down is a good refresher for what not to do next year.

6. How was my work consistent with my values? What will you do with the inconsistencies?

7. Where did I not take responsibility? Sometimes this is easier to see with a little distance from the actual event.

8. How did my performance rate? Give yourself a letter grade or a 1-10 score.

9. What do I need to let go of? Doing so can help you move much more lightly into the new year.

10. What was missing for me this year?

How can you incorporate them into next year?
Doing these exercises can be a huge benefit to starting your year of on the right foot.

 

Top 10 Ways To Have The Best Holidays Ever!

The Christmas holiday season will soon be upon us. And with it will come the Happy Christmas Couplehope that this one will be truly magical. However, many of us quickly get bogged down in busyness, stress and old patterns. Here are 10 ways to turn that dynamic around and get that holiday magic back again.

1. Give yourself a break. Perfection-even perfect happiness-just isn’t possible. Let your best be good enough. Make a budget for both your time and your money-and stick to it. It really is the thought that counts.

2. Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to do over the holidays before compromising with others. If you don’t have a clear plan and clear intentions, it’s easy to get swept along by others’ desires. Even if you do compromise later, get yourself clear first.

3. Shorten your to-do list. What do the holidays really mean to you? For many, it’s about family and friends and spirituality. If an action or to-do item doesn’t add to your holiday spirit, scratch it off.

4. Say no when you want to. It’s very liberating- I promise! Try it and see- it sounds simple, but too often obligation trumps desire. When faced with options, choose the one that would make you happier.

5. Limit obligatory activities. If you can’t avoid certain events, limit the time you’re there.

6. Take good care of yourself. The old standards help keep stress at bay: eat healthfully, exercise, drink lots of water, and breathe deeply. Schedule time for relaxation and fun.

7. Start early. To avoid a last-minute frenzy that can bust your budget, start shopping or making presents now.

8. Ask for help. Reject any notion of martyrdom. The burden of preparations should not fall upon one person. The more specific you are in your request, the more successful you’ll be.

9. Establish new traditions. If you have experienced a major life-changing event, such as a death or divorce, consider doing something you’ve never done before over the holidays, such as travel to another country or take a cruise.

10. Get support. If a glorious holiday season feels completely out of reach, you may experience the holiday blues. Many people do.Don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way. Reach out for the support you need.

Book of the Month

Holiday Blues: Rediscovering the Art of Celebration; A 12-Month Guide to Getting Everything You Want Out of Holidays and Family Gatherings

-Herbert Rappaport

Holiday BluesFew people may admit it, but many of us dread holidays, a time when expectations and obligations run high — and so do stress and depression. Even those who think they have no conflicts may suffer from post-holiday letdown. The insight in this wise, realistic self-help book resonates at all times of the year, not just during the major religious and secular events. Providing valuable suggestions for surviving and enjoying holidays, it also addresses birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, and other special occasions that occur on a regular basis; even Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Fascinating case studies put a human face on this condition shared by so many, helping to illustrate a variety of classic seasonal conflicts in a sympathetic and result-oriented manner. A guide to specific personality types, such as the Juggler, the Perfectionist, the Merrymaker, and the Loner, helps the reader identify and understand personal sources of holiday anxiety, and suggests ways to resolve them.

 

Book of the Month

Sex, Love, and Mental Illness: A Couple’s Guide to Staying Connected

– Stephanie Buehler

Both parties need to understand the effects of mental illness-and of the medications used to treat it-on sexual desire and performance. The author  provide ways to maintain both physical and emotional intimacy in a relationship.

The first section of the book centers on common sexual concerns and loving someone with a mental disorder. The second addresses a wide range of mental disorders, their effects on relationships, and ways couples can work together to overcome those effects. Among the conditions covered are mood disorders; anxiety disorders; chronic pain; eating disorders; substance-related disorders; post traumatic stress; ADD; Asperger’s Syndrome; and even severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The emphasis throughout is on each partner developing empathy and communication skills to enhance the sexual experience and preserve a healthy relationship.

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