Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘Commitment’

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. 

July Message

4th of julySummer is officially here! For me, that means BBQ, watermelon, fireworks, family and friends getting together and enjoying longer days and cool nights. Getting away to far away places, whether traveling by air, car or just in your own mind. 

Speaking of your own mind, have you checked in with yourself lately? Are you happy with the direction that your life is headed, and in your relationship?  If not, time to get some help and change things. 
As a therapist, I truly and completely believe that everyone can improve their situation through the process of therapy. If you don’t think so, read below for the stories of many people who have done just that. 
Hope to see you soon!
“I just received your monthly update and thought I might write to let you know how incredibly much counseling with you has contributed to my life.  Things are crazy busy right now, so I’ll keep this short, but I wanted to send a quick update of a few of the wonderful things that have come about in my life recently … things that I doubt I would have ever been able to achieve without your help and guidance during the year I was in ABQ” – Tiffany, 2014
“The tools you equipped me with were invaluable, and continue to help me find my way on this path towards “emotional health”. – Kevin, 2014

Book of The Month

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersIn today’s increasingly complicated world, it’s often difficult for parents to connect with their daughters-and especially so for fathers. In this unique and invaluable guide, Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician with more than twenty years’ experience counseling girls, reveals that a young woman’s relationship with her father is far more important than we’ve ever realized. To become a strong, confident woman, a daughter needs her father’s attention, protection, courage, and wisdom. Dr. Meeker shares the ten secrets every father needs to know in order to strengthen or rebuild bonds with his daughter and shape her life-and his own-for the better. Inside you’ll discover:

* the essential virtues of strong fathers-and how to develop them

* the cues daughters take from their dads on everything from self-respect to drugs, alcohol, and sex

* the truth about ground rules (girls do want them, despite their protests)

* the importance of becoming a hero to your daughter

* the biggest mistake a dad can make-and the ramifications

* the fact that girls actually depend on their dads’ guidance into adulthood

* steps fathers can follow to help daughters avoid disastrous decisions and mistakes

* ways in whicha father’s faith-or lack thereof-will influence his daughter

* essential communication strategies for different stages of a girl’s life

* true stories of “prodigal daughters”-and how their fathers helped to bring them back

Dads, you are far more powerful than you think-and if you follow Dr. Meeker’s advice, the rewards will be unmatched.

“Reassuring and challenging . . . a helpful road map for concerned fathers [that] tackles difficult issues.”

-National Review

“A touching, illuminating book that will prove valuable to all of us who are fortunate enough to have been blessed with daughters.”

-Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk-show host, author of Right Turns

“Dr. Meeker’s conclusions are timely, relevant, and often deeply moving. No one interested in what girls experience growing up in our culture today-and the impact that parents, especially fathers, have on the experience-can afford to miss reading this book.”

-Armand M. Nicholi, Jr., M.D., professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

App of the Month

Since we are in the technology based world…we have added a new feature to our newsletter.

Click here to download this app.

Kahnoodle Couple App: Couples Game + Relationship Tips & Reminders


**Kahnoodle is the couples app that makes it fun and easy to keep your relationship awesome.****

As seen in Forbes, Time, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, AskMen and TechCrunch.

Awesome couples use Kahnoodle to:

1) Get tips and reminders for special things to do to keep their partner happy,

2) Discover fresh, affordable date ideas available in their city,

3) Create love coupons to show their love by fulfilling a romantic fantasy or completing a domestic tasks,

4) Thank their lover for the sweet things they do with “kudos”,

6) Create a wish list for places and things they’d like to do together.

7) Send messages to their partner when they are long distance,

…All this and more in this fun & powerful relationtip app!

Download Kahnoodle Now!

The Power of the Tongue – Contingued. . .

Happy words between couplesWe can unintentionally become experts at launching verbal missiles at our partners. Think about the words you speak to your partner-are they giving life or death to your relationship?

1. When speaking to each other alone. Do you listen to your partner’s views completely before giving your suggestion or advice? It goes a long way to fostering positive communications. If your partner has a suggestion or wants to do something, avoid contradicting them or saying ‘no’ immediately.

Instead, voice your negative opinions through calm questions so your partner can see your perspective too. It’ll help you both to look at the relationship as a team effort instead of a battlefield of opinions and who’s “right”.

2. In social settings- Being respectful towards each other in front of others is crucial to maintaining harmony in your relationship. Don’t oppose your partner’s views unless you’re joking- and make sure they know that you are joking. Try not to interrupt your partner mid -sentence just because you feel they’re not explaining something well, as this can cause resentment. Join in the conversation, but never overpower your partner.

3. Share a sincere Compliment. Compliment your partner often, and don’t just restrict it to physical traits. Compliment them about their job, their personality and anything else that you genuinely feel. When your partner believes that you have a high opinion about them, it creates more emotional intimacy and rapport within your relationship.

4. Fighting Words Arguments, confrontations and disagreements are a regular affair in a relationship. But even in an argument, avoid words that are sarcastic, belittling or condescending because once they’re out there, they can’t be taken back.

An argument in a relationship never has an individual winner. So stop using words that will make your partner feel lousy about themself. And at the end of every argument, no matter how much you just want to walk away, apologize to each other and hug and make up.

Use these tips to speak with intention and remember- choose those words wisely!

Refresh and Renew Your Relationship Continued

Thank you

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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.

Flying Solo

Flying soloResolutions/Goals are also for those whose relationships are in trouble- if you are flying solo (or just feel like you are) here are some of my favorites for the New Year, courtesy of Michelle Weiner Davis.


1.Envision positive outcomes –There is no way that you can begin to accomplish positive change in your marriage if you don’t believe it is possible. Start by imagining what your life will be like when your marriage truly turns a corner. The more you can picture every detail, the easier it will be to eventually step into this picture at some later date.

2. Act as if you expect miracles to occur – Once you can imagine positive outcomes, reflect on how you will be behaving differently when they happen. Then start doing that right now!

3. Be kind, even if you think your spouse doesn’t deserve it – You may be angry, disappointed, or even devastated by your spouse’s choices and actions. However, rather than react to unsettling behavior, assume your spouse is lost and confused. Be patient, kind and steady and your efforts will pay off.

 4. Focus on small, positive changes – Don’t expect big changes overnight or you will be disappointed and it will make it hard to stay on track. Imagine the smallest change possible that would signal a shift in how things have been going. Then focus on that.

5. Promise yourself this will be a great year, no matter what – You cannot control what your spouse does, but you can control what you decide to do with yourself and your children, if you have them. Take a deep breath and envision how you are going to make this a good year regardless of your spouse’s choices.

6. If you get off track, get back on quickly without self-blame – What separates the winners from the losers is not whether or how many times you get off track, it’s how rapidly you get back on track. If you’ve veered from the plan, hop right back on track without self-recrimination.


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