Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘Compromise’

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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I Hate Therapy – Continued. . .

why waitWould we say that people who work out must be sick or they wouldn’t need it? Hell no. But we still hold on to this antiquated idea that you must be crazy if you go to therapy. Attitudes like the one shown in the Huff Po article are only perpetuating the medical model of therapy – that you go to therapy to treat an illness. In fact, therapy is just as useful in the wellness model of getting healthy, achieving potential, and making a good life better.

In the vein of the wellness model, here are more reasons to try therapy:

You want to love and accept yourself – Many people have difficulty with this, and they’re not necessarily depressed or afflicted with another mental disorder. Therapy can help you explore roadblocks to self-esteem and teach you practical ways to make your happiness a priority.

You want to make a good marriage great – Many relationships are functional, but are no longer fun. Couples counseling can help improve communication and strategize ways to return passion and excitement to a marriage.

You want to thrive in your career – You say you’re unhappy where you are, why aren’t you striving for something different? Is fear, hard work, or interpersonal conflict holding you back? Therapy can be the catalyst for healthy change in your career.

You want to understand your purpose in life – Many therapists love to dive in and help you find out who you are on a deep level, helping you uncover the passions buried under the busyness of life. A desire for this time to self-reflect may mean that…

You want one hour each week to focus completely on yourself – Therapy is a course where you are the subject matter. You can explore yourself, go deeper into your current thoughts and feelings, or just sit and “be” for a while. This vital practice has become a forgotten art in our world today.

You want to let go and forgive – Holding a grudge isn’t a diagnosable condition, but it does have serious physical, emotional, and relational consequences. Through therapy you can learn to resolve these issues for yourself and move on.

You want a place to practice assertiveness, expressing emotion, or anything else – Therapy is a laboratory for you to explore, experiment, and practice behaviors that are scary in the rest of life. Shy people can practice confrontation. Detached people can experiment with expressing emotion. When you’ve tried this out a few times in session, you may be ready to take it out into the world. (more tips for clients in therapy here)

There probably are a few dozen other helpful reasons, however Ryan hopes you get the point: therapy is helpful for treating serious problems, but it offers much more. If we can move past the medical model myopia that contributes to therapy stigma, perhaps many more people will come to understand therapy’s benefits first hand.

(Source: Ryan Howes, PhD)

Book of The Month

The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference  

 “Where does ‘highly happy’ come from-and can we have some too?!”

Have you ever looked at a blissfully married couple and thought, I wish I could know their secret? Now you can. After years of investigative research, Shaunti reveals twelve powerful habits that the happiest marriages have in common.

Best news of all? Anyone can learn the secrets of a highly happy marriage!

In The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, Shaunti Feldhahn shares her findings about little, very unexpected, often overlooked actions that make a huge difference. You’re about to discover that highly happy couples:
* Go to bed mad
* Keep score (just not in the way you think)
* Boss their feelings around
* Have factual fantasies
* Get in over their heads
* Don’t tell it like it is
* Don’t look to marriage to make them happy…

Packed with eye-opening research and practical helps, this book delivers relationship insights that will take your marriage from “just fine” to “just the marriage we’ve always wanted.”

Book of The Month

The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time

Happy CouplesBad habits: we all have them! But what happens when these bad habits extend to our relationships? Whether it’s interrupting your partner mid-sentence, acting bored when they are speaking, or teasing them in hurtful ways-over time these bad habits can lead to resentment, and can mean the difference between a wonderful, close relationship, and one characterized by conflict or unhappiness. Fortunately, for all of us, good relationship habits can be learned (or re-learned), and bad habits can be un-learned.

Named one of “America’s Top Therapists” by Cosmopolitan magazine, prominent Los Angeles-based psychologist and radio talk show host Barton Goldsmith, PhD, offers readers simple, accessible tips and tools for developing and strengthening positive relationship habits such as gratitude, humor, togetherness, and honesty.

Habits can be hard to break, but if you love someone, you’ve got to make sacrifices. When you consider that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, it becomes clear that many of us may need help in making a relationship thrive. The Happy Couple shows how simple acts of kindness and generosity can increase the likelihood of a relationship being happy, healthy, and long-lasting.

 

Thanksgiving & Blended Families Cont. . .

Families GamesPersonalities and Communication – In every extended family, there are bound to be personality quirks and mismatches that threaten to upset the Thanksgiving holiday extravaganza. Make things easy on yourself and try to smooth over any potential snags from the start. Include all of the blended family matters in the planning. Let everyone know the proposed schedule, menu and helping opportunities early on. Consider the extended family communication style for the best party planning approach. Plan by phone? In person? Via a family designed internet invitation? If not everyone cares to be involved in the planning or baking or decorating, ask them to help with cleanup or to coordinate kid activities or Thanksgiving music or simple flowers.

Sharing – Unless you are the Martha Stewart Thanksgiving catering type, welcome suggestions and helping hands gratefully!

Diversions for the Ages – If your blended extended family is even remotely like mine, you’ll want to be open to diversions to keep the crowd comfortable, relaxed and out of the busy Thanksgiving kitchen. Depending on family ages and interests, consider a TV room for sports or a kid video. Perhaps a table for cards, a jigsaw puzzle, or another board game? A quiet corner or room for reading or a quick nap? Not every relative is up for hours of blended family Thanksgiving mingling. Don’t push the issue. Keep the peace and go with the flow.

Inside and Out – If the weather cooperates, consider spreading out the blended family gathering to a three-season porch or encouraging a before or after dinner walk or outside activities for the kids.

Multiple Celebrations? – If bringing the entire blended family together for Thanksgiving seems to be an overwhelming feat destined for disaster, don’t push it. Have your own intimate family celebration and set aside another day, evening, or non-holiday weekend to catch up with the extended family. More isn’t always merrier.

RestaurantMake Reservations! – If blended traditions, preferences and varying menus seems too much of a challenge, consider inviting the blended family for a Thanksgiving outing at a nearby restaurant. Plan ahead and enjoy giving thanks to the restaurant staff for a relaxing Thanksgiving family gathering.

Source: Christine Tetreault, Yahoo Voice

Surviving Thanksgiving- Blended Family Style

Happy FamilyBlending both sides of the family together for Thanksgiving, or for any major holiday celebration, calls for thoughtful planning, flexibility, patience, sensitivity and the likelihood of creative on-the-spot problem-solving by the hosting relatives. Read on for suggestions on how to avoid, or at least minimize, the challenges and potential pitfalls of blended family Thanksgiving, or other holiday, festivities.

Keep the Thanksgiving Spirit In Mind -Thanksgiving is a holiday of giving thanks, of being grateful for the goodness of family, friends, and life. As host or hostess of the blended family Thanksgiving event, approach Thanksgiving holiday planning in the spirit of the season. Plan for a joyful celebration and commit to yourself upfront that this Thanksgiving fete will be a warm gathering of extended family, lively, relaxed and fun. Set the positive, festive tone for this blended family Thanksgiving party and plan for your guests to follow in your gracious footsteps. No trouble-making allowed!

First Time or Repeat Performance?  – Is this the first blended family Thanksgiving holiday? Is this the first time you are coordinating the blended family Thanksgiving celebration? If this is a Thanksgiving first, you have the honor of breaking new ground and bringing your personality to the beginnings of a new family Thanksgiving tradition, with no past blended family event to replicate or live up to. If this is a repeat blended family Thanksgiving celebration, enjoy the pleasure of being able to fall back on what worked and what didn’t work at the previous blended family Thanksgiving gathering. Borrowing is most definitely allowed and will let guests at this year’s blended family Thanksgiving event know that you are taking care to follow in the family footsteps. Still, don’t be afraid to add your own festive twist and personal touches to the event.

Thanksgiving TraditionsThanksgiving Traditions! – Whether you are blending in-laws, extended family, step-family, or exes into the Thanksgiving celebration being respectful and considerate of existing traditions is a must. Take the time for thoughtful pre-planning to consider traditions from both families and from all generations if this is a multi-generational Thanksgiving gathering. Traditions may include special menu items, decorations, who cooks and serves, who sits where at the table and more. Do your best to accommodate history and traditions for all concerned, even if it may mean an unusual or creative melange of ethnic food items or centerpieces.

Check back two weeks from now for more about surviving Thanksgiving with blended families  . . .

Source:Christine Tetreault, Yahoo Voice

Greetings from AFC!

SeptemberSchool is back in session, fall is almost here and people are already talking about the holidays. Whew! Speaking of talking, this month’s edition is a clear focus on communication- and how we can all do it better. With all of the couples that we work with at AFC, communication continually comes in first as the major issue that needs attention. We spend a lot of time teaching good communications skills to couples and individuals, which are valuable tools in relationships of all kinds. My hope is that you will learn something new in the up coming posts, and apply it to your everyday life. Stayed tuned and enjoy!

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