Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘rebuilding’

Book of The Month

A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others are Celebrating

by Harold Ivan Smith

Suffering the loss of a loved one at any time of the year is difficult, yet during the holidays or special occasions, those grieving experience a more intense sense of loss. The world is moving forward and celebrating life and all its blessings, yet for grievers, a darkness pervades the holiday. This book is an invitation to Christmas and its companion holidays of the season which compose a grueling triathlon which begins on Thanksgiving and continues unabated for forty-five days until the last of the bowl games on New Year’s Day. Through quotes, prayers, Scriptures and the words of the author, A Decembered Grief is designed to guide the reader on the journey to healing.



Remembering 9/11

We will soon be remembering the 10th anniversary of 9/11. If you are like most other Americans, you can recall exactly what you were doing when the attack happened.

For some it seems hard to believe that 10 years has passed, for those that lost loved ones it seems like an eternity.  Albuquerque (and the rest of the country) has several memorials and events to commemorate 9/11. What will you do to honor the countless Americans that we lost? Here’s a link to some of local events being offered.

Signs of Smoke

When people come together around the same interests and passions, it can be dangerous, especially when these people are old girlfriends or boyfriends from your past.

Be careful of all these new social networking sites, such as Facebook. They are great fun but also provide easy doors to dangerous attractions. Many of them encourage you to find old schoolmates and buddies from the past. Can you handle the renewal of those relationships in the present?

Consider the following danger signs for a close-call friendship:

* You save topics of conversation for someone other than your spouse.

* You share spousal difficulties with this person. For example, “You’re a woman; help me understand how my wife works.”

* Your friend shares relationship difficulties with you.

* You anticipate seeing this person more than your spouse. This is a sign you are already sliding sideways. Keep in mind that you see your spouse at the two worst times of day – first thing in the morning when things tend to be chaotic and in the evening when you are trying to get dinner ready, homework done and you are tired from the day.

* You provide special treats for your friend.

* You fantasize about marriage with this friend.

* Your spouse does not have access to all of the conversations you are having with this person – e-mail, texting, in person, etc.

* You spend money on this friend behind your spouse’s back.

* You lie to your spouse to spend time with this friend; i.e. you go into work an hour before you really need to be there to see your friend.

* You hide interactions with your friend from your spouse. For example, “Don’t smile at me when you see me at church; my husband is watching.”

* You accuse your spouse of jealousy when the friendship is brought up.

* Your friend shares his or her feelings or touches you, which creates an inward response.

* You have conversations with your friend that include sexual content.

* You participate in corporate travel with your friend, also known as corporate dating.

* You participate in business travel in which meals, alcohol and entertainment are involved, and you are staying at the same hotel.

Rebuilding our Sense of Trust

Becoming mistrustful of everyone around us is harmful- it limits the strength and number of our social connections and may leave us isolated from the rest of  the world. It is critical to learn how to rebuild trust, even if you feel like your relationship has been destroyed. Trust is not just essential to relationships; it is the cornerstone of a happy, healthy life.

As a couple’s therapist, I have observed that the most important predictor  of rebuilding trust in a relationship is the ability for both partners to take responsibility for what happened. This can be incredibly difficult if you are the betrayed partner. But it is a crucial step to saving the relationship- and laying the groundwork for reducing the probability  of a repeat event.

After establishing mutual responsibility, the next step is to regain a sense of control. This is based on the idea that we are not victims; at the whim of our partner’s actions or of our own mistakes. We DO have control over our actions and thoughts, and can make decisions to improve our relationships. Whatever action you take, it is important to heal the wounds of the past.

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