April 22, 2017
Nine simple truths –
May they be your first thoughts every morning and may they infiltrate your every move and every relationship:
- To be respected and treasured and able to respect and treasure all other people.
- Capable of expressing my opinions and will do so with growing and greater confidence.
- Uniquely gifted and my gifts are useful to my immediate and broader community.
- As unique as the proverbial snowflake and yet part of the human family, tainted with its vulnerabilities, failures, and frailties.
- Capable of forgiving the worst of offenses I have endured, and capable of seeking forgiveness for the worst offenses I have committed.
- Able to encourage the discouraged and offer hope to the hopeless.
- Unafraid of the talents of others and able and willing to help others find their greatness.
- Capable of becoming the most generous person I know.
- My own best friend so that I may be a friend to others.
April 17, 2017
Talk about what you would like to do more as a family and what would we prefer to do less as a family. The list may include monumental challenges that take years to address. The list may include things that can be changed in an instant.
Talk about what you would each like to do more, and less, as individuals in the family. As above, some may be really easy and some may take seemingly forever.
Plan something meaningful and unusual (“off the charts”) that the family agrees to work toward. This may be a trip, a building project, or entering as a family into a race.
Discuss (according to age, ability, and appropriateness) topics that are usually taboo like death, sex, finances, and family secrets. Discuss why they are taboo in the first place. When and why and how did the secret become a secret. Who decides what is and what is not a secret?
Consult a professional who is able to construct a Genogram with your family. Request that it span three generations. This will (potentially) alert family members to troublesome trends and urges that pre-exist within the family system and therefore (potentially) equip members to face them if and when they emerge again. Nothing in families is new!
April 12, 2017
There is a woman I know who dates very widely. She seems to be in constant search of a man. Her online searches are almost always successful and result in a relationship that involves moving homes, changing her daughter’s school, and sometimes changing cities.
Three times, at least, I have heard “this is the one” and she has been fully invested in the new relationship. Her zeal is faultless. Her research is extensive. She is very aware of the impact that her relationships have on her young child and waits months before introducing a new man into her life.
The child is happy; she loves his mother. She is a trooper when it comes to moving and re-settling.
Four to five months into the relationship the woman’s control mechanisms kick in. She begins faultfinding and she begins to want to re-arrange the man into someone he is not. As each of the men has stood up to her, she reads resistance as rejection – and from there things plummet.
She knows she visits her unresolved family issues on the men who are close to her.
She is aware that in every case the men were honorable.
The outward search continues when solutions are only to be found is within.
September 16, 2012
“I am recently divorced and had a relationship with an athlete for 4 months. He was very keen in the beginning. I had to put on the brakes as I don’t rush into matters. He was just three weeks out of a relationship himself and I could not understand why he was in such a hurry! He lives about 45 minutes away but would never visit me. I had to go to his place. Then he mistreated me, and said I had a bad attitude and was far too sensitive! Before this he called less frequently and the invitations were less frequent. I discovered he was seeing someone else. Why do men do this? I really feel used and abused!”
- Not all men do this. While you are willing to spend another minute with one who has already mistreated you, you will keep meeting such men.
- The first red flags waved when he expected you to do all the driving. If it is not mutual, respectful, and equal it is not worth having.
- Forget trying to understand him. It is no longer your business. Try to understand healthy men – study strength, not pathology.
- Forgive yourself. You blew it. Learn and move on.
July 13, 2012
Love and control cannot co-exist in the same relationship anymore than light and dark can exist together in the same space at the same time.
June 7, 2012
“My husband had an emotional and physical affair with a woman with whom he still maintains contact. He assures me that it ended years ago and has no feelings for her. I still suffer the post-traumatic effects every time I see that she has called or texted him. I have told him how disrespectful it is that he has not cut complete ties with her; how counterproductive it is to have this third party in his life while we are still trying to heal from the pain and betrayal yet remain a couple, parent our children and rebuild our lives. I am frustrated that he values that ‘professional connection’ more than he values our marriage and family. I know I cannot control his actions or change his thinking. How can I find a way to cope with this feeling of utter disrespect and lack of compassion?”
He’s lied to you before and during the affair. He’s rubbing your nose in his lies every time he relates to the other woman, whether “it” is over or not. It might be “over” for them but it is not for you. Show up whenever and wherever you know they are together. Insist on being with him. Become impossible. Call her. Text her. Become “out of control.”
June 6, 2012
“My husband left me for my best friend. This not only devastated me but caused my children (and her husband and children) a lot of confusion. I don’t want things back how they were but I do want some peace of mind. Her husband has gone off the rails with anger and I have bordered on depression. How am I supposed to forgive two people who have been so close to me and who have done this bitter thing to people, including children, whom they profess to love?”
My response will focus on you and the double blow you have received.
You have lost two best friends and you have lost them to each other. They have together all of what you once enjoyed and you have none of it.
I do not write this to rub salt into the wound or to tell you what you do not already know – I write it so you may see that your loss is real and at least partially understood.
Your anger and depression is justified. Grieve, wail. Express it in any helpful way over the coming years.
At the same time (in sane, healthy moments) begin to rebuild your life.
It is possible to do both: grieve, build, grieve, and build – just not at the same moments.
July 6, 2011
“My husband and I were happy until the birth of our son when our relationship changed. After our son was born he started cheating, lying, and drinking everyday. We spent less time together than we used to. I thought we were friends, but now it feels like we are distant cousins. Our sex life is boring.”
Your future must seem painfully endless!
While I am sad that you are victim to your husband’s cruel behavior, I am also sad for your child who is witnessing a marriage he could hardly want to emulate.
Please read David Schnarch’s book entitled Passionate Marriage. I will warn you that it is the very best book on sex and relationships I have ever read.
While the book is very explicit, it is never pornographic.
It is to be read as a whole, cover to cover, before judgments are issued on its worthiness.
The book outlines the journey of couples who have lives as miserable as you describe yours to be, and offers valuable keys for all marriages and all relationships.
I have gotten into hot water for recommending this book to couples.
Not only does it promote strong, healthy sex lives, it challenges people to live full, complete, and adventurous lives.
June 27, 2011
“Women put everything on the MAN! Talking about they need to be in the right mood. They need romance. Don’t get me wrong, I try to look at her point of view about sex but they never put US in the mood. We’ve been together for a year and engaged since February and I already feel like I’m 50 or 60 years old! These types of problems are supposed to happen around that age! I’m only 24 and she’s 29! I can’t win!” (Edited of hard language)
Clean up your language. It might (emphasis on the “might”) make you more attractive all round. If you swear (cuss) while you are writing about your most intimate relationship, one can only imagine what you must be like face-to-face.
How a person treats outsiders (those whom you do not know and who will read your writing) is a powerful indicator of how a person treats insiders (those close to you).
If you shifted your focus from what you want to what you can contribute you might see some change.
Diminish your desire to control. (“I can’t win” — healthy relationships were never about winning and losing).
Become less demanding, needy, and a lot more loving, and you may grow up a lot and be ready for the kind of sex a partner wants.
You are totally off in your understanding of men in their 50’s and 60’s. You, it is clear to me, don’t have enough behind your eyes (life experience) to have good sex – and if you keep on with your current manner of operating, which I call being “penis propelled”, you might never have it.
I hope your partner reads your post and identifies you (which you sent anonymously –another indication of your immaturity) and regards it as an impetus to bail. If she stays, and you continue to be as demanding as you clearly are, she is in for one sad, sad ride.