A Good Relationship -- work, but worth it!
"A baby is born with a need to be loved--and never outgrows it"
Frank Howard Clark
Q & A
Is your relationship dull and boring? Is it supposed to be ‘dull and boring’, because you’ve been together for so long? Do you have nothing of any consequence to say to any more? If you respect each other and enjoy one another, there’s always something to say. Verbal communication and understanding the others moods and temperament, is the key to a good relationship. This takes work, but it’s worth it.
That’s the topic of the February newsletter: “Brightening a Dull Relationship.”
Minimize the Negative
Instead of focusing on the bad stuff, take a more positive approach. Nothing and no one is totally bad. Look at the big picture. Find humor in a situation. Nothing is all bad. Negatively only makes a bad situation worse.
We teach our children to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Be sure you give the same courtesy to your partner. In our busy worlds, we can easily forget to acknowledge the small stuff. Little gestures of kindness go a long way.
No matter how long you’ve been together, you can still have fun. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must do an ‘activity’ like tennis or golf. I’m talking about being playful – doing the type of things you did when you first met – joke with each other, laugh and don’t take things so seriously. Playfulness is all part of
a healthy relationship
Don’t be competitive which each other. If one of you is successful, the two of you reap the rewards. Encourage success - no matter who gets it. Encouragement will keep you together. Envy will tear you apart.
Reach into your memory bank and rediscover the qualities that you liked about your partner in the first place. These qualities are often the ones that are lacking in ourselves. Ex. Your partner may be more patient and understanding etc... Remember these qualities with admiration, and if your partner is not the same person today, discuss what went wrong.
Don't look at the superficial stuff, pay attention to your partner's gestures, their smile, their personality – these little things are not so little. The more good things we see in our partners, the more appreciation and respect we can have for them.
Stevie Wonder said it best “ I just called to say I love you”. Remind yourself of those lyrics. -- no special occasion like Valentines Day, is necessary – and you don’t have to be a ‘hopeless romantic’ either -- a call, an e-mail, a text, a post-it note. You don't have to say anything flowery -- I miss you, I'm thinking of you -- that's all that it takes to tell someone they're special.
If one of you is stressed or overloaded with work for whatever reason, the other person can always do something to help lighten the load. Sometimes, you can pitch in and make supper, or do laundry, at other times, simply listening is all that it takes to let someone know that you’re there for them.
I’m not talking about sex here, (although intimacy and sex often go together). A touch, a warm smile or quick hug – these gestures provide feelings of closeness. What you're indirectly saying is that I think ‘you’re special’.
Intimacy is so important, many seek it by having an
When there are problems in a relationship, we can always see what the other person should have done to make things better. It’s easy to see the other person’s responsibility.
your way of thinking.
Ask yourself what you could have done differently. When you change the way you’ve been acting, others change their behavior as well.
This is not for codependent relationships
Take care of your emotional needs so you can keep a positive outlook on life.
You can’t brighten your relationship if you have a negative outlook in the first place.
1) Minimize negativity
2) Show gratitude
3) Have fun
4) Be supportive
5) Show admiration
6) Be emotionally present
7) Say It
10) Shift Blame
Q & A
My thanks to the writer who has generously allowed me to publish this personal letter. I've received many inquiries on this topic so I hope it will be helpful to many of you.
My Mother has been an alcoholic as long as I can remember. She drinks day and night -- sleeps during the day, wakes up during the night drinks more and takes anti-depressants. Today she fell and bruised her face.
I initially wanted to do an intervention, as I feel if she continues down this route she is going to kill herself. She hates her life and says she has nothing to live for. When I try to speak to her, she insists that she’s fine and that I should mind my own business and stop dictating.
I changed my approach and tried to be more supportive saying, “I love you and maybe you should see someone to talk through how you feel,” but she won’t go. I called her doctor but he said that unless she admits she has a problem, he can’t refer her to anyone or anywhere.
My dad chooses to appease her. I moved out two years ago. I haven’t said this out loud, as I don’t want to believe it, but I am terrified I am going to get a phone call saying that she is dead.
My mother has very little self-esteem and doesn’t love herself enough to get better. I don’t know how to help her. It is a heartbreaking situation. I don’t expect a direct answer but if you could just point me in a general direction I would be grateful for your help.
Legally, no one can force adults into treatment, unless they are a threat to themselves or others. Your mother is a threat to herself, however, unfortunately a serious 'crisis' has to happen, before anything can be done.
Naturally, every family member wants to avoid this at all costs. Be ‘nice’ but firm, but don’t
Your mother seems to rule the family with her dysfunction and everyone’s giving in to it. People must be helping her. How does she get the alcohol into the house? Who pays for it? Family members must stand up to her and make things difficult for her.
The family can join AL-Anon, get some counseling or a few sessions of
to get the right information on how to deal with her or pressure her with an intervention. Also, her doctor should be notified that she's combining prescription medication with alcohol. He can stop prescribing.
Your mom must have no alternative. Then, the family has the power to give her an ultimatum. ex. get help or leave the house, get help or dad leaves etc. -- but once it’s said, it can’t be retracted.
Alcoholics are manipulators and will pressure the weakest family member to get what they want, so everyone must stay united. Not easy, but it's effective.
If you have a question or a suggestion
Here's how to contact me
Next Month: Toxic people – Don’t let them ruin your day!!
If you or someone you know are interested in a consultation or has had a slip, coaching will help you.
For all other impulse control behaviors ex. compulsive eating, sex, computer addiction etc. Coaching is also an effective way to get help. For a free 30 minute session
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