relationship counseling

Fighting For Each Other or Fighting Each Other?

We’re in our intimate relationship for a reason.  Hopefully reasons.  And despite all the amazing reasons.…sometimes we need to take a step back to be sure we’re really fighting for each other and not accidentally fighting each other.

I believe in love, both personally and professionally, and sincerely believe that there are SO many reasons we should fight to make our relationships work.  (Side note: I also think that there are some reasons not to fight to make relationships work…but I digress).

The Biggest Secret To Success in Love

Because when I learned this one, it absolutely changed the way that I looked at, experienced and showed up in love. 

It’s the power of being a great apologizer and a great forgiver.  Now by no means am I saying this is something I excel at in every given moment in my relationship. But it created an incredible shift for me once I realized how valuable these two traits were.

At Least I Can Say That I've Tried

The thing that grips me with “Hello” is the intensity of not just her words, but the pain you can feel in her voice.  The longing.  The regret.

 

At least I can say that I’ve tried….to tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart.

 

Because loss and regret are like that.  It leaves us so wanting.  It makes us want to at least say we tried.  Even if trying means we can’t erase the pain.

 

I know Adele’s song speaks to so much loss, but I really feel that the emotion she shares can also help in healing the love we still share with someone.

Crafty A** B*tch

And friends, the same is true in our relationships.  Sometimes we can be standing too close.  We can be staring so closely at what’s not working we fail to have any perspective.  We can’t see our part in the disconnection and we really can’t see the best way to repair it. 

Who’s Not Being Heard The Most

Have you ever had one of those arguments that is going absolutely no where, but God help you if you’re actually able to step out of it?  You know the ones, when about half way through you lose track of what you’re even arguing about?  Yes friends…I’ve been there too.

It’s honestly like the argument evolves into a “who’s not being heard the most” debate and it’s toxic.  Because as far as I know restating your point with more examples, louder voices and greater repetition never got anyone anywhere.

Repair It Or You're Doomed To Repeat It.

Honestly, sometimes it sounds much more enticing to just bury the issue rather than work to repair.  But if experience has taught me anything, I know that burying it is just another way to repeat over and over again in our relationship.

And one really important thing we know for certain in relationships is, it’s not whether you have issues in your relationship (sorry folks, that’s a given), it’s the quality in which you repair those issues.

But It Worked On The Playground!

Because as a couple’s therapist, I know that long term I’m setting up my kids to fail if I tell them to “shake it off “or “don’t let it bother you” or any of those other things we may have heard growing up.

I know that the hard shell they may need to survive on the playground is actually one that’s going to do them a disservice in relationships down the road.

It Takes Work

Because as nutty as this may sound, I have couples come into my office once a week and get very aggravated after 3-4 sessions that nothing drastic has changed.  We’ll start to explore their weekly homework, how much they’re putting the tools learned in session into daily action and what they’re doing each week to prioritize their relationship outside of therapy and I swear to you, this is when my office starts to feel like the principal’s office.  They start to squirm, avoid eye contact and mumble under their breath.  They begin to realize that maybe they’re not holding up their end of the bargain.

Can Trust Really Be Rebuilt?

For the record, infidelity is really hard to talk about.  It makes people uncomfortable and pretty judgmental.  It seems like whenever someone hears about a couple struggling to heal from an affair, they make sweeping judgments about affairs on how they would “never tolerate” that in their relationship or they would leave “in an instant” if their partner cheated on them.  But the truth is, it’s not that simple.  And hearing people’s input of what they “would” do can do more harm than good.

Caught vs Confessed. Does It Make The Truth Any Different?

For the record, the truth coming out when you’re caught is not the same as you confessing it yourself.    

The internet is blowing up right now over the Ashley Madison hack and I think you have to be living under a rock (or away from mainstream media) to not be hearing the news stories about the fallout of this.   

Yellow Light… Speed Up or Slow Down?

And after many, many years of marriage it’s a debate I don’t see being resolved any time soon.  So last weekend when this “debate” came up again, aka, my seat belt locked up on me as my husband brought the car to a screeching halt, I realized that this yellow light is pretty similar to what I see every day in my Sacramento therapy office.

Do You Know Your Relationship? 10 Relationship Truths.

So in honor of these past eleven years, here are the things I know to be true about relationships.  My relationship truths!

1.      They are insanely hard – well no shit!  I mean we hear this one every day, but what does it really mean.  Well it means they are insanely hard.  Our love relationships are the most unique relationships we have.  And for that reason, we don’t get to practice the skills we need to be successful in love at any given moment because most of the rest of the world doesn’t require us to be as vulnerable as we need to be in love. 

Screw The Why, Let’s Talk About The What

Does anyone else think “why” is the most commonly asked question?  And I’m honestly not just saying that because I’m a mom of toddlers.  Whether it’s a celebrity break up (which seem to be happening a lot this summer) or a tragic story in the news, or just a regular conversation between friends, the question “why” comes up over and over again. 

Why Do We Shame Ourselves When We Need To Ask For Help?

Why do we shame ourselves for asking for help? 

I’m truly interested in this answer.  And if someone has it, please share it with me. 

Because I find over and over again that people are the harshest critics of themselves, especially when they ask for help.  It’s like somewhere along the way we learned that asking for help is weak, that we should be able to do it all on our own and asking for help is a sign you’re not superwoman (or superman).

Be Free

 

In lieu of a blog entry this week, I decided to do something different.

With Independence Day coming later this week, I want you to take on a challenge…..a freedom challenge.

This week, I want you to be set free.

I know that in this life we all have things that weigh us down. Worries.  Fears. Challenges. Obstacles.

Did Jeter Have It All Right?

There are many of you that are probably familiar with the Captain from his batting average, shortstop skills and classy attitude, but few of you may know about his refusal to allow anyone past his entry way with a phone. Yes Jeter is a private guy, but he’s also a guy that wants people to come over and really connect with one another.  He literally has a basket waiting for you when you walk in the front door to leave your phone only to be returned upon your exit later in the evening.