Archive for: February 2013

Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

When you and your love are pulling in different directions, you may find yourself wondering how you got there. Whose fault is it anyway?

It may not surprise you that in spite of all the androgynous press, men’s and women’s brains are wired very differently. And before you groan, stop and think about it—these differences are delightful, and something to be celebrated! Do you really want to be married to someone exactly like you? I’m betting your answer is a resounding “No!”

Argument!

So what’s the difference in this brain wiring I’m talking about?

One of the differences in brain wiring is what psychologists call ‘the locus of control.’

Men tend to have an external locus of control, whereas women tend to have an internal locus of control. So what does this mean practically speaking?

When something goes wrong, men tend to look outside themselves to find out what the problem is. In a relationship, that can look like, “I don’t feel so hot, so it must be your fault!”  When something goes wrong, women tend to look inside themselves and ask, “What did I do wrong?”

Whoaaa you say–that sounds pretty harsh! Sexist! Blatantly unfair! But wait…

Am I letting women off the hook? Not at all. For women, it feels more like, “Help! I’m out of control. If it is my fault, then I can do something about this! If it is not my fault, then that leaves me helpless, and I can’t stand that!!”

So why do people want to be in control anyway?

It’s because we learned at a very young age that life can hurt! And our subconscious brain tells us that if we can keep things under our control, then we will never be in this bad space again. We can protect ourselves and those we care about by being in control at all times.

Except that doesn’t work very well.

Men and women also tend to have different styles of wanting to be in control. Men may more frequently use their brawn to threaten their spouse if they don’t “do what I say.” Women may try to “strong-arm” their man verbally, spewing out a torrent of demeaning verbal trash. Neither style is nice. And neither style works for very long.

So . . . next time you find yourselves pulling in different directions, and wondering whose fault it is—take a look in the mirror! Check out your default thought patterns. If the shoe fits, figure out how you can take this little insight and make it work for you in your relationships!

What’s the bottom line—for you? For your spouse?

Giving each other the benefit of the doubt is one of the sweetest gifts you can give your partner. After all, no one of us is perfect! And ‘humble’ is a whole lot more attractive than ‘arrogant’ right?

Sending you blessings for you and your love!

 

 

Looking for Love. . .

Are you one of those people who look in the mirror one morning and realize that your love life is on the rocks–again? Glancing back through my own memory bank, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s no fun to be in this space!

Impasse!

When you realize something isn’t working, it’s a good idea to step back and look at what you might be doing to sabotage the joy in those failed relationships.

I think of the sardonic quote that reminds me that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again—and expecting a different result ‘this time’! When I’m looking in the mirror—reluctantly—I must admit that this makes sense.

So what am I doing wrong??

Well, this may take some sorting out with a trusted therapist. Relationships can be pretty complex.

But in the meantime here is something for you to chew on.

There is no greater block to intimacy than insisting that you are always right!

 Can you think back over some of the rough spots in your relationship and recall times when you have made it very clear that ‘it’s my way or the highway’?? Alas! Insisting that things have to be your way—you must be the one in the relationship who is in control—is a sure block to those warm and cozy times with your love that you dream about.

There is more to this story. Stay tuned! Looking for love doesn’t automatically put your love life on the rocks!

Cupid Lowers Death Rate!

A Finnish study from the European Society of Cardiology was released just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Cherub

Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1337680

If you are in a committed relationship that is working for you, you have already made a positive choice for the maintenance of your honey’s health—as well as your own.

The Finns have shown us that if you are married, your chances of dying from a heart attack are cut in half! This held true for both men and women.

When you really think about it—we shouldn’t really be all that surprised. Human beings were designed to connect. In committed relationships, over the long term, married couples have the choice to achieve a comfortable give-and-take rhythm to their lives which provides companionship and a degree of solid, trusting predictability that nourishes both partners.

Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1337680

Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1337680

My musings remind me of a very, very sweet and basic truth—the philosopher in the Book of Ecclesiastes says,

9 “You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. 10 If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble.11 If you sleep alone, you won’t have anyone to keep you warm on a cold night. 12 Someone might be able to beat up one of you, but not both of you.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Contemporary English Version

May the sweetness live on!

http://www.escardio.org/about/press/press-releases/pr-13/Pages/marriage-reduces-heart-attack-risk.aspx?hit=dontmiss

Reconnect To Life!

Did you ever wish you could just re-set your body’s GPS and head off into a better direction for your mind, body, and soul?

Image credit: mikekiev / 123RF Stock Photo

Image credit: mikekiev / 123RF Stock Photo

Growth and maturity take time. Be patient with yourself!

Whenever you take into yourself what is good and kind, it builds you up a little more and bounces off of you to those around you. Your inner space is being filled with the things humans want and need. Over time, taking in more of the light–cheerfulness, helpfulness, love, peace, and joy—will fill your heart and bless those in your presence.

The truth is–light and darkness cannot occupy the same space in your body, mind, heart, or soul. Be patient with the process!

All you need to do today is say yes to the good and no to the bad.

Did you scream at your spouse this morning? Oh oh! Negative energy, right? The minute you realize that you are not in a good space, do something really novel. Apologize! Own it! Take responsibility! Text or call the one you love and say, “Hey, I really wasn’t fair this morning and I’m sorry. Can I make it up to you tonight? <3”

When you deal with the bad stuff as it happens—and keep things cleaned up—life goes so much more smoothly! When we let things build up over time and keep resenting those nasty things our partner said to us without letting them know it hurt, we’re headed for an explosion! Or perhaps even worse–a painful parting of the ways.

Does apologizing mean that you have to grovel? Cower? Hide? Not on your life! Those are the actions of a person who does not respect himself or herself any more than they respect their boss, their kids, or their spouse. This needs to change.

So if you are living in a place of ‘no-respect’ how do you go about changing this?

No profound change just happens to you. You are not a puppet or a pawn—you’re a person! Choose the change you want to see. Work on it. You can learn to love yourself and those around you. It is the result of many choices over many moments.

When you mess up, take responsibility for the part you played. Move forward in your growing sense of who you are as a person, and what you choose to surround yourself with in life. Begin to live by your choices and bless others with the good stuff.

A grand old life guide says, “You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. . . Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.” Phillipians 4:9 The Message

Blessings on your journey!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

So it just doesn’t seem to be working. . .

Aretha Franklin hit the nail on the head when she belted out this signature hit.

He this! She that! Yaddayaddayadda!

Confrontation

It’s all about respect. Are you giving your partner the respect that you’d like to get back? No? Well, don’t give up. Things can get better.

So here’s how it works. There’s three kinds of respect.

1. ‘Given’  respect

Given respect is the basic respect you should readily give to all humans, whether you know them or not. An example of this is nodding your head to a stranger you meet on the street. You are simply acknowledging their presence, and showing that you recognize them as another human being—who has the right to take up space on this planet and breathe the same air that you breathe.

2. ‘Earned’ respect

Earned respect is a respect that is based on knowledge. After you get to know something about someone, you automatically choose to accord them respect them—or not, based on their behavior. It takes a great deal of maturity to learn to separate the ‘action’ from the ‘person.’ It is a great goal and it works very well—when we can pull it off. When someone cuts you down out of the blue, if you can use good self-talk to say, “Hey, he doesn’t usually act like this; maybe he’s having a bad day,” and shrug it off, then give yourself a little pat on the back for learning a strategy used frequently by mature people who rate themselves as ‘happy.’

3. ‘Forced’ respect

Oh oh! I’m busted! There is no such as thing as ‘forced’ respect, because that comes only from a ‘power over’ position of control and intimidation. During my time working in prisons, I recall situations where one inmate would stand over another, look down, confront him, and say, “To youthat’s MR. Jones!”

If you wanna be happy, use the first 2 types of respect, and deep-six the 3rd type of ‘respect.’ It won’t take you any which way but down!