Moving Forward After Your Spouse Has an Affair

Uncategorized May 08, 2020

When we take responsibility for ourselves, we’re saying that we no longer want to feel “stuck” or burdened by the people and situations that have caused hurt in our lives. As I talk to individuals in different capacities, I’ve found that many people don’t want to take responsibility for their lives. People often remain stuck because they want other people to change. They want others to make it better, and often those people won’t. As a result, they are in bondage to others. I had a client who had four small children. Her husband left her abruptly for another woman. What he did to her was horrible; she had every reason in the world to feel betrayed, angry, abandoned, depressed and over-whelmed. And as long as she expressed those feelings of “look what he’s done to me,” there was no movement. These are natural feelings to have when someone has been done wrong, but they should gradually lead to a sense of ownership of the...

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6 Ways to Have a Better Relationship with Your Adult Children

Uncategorized May 06, 2020

Very few parent-child relationships make it out of the teenage and young adult years without some battle scars. We all have them! This being said, there's often some work that can be done to strengthen and/or repair even the strongest relationships between grown-up kids and their parents. Other than giving love, moral support and being an ally, one of the best things parents can do is to allow their adult kids to set up their own boundaries within the relationship. This is a time of profound emotional, spiritual and overall life development for young people, and finding your 'sea-legs' in the rocky waters of adulthood can mean temporarily pushing away from those closest to you. I've mentioned it before, as a parent you can say the same things to your kids over and over yet they never listen, but the minute an aunt, uncle or family friend mentions it to them all of a sudden they think it's genius advice.

We just have to be there, waiting, respectful of our adult child's autonomy,...

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Boundaries Teach Your Teens to Become Responsible Adults

Uncategorized May 05, 2020

It was a normal day, but one that would forever change my friend’s parenting. We had finished dinner, and I was visiting with my friend, Allison, and her husband, Bruce, when she left the dinner table to do some chores. Bruce and I continued to talk until a phone call took him away as well, so I went to see if I could lend Allison a hand.

I could hear her in their 14-year-old son Cameron’s room. I walked into a scene that jolted me. She was cheerfully putting away clothes and sports equipment and making the bed. She struck up a conversation as if things were normal: “I can’t wait for you to see the pictures from our trip. It was so much—” “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m cleaning up Cameron’s room,” she said. “What does it look like I’m doing?” “You are what?” “I told you. I’m cleaning up his room. Why are you looking at me like that?” All I could do was to...

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Are You Owning Your Adult Child's Problems?

Uncategorized May 04, 2020

Do your kids have problems? Whose problems are they, really?

A lot of parents tell me all about how their adult children have this problem or that problem. Sometimes you'll find a parent who will come to you and say something like, “My 23 year old son has a failing out of school problem, he's got a drug problem and he has a can't get a job problem.'

I'll ask, 'Well, where is your son now?'

Sometimes the answer is, “Oh, well, he's on the couch right now. He wouldn't come with us today because he doesn't think he has any problems.” Other times, the answer is something like, 'Oh, well, he's skiing in Vail, Colorado right now.'

I have to tell these parents something that surprises them. Every. Single. Time.

I say, “Oh I see. Well, I can only help people with problems. I don't think I can help your son. It doesn't sound like he's got any problems.”

The parent gets flustered. “What do you mean? I just told you about all of these problems. Of course he's...

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The Rules You Can Apply When Dealing With Toxic People

Uncategorized May 02, 2020

I want to tell you about a business relationship I had with a person who was very, very difficult to talk to. This person could turn a simple conversation into a Supreme Court Case. He just had a way of making it a lot harder than it needed to be. So, I had a rule: I never called this person if I had anything following the call that required a clear head and concentration. I know that I would need a cold-water head dunk afterward, so I just did not want to be in the position of talking to such a downer right before something important.

I know other people who have extended family members who are so toxic, they don’t allow themselves to visit them alone. They make a rule: I will visit them only if I can take a friend with me. They find that to not be alone with act person is the only way that they can keep from being hurt by them.

Here’s another example: Several years ago, I was accosted by a drunk neighbor who didn’t like the way I had parked my car on the street....

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What Keeps Some People in Bad Relationships

Uncategorized May 01, 2020

"Understanding fear and how you tend to back off may be the step of awareness that help you make better choices."

Alicia feared losing Daniel. She was so afraid of being alone that she could not say no to him. Blinding herself to the problem, she would take any chance of staying with him. She was controlled by fear.

Have you thought about why you are afraid of confronting another person? If you haven’t, your fears will probably hold you back, and you won’t get the outcome you desire.

Here are some common fears. Do you relate to any of these?

  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of disapproval
  • Fear of retaliation
  • Fear of loss
  • Fear of the other person’s anger
  • Fear of requiring another person to take responsibility
  • Fear of depriving someone
  • Fear of conflict
  • Fear of being mean
  • Fear of being seen as the “bad guy.”
  • Fear of not knowing how to confront
  • Fear of a lack of closure in a relationship or conflict
  • Fear of one’s own imperfection and the feeling of...
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What Makes Triangulation a Toxic Behavior

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2020

I have something I call the Deadly Triad, and it refers to a concept called triangulation. We've got 3 people: A, B and C.

Problems always seem to arise when we're dealing with A, B and C. Sometimes these three people are friends, sometimes they're colleagues. They all have relationships with each other and apart.

For instance, we could be talking about a situation in which A should be talking to B but is talking to C about B instead. This combination of people plays out lots of different ways. How do we approach it?

First, name the problem. Start by talking about the disease of triangulation with the people that it might be affecting. Sometimes people’s intent isn’t nefarious, but they’ve found in previous relationships that talking to someone directly hasn’t worked. Now they fear it for some reason. Sometimes A and C will talk to each other about C, because where they have come from, speaking directly could have been dangerous.

So tell them you’ve...

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Can You Say No to Codependent Habits?

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2020

Codependency is something that often that needs to be addressed because it can be a huge obstacle in your life, and learning to say no is crucial to removing this obstacle.

Codependency is most simply defined as a tendency to take too much responsibility for the problems of others. While it’s good to care for, help and support people, the codependent crosses a line in the relationship – the line of responsibility. Instead of being responsible to others, the codependent becomes responsible for them. And, unless the other person is your child or someone whose care is entrusted to you, the line of responsibility between the to and the for can become quite blurred. The result is that instead of caring and helping, you begin enabling and rescuing. Enabling and rescuing do not empower anybody. They only increase dependency, entitlement, and irresponsibility. Love builds up strength and character, whereas codependency breaks them down.

Codependency unchecked can take you right...

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When Can You Trust Someone Again?

Uncategorized Apr 26, 2020

Just wanted to leave a quick note about trust. Specifically, If someone said they wanted to be more “trustworthy” in their life, what my advice for them would be...

-Get clear on what trust means to not only you but to those you serve. One of my favorite definitions of “trust” is the “ability to be careless.” Meaning, if we trust someone, we do not have to be looking out for what we have entrusted to them. You put your money in the bank and sleep at night, carelessly not obsessing about whether or not someone is stealing it. They have your back.

Likewise, people who depend upon your performance in some area, should be able to be “careless” and not worry about your performance letting them down. You spouse should be “careless” about worrying where you are and what you are doing. Your boss or board should feel “careless” about the assets they have entrusted to you. Your partners should feel “careless”...

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What Happens When Someone Invalidates Your Feelings

Uncategorized Apr 26, 2020

What is the number one thing that destroys connection and trust? Trust emerges when we can enter someone's reality, validate their experiences, and have ours validated by them as well.

Connection and trust happen when one heart meets another. What destroys connection and trust like nothing else? Invalidation. Invalidation occurs when a person’s experience is all that exists to him or her. And he or she then moves to negate the other person’s experience, treating it as somehow not real or non-existent.

Have you ever had this happen? It feels terrible. Especially when it comes from someone you care about or someone you need.

Think of the contexts of life that change when a person has the ability to connect with the other:

In business, deals are won and sales are made. Medical malpractice lawsuits are avoided when a doctor listens and understands what the patient or family has experienced as a result of an error. In personal relationships, marriages are healed when a...

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