As human beings,our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.
"You are so critical and hyper!"
"You are so withdrawn and unsupportive!"
We all tend to be experts on what is wrong with our partners. Certainly, this level of awareness is an important starting point when considering our troubled relationships. Yet, such criticisms are not conducive to healthy connecting. Read more »
Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent instruments to establish connection. Yet they can be a source of disconnect and rupture for committed relationships, because they offer an opportunity to reconnect with old infatuations. Social networking may make it easy to meet people with similar interests, particularly when you are feeling disconnected from your partner. Virtual connections often eradicate inhibitions, allowing online relationships to develop faster and deeper than face-to-face bonds. Read more »
In my own life, and in the relationships I observe with couples in treatment, I’m struck by how seemingly stuck we can get in our routines. Overall, routines do make a lot of sense. But they can get in the way of spontaneity and change. Sometimes, couples want to start their session by sharing with me something that went well for them in the previous week. Most of the time these “successes” of connection, fun, or happiness result from having done something out of the ordinary or unexpected. In many ways, we can’t expect different results if we’re continually doing the same things. Read more »
I recently heard a sermon about radical hospitality, the unexpected and unselfish care of another person. The pastor, Judith Fulp-Eickstaedt, asserted that such radical hospitality is the beginning of dramatic change, and she gave two examples. Read more »
If you were lucky, an adult in your life read aloud to you when you were young. Reading to a child is a wonderful way to stimulate his or her imagination, improve reading comprehension and verbal skills, and create a sense of safety and connection. One reason adults read to children before bedtime is to calm and soothe; it’s a wonderful prelude to sleep. Read more »
Sometimes it can feel like there is no one to talk to when things get rough. Sometimes you just want someone to help celebrate your joys and successes. It may make you wonder, what ever happened to the idea of having a best friend? Read more »
Through my years in both nursing and personal relationships, I have been struck by the healing power of touch. When I was a maternal child nurse more than 30 years ago, I gave care to my postpartum patients by giving them a back rub and tucking them in at night. I remember the amazing feedback I received from that simple act and the gratitude I had for being able to provide that personal care. (I wonder if back rubs are still a part of patient care?) Read more »
In Becoming Married (1993), Anderson & Fite talk about having a “room of one’s own.” This concept is not about a physical space, although it can be, as much as it is an emotional space. It refers to the delicate balance between needing connection within a relationship, and the need to still be an individual with autonomy and uniqueness. Read more »
Going to school is a milestone in the lives of children. They enjoy the independence it brings and the excitement of new experiences and relationships. For some kids school is scary and they may or may not share their concerns, such as fear of separation, social anxiety, and making academic choices openly with their parents – sometimes they are not even aware of being fearful. Read more »
"I give her flowers, I buy her books and jewelry, and yet she complains that I do not love her! What am I doing wrong?" "I am sensitive to my husband's physical needs and try to please him in bed and yet he wonders if I really love him. What does he want?" The stories and confusion go on and on. Even couples who consciously try to love and please their partners are often thwarted and disappointed to find that they fail repeatedly to meet their partner's needs. Read more »