Conflict

Love And Respect-What Men Want In A Relationship

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Love and Respect Is MissingDo men NEED respect in public from their women?

I’ll answer that in just a minute but first I want to tell you why this topic came up.

I’m sitting here reading a book about what men think and it’s written by a woman.  I’m not saying women can’t write about what men think.  They sure can but unless they’ve talked to countless men and gotten past the surface level answers, I’m not sure you can get the full story.

She states that one of the most important things men want from their partner is to get respect in public.  She indicates there is an alarming amount of public disrespect of men by the women they love.

She indicates that dozens of men told her how painful it is when their wives criticize them in public.  She goes on to say that these guys have women put them down, criticize them, and question their judgment in front of others.  She also goes on to say how delicate and fragile men’s ego is.  She indicates that it’s not our ego that’s hurting when this happens but our secret feelings of inadequacy as a man.

Ok, I have to call Bullsh*t here.  I can’t go along with that.

First, let me say that if you think respect is a one way street you’re sorely mistaken.  A woman should respect her man’s judgments, considerations, and word in public or private.  And her man should do the same for her.

Respect is an equal opportunity value.

I don’t care who you are, man or woman, if someone you love criticizes you, teases you, and questions your judgment in public you’re going to be upset if not straight up pissed.

I don’t know what type of guys this author was interviewing or what their situation looks like but she must have found the absolute worst case scenarios.  I go out in public a fair amount and I have to say, I don’t see much of this disrespect going on.

If it’s happening, it’s not being done in my circles.

But like I said, respect is not a male thing or a female thing.  Respect should be given to each other as part of the relationship.  If there is no respect one way or the other, you should either work it out or walk away.

In my opinion you can’t have a relationship without mutual love and respect.  That’s what men want in their relationships (I’ll let the women speak for the women).

Ok… and a little sex too (just adding some humor).

Are there times when teasing can be hurtful?

Sure, but again it goes both ways.  And it’s up to both of you in the relationship to discuss what’s going on.  Your man can’t expect you to know what he’s thinking and feeling if he doesn’t tell you.  And yelling or arguing about the problem doesn’t help at all.

I suggest that you set a time to talk when both of you are alone.  Then have an open and honest conversation explaining how you feel.

Look, everything in our world exists through the language we speak.  You can’t describe the color blue if you didn’t have the words to describe it.  That’s why it’s so important to choose your words with care and communicate exactly what it is you intend to mean.  And when he’s expressing himself try not to cast judgment.

When things don’t turn out like you expected, if he’s upset or if you’re upset, then it’s time to have a discussion and be open and honest about it.  If you don’t have mutual respect and love with open and honest communication how can you expect to have a relationship.

Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes Divorce

A great example of this is the current divorce that’s been announced by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.  Consider that any marriage will end if there is some expectation or ideal that was not fulfilled or put to rest.  Of course I don’t know what went on in their household but when you can’t come to a mutual agreement on “show stopper” type matters then all there is left to do is split.

One thing is certain so far, we do see mutual respect for each other because they are staying quiet. They’re not talking down to each other in the media.

All of this begs the question, why should anyone stay in a relationship where there is constant friction, bickering, and unfulfilled expectations?

I think most of the time conflicts can get resolved through communication.  But if one side is unwilling to budge, there’s not much to do except to give in or if it’s a show stopper to end the relationship.

Let’s look at Tom and Katie again.  There has been speculation that the cause over their break up has to do with Tom’s unwillingness to let their daughter out of the Scientology way of schooling.  On the other side, there is speculation that Katie doesn’t want their daughter to grow up in a Scientology school.

I don’t know much about Scientology but it’s like this… if they can’t agree and this particular disagreement is a show stopper for either one of them, then they are doing the right thing by breaking up instead of continuing to bicker and fight.

If you can’t tell, I don’t think fighting, yelling, and bickering is the answer to anything.  Talking, communicating openly, and expressing yourself fully to your partner is.  And if conflict still can’t be resolved then you can both CHOOSE to end the relationship.  I can’t understand why anyone would stay in a relationship that consists of constant bickering and fighting where neither of you can agree.

Relationships are supposed to be filled with love, joy, and engagement… aren’t they?  That’s up to you and your partner to define.

Now back to the crazy lady whose book I was reading… In my opinion, the author of this book clearly missed the mark.  In a way she describes men like you would a child who gets upset because they can’t have their way.

Ladies, if you want to get into the mind of your man please don’t read a book from another woman, talk to a girlfriend, or ask other women.  Ask a few men that you trust for their honest opinion in the matter.  Ask to hear it straight and exactly how they think.  Then you might get part of the picture.

If you want the full picture with love and respect, talk to the man who you know, love and trust.  That’s who you should be getting your information from anyway.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Lights, Action, Drama!!!!!!!!!!

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Relationships today have taken a turn in which life represents art. I am referring to reality TV and the influences it has on our own lives. I am a huge fan of reality TV and I fault no one for watching and enjoying the carnage that takes place on such programs. Forget the Amazing Race and Survivor, I’m talking about the original day-time dirt. There is nothing better than watching a couple of strippers cat fight over a trailer trash, red-neck, hillbilly for female dominance of the Sunny Meadows RV and Trailer Park. YEE-HAAAWWWW, that’s just good old fashion fun!

I get to laughing out loud watching this kind of thing on TV. At times I find myself crying from laughter and thinking, “My life is great”. On occasions I feel as if I need a good dose of day-time trash to make me see my life as good and wholesome compared to others. But the reality of reality TV is that we see ourselves in those performing or living out their lives for all of us to view.

Don’t deny it! We have all sat in front of the idiot box and thought, “We should talk to my in-laws about going on that show”, or “That reminds me of our last Thanksgiving dinner”. We all know someone, some where who would fit right into the current top-of-the-morning “Talk Show”. There is no reason to be embarrassed by it or them, it’s just the way families are. We are all dysfunctional to a certain degree, but we can choose to act upon it or take a different path.

The Set Up…

Going through our daily lives and relationships with those around us, we encounter issues and problems of all kinds. Disagreements, arguments, confrontations, they are with us or part of us every day. And we get to choose how we approach and deal with these every day occurrences. Let me say that again, every day occurrences.

You may make a case that there are days when we don’t have issues and problems. Well, perhaps so, but again that is a choice. But consider that every occurrence in life is presented to us with a choice of how we will behave. In other words, regardless of the situation, we get to choose what happens by how we act upon the issue. What’s that? You don’t believe it? Let’s look at an example…

Johnny and Peg are a married couple. Johnny pays the bills as is their agreement. While paying the monthly cell phone statement, Johnny logs on to view the bill via the web in an effort to find a possible reduction in price based on the couples total usage. He discovers three calls from Peg’s phone to his best friend Tom. All were placed last Friday evening while Johnny was at a company dinner function. The total time for the three calls was more than 90 minutes!

Johnny feels he must address this with Peg immediately. He gathers the phone bill and storms into the kitchen to find Peg.

Cue music. Camera pans from left to right. Camera pulls back for a full view of the audience pounding their fists in the air to a chant of, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry…”  Enter Jerry, announcing, “And on todays show we have Johnny who is here to confront his wife Peg about her recently discovered infidelity” The audience screams their disapproval. What a great show! Let’s get a front row seat! Johnny has chosen the reality TV approach. This should be good!

OR

Johnny and Peg are a married couple. Johnny pays the bills as is their agreement. While paying the monthly cell phone statement, Johnny logs on to view the bill via the web in an effort to find a possible reduction in price based on the couples total usage. He discovers three calls from Peg’s phone to his best friend Tom. All were placed last Friday evening while Johnny was at a company dinner function. The total time for the three calls was more than 90 minutes.

Johnny feels he must address this with Peg, if only for his curiosity and peace of mind. Over dinner when he asks, Peg reminds him that Lisa, Tom’s wife, had visited that evening after she and Tom had argued. Lisa left her apartment upset and without her phone. Once she was clam she called to talk to Tom and borrowed Pegs cell phone. They worked it out and Lisa was back at home happy later that night. Boring, I know, but Johnny is in control of choosing and the out come will be very different based on his choice.

The Final Act

As I said, these issue are there for us each and every day. Many pass us by without notice and others are thrust upon us to be dealt with in the rudest fashion possible. Either way, we get to choose how we take on the situation. Tell me I am not performing well enough at work. I can call the boss an asshole or ask what is missing that would benefit both of us. When the car breaks down, I can complain about it or deal with the repairs. Either way I have to get it fixed. Find a strange entry on the cell phone bill and get upset or inquire as to why.

Each time I get to choose and be in control and powerful with the choice. I have what it takes to keep the conversation moving forward and in a positive direction. If it is true that Peg is cheating on Johnny, does he need an audience and a talk show host to know how to handle it? I should think not.

Give the benefit of conversation to those around you. Let them be part of the engaging dialogue and offer them the opportunity to get open and honest with you. In return you can be in control by providing the space for such conversation. Many people don’t know how to get to this point but that, in and of itself, could make for a great conversation with someone you love. Embrace the idea of conversational intercourse. It can be extremely stimulating.

That’s it for now. I have to run off to find out if Marty, Sean, Terry or Bubba is Betty Lou’s baby daddy. The DNA results are in! And the hits just keep on rollin’.

 

As always,
Love with no shame and ask with no fear.
Bobby

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Common Relationship Problems With A Hair Trigger

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She was standing at the end of the driveway sobbing.

How is this going to go.  What if the police show up.  What if I actually do it.  Screw him, he deserves it.

As she approached the house, she pulled the handgun out of her purse.

This is it, show time.

She twisted the knob gently and casually walked in.

“Hey Johnny, where are you?”

“I’m in the kitchen”, he answered.

She raised the gun and aimed at his head as she stepped into the kitchen.

“What the hell’s going on?  What are you doing?  Why do you have a gun?”

“I know you’ve been cheating on me, Johnny!”, she yelled.

“What are you talking about?  I haven’t cheated on you.”

“Then why did I see the charge on our Visa from Victoria’s Secret?  You’ve never brought me anything from there and it’s been weeks since I saw it on the card.  My birthday is over six months away.  You dirty bastard. I can’t believe you would do something like this. ”

Her face turned red and her hands started to shake as she thought about the possibilities.

“Who is she, Johnny!  Tell me.”

Johnny looked at her as a tear began to form in his eye.

“It’s YOU.  It’s you, sweetheart.  I thought I would surprise you when you get the promotion you’ve been talking about.  I thought about it weeks ago and didn’t know when your promotion would go through.  I figured I would get you something nice and give it to you when it happened.”

Johnny started to shiver out of fear.

“Now put the gun down. We seriously need to talk. What made you go to this extreme?”

She dropped the gun and started to cry…

***

Now that’s a bad situation.  And it could happen to anyone.  Yes, it’s a little dramatic but when you consider emotions, the chemicals in your brain, and your reactions based on what’s going on in your life, this event is possible on varying levels.  And the roles can be reversed.  Man or woman, husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, we ARE invested in our relationships.

Where does all this come from?

You’re probably saying to yourself right now… “That wouldn’t happen to me.”

Sure, maybe not to this extreme but how many times have you jumped to conclusions about other things that weren’t true at all.  It happens to all of us.  And it’s ok.  It’s not right or wrong, good or bad.  It happens and it’s our job to become aware of it so we can do something with it.

First, let me tell you about this great bit of information I found on Psychology Today that explains some of the chemical wirings that might be causing some of this to happen.

Love triggers oxytocin
Oxytocin is the neurochemical that causes trust. It’s released during orgasm, and in smaller amounts when you hold hands and when animals lick their babies. Oxytocin is the good feeling of a common cause, from a political rally to a football huddle to honor among thieves.
Reptiles release oxytocin during sex, but mammals produce it all the time. That’s why reptiles stay away from other reptiles except when mating, while mammals form attachments to relatives and herds. The more oxytocin you release with a person, the more attached you feel. More touch, more oxytocin, more trust. But trust gets complicated in the human brain. You trust a person to live up to your expectations, and don’t realize how complex your expectations are. Eventually, your loved one fails to meet your expectations, and you fail to meet theirs.

To your mammal brain, any loss of trust is a life-threatening emergency. When a sheep is separated from its flock, its oxytocin dips and its cortisol surges. Cortisol is the feeling we experience as fear, panic, or anxiety. It works for sheep, motivating them to re-connect with the flock before they’re eaten alive. In humans, cortisol turns disappointed expectations into emergencies.

Source:  Psychology Today

What does all that mean?  It means that when you encounter an incident that has you lose trust in your partner your brain surges with cortisol which causes fear, panic, or anxiety.  It means in the situation above the lady felt like her life was threatened.  It was fear of the unknown and her brain filled in the blanks.

Think about it.  If you’re a jealous person I bet you experience these types of situations more often.  The unknown causes you to fill in the blanks and if you’re jealous you’re probably filling in the blanks with lots of stuff like cheating, messing around, lack of love, my partner loves other things more than me, etc.  That in turn creates this cortisol pump the psychology folks talked about.

Can you see how, if you don’t put a stop to it and become aware of how YOU are being, these things will continue?

Of course you can.

Once you’re able to become aware of how you act and react to things you’ll start to get a handle on it.  Add to it a healthy dose of honest communications with your partner and you’ll be on your way to a superstar relationship.

Is it easy?  I don’t know if it’s easy or hard.

It’s just what IS in many relationships.

You see, we often times don’t want to admit much of this to ourselves because it can be confronting.  It’s almost like you’re admitting you have a flaw.

The thing is, it’s NOT a flaw.  It’s a past experience, an expression of who you’ve been, and a survival mechanism you use to get through your relationships.

Let me give you another example…

My wife walks into my office.  I’m at my computer concentrating on work.  She comes behind me and gives me a big hug.

Quickly I pull away, throw my glasses on the desk… THWAP!

I turn back around and hug her back.

Depending on the perspective, past experiences with throwing things down, past experiences with pulling away quickly and everything else dealing with a similar  situation…she might interpret anger and that she is being a nuisance.  While on my side I just wanted to get all into the hug and enjoy it with out crushing my glasses.

Here’s the rub. In the moment, nothing was said.  It was all action.  It left our minds to fill in the blanks and thoughts associated to feelings and sounds.  There was NO meaning from the actions themselves.  They were just actions.  It’s our brains that want to immediately fill in the blanks because of our learned survival mechanisms.

Had we not had a conversation afterward, that entire incident could have been interpreted as something it wasn’t and held on to for the rest of the day.

Boy that would make for a fun night, wouldn’t it.  We could have been at each other’s throats.

Can you see the importance of conversation in your relationships?

In my experience, this sort of stuff really begins to ruffle feathers.  You may disagree with my writings.  You may agree with my writings.  I don’t know but no matter what it can’t expand and open up to something new unless we have a conversation.

As Bobby wrote in the previous article, Making Any Relationship Work, conversations allow you to open your mind, see different view points and either keep or disregard your current view.  If you’re holding it in, having the conversations with yourself, you might as well stop now.  You’ll always agree with yourself.

So, if you disagree with me or anyone on the RLA team let’s hear it.  Give me your thoughts and opinions.  Lets start a dialogue.  You never know how we’ll end up on the other end.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.  -Buddah

I would add to that holding on to anything at all yields the same result.

Enjoy,

Jay

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How To Fix My Relationship In One Simple Step

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Fix Your RelationshipHere’s a story for you…

Jeff was dating Michelle.  Jeff cheated on Michelle with her best friend and she found out.

She was devastated.

This happens two more times with guys she has dated.

Now Michelle is dating Henry.  The problem is that every woman Henry talks to or even glances at, Michelle gets jealous and becomes very angry.  Is Henry doing anything wrong.  Not in this case, but Michelle is carrying with her the past relationships with Jeff and all the others.  Because she’s had so many men cheat on her, she believes all men are cheaters.  Maybe not outright but those thoughts creep in from time to time.  They’re there.

That ultimately impacts Michelle’s relationship with Henry and if nothing changes, their relationship will more than likely end up like all the others… broken.

She has a choice.

She could choose to let go of the past and totally be with Henry for who he is RIGHT NOW.  Not who she thinks he is, who he could be or any other stuff she makes up.  If she chooses to be with him for who he is now she may find their partnership grows in ways that she never dreamed possible.

All because she gave up the past.

Have you ever considered that your past relationships could be haunting YOU?  Those relationships could be the reasons you do and say the things you do and say.

You’re probably looking at this post right now going, no… not me.

But the truth is, we ALL carry around our past relationships and then compare them to our current relationship.  We’re constantly looking to see if they measure up.

Do you ever find yourself dreaming or thinking of anyone in your past?  Maybe you had a dream about him.  Do you think that could be influencing how you are now.

Absolutely it is.

It’s even worse if you’ve had a few difficult relationships.  You’ll carry those around with you and bounce every new partner you have with those old ones.

If you don’t do something, it could be impending doom.

Either way you look at it, whatever is necessary for you to let those past relationships go NOW is what MUST be done.  If you don’t, no relationship you have going forward will stand up on it’s own merit.

It will always be a comparison to something.

Time to move on.

I get it, those past relationships made an impression.  You don’t have to forget them.  You don’t have to forget the things you like and don’t like in a relationship. But it’s imperative that you move on and complete them.

Focus on what you have right now and live it up.  Don’t focus on the past.  Stop comparing.

The person you’re with right now is a blank slate.  You get to start over new and see your partner for exactly who they are for you.  You control what you think and do and it doesn’t have to be an effect of past problems.

Be who you truly want to be with the partner you’re with right now.  Be loving, kind and free.  If you break up, ok.  If they cheat, ok.  That actually has nothing to do with your value, your confidence, or in fact anything to do with you.

They did what they did.  There’s not much you can do about.  But we’ll tend to re-live those moments over and over again.

I don’t know about you but once is enough.

Give it up and move on.  Find someone else.  Here’s a great excerpt from a popular psychology magazine that illustrates this concept…

By becoming psychologically differentiated from damaging experiences and identities from our past, we can develop a stronger sense of who we really are. We can begin to live our lives rather than relive our pasts. People who are differentiated in this manner have succeeded, to a large extent, in emancipating themselves from negative childhood influences. As a result, they have developed their own value system and set their own course in life. When people have a sense of their identity and are possessed of self, they can have a genuine respect for the boundaries, wants, and priorities of another individual, be it their partner, spouse, friend, or child.

Genuine love requires valuing another person’s goals in life separate from one’s own personal needs and interests. In a truly loving couple, each partner recognizes that the motives, desires, and aspirations of the other are as important as his or her own. Because they feel congenial toward each other’s aspirations, partners try not to interfere, intrude, or manipulate in order to dominate or control the relationship.

Source:  PsychologyToday.com

You’ll never be able to tell the future. But the way our brains work we try to tell in advance if someone is the right person for us, if they are a good person and if they will do right by us.

The fact is, you can speculate all day long.  But you’ll never know for sure.

The bottom line is, let those past relationships go.  Live with aliveness and vitality in your current relationship. Be who you truly want to be and allow your partner to be with you as you are, not with the baggage.

Do you have a long list of relationships that didn’t work?  Tell me about them.  Post them below.  I’d love to engage in conversation with you.

Till next time…

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How to Change Your Man

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How to change your man

Who is Your Man, Right Now?

If your intent is to change your man, I suggest that you first examine what is different. Is he not the same man you first met or did he change?

In speaking with many different women, I find that the men they are attempting to change are, in fact, the same men they first met and fell in love with.

When asked what changed or what is different, it becomes apparent that behavior is relatively identical but the romance may have drifted off, lessening the loving feelings the woman finds within the relationship.

 Okay, I get that. And it is real!

When a man falls in love, he is excited to be close and perfectly happy to pick up the phone and call just to chat and say hello. He feels good about the relationship and himself. Being in love with the right woman makes us men feel invincible, almost like a super hero. We feel like nothing can get us down or be too big a problem. We have the love and support of our woman! Possibly the best feeling in the world! Everyone is happy and nothing could be wrong with the world. Men begin to relax into the relationship, we enjoy the comfort of our closeness. We take great pleasure in coming home and just being with our woman. Naturally, women don’t understand the different tone in the relationship. What went wrong? Does he still love me? Why doesn’t he show me that he loves me? Who can I talk to about this?

I need to change him…

What went wrong? Answer: nothing!

Does he still love me? Answer: YES!

Why doesn’t he show me that he loves me? Answer: He does, just look at it through his eyes.

Who can I talk to about this? Answer: HIM…

 

Here’s Where it can get Weird

 

A few things happen when the relationship gets comfortable, the man relaxes and enjoys the natural feel of being together. Think about it, men like old jeans, an old hats, a 10 year old recliner left over from college, their old hunting gun, grand dad’s fishing rod. We like things we are familiar with. We find comfort in the things we know and trust.

A woman takes great pride in improving the things she has in her life. Remodeling a perfectly good home, finding better books for the children to read, new recipes, new shoes, improve the relationship… Women value themselves by the relationship they have and they want and need it to be as good as it can be. This is who we are and there is nothing wrong, it is just a way of being.

So, when he is relaxed, she is worried. When he is comfortable and wants no change, she is concerned and thinks improvement is needed. When he is feeling like a Super Hero, she makes her move and asks for him to be somebody else. Neither he nor she is wrong, but neither have tried to see it from the others perspective. Can a man change? Yes! Can a woman change a man? Yes, but it must be done in a way that can keep you both happy and committed.

If a man has the woman of his dreams, he feels like a Super Hero. Consider what happens to his ego when the woman of his dreams asks him to change. He feels like he is no longer the man of her dreams. He feels wrong, hurt, lesser and becomes defensive. Now the desired affect of positive change back fires and instead of growing closer, he pulls away. When a man pulls away, many women react by pointing it out and again asking for him to change. In some cases, this sparks the argument of; “Are you seeing another woman?”, “Don’t you love me any more?”, “Have you lost interest in me?” All of these are hollow to the man because he doesn’t feel this way and there is no reasonable argument for him to engage in with his woman. He feels even further reduced and pulls farther away. Again, a backfire!

Worse yet, neither the man nor the woman know what to do. At this point they are both acting on instinct. Righting this ship can be an enormous task.

 

How to Get the Change You Desire

 

This may sound like strange advice, but follow me. You have to accept him for who he is. Reading all the emotions into a man is like looking at a blank sheet of paper and guessing what a full 60 page news paper will have printed. If he is comfortable, he is happy. It has nothing to do with how his woman feels about the relationship. Many of us like the comfort and easy feel of where we are in life. So, once you can accept that and see him for who he is, you can encourage him to change without bruising his ego. Men are little boys that had the misfortune of growing up. Many things about how we act and behave are nothing more than manifestations of our childhood. That explains quite a lot when it comes to our connection to old things, cars, music and the old college recliner.

Now, after you have accepted him for him, get his buy in and get him on your side. Tell him something that he does you are happy with and then ask rather than tell him what you want. Do this at a time when he can be engaged in the conversation, over dinner, just before bed, what ever your time for conversation may be. If you approach him when he is not ready, he will resist. If you tear him down, he will resist. If you remind him of his mother, he will resist.

As the woman, you have all the power to influence him and at the same time destroy him. Men want to please their women, we want to be the Super Hero at all times, for all things and for all reasons. Support our super powers and we are yours. Tug on our imaginary capes and we’ll fly off into our own little Super Hero worlds without you.

Remember, we love you, we want to be with you and we want to make you happy. We will try anything for the women we love. Be our Lois Lane or our Kryptonite, the choice is yours.

 

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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