What’s Your Style of Fore Play?

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Now before you go down a different road, let me explain the question.

Recently, while in a coaching session, I was discussing results of a group interaction with my team leader. The team leader is another coach. We covered quite a few areas of human behavior within and without the group. I had an issue with one of my group in that she was not responding as I had wished. Further, I was having difficulty probing her and gaining information to motivate her into action. It may seem odd that I write this blog about how to make things work with relationships and then I myself have the same or similar problems. I even discussed this in a recent article, the link is here for you to review: Making Any Relationship Work . I should think this  proves that even coaches need coaches.

This reality exists with us all. You see, we are the same at every level of our existence and no problem, behavior or issue is new to human kind. So yes, I have the same troubles. But my team leader was generous enough to share a perspective with me that I had not yet discovered. When I explained what I perceived to be road blocks in the discussion with my teammate, and that I would shut off the conversation at the point I thought the resistance would go to hurt feelings, he asked if this was “fore play”?

Fore play? I had never considered the context outside of the implied sexual content. His point was that we all have a style of fore play that brings us to the main act. So let ask again; What’s your style of fore play?

Fore Play in Everyday Life?

Given that the woman I was attempting to coach is a very nice, educated, hard-working adult and I could not get what I wanted. There had to be more I was missing. I gave up in the conversation and possibly didn’t provide her enough space to open up and join in the conversation because, in her mind, the fore play was not over.

What a concept! It makes my outlook on conversational resistance change 180 degrees! Is it possible that people have this need for a style and approach to conversation? YES! And to prove the theory I began a discussion and a fact finding mission. It’s not about being right, just finding a new distinction to share and create with.

My team leader went on about children. When a conversation takes place with a small child they are always eager to engage. They love the attention and the stimulation. Talking is new to them and they revel in it. Tell them to do their homework, take out the garbage, brush their teeth, go to bed, they know the end result, but does that stop them? Hell No! And here comes the fore play… Thousands of excuses, reasons why it can’t be done, asking for delays, pleading, but in the end, they just do it. Every child is different in the approach, but all children have this natural propensity to push back.

This is the set up for how engage in conversation throughout life. It doesn’t have to be bad or good, it’s just that we want to have a little massaging before we get to it. Now, knowing this gives me a new way to approach or look at how we get to the main act of life.

My team leader said he was certain that my girlfriend and I loved each other. I agreed.

He asked if there was ever a time when she would accompany me to an event that she really didn’t want to attend.

“Sure” I said, “There have been several occasions.”

“Did she argue or complain before going? And did you know she would support you in any case?” he went on.

I said, “Of course!”

“Consider this was her style of fore play”, he ended.

And It’s There Everyday

Now that I understand the reasoning and basic programing we all have about how we approach and are approached, I take the opportunity to view these “nuisances” as an availability to advance and progress the conversation. And having the distinction gives me great power in the conversation itself.

While I was writing this article, my girlfriend came into the office and asked that I hang a mirror in the bedroom. We relocated two weeks ago and both of us have been working hard to get the apartment in order. She was lucky enough to spend the pervious weekend at the beach leaving me to finish decorating and hanging pictures. So, rather than ask for a moment to finish, request that we do it another time, or just ignore her, I got up from my desk saying, “It’s not like I’m writing my article or anything important…”

Did you say, “Go brush your teeth and get ready for bed”?

And as I entered the bedroom, she asked,”Was that sarcasm I heard in your voice?”.

“Do it right now young man and no arguing!”

“No” I offered, “Just a little fore play”.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

As interesting as it is, and yet little known, this distinction can dramatically change how we react or interact with those in our lives. Just imagine the possibility of being in control of removing the fore play from the conversation and getting down to the “real thing”. Would you get more or less upset with your children? Would you be able to have a different kind of discussion with your relatives during the holiday seasons? Could you tolerate and understand the co-worker you have had issues with? The possibilities go on and on.

And now for the main act…

When she says, “I’m not in the mood”, is this her offer to begin fore play?

Don’t miss the sex because you don’t like the fore play. Relish it!

What’s that Dear? Yes, I’m almost finished…

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 1

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Relationship BreakthroughOver the next several weeks I’m going to challenge you to have a breakthrough in your relationship. I’m committed that you uncover different aspects of your relationship that allows you to take the bond you have with your partner to a new level.  This is going to require you to pay attention and practice a few steps.  And when you do, you’ll SEE the results.

Over the coming weeks I’m going to talk about different aspects of how to overcome limiting beliefs, how to overcome stress, and take responsibility for certain aspects of your life. I’m also going to have you  look at the story of your life, how to uncover the truth that you really never lose, and how your decisions ultimately guide your life as you know.

During the next 4 to 5 weeks all I ask is that you keep an open mind to the ideas that I provide you. I’m certain that if you follow along do the practice sessions and continue to practice on a daily basis you will have breakthroughs in all the relationships in your life.

Let’s start with our emotions.

One of the things that we tend to do is we look at our relationships and all the problems we have.  However, what we fail to do is look at the problems objectively.

What I mean by that is… take someone who has tons of money, has everything that they could ever want, but hates life. Then look at someone who is a paraplegic who has every reason to hate life but lives a fully satisfied, happy, and joyful life.

If you begin to look at your problems objectively you may see that they really aren’t that big.  Besides, every problem you ever encounter can be handled.  And we’ll talk about how you can deal with them in later posts.

One area that allows you to feel like you’re doing well in your relationships is making progress toward some goal you WANT or NEED.

When you’re making progress toward a goal, you feel alive. You thrive with positive emotion because you can see you’re moving in the “right direction”.

And if you don’t feel like you’re making progress toward that goal, you SEE it as a problem to overcome.

Consider that the circumstances of our lives don’t control our emotions or how we feel.

You may look at an event that seems to be negative and say that it was the event that caused you to feel a that way. This is completely not true. YOU control how the event occurs to you.

To turn your problems into something workable you first have to shift how that experience occurs to you. In order to do that you must change your “should’s” about the experience.

For instance…

My wife barked an order at me.  She shouldn’t have done that.  She should have ASKED me to do what she wanted.  Instead she pissed me off and I yelled at her.

Consider that my reaction was based on how it “should be”.  And the “should be” is something I totally made up.

Now consider you do the same things.  You have a list of “should’s” in everything you do in life, PRIMARILY your relationships.

“He should open the door for me.”

“He should cook my dinner.”

“He should let me orgasm first.”

Our lives are built from a world of “should’s” that we didn’t know we had.

We REACT, not to the event, but how we think it should go.

Consider for a moment that your “should’s” were created from the experience of your life.  That’s how you came to believe them.  Now they seem true to you even if they aren’t.  These turn into expectations that may go unfulfilled because you’re partner doesn’t know.

The Devil Inside

If having these expectations of how things “should” go wasn’t enough add to it one of the deadliest relationship killers of all.

Our default emotion.

Yes, you have a default emotion.  It’s something that you default too when things don’t go the way they should…  It’s natural for you, it’s your default.  We all have it and sometimes are different depending on the “should”.

For instance angry people will get angry when an expectation is unfulfilled. Depressed people will get depressed when their expectation is not met. Ambivalent people get ambivalent.

These are default patterns that will drive us in our relationships.  They will be what you resort to in those “circumstances”.

Now consider you don’t even know that you do it. You react to life as if life is making you do things. You react to events in your relationship as if the other person is making you angry, depressed, or sad.

They aren’t DOING it.  Consider for a moment that it is YOU who gets to choose how you react.

The only way that you can gain control of your emotions and make a difference in your relationship is to become aware of it and modify it.

So here are a few steps you can take to identify what your typical patterns are and change them so you can take your relationship to the next level.

Identify your dominant emotion.

What you want to do is look at how you act.  Be honest with yourself and identify the dominant emotion that you turn to in times of need or crisis. Take a sheet of paper out and write down all of the emotions that you use during a given day.  They can be both empowering emotions as well as disempowering emotions.

You may notice that you turn to the same emotions over and over again. These are your dominant emotions. These are the emotions that you turn to when your relationship doesn’t go the way you think it should.

What’s the fix.

Now I want you to look at the emotions that you just wrote down.  Think about what emotions you would rather have or that would make a difference in your relationship when the crap hits the fan.  What emotion would you have that if you had it, would make all the difference in the world.

For instance, if your dominant emotion is anger what emotion would you like to have in place of anger that would transform your relationship with your partner?

If you’re depressed, what emotion would you like to have in place of it that would give you a breakthrough in your relationship.

Again, be honest with yourself and write this down on that piece of paper.

Practice awareness and shift the emotion.

The next step in having a breakthrough in your relationship is to practice being aware.  You must “SEE” when you’re turning into your dominant emotion.  Said another way, if you’re dominant emotion is angry, then notice when you get angry.  If your dominant emotion is sadness, notice when you get said.

I’m not saying look back into the past.  I’m saying notice it when it happens.  Once you notice it you have the control to shift it.  This is your opportunity to shift that dominant emotion into the one you said would cause a breakthrough in your relationship.

If you’re angry, notice it and shift it to joyful (or whatever you chose).  Shift depressed into happy.

What ever it is you do, shift it into what it is you WANT.

Just by doing this exercise you will gain so much power over your emotions you may surprise yourself.  And when you do this it may even impact others around you.

Anchoring the emotion.

The next step is to make that shift happen so you don’t have to think about it. The only way that can happen is if you continue to practice day after day, recognize your dominant emotion and when you’re having it, shift it into the fix emotion. As you become aware and practice these emotional shifts you are gaining control over your results.

Let me explain what I mean by that last sentence. Imagine that your partner comes home from work and demands that you make dinner. Your normal condition would be to get angry. What would it be like if instead of angry you got joyful. You don’t have to have a reason, you just get joyful. It would shift the situation considerably. In fact your joyfulness may impact your partner’s emotions. How awesome would it be if he ended up being joyful because of you.

As you can see we have dominant emotions that were dealing with time and time again. It’s natural and we all do it. But sometimes those dominant emotions may not be healthy in our relationships. So it’s up to us to take control, identify those dominant emotions, shift them into emotions that will progress the relationship forward and enable it to be a spectacular partnership. Once you do that you can continue to condition your dominant emotion into something that you enjoy.

Once you do this for you relationships, you may notice that it rolls over into the other areas of your life.

If you have questions please go ahead and ask them below. Most importantly I’d like you to read this more than once and then go practice.

I would love it if you would let me know your results. Also next week we’re going to talk about how to overcome stress and what taking responsibility really means. This could be the secret sauce that allows you to transform your relationship to a whole another level.

Love… To infinity and beyond.

Jay

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore….

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The last several weekly articles have generated a debate that has fascinated me, the RLA staff and many readers. Here are the links to the two that started the conversation: Lights, Action, Drama!!!!!!!!!! and Attitude and Gratitude Check them out if you haven’t already.

The power of choice and the recognition of being in control of choosing has brought out stories that prove the point. At first it seemed odd that people around me made an argument of no possibility of choice and that we have no control over our emotions or how we react to situations. So, we here at RLA took a deeper dive and followed the rabbit down the hole. The first post addresses how we choose and the consequences of doing so. If we allow ourselves to be controlled by emotion, that too, is a choice.

The second post gave insight to the perspective in which we choose to live. I give several examples of how I and people around me make bold choices to do the right thing in the face of what could be considered “wrong”. The reality is that there is no “right’ or “wrong” but WE choose to make it into something that we can label and therefore be comfortable with. I like that we have a conversation going about our ability (or not) to choose how we act, react, and engage.

So, back to the stories… Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a woman named Savannah, who was gracious enough to discuss our web site and asked questions about what we do here at RLA. She was intrigued and shared many aspects of her life with me and my friends. She was open and direct and shared one story after another. Savannah had us all laughing about her family and their behavior.

During the discussion, the option of choice was brought up. We talked about how making choices and being in control brought a great position of power to any relationship. I offered that if we wanted the truth about any situation, our best bet was to ask a woman 70 years old or more. You see, my opinion is that there is no greater truth than that from an old woman. They have seen it all, lived it all and done it all. Furthermore, they have absolutely no reason to hold it back. They will fire the truth at you as if it were being shot out of a Remington model 1100, right between the eyes and with no regard to your feelings. You asked, they deliver. Old ladies are the Dominos pizza of truth, delivered right to your door, hot, fresh and under 30 minutes. “Does that dress make you look fat? Oh Honey! When you walked into to church this morning, I thought there was a college football game about to start. I mean, silver stripes just aint’ your thing Sweetie. Now, I don’t mean nothin’ by it, but if you want to keep that dress at least get some advertising for the back side.” And there you have it the double report from the model 1100 fired at point blank. I LOVE OLD WOMEN! They choose to live by their own rules.

And Savannah, once again, had a story. She has an aunt who, at the time, was 92 years old. And Aunt Janie liked to have things here way. She made no bones about it, she liked things to be a certain way based on her proper upbringing in the state of Georgia. You see, Aunt Janie had lived during a time when manners were taught and observed by everyone in the community and she was not about to let go of what she viewed as proper. In addition, Aunt Janie knew this was her choice. Her choice came with consequences but that was also fine by her. As Savannah explained, Aunt Janie was the kindest person you could meet. She loved company and was a gracious southern cook. Aunt Janie was as happy to have visitors at any time as most single older women are. But there was one thing she would not compromise. Aunt Janie was raised in a time when a visitor “called” before they arrived. As was the custom in her younger days, it was proper to schedule a visit, especially to the home of a single woman. And now was no different.

Savannah said that even though the family all knew of this “rule” some of them tried to visit unannounced. The results were less than spectacular. Every unannounced visitor found Aunt Janie sound asleep on the sofa facing the TV. And no matter how hard or often they knocked, no one could wake Aunt Janie. When Savannah told Aunt Janie that she had missed several visitors due to her afternoon napping, she was stunned to find out that Aunt Janie had missedd nothing. Her 92 year old aunt was playing opossum! She explained that she knew of each and every person who came calling and she feigned sleep rather than answer the door to an unannounced caller. She was set in her ways and no one was going to alter the proper nature of her rules. Aunt Janie further explained that she increased the volume of the television, slumped down into a sleeping position and watched through half open eyes as the company banged on her front door. How cool is that? At 92 years old, Aunt Janie was still saying, “Do it my way, or bite my A$$!”

In this case Aunt Janie made a choice, it had consequences and she lived by her rules. Love it or hate it she chose to conduct herself as she saw fit and I feel like that alone is enough to offer some respect.

So, this will wrap up my rant on choice unless there is more out there to discuss. The conversation has been stimulating and thank you to all of those who have shared in the dialogue. Keep choosing and offer the same to those in your life. You be surprised as to the results.

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

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Need To Get Out Of A Bad Relationship?

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Resolve Your ConflictsDo you think you’re in a bad relationship?

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  I think many people stay in bad relationships thinking, hoping and feeling things will get better.  Many people, both men and women, stay in difficult relationships hoping things will change.  They even hope they can change the other person.

Before I address any of those concerns let’s take a look at some clues that your relationship may not be in the best condition.

One of the biggest offenders that could cause any relationship to go downhill quick is…

Jealousy

Jealousy in some cases can be very flattering, but there is a thin line between controlling and jealousy.

If your partner is reading your mail, calling you uncontrollably when you’re out with friends, or checking your phone messages there should be a big flashing light going off for you.  If your partner is preventing you from going out with friends, causes you to second guess everything you do, and causes YOU to modify your behavior so they don’t get pissed – then you should be taking a closer look at your relationship.

One-Way Behavior Modification

Do you find yourself trying to change things about YOU to make your partner happy? If you’re making changes so that your partner doesn’t get pissed or to appease them, maybe you should take a closer look at the relationship.  In my opinion that’s NOT unconditional love going both ways.  That’s one way love, YOU loving them enough to change but not the other way around.

Think about it, even the smallest changes you make for your partner could impact your life, your friends, and even your work.  That’s because your relationship isn’t in a silo.  It’s part of your life and influences everything you do and how you come across to others.

Name Calling

Being called names can be extremely hurtful, and when your partner is constantly putting you down verbally in front of your friends and family members or even when you’re alone can cause a great relationship to sour quickly.

Do you really want to be called names by someone you love?  Of course not.  But in some relationship name calling is common because they know what your insecurities are and can push your buttons this way.

In my opinion, this type of behavior is uncalled for and not necessary in ANY relationship.  If your relationship is so bad one of you has to get vicious and start using verbal abuse, maybe both of you should take a closer look.  The only reason for this type of behavior is to HURT.  And if you’re partner is purposefully hurting you, why do you want to stay?

These are all major signs of a relationship in turmoil.

Now, let me be clear, bad relationships will have good times too. And those good times may cloud all of the nasty that’s being done.  But it’s a cycle.  Some days it’s good.  Some day’s it’s difficult.  Should relationships be that difficult to deal with?

Will you have fights and disagreements?  Sure.  Will there be times of silence?  Possibly.  But if the above actions are a regular occurrence, then maybe you should give your relationship extra thought.  You should look deep inside and start analyzing the facts of the situation and if you are willing to deal with them for LIFE.

So that comes to the question – Should you work the problems out or simply walk away?

First let’s look at…

How Our Minds WorkHow Our Brains Work

Consider that we always want to be right.  That’s why when we buy something we’ll do everything we can to prove to our friends, family an anyone who will listen why making that purchase was the right thing to do.  We justify it.

The same thing happens in relationships.  We don’t want to believe that we were wrong in making such an important decision.  We may think… “I love this person.  How could they be this way?  Maybe they will change.”  You may even find yourself giving yourself reasons why your partner does what he does.  You also may find that your partner wants to be right in the relationship.  They don’t think they’re doing anything wrong.  Everything is YOU.

I have to ask…

What would you do if a coworker, a stranger, or a friend treated you the way you’re partner is treating you?  Would you put up with it.  I would bet that you’ve put up with less from friends and coworkers before.  So why does your partner get a “freebie” to treat you like this?

Consider that it’s because you don’t want to be wrong about them or you’re using them as a crutch or reason for your own short comings.

You’re probably shooting me the bird, cursing me up one side and down the other, but consider that you’re holding on so that you can blame them for when things go wrong or don’t get done in your life.

Gosh, how could anyone expect you to do what you say when you’re dealing with relationship issues.

Most people have sympathy for these situations.  They give you lots of rope because they don’t want to upset you.

Now it’s time to talk about the big subject…

Changing Your Partner Or Yourself

Do you want to change your partner?  Do you really want to change?

I don’t think “changing” per say is the best plan.  Changing someone is like putting icing on a cow patty.  No matter what you do, it’s still a cow patty.

Your partner may change and modify their behavior but will still be harboring the feelings and resent you for making them change.

But consider that you can’t make anyone do anything.  Their actions and everything they do – the name calling, the jealousy, the getting you to change – all comes from inside of them.  It’s their emotions and the story they’re making up that causes them to do the things they do.  It ultimately has nothing to do with you.

Let me give you an example.  Jon was cheated on by three previous women he dated and fell in love with.  Each event piled onto each other and now Jon is very jealous of everyone he dates.  He’s become so controlling he prevents his partner from going out with friends, attending events without him, or even participating in activities she enjoys.  He’s fearful that his partner will cheat on him.

You see, everything there has to do with Jon and nothing to do with his partner.  But when we’re in a sour relationship we look at what we can do to make it better, change ourselves, and modify our behavior.  Doing that might make matters worse.  How can it make it worse?  Because you don’t get to who you truly are.  You’re living a lie.

So how do you save your relationship?

It starts with understanding that, if you’re partner is treating you badly, there is nothing for you to change.  It’s time to ask your partner to have an open and authentic conversation.  Ask your partner to be willing to do deep soul searching.  What you want to do is find out what caused your partner to do what he does.  It’s those past events that are more than likely causing them to act the way they do toward you.

Once you’re able to get at the core of what was causing that behavior, it’s time to acknowledge it and let it be.  Once your partner is aware of what he’s doing, he should be able to recognize it, catch himself and stop it.

Now, if things begin to change in your relationship, great.

But if they don’t and things keep going the way they’ve always done then maybe it’s time to call it quits.

You have to determine for yourself whether you want to put up with this behavior or find a relationship that works for who you are.  No matter what the situation, to me, verbal abuse and this type of behavior is on par with physical abuse.  It can be just as damaging.

If your partner is unwilling to do some deep soul searching and uncover what it is that’s triggering these responses, then it may not be worth staying in the relationship.  Then again, maybe it is worth staying.

Let’s face it, some relationships are NOT worth saving.  Some ARE worth saving.  YOU have to make that choice.

Ultimately the ball is in your court.  You get to say who you want to be with.  You get to say whether you stay in the relationship.  You get to say how your life goes.

Also, I want you to look at everything I’ve just said… You might be pissed and hate me for it.  But you know what, it’s just my opinion.  You can choose to accept it or ignore it but if you are pissed and upset about it, consider there was something that triggered it and it’s not me who caused it.

So, what’s going on in your relationship?  Post your questions and let’s get some conversation going.  We can write about specific scenarios and give our thoughts on the craziest situations.  And as always, it’s just our opinion.  You make them count.

Love… to infinity and beyond,

Jay

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Attitude and Gratitude

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Last week I wrote about our ability to choose how we approach life and the problems it throws our way. In the event you haven’t read it, here is the link, Lights, Action, Drama!!!!!!!!!!! . Many readers did not agree with my assessment and challenged the idea of being able to make such choices. I was told that it is not always possible to view a situation and choose how to respond. A family member actually claimed it was not possible based on how the issue was presented and our past experiences. Their point was that we don’t have control with regard to how we approach and respond to crisis and everyday problems. The belief here is that it just is what it is and getting upset is a natural and uncontrollable part of the process.

I have to call “Bullshit!” here folks. If we feel that there is no ability to control and modify our responses based on how we feel and what our past experiences are, well just shoot me now and dump me into a pine box. Life has no chance to improve over where we stand today. Why should we try to improve anything? Are you kidding me! What a crock of crap! This view point simply tells me that these folks have no interest in changing for the better and we should all accept them for the emotional messes they are.

It’s fine with me if people don’t want to look into themselves and gain control and understanding about how they interact with those in their life, but don’t tell me it’s not possible. It can be difficult, it can be overwhelming, and it can be tedious, but it certainly is not impossible. So, if you don’t want to look inside and create a space for others to join in conversation about interesting and profound topics, fine! Just gain the understanding that YOU don’t want to bring your best to the dialogue. Let the rest of us open up and see what we can achieve via the approach and context.

Proof in the Pudding

All around me I see examples of people who choose to make the difference by selecting a path that allows them to remove preconception and barriers. I find it interesting for people with absolute reasons to complain and nothing to complain about. In fact, many times these same people not only are complaint free, they bring with them a joy that appears to be boundless.

For instance, a friend of mind named Wendy has a non-curable spinal condition. When I first met her, I was in love with her vibrant personality, out-going, good nature and her sense of humor. I truly look forward to each time I get to see her. She is never boring and always a great conversationalist. Her stories captivate me. She keeps me laughing from the time we meet until we depart. She smiles and the world smiles back. In my mind, it is impossible not to be attracted to such a beautiful spirit.

But look at it from another perspective. One day I thought to myself, this woman who delights everyone around her, has every reason to be angry and bitter. She could be mean to everyone she meets and we would allow her to do so because of her condition. People could easily agree that having such a physical burden rightfully allows her to have anger and distain. But here she is without a complaint and draws love to her like a moth to a flame. Her life force is bright enough to light a city block. I realized this is the choice she makes for herself and those around her. She can get away with the other behavior, but she chooses not.

Despite her physical limitations, my friend Wendy moves through life with all the grace and dignity anyone could ever ask for and she inspires me to be a better person. Wendy, if you’re reading this, YOU ROCK!

Another example is my partner here at RLA Advisors, Jay Simcic. At the time of this article we have been living through record setting high temperatures of more than 100 degrees. During this time, Jay lost his air conditioning for 8 days. With the Independence Day Holiday there was no means to get parts faster for the repairs and pending relief. Because of work and other responsibilities, Jay and his family were unable to leave the house for more comfortable surroundings. They were forced to endure the heat in a home without AC for each of the eight days. They had friends and family offer their homes, but again life did not allow for the relocation.

As the ordeal came to an end, Jay shared with me how grateful he was. I asked him to explain. He stated that he was grateful to have friends who were willing to offer their homes, He was grateful for neighbors who called to check in every day. He was grateful to have the money to pay for the repairs. His perspective was one I had not considered, but given all things he chose to take a positive view of the bounty he has been blessed with, rather than the misery he had endured. What a great choice! And imagine the impression this choice will have on his young daughter. The impact will be priceless.

And last, after a heated discussion with my girl friend, I was able to share a profound gratitude with her. As we settled into bed that night, I explained that I was grateful that we had such a discussion. She was puzzled, so I went on to say that I was grateful that we were working on our relationship and brave enough to have the talk. I was grateful that we were talking at all and face to face. When I served over seas in the military, I and many others were unable to have face-to-face conversations with their loved ones. I was grateful to have her, there with me in bed. I know people today who have lost their spouses, parents and children, who would give any price to have them back for one more conversation. Any conversation, an argument or otherwise. So in contrast, I am pleased to choose to be grateful.

You Make It Seem So Easy…

My friends often ask if it is as easy as my writing indicate. For this I apologize. To think that behavior modification is easy is understating it at best. However, this too is a choice. You see, I was quick to anger in my younger days and those choices many times lead to disaster. I found wasted effort in making poor relationship choices with those close friends and family who were simply caught in the cross fire of misguided emotions. Hurt feelings were more difficult to repair than to protect. Regaining my integrity after an emotional out burst was not always easy. So now I make different choices and so can you.

I love the feeling of appreciation when a good conversation takes the place of what could have been a bad one. I like getting the heart of the emotion rather than bearing the searing heat of it without real benefit. I love being able to finally HEAR those around me and I do it by choice. It is nothing simple or difficult it just is there for each of us to take advantage of. Choice is one of the greatest possibilities we have in life. So choose wisely my friends.

Is it easy? You choose…

 

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

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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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