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Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 3

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RelationshipBreakthroughSmallIf you missed the first two parts of the Relationship Breakthrough you can check them out here…

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 1

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 2

I would recommend you read those first two posts first to get the greatest impact of today’s lesson.  But either way you will GET value.

In this part of the Relationship Breakthrough you’re going to get an idea of why you may see your relationship as not working, what causes you to feel the way you do, and how to take your relationship to a new level.

Get ready to unlock the blueprint of your relationships.

When you look at your relationships and how they’re working for you it stands to reason the first thing that needs to be done is look at where your relationships come from.  Why does it seem you get into the same type of relationships over and over again?  Why does it seem like you end up with the wrong man over and over again?

So first, ask yourself…

How have YOU made your relationships be the way they are?

You’re probably saying… What!?  How have “I” made my relationships this way?

That’s right… It’s time to take responsibility.  If you recall from part 2 of this series the focus was gaining your power back by being responsible for the way things are.  It’s time to do that RIGHT NOW.

You’ve made your relationships the way they are by finding the person you’re with as a result of the story you’ve told yourself over the years about YOU and others.

For instance, if you think “I’m not good enough.”  You may find yourself looking for partners who are less than you.  Not like value you but like they need something from you to be right.  That way you feel a little better, like you have everything figured out.

I’m not saying you do this consciously.  I’m saying that based on the story “I’m not good enough” that you’ve built up at an unconscious level you do things to find people who fit that mold.

Now lets add to that a story you have that says, “I’ll never find the right partner, I’ll have to change them.”

You may find yourself looking for partners who are sub par.  People who NEED YOUR HELP.  That’s also congruent with how you see yourself.  If you’re not good enough and you find someone who needs your help, WOW you might feel loved and appreciated for once.

I’m here to tell you, none of it’s true.

What is your story, exactly?

Your story consist of your experiences, feelings, and memories in life.  In essence, it’s your past.  AND it’s what you have made the past MEAN to you.

Let me give you an example…

Henrietta grew up with an abusive father.  He verbally abused and sometimes smacked her around.  Her first experience of a man was her father.  At that age she decided she never wanted to be with a man who was like that.  She drew conclusions of what he looked like, how he talked, the tone he used, and how he acted around women.  This happen when she was a child and stayed with her forever.  A few more instances of this type of abuse occurred as she grew up that solidified those thoughts.

Now, she won’t be with a man who looks, acts or uses the tones like her father and those other men.  Now she is with men who are weak and are submissive to her because she wants to be in control.  She doesn’t want to be treated like that again so she compensates.  But she does it at an unconscious level.  It’s the young girl that’s driving the bus, not the grown adult.  She has no idea why she’s picking these men.

There could be more too it.

When she was a girl she figured she wasn’t doing things right, she wasn’t good enough, because her dad treated her that way.  That thought has stuck with her.  She feels like she’s not good enough and compensates with the men she’s with in one way or another.  So, not only does she not find the RIGHT man for her, she also treats them differently because the story is running her life.

She hates her relationships because they don’t go the way she thinks they should go.  But they ARE going the way she has created them to be – from her past.

You’ll probably say, “She didn’t cause her father to do the things he did.  She didn’t cause the men she was with to be submissive.”

No but she made the meaning and she went looking and accepted the relationships of the submissive men.

So why doesn’t she have the relationships she wants?

It’s because our lives are like a thermostat.  We set it to 76 degrees.  If the temperature is 80 degrees then the air kicks on and it cools the house till it gets to the set temperature.  And vice versa.

If you have a vision of how your relationship should look but your story has run it a different way, you’re not happy because your thermostat is off.

You strive for your relationship to be a perfect 76 degrees but your story guides you down a different path.  (You’re A/C unit is broke.)

If you keep doing the same thing and you never interrupt your story you’ll continue to get more of what you’ve always gotten.

That’s why it’s so important to take responsibility for everything you’ve created in your relationship and your life.

So why don’t you change things, knowing that you want your relationships to go a certain way?

It’s because we take actions congruent with how our relationships occur to us.

For instance, if in your relationship you view your partner as broken, needing to be fixed, weak, or anything of the sort – you will act accordingly.  You will treat your man that way.  At the same time if you “aren’t good enough” you will treat yourself in your relationship as if you aren’t good enough. (You stay with someone who is not the right fit only because you think it’s the right thing to do—again story.)

Your story may be telling you – My partner needs fixing and in order to make me feel like I’m good enough I’m going to stick it out and try and fix him.

You act in accordance with how you see yourself and how you see your partner.  Combine those two things and you have the reason why you do the things you do in your relationship.

And it all stems back to getting responsible about yourself, your past, and the people you’re with in a relationship.

So that begs the question…

Can you change your story, the meaning you’ve given things?

Yes!  Yes!

You can’t change the events but you certainly can understand why YOU created what they mean and you get to create new meaning or leave it be.

For instance, Henrietta can’t change what her father did and what the other men in her life did but she can be honest and understand what she made those things mean.  She can be responsible that SHE created the meaning as a little girl and she no longer has to live her life that way.  She can now be responsible for her actions.

She can now choose to stay with the man she’s with – all issues and everything – or she can choose to move on.

There are only a couple of ways Henrietta can get through this.

She may realize that she was compensating for her stories about how she sees herself and how she sees her partner, realize her partner is not the RIGHT person for her and go find someone knew.

Or

She could realize all those things and stay with her partner if she TRULY believes this person is right for her.

Now that she realizes those things about herself and her story she can be aware of her actions, change the way her relationships occur and how she occurs to herself.  That by itself will change the actions she takes in her relationships.

It all boils down to taking responsibility for yourself.  It’s just being done in a way you may have not seen before.

How do you change the meaning something?

This might be easy to grasp and allow me to explain it.  Have you ever reacted to something negatively or in a flammable way.  Ask yourself, why did you react that way.  It will more than likely take you to a belief you have about something.

Now be honest and ask yourself why you have that belief.  You may find that you don’t know why, you may know why, but either way that belief has a certain meaning for you.  And if someone drives in the opposite direction of the way you THINK it should be, you react.  And you do it at an unconscious level.

Now, if you can be responsible for the fact that you MADE the meaning up or transferred that meaning from someone else, like a parent, you can see how changing the meaning is a matter of accepting responsibility for it and choosing to change it.

You can change it or allow it to be neutral.  It’s your life, your belief, use the event and the beliefs how you want.  But don’t let them use you.  Don’t be at the affect of life.

Be responsible.

How do you take that and move your relationship to the next level?

Now you can live your life productively with your partner.  You can powerfully choose to stay or leave based on what you uncovered about yourself and how you view your relationships.

Once you understand and can utilize this you will either take your current relationship to a new level or you will create a new relationship. But ultimately you are FREE to choose that for yourself.

You are not locked in.

And remember you can NOT change your partner.  You have to do the work first.

I remember a time when my wife asked me to take the trash out.  It took me 3 hours because I didn’t do it right away.  She got pissed.  She had expectations that I was going to do it right when she asked, but she didn’t communicate it.  Also, she got inflamed because she ended up taking the trash out and figured it was my job to do that.

After we talked about it we both realized that she got pissed, not at me but at what her belief was about what I should have done.  I realized that when she made a request it was in the moment.  Now we communicate a whole lot clearer.

Now go practice.  Take some time by yourself and follow these steps.

  1. Pick one area about yourself that you would like to investigate.
  2. Ask yourself why you are that way. Be honest and think back to the earliest memory you have that would make you the way you’re being or seeing yourself.
  3. Write it down like this… Write down what happen and then write down what you made it mean.  And be honest.
  4. Now that you have identified that, write down ways that meaning has filtered your view of yourself or others around you.

If you do this and you’re honest with yourself, you may find that you’ve been letting a meaning that happened long ago has been driving your bus.  You just didn’t know it.

In the next post of this series I’m going to show you why you find yourself not taking action when it comes to confronting your partner or people in other relationships.  You’ll see clearly how to overcome what it is that stops you.  Stay tuned…

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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The Politics of Sex

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I really don’t know how to begin today’s article because I am shocked every time this subject comes up. And it comes up often in my candid conversations. So, let’s just put it out there; people in close, intimate relationships are afraid to have good, satisfying sex! There, I said it! Now, I may be over generalizing, but I am certain that this is fact, not opinion. Yes, folks are having sex. Yes they are getting the job done. But, there is this other level that my readers, and friends tell me about that drives me insane!

Let me share a story with you in order to set the stage for the conversation. This is a recap of a recent discussion with a female friend:

Rita: I know you spend a lot of time writing and coaching people about their relationships. Can I ask you a few questions?

Me: Sure

Rita: Things are okay in my relationship with my boyfriend, but he won’t talk to me. I try to get him to but he doesn’t really say anything. What should I do?

Me: When you say he doesn’t talk, what does that mean? Is he quite, avoiding? Does he ignore you?

Rita: Oh, we talk but when I ask him a question he says he will think about it and let me know in the next day or so.

Me: What kind of questions make him take so much time to answer?

Rita: You know, all the usual stuff. Do you love me? Am I the only one for you? Do I please you in bed? Nothing out of the norm.

Me: Well, what’s there for you when you ask him?

Rita: What do you mean, what’s there for me?

Me: I mean, you’re asking interesting questions, but why those questions? What’s there for you? Do you love him? Is he the only one for you? Does he please you in the bedroom?

Rita: Oh, I see what you mean now. I am asking because I have those concerns about me. Is that it?

Me: I don’t know but let’s take a look. Can you answer the questions?

Rita: I think I love him, yes. I feel that he is good for me. And we have a reasonable sex life.

Me: I hear you trailing off through the answers. Is there something there about the sex?

Rita: No, we have a good sex life and it happens often enough. Nothing crazy, but good.

Me: What’s missing that’s not there now?

Rita: Well, I like things a little “freakier” if you know what I mean. He is just very “vanilla” about sex. But it’s fine, we are really good together. It’s not a problem.

Me: How does it go when the two of you talk about spicing up the sex life?

Rita: Oh! I couldn’t talk to him about that! I mean not SEX!

And that’s when the “You’ve got to be shitting me” warning bell went off in my head! Further discussion revealed that Rita was very interested in a more exciting sex life. And not only was she unwilling to talk to her boyfriend about it, she could not imagine herself doing those things with him! She said that she was thinking of cheating in order to get this part of her life fulfilled. Here she was blaming him for lack of discussion and she was holding back BIG things. She was asking him if they were committed to each other and she wasn’t. She was asking if the sex life was good, knowing she was unhappy and unfulfilled. And the saddest part of it all was that she would not entertain the possibility of a discussion. No way, it wasn’t going to happen. End of story.

We Fool Ourselves

In Rita’s case, she was looking to her boyfriend to fix what she wanted without telling him. She was blaming him for her lack of sexual fulfillment. She knew that there was a deep desire within her to have a wilder sexual relationship, but couldn’t picture it with him. WHY?

Why, when we have perfect partners in every other regard, are we willing to settle for something less in our sex lives? The real answer here is fear. We are afraid to have open discussions about sex, even when it’s with our sex partners. But we are also fooling ourselves into thinking that our partner would never be willing to have such a conversation.

I asked Rita if she would consider the possibility of the discussion and she flatly said “No”. She was cutting of any chance of getting what she really wanted with her boyfriend and resigned herself to cheating or being unfulfilled. It stuns me every time I hear it. And I hear it a lot.

Quit Fooling Yourself!

Just think of the possibilities within Rita’s relationship if she were to open the dialogue of having better sex with her partner. Does anyone truly feel that her man would not want to discuss it or just listen. HELL NO! He’s a man for the love of all that is holy! We love sex.

When my girlfriend says she wants to try something new in the bedroom, I become singularly focused with such an intensity that I feel like a sexual super hero. I want to know every detail of what she’s thinking and talk it through. We greatly enjoy the conversational fore play of new ideas and thoughts. The difference is that we have adjusted our dialogue to include sex, fantasies, and new ideas. We have consciously made the choice to offer up any ideas that come to mind and explore the possibility of adding them to our sex lives.

So, I suggest that if Rita, and others like her, should give this a try. Get to the place in your relationship where anything goes within the conversation. It’s only words and they don’t hurt. Don’t make the discussion anything other than what it is, an opportunity to talk about sex with your partner.

Make it beautiful, make it sexy, make it dirty, but just do it!

How to Make it Happen

So where do we start? Great question…

Without reinventing the wheel I will offer up some ways to jump into the conversation with relative ease and safety. Here at RLA we have been building a base of materials for our readers to pull from and I went back through the last few months to find help. Jay Simcic wrote a great piece about our inabilities to read minds. I think this is a good starting point for couples. Read the article and begin the discussion. Here is the one I am recommending: Men and Women Read Minds Poorly .

Then Jay hit another home run with What Does it Take to Turn a Guy On? . This has some silliness in it, but the last part really brings home the point.

Then a few of my offerings to assist with furthering the conversation. These include The Language of Love , Listening Like a Lover and Relationship Boundaries . I recommend that people share these with their partners and find out where they are in the relationship. I feel that you may get a big surprise. At the very least some hot conversation.

Let’s all stop fooling ourselves into thinking we are different and that our partners don’t have the same or similar desires. We are human beings and sex is part of what we do for reproduction and pleasure. Why not enjoy it to the fullest? I find that I don’t get everything every time I engage my girlfriend in conversation, but I get way more than if I just wished about it. Stop wishing and start sharing. I dare you…

Let me know how it goes or if we can help. And don’t hesitate to send me a follow up question.

Until next time…

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 2

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Relationship ChallengeIf you missed the first part of the Relationship Breakthrough Challenge you can view part 1 here.

Imagine for a moment that you’re at home relaxing.  Your husband comes home a little late from work.  He shows up with a big grin on his face.  He looks at you and says “Look honey, I bought a new car.  Isn’t it great?”

What would be the first reaction you have?

More than likely it would be nearly the same reaction as anytime you’re about to get into a disagreement of this type.  You know, when he does something without telling you and you feel like you should have been informed or better yet, consulted.

Patterns rule our world…

It is through patterns of emotion that we react and deal with things in our lives.  We use the same emotions over and over again because we’ve built a pattern of use that protects us, helps us cope, and gives us some level of comfort in knowing what comes next.  And it is THESE patterns that will keep you confined to a cage of limits to how you can deal with situations.

It is the pattern you default to that limits your ability to see new courses of action to take in your relationship.  Why?  Because you can only react the way you know how.

In fact, you probably don’t even know you do it.  If you don’t know you do it, you can’t have control over it.  And if you don’t have control over it, then your default emotion and reactions run you, you DON’T run them.

Which can be a problem when you’re in a long-term relationship.

Consider that these problems, that you react to in the same way over and over again can cause you massive amounts of stress.  And that could lead to more problems in the relationship, more stress, and even depression.

But…

Where does stress come from?

Stress is created when your view of the world, your view of how your relationship should go, is NOT being met.  You have a standard or expectation of how things in your relationship should go.  And if they don’t go that way, you default to the emotion and reaction for that situation.

Of course that doesn’t do anything to progress your relationship or the situation forward.  In fact it may cause it to get worse.  You’re reacting to everything and never gain an upper hand because you’re falling into a default way of being with your partner.

When those issues don’t go a way and you continue this cycle it impacts you both emotionally and physically.  And that compounds matters.

The true impact of your relationships?

Our relationships magnify our emotions and impact every other aspect of our lives.  If your relationships at home are problematic, they will impact work.  If your relationships at work are problematic they will effect your home life.

Think about times you’ve had a fight with your spouse and leave the house in disgust.  You may have found yourself in a foul mood on the way too work to arrive even worse than when you left the house.  You might even confide in your “girlfriends” at work who will side with your view just because they are your friends.

“How could he do such a thing.”

“He could learn a thing or two.”

All of these comments fuel your anger and you end up taking it out on one of the men in your office.  It all continues to escalate unless it’s handled sooner rather than later.  I would even bet you take your anger out on your kids if you have any.  They’re in your face, constantly wanting something… and you yell at them.  They just want to do what kids do and play.

But where does all this come from and how do you break free?

You lose every ounce of power you have when you react in your default emotion or reaction.  Consider that you give your power away to your past that has you be the way you are.  I’ll explain more about the past in just a minute but for now, I’m sure you’ll agree that you do lose your power in these situations.

You’re not in control.  I bet that when you have a problem or an event takes place that doesn’t go the way you think it should, you blame something or someone.  You might blame the event for causing you to get upset.  You may blame your partner for causing you to “get that way”.  But you rarely if ever take responsibility for how you react.

How could you.  You think it’s some external force causing you to be a certain way.

The problem is that when you blame something and you DO NOT take responsibility for your actions, reactions, and emotions you are at the effect of life.  And when you are at the effect of life you lose all the power in your relationship.  You essentially hand it to whoever will take it, push your button, or cause you to react.

That’s no way to live life.  But it’s how we all have done it for so long.  Until you get responsible.

Hang with me a few more minutes and you’ll get what I’m talking about.

Regain your power!

Consider that the common “thing” in every upset, problem or negative reaction you have is YOU.  And it is YOU who needs to take responsibility for your actions.

You see, no one can push your arm, leg or knuckle and cause you to be mad, sad, or unhappy.  What typically happens is… something happens, you make it mean something, and react to the meaning.

Once you see that it is the meaning that triggers certain emotions, you can take control back.  Once you become aware of this meaning, identify where it comes from, you can now choose whether you’re going to get upset or take a different action.  Your partner isn’t in your head pushing buttons making you be a certain way.  You’re reacting to something he did and the meaning you assigned it.

Once you begin to see that you do have control you can regain your power over every relationship situation.  You get to choose what you get mad at and what you don’t.  But you are no longer at the effect of life.  Now you get to choose when you act and when you don’t.

And that gives you the tool to work things out, talk things out, and deal with the issues instead of get upset and move into your default emotion.  You are now equipped to handle problems quickly and easily.

So how exactly do you deal with a problem?

First, take responsibility for your own emotions and reactions.  “He” didn’t MAKE you do anything.  He did what he did and you made it mean something that caused you to unconsciously react.  Now that you know you do that, you can take responsibility for your reactions and emotions.

Now you can get them under control and confront him without the emotions that hold the conversation back.  You may find your conversation with him now is empowered by who you are being in the situation.  You may find that he respects you more for talking to him in a civil tone rather than reacting how you’ve always done.

By doing this you will gain a level of power with yourself that transcends the relationship and transforms it into something you never thought possible until now.

Change your relationship and change your life…

Here are the steps you can take to improve your relationship, take responsibility for your emotions and reactions, and move your relationship and life to another level on the playing field.

  1. Identify one default behavior you do when you get upset with your partner.
  2. Look at what he did and find out what that action or event means to you.  (Be honest here, you can only make progress if you’re brutally honest with yourself.)
  3. When did you first give that type of event meaning?
  4. It’s just an event, can you give it up and take responsibility for your own emotions and reactions?
  5. Now be fully aware of when you’re about to react to an event.  Go through the process and just be with it.  Don’t react.
  6. Now you’ve got control and can choose the emotion you want to use to discuss the situation with your partner.

Is it really that easy?

Yes.  And it does take practice.

Consider you and I are meaning making machines who give meaning and react with emotion any chance we get.  And it didn’t just start.  We’ve been doing it since we were children.  And we’ve carried that along with us every step of the way.  In the next article I’ll talk about how these meanings are the story of our lives and made us who we are.  I’ll show you how you can truly transform your relationships into something you’ve always wanted.

So stay tuned for the next post.  In the mean time, drop us an email or leave a comment.  Let us know how things are going for you.

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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