What is yelling? When a partner denies that they yell, I wonder if they know what they sound like. I think there are two distinct types of yelling. The first, is the basic and popular raised voice yelling. It often starts at our toes and rolls up our core until it comes out of our mouths as a strong bellowing exhortation of increased volume, often accompanied by words that would offend us if they were spoken to us. The other type of yelling is more complex. It is tight and constricted. It starts in our throat. It is not loud and bellowing. The volume is not out of range. However, it is the tone – sharp, clipped, judgmental, and cuts like a knife. It feels like yelling to the recipient.
There has been a common theme going in much of the work I have been doing with couples of late. I am hearing folks coming in talking about how their partner responds to them in a way that makes them feel emotionally assaulted. Often, these couples are well intentioned, loving, and looking for connection but for some reason they are having arguments that do not make sense.
We work hard to get the job. We interview as best we can. We get the job. But, how often do we really get a good job description. I am talking about the job of partner, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, husband, wife. More people sit in my office and say things like "S/he is just never happy...no matter what I do!" or "S/he keeps pushing me away and I don't know why!"
We are all leaders – in our own way. Whether we are at work, with our friends or family or in a social organization, we are all leaders. We may not be the stand in the front of the room and yell a rallying cry kind of leader, but we all influence others and leave an impact on those around us. What kind of leader are you?
When I start working with a new couple or individual around relationship concerns I often begin by asking them what their relationship goals are. Most, but not all, will tell me that they are just looking for a nice, loving, monogamous relationship. They say that like I am supposed to know what that means -- and I don't. Not that I am clueless, but rather because I know that there is more than one meaning to the word monogamous.
You know those times when you are getting frustrated in your relationship because you just aren't getting your needs met? You keep telling your partner that you want things (sex, communication, warmth, etc.) and feel like your requests are falling on deaf ears? Frustration creeps in and you start losing stake in the relationship feeling that your connection is more distant and fractured.
I have had patient after patient come into my office talking about what a harsh and relentless winter this has been. I can’t agree more! It is always interesting to see how people talk about the weather. There are two classic perspectives that get presented: How cold it is on the thermometer and how much energy is being used by the thermostat. What an interesting way to understand ourselves as well!
You can’t dig your way out of a hole. Think about it. You are in a hole and you keep digging. What happens? Eventually, the hole gets so deep that you can’t throw the dirt out of the hole anymore and it just keeps falling back down around you. If you start to dig sideways, the integrity of the walls weakens and risks falling in around you. What should you do?
Divorce isn’t easy on anyone. When you are getting divorced with children, trying to minimize the amount of change and disruption can be overwhelming. Nesting is where the children stay in the family home and the parents take turns coming in and out according to the parenting schedule. Think of it as the kids have custody of the parents who come home and then go to the other house! Nesting is not for everyone and is fraught with difficulties, but when the situation works, there are great benefits.
Divorce is never easy on anyone. When you have children, it is even more complex. How you make decisions to navigate the divorce process and ensure your children are as insulated as possible will take special insight and a tremendous amount of personal resiliency.
Have you ever been in a relationship (whether romantic or platonic) and felt frustration about how things were going -- wishing the other person would behave differently? You have tried being nice, coaching them to change (whether they knew it or not) and spent hours considering how impossible it is that someone couldn’t notice how inappropriate and unsatisfying their behavior is? We have all experienced it. Sometimes we can just let it go and sometimes it gets so bad we find ourselves in a divorce, looking for a new job or estranged from a friend or loved one.
Bringing a new baby into the family is an exciting time. We celebrate the newness of life and have hope for the future. People are curious about the delivery and the birth story. Parents are excited and siblings are cautious (at best).
Trying to have a baby through third party reproduction is a challenging and emotional process. What makes it even more complicated is that you have to learn a whole new language before you can really make sense of the journey you are about to undertake. Whether you are going through assisted reproduction to create a baby yourselves or need the assistance of others to grow your family, you will need to have some basic knowledge.
Many women are searching for romantic relationships that provide love, acceptance, respect, desire, emotional security, passion and intimacy, and understanding. These are building blocks of what is perceived as a “healthy” relationship. Why then, do women everywhere, choose to stay in relationships that no longer meet these basic needs? Several factors may contribute to this process, which will be further explored and discussed in this blog. I am dedicating this blog to all the women who need words of encouragement and motivation towards empowerment and self-advocacy.
Everyone wants to be a winner! Everyone likes to be right…right? Unfortunately, these two things aren’t the same thing and don’t always go together. Do you ever find yourself in an argument with your partner or friend and you are pushing to make sure they see your point and understand why you are right and they are wrong? Tempers and decibels start to rise and you are left confused on how you ended up sleeping on the couch.
Do you ever find yourself avoiding people that you feel close to because you have a truth about yourself that you are afraid to share? In my practice I work with lots of people who are on a path of self-discovery and trying to live a life with integrity. This journey often brings new truths and/or challenges to important relationships because being open and honest about something that feels emotionally charged is scary.
In my practice I meet with many folks who discuss their frustration with partners, co-workers, children and friends because they are being quite clear in their communication and the other person has a completely inappropriate response. I hear things like “I was quite clear when I said….” and “He knows exactly what I meant!” In return, these folks get angry and say things like “Well, what he said was…” and “She actually used those words!”
Do you remember being a child and jumping into the deep end of the pool for the first time? You were probably not sure what would happen, whether you would sink or swim. Could you be brave enough to take the leap, even though you weren’t sure it was the right thing for you to do? For many, first jumps are to be celebrated…a perfect cannonball, a quick resurface and a dog paddle to the edge to try it again. However, there are those that jump in and sink a little too low, take in water, feel pressure and the fear of not being able to breathe. The latter is what it feels like when you are in a life situation where you are confused, feel internally trapped and needing escape.