Dear Dr. Julie: My husband is throwing his anxiety on me. How do I change this? Thank you!!
Dear Anxious Annie: This is one of my most frequent questions. People really struggle around how not to be so affected by other people's emotions.
When our partners, friends, or family members are struggling with anxiety, it can feel overwhelming, especially when their anxiety affects us negatively. Here are a few suggestions that may help you navigate this situation for everyone's benefit. (Remember you can't MAKE him do anything, but encouragement and understanding go along way.)
1. Heart to Heart Communication: Start by having a calm conversation with your husband about how his anxiety is making you feel and affecting you. Express your understanding of his situation and your concern for his welfare. Remember we all want to feel seen, heard, and understood and this is a great opportunity to practice letting him know that you understand how he feels. If you need...
Many of us have been taught from a young age that being kind and considerate towards others is a virtue. While this is undoubtedly true, some people take this to an extreme and become people pleasers.
A people pleaser is someone who prioritizes the needs and desires of others above their own, often at great personal expense. There are many reasons why someone might become a people pleaser, and in this blog post, we will explore some of the most common ones.
At the heart of the people-pleasing tendency lies a deep-seated human need: the desire for acceptance and belonging. We all want to be liked and valued by our peers, friends, and family. For people-pleasers, this need can be especially pronounced. Saying "yes" becomes a way to gain approval and establish stronger connections with others. It's as if their emotional well-being is intricately tied to the approval of those around them.
People become pleasers for a variety of...
If you've been in a relationship for a while, have you ever wondered whether there is a better relationship partner out there for you? Or, if you are single, have you ever wondered whether there is a Mr. or Mrs. Right out there for you?
What do you think would make someone right for you? Sure, you want them to be attractive and have a personality and interest that matches yours, but what else?
Better yet, how do you sustain that feeling of being right for each other?
While there are a lot of answers to these questions, there is one, overarching answer that will
It almost seems too simple--just one thing will do all that?
As a therapist I've worked with a wide variety of people over the last 20 years, and I've seen the power of this one thing in people's lives. When my clients have implemented it, they have seen it work miracles in creating deeper relationships and shifting negative relationship...
Dear Dr. Julie: My significant other and I live 2 hours away and are able to see each about twice a month. However because we aren’t in the same city he thinks it’s okay for him to go out & have sex with somebody else (he goes to “providers”). He thinks it’s okay because he is not in a “ relationship “ with anybody else & he says he needs sex. I do love him & he says he loves me but it upsets me to know he is having sex with somebody else! What should I do?
--Monogamous in Montana
Dear Monogamous: Tell yourself the truth about whether him having sex with other people is a dealbreaker for you, regardless of what that might mean for the future of the relationship. Don't let your desire to get along or be understanding get in the way of answering the question. And, don't believe the myth that he is the only one for you.
Keep in mind that people never do something just once or only in one situation. It is...
Marriage is a sacred bond that brings two individuals together, promising love, companionship, and happiness. However, even the strongest marriages will experience periods of discontent and unhappiness. Understanding the key factors contributing to marital unhappiness is important for fostering healthy marriages and avoiding the “bad” times as much as possible.
In this article, we will explore six factors that can undermine marital bliss, offering valuable insights into the challenges couples may face and potential strategies for resolution.
By recognizing the factors that can lead to unhappiness in marriage, couples can proactively address potential issues before they become significant sources of discontent. This recognition empowers individuals to take ownership of their relationship dynamics and actively seek solutions.
Lack of Effective Communication
Communication serves as the cornerstone of a thriving...
Dear Dr. Julie: My husband and I have been married for a while and it's starting to feel a bit boring. We are losing our spark. How can we fix this boring marriage?
--Losing Our Spark
Dear Losing Our Spark: Anything you do repeatedly is going to start to feel boring after a while. That's because it is no longer novel or fun, it is the same old thing over and over again. Who wants that?
To fix your boring marriage first talk with your husband about how you feel and get his perspective--does he think the marriage is boring? You need to know whether he feels the same way and what he thinks will help.
Then think about what made the first years of your relationship fun and interesting. Did you go out and do things more often than you do now? How much time did you spend together versus apart from each other? Were you doing things he liked to do that you haven't done before? Who made the plans for going out? Has that shifted?
If you are caught up in parenting, work or life...
Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck?
Do negative thoughts and feelings of not being “good enough” often lead your mind down a stressful path of self-doubt and low confidence?
Did you know that almost all of us are plagued by self-limiting beliefs daily, keeping us from fully living our best lives?
In this blog post, we'll look at how to identify and break through these limiting beliefs– because everyone deserves to reach their fullest potential!
Step 1: Identify Your Self-Limiting Beliefs
The first step in changing your self-limiting beliefs is to identify them. This can be done by paying attention to your inner dialogue and noticing any negative thoughts or self-talk holding you back. Write down these beliefs and be specific about how they make you feel and impact your life.
Step 2: Challenge Your Self-Limiting Beliefs
Once you have identified your self-limiting beliefs, it's time to challenge them. Ask yourself if these beliefs are based on...
Dear Dr. Julie: My husband continually forgets things we have agreed on, has little motivation for doing household chores (but is totally happy to go do something impulsive that seems like fun for him), and can't seem to take my feelings into account before doing something he knows will upset me. I'm beginning to think he has ADHD. I've asked him about it but he dismisses my concerns. How do I talk with him about this? I need help. I'm starting to feel like our marriage might not last.
--Can't Take Much More
Dear Can't Take Much More: I get it! That would be incredibly frustrating. People with ADHD are a lot of fun to be around, but when the routines of life have to be attended to, it is difficult for many of them to stay focused and be supportive.
Many people with ADHD have a history of knowing (sometimes unconsciously) that they are different and they feel a lot of shame around being different. It can be hard to admit they have a problem in this case.
He also might have a...
Dear Dr. Julie: I was in a bad marriage for 20 years and it seems to have taken it's toll on me. My ex-husband often made me responsible for anticipating his needs and making things easier for him. At the time I thought I was just a bad wife. But post-divorce (and a lot of therapy), I see that I wasn't responsible for his behavior. My problem is that I'm in a new relationship and sometimes I notice that I feel like I should be doing something to make my new partner feel better when he's upset. This happens especially when he's expressing his unhappiness or dissatisfaction about situations I'm not a part of. I know it's not my job to make him feel better but I get emotionally fixated on what I can do and I can't seem to calm down easily. What can I do?
--Wired this way now
Dear Wired this way now: That's an excellent description of being triggered. When we are repeatedly exposed to stressful situations like you described, the way we cope with it becomes embedded in our...
Do you find yourself having trouble making relationships last?
Do you feel it’s hard to get close to someone or that your connections never quite reach a level of depth and trust that both sides are comfortable with? If so, don't worry - healthy relationships take time and practice. This blog post will discuss the basics of building and maintaining healthier relationships.
From establishing healthy boundaries to showing kindness, we've got all the tips you need for creating secure connections with friends and family. Read on to learn how you can create lasting bonds!
One of the most important things you can do in a relationship is to communicate openly and honestly with your partner. This means sharing your thoughts, feelings, and needs without feeling judged or misunderstood. It’s also important to listen to your partner without interruption or judgment.
It’s important to make time...