Many of the men and women I work with are struggling in their relationships. It is likely a relationship with their partner, but not always. Sometimes it’s a relationship with a family member, boss, co-worker, or neighbor. In almost all cases, it’s a clash between the way men and women do relationships. So I decided to write a book. After more than 15 years of working with clients and addressing relationship issues, it’s time to take what I’ve learned beyond the walls of my office.
Ultimately, I want to change the way men and women interact. I want women to get what they want and need from relationships and I want men to participate more and be less confused about what women expect of them.
The women I work with are asking for what they want, making reasonable demands on their partners, coworkers, bosses and family members, and yet are met with resistance. They aren’t getting what they need. Why is that? This book is an attempt to address this question and to help women (and men) have the relationships they want and deserve.
Below is the introduction to my book. I’d like your feedback and questions. Would you want to read the book based on the introduction? What would you most want to know? What would help you have a better relationship with your partner, co-worker, boss, family member, or neighbor?
FOR THE PAST TWENTY years, I have been working with women who struggle with a wide range of life issues. Despite their many differences, the one thing almost all of them talk to me about is their relationships. They all want to move beyond the hurts of their past and stop being afraid they’ll never have a good relationship. They want to show up, be seen, and have a great relationship with a great guy.
I could relate. My first marriage ended after my husband refused to support my desire to go back to school. We both wanted a family, but I wanted a career, too. My second marriage lasted twenty years, but we were only happy for the first couple of years. He was out of work and we didn’t understand each other, and as a result we were miserable.
After being single for two years, I decided to start dating. I wanted to set myself up for success. I wanted to move beyond the pain of my two marriages and have a great relationship with a great guy, so I made two rules for myself: First, I would own my emotional reactions and not blame my dating partner for how I was feeling. Second, I would pay attention to and believe his actions more than his words.
As I paid attention to my relationships and helped my clients with theirs, I added more rules. Eventually, they coalesced into seven rules that made amazing things happen when I used them with clients. My clients started verbalizing their experiences, taking better care of themselves, and gaining confidence. They confronted their partners, made changes, or ended relationships. Along the way they gained self-confidence and self-awareness they didn’t know they’d been missing.
These rules are about doing relationships in a healthy way. If you are unhappily married and practice following these rules, your relationship will change. If you are divorced or widowed, these rules will help you find a great relationship by making troublesome behaviors more obvious early on. In either case, the rules will help you conduct yourself with confidence and integrity.The secret is as you practice these rules, you practice loving yourself. I don’t mean the mushy-gushy feeling of falling in love or being in love, but rather the beliefs, awareness, and actions that show love and support. You do it for other people all the time. Now it’s time to start doing it for you.