Dear Dr. Julie: My boss drives me crazy and when I get home from work I find that I take it out on my husband. I'm cranky with him and he doesn't deserve to be treated that way. What can I do?
Dear Unintentionally Cranky: I think we've all been in this situation! Our external circumstances can often cause us to feel bad in a way that is hard to shake off. While we'd like to be unaffected in the first place, the next best thing would be to quickly switch out of it so we don't take it out on our loved ones. But, it doesn't work that way.
The negative state generated by your boss (or any other disturbing situation) lives in your body--you can't just think your way out of it.
It takes work to let it go because you've gotten hooked or attached to your negative state. When you are hooked by a reaction, you think about it, talk about it, worry about it and in that process amplify it, making it a stronger physical presence in your mind and body. ...
Are you in a healthy, happy relationship? It can be hard to tell from day to day as we go through life. What may seem small and insignificant every other day could build up into a huge issue after some time – this is why it's so important to stay vigilant about your relationships and ensure they're on the right track!
Relationships are a crucial part of human life. Whether it's a romantic relationship, family relationship, or even friendship, our relationship quality can enormously impact our well-being and overall happiness. But what makes a healthy relationship? How do you know whether your current relationships meet your needs, provide support, and encourage you to reach your goals?
This blog post will dive into the key elements of a healthy connection and explore how to nurture stronger positive relationships in all aspects of life.
One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is communication. Couples...
Dear Julie, My husband and I have been married for 7 years and there are several things he does that drive me crazy. I've tried talking to him about what I need him to do differently, but he won't change and I don't understand why. Can you help me understanding my husband and why he won't change?
--Looking for Change
Dear Looking for Change, You aren't going to like my answer much, but here goes.
You can't change him. (I know you know that.)
You have two options, ask (nicely) for change, and act differently. Essentially, use your words and your actions to influence him to do things differently.
Consider some of these possible factors as to why he isn't changing, even though you have asked.
When it comes to relationships, there's no one-size-fits-all advice that applies to everyone. But when deciding whether or not to pursue a relationship, it can be helpful to consider what makes up a healthy union. Navigating love and commitment isn't always easy — but understanding the components of an emotionally and physically reflective and supportive relationship is key for both parties to experience joy, contentment, and satisfaction over time.
Having a healthy, functional relationship may seem elusive to some. For example, suppose you grew up around less-than-ideal relationships. In that case, it can be easy to overlook unhealthy daily patterns and not realize the baseline of a good bond between people in love. But here's the thing — there are certain must-haves for others to experience bliss rather than pain! These characteristics should never go neglected or unaddressed. If something feels off balance within your connection, address it. So, take note –...
Hi Dr. Julie, My husband has ADHD and I try very hard not to parent him when he doesn’t complete a task or completes it so quickly that he isn’t thorough. I often will go back and complete it myself, but then I feel resentful.
I have committed to not nagging him about these things as it doesn’t feel good to either of us. I’m his wife, not his mother and I would like to have an adult relationship with him, not a parent/child relationship as often happens. How would you advise me to approach him without nagging or criticizing?
--Looking For A Better Way
Dear Looking, ADHD is a tough one because the individual usually means well, but isn't organized enough or tracking details well-enough to follow-through. In cases like this, you are right nagging doesn't work and you want to avoid feeling resentful.
First, I recommend that the two of you talk about the ways ADHD is showing up in your relationship and chart the pattern so that you both are...
Do you ever feel like your relationship isn't what it used to be? The dynamics are off, and something's not quite right, but you can't seem to put your finger on it? You might be in an abusive relationship. Abuse can take many forms – physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse all happen within relationships. Understanding what types of abuse are present in your relationship is the first step toward getting help.
Read on to learn more about the different levels of abusive relationships and how they can affect individuals psychologically and physically.
Physical abuse is the type of abuse most people think about when they hear the word "abuse." It includes physical violence, such as hitting, pushing, or restraining someone against their will. It can also include blocking someone's path so they can't leave a room or argument or intimidating someone so they don't leave. Physical abuse is a form of control and can leave...
Dear Dr. Julie: My husband and I have been married for about 15 years and I'm getting tired of how he treats me. He gets angry with me because I "touch his nerve." But I don't always know what that "nerve" is. I have noticed he gets upset with me if I get anxious about something he is doing, like how he drives, but otherwise, I can't tell what will set him off. Do you have any thoughts on what might be going on and what I can do?
--At A Loss
P.S. When I ask him about it he says that we've been married long enough that I should know.
P.P.S. I'm so tired of this I'm considering divorce. I don't want to divorce him, but I'm tired of how unfriendly and mean he is towards me.
Dear At A Loss: I think if you had some idea of what was going on, that would help. Let me take a guess at what might be happening.
In order to figure this out we need to observe patterns. You've made one important observation of a pattern: he gets upset with you when you are anxious about...
Hello Dr Julie! Post pandemic, post divorce, post helpful therapy process I have few friends. It is not familiar for me to be so solitary but I live in a state where folks are resistant to deeper emotional relating or making casual connections without years of well established experience.
I use female meet up groups, hobbies, educational pursuits and even explored high school friends, which are positive but not netting meeting at a flower conservatory, coffee or meeting for music. I am lonely and have been told I have great friendship skills from friends in the past, I would like to have more connections in my life. I need to be in this state for work, despite many people from elsewhere complaining that when they move here for business, they do not stay long for lack of friendly chances to connect with others.
I have lost many family members, and some long term friends to illness, I wonder if after Covid others are in this position? I continue to reach out but am not finding...
Dear Dr. Julie: I say yes a lot because I always feel guilty when I say no. But it's starting to be a problem. Right now, I need to set a boundary with my sister who wants to throw me a big birthday party at my house. I don't want a big party for my birthday and I don't want a party at my house. How do I set a boundary with her without feeling guilty for saying no?
Dear Feeling Guilty: I'm going to assume that you know how to set boundaries and focus instead on the feeling guilty part of your question.
First, "Should Statements" are playing a role if you are feeling guilty. If you think something like, "I should let my sister throw a birthday party for me" and you are going against that should statement (i.e., saying no), you will feel guilty. That's one source of guilt. Look at how your thoughts and desires are in conflict.
But let's dive a little deeper, why would you feel like you "should" let your sister throw a party for you? Where I typically...
Dear Dr. Julie: How do I inspire my partner to be more affectionate, loving and communicative with me? Also, I would like him to be more adventurous and be willing to do more things with me.
--Not Feeling the Love
Dear Not Feeling the Love: There are a couple of things to consider here. The first is that he doesn't realize how much it means to you to be affectionate and communicative. I always like to start here because it minimizes your interpretation of why he is the way he is. If you talk with him about it, do so at a time when things are good between the two of you and neither of you are stressing about other things.
The second thing to consider is that this "just isn't him." He may not be a person who likes affection or feels the need to be communicative (beyond basic logistics). We might say it isn't his love language or we might guess that his personality just isn't structured that way or we might consider how he was raised and maybe he...