What scares you? Does being thought of as selfish scare you?
Let's talk about selfishness--what it is and how to tell if you are being selfish. It’s a concern I frequently hear from my clients.
The difficulty with figuring out this question is that it is not an either or proposition. It’s a balancing act. Essentially, you need to balance your needs with the needs of others. Sometimes you need to choose in favor of you and sometimes you need to choose in favor of others.
But if you almost always choose in favor of others for fear of being selfish, you have a problem. You aren’t living in balance. You aren’t getting your needs met. Your boundaries are not being acknowledged and respected (likely because you aren’t voicing them). You’re out of balance and you’re not living your truest life.
As people we want to foster healthy, harmonious relationships. As women we are taught to be agreeable, nurturing, and self-sacrificing. Often we come...
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...
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...
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 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...
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. ...
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 –...