It’s a classic difference between men and women that inevitably causes friction. And if this issue is not acknowledged and worked out, it can and [...]
Last week we highlighted our discussion on disappointing the one you love. Today I’d like to switch roles and talk about being disappointed by the one you love. Think about the last time you were disappointed by a loved-one. What did you want or need? How did your significant other let you down? How was that message delivered? And most importantly, how did you deal with it?
Disappointments are a part of life. And they most certainly are a part of relationships. It is impossible to be in a relationship with another human being and not experience disappointments in one form or another. Sometimes you can be disappointed in your loved one’s choices or actions because they don’t match up with your values or expectations. Other times you can be disappointed when your loved one is unable or unwilling to meet your needs or requests. Both are challenging but today I want to focus on disappointment number two.
Trust is like a majestic redwood forest. It takes years and the right conditions to create it, but once it’s established it provides beauty, strength, and awe. Betrayal is like fire. It can rip through a grove of redwoods in minutes. The hundreds or thousands of years that it took for these magnificent trees to grow into their potential can be wiped out in seconds. It works the same way in relationships. One mistake, one lapse of judgment, can damage or destroy a relationship that took years to develop into its current state. To illustrate my point, let me tell you the story of Amy and Jack.
Conflict has a bad reputation. Conflict itself is not the problem. All conflict means is that two or more people have opposing needs, values, or opinions. That’s it. It doesn’t mean that your needs, values, or opinions are wrong. It doesn’t mean that your significant other's needs, values, or opinions are wrong. They are just different and in opposition of yours. Conflict becomes toxic to relationships when two people approach conflict in one or more of the following ways.
The latest scandal with Anthony Weiner has revealed a cultural epidemic—men who seek power and self-worth through the means of seduction, harassment and exhibitionist behavior via social media. This is no longer a fad; this has become a preferred and predictable way for many men to deal with their psychological impotence. And while we see an increase in these stories in the news, the behavior and pathology is not new.
Little secrets run rampant with couples—you said you were working late when you were out at a bar with your friends after work or you said the shoes you just bought cost $80.00 when in fact they cost $280.00. While on the surface they may seem innocent enough, in the long run, keeping secrets in order to avoid confrontation, conflict, manipulation, or in some cases, potential divorce, wreaks havoc on the health and well-being of a marriage. And while these little white lies or omissions may appear to work in keeping the peace in the short run, in the long run, both spouses lose. Here’s why.