Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Assertive & Vulnerable Communication

You have certain rights in a relationship:
  1. The right to your viewpoint, although others may not share your viewpoint
  2. The right to your feelings being expressed, although you don't have the right to hold others responsible for your feelings.
  3. The right to your desires for the relationship, although you can't expect to have all of your desires met.
An assertive individual exercises these rights in a relationship. If you are in a caring relationship, you can expect your partner to care about your view, your feelings and your desires.

All to often, one partner will fail to express as assertive message in a vulnerable tone. The vulnerable tone is much more likely to hook your partner's caring. An aggressive or abrasive tone tends to repel caring.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Can This Marriage Be Saved: Assessing Hope

This question often centers on questions like:
  • Can I forgive this hurt?
  • Can we learn to communicate?
  • Does he/she really love me?
  • Will my partner quit abusing alcohol/porn/me?
While such questions are important, they can rarely be answered with certainty. Verbal promises sure don't ensure that change will occur. Neither personal counseling, marital counseling, rehab, or religious conversion ensures that change will occur. Finally, even if change occurs, you can't be sure that this will lead to a satisfying marriage.

Since there is no certain answer to this question, you can only ask:
  • Do I have reasonable hope that my marriage can become satisfying?
Hope for a satisfying marriage keeps us from divorce. Belief that the marriage can improve will maintain motivation. Hopelessness is the enemy of the marriage. In the next post, I will discuss how to realistically communicate hope for the future of the marriage and what it means to make a reasonable decision.
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pet's Getting Married

Check out how important pet marriage has become -

Does this signal a return to the importance of people marriage?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


umair shuaib.Image via Wikipedia New Year's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Why? Well I guess it reflects both my personality and my profession. A new year brings the possiblity of change. Just as the beginning of a sports season brings optimism for success, even for the Pittsburg Pirates, beginning a new year gives me optimism that I can make changes in my life.

I use the begining of the year as a time to create personal, relationship and professional goals. I even try to get started making changes before the year begins! The possiblity of improving my services to my clients, my health through improving my diet and my family relationships suggests a more satisfying life ahead.

As a therapist, clients bring pain to my office. It is important to acknowledge the pain, but to focus on the possiblity for change. Pain can feel forever, but is typically a signal for the need for change. It is hard to see how much pain folks experience. My job would be very difficult if it were not for having seen how often change arises from the pain.

Health crises, marital crises, identity crises...all share the opportunity for change and an improved life. As the year progresses, the reality of the difficult battle to maintain change settles in, but the begining of the year provides the possiblity of change.

I hope that you are able to look forward to a year of self-improvement and the possibility of a better life.

Happy New Year!
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