No “We” Without “Me”

No We Without Me. There Is No We Without Me. There are  many people out there who grow up thinking they need to find someone to partner up with sooner rather than later. I came across my 6th grade autograph book. As I would be entering middle school the following year, the main message from my classmates, female and male friends was “hope you find a boyfriend” next year. Of course, there were other messages that included, “you are such a nice person,” etc. But I do recall the main focus of our desires back then was to get a boyfriend. Almost as if it were some kind of status. If you had one, you were cool, if you didn’t, something must be wrong with you.  How absurd! Can you imagine what kind of pressure that puts on a person? Not to mention taking up so much thinking space from your brain.

No “We” Without “Me”

Becoming the person you are to become doesn’t start off with, “who do I partner up with so I can feel whole?” Developing a sense of self is the key to individuating and differentiating. Becoming the individual you are to be and becoming more different from the family that raised you and all relationships you are a part of is what enables interdependence with a relationship. Being an autonomous person within a relationship is what makes marriages work. When your relationship is in trouble, it affects every part of your life. But it doesn’t mean you have to accept things as they are– or give up and walk away.

Happy Me Happy We

A healthy and happy relationship starts with taking charge or your own thoughts and actions, and learning how to be your own person. With a better understanding of self, a firm foundation of healthy communication skills, and the insight to make better choices, you’ll know how to interact positively with others. You’ll be able to create the healthy, loving, supportive relationship you know you deserve.

No “We” Without “Me” Growing up I followed the”rules” for a happy life. When I grew up I discovered there ought not to be “rules.” There is no one size fits all for finding happiness. Concentrating on self is a key part of actually growing up. Not just chronologically (physical age) but emotionally (psychological age). Understanding what it is you want for yourself, really helps in finding and maintaining a relationship that works for you. In my book, Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In a Relationship I take you through easy steps to do just that.

If you are able to understand who you are and what you want, not what others want for you, you are on the right road to finding your happiness. Your happiness will be different from my happiness. When I ask my clients what they want, most say they don’t know. They tend to want what other people want to please and be liked. People-pleasers are the most resentful and frustrated people I know. The negative energy (anger) affects all their relationships and they wonder why they are not happy. Being your true self will open the doors to what happiness will look like for you.

For more information on how to do that contact me at (858) 735-1139 or through my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Life Expectancy Of Extramarital Affairs

Life Expectancy Of Extramarital Affairs. Finding out your partner has cheated on you is probably the most devastating piece of news you’ll ever hear. Whether you discovered the affair or it was disclosed to you it hurts like hell. The pain we experience feels like an attack on our body. It’s almost surprising just how much it can hurt. Your first response may be shock which then turns into panic. Of course, you’ll feel anger, but anger is secondary to the range of emotions you’ll be experiencing. Feelings of hurt, disappointed, sadness, and betrayal are typically the underlying emotions to anger. Finding out about the affair either blindsides you or confirms some suspicion you’ve had for some time. Betrayal makes us feel unsafe.

Life Expectancy Of Extramarital Affairs

With infidelity, there is the affair partner (the cheater) and the hurt partner. In Affair Recovery the couple talks about whether they want to stay together or move on . Affair recovery helps determine whether saving the marriage is feasible.

How long do extra marital affair last? Extramarital affairs vary in duration. About 50% may last between one month to a year. Long term affairs may last for about 15 months or more. And about 30% of affairs last about two years and beyond.  And some can last a lifetime.

As an Affair Recovery Specialist, I work with couples whose affairs consist of a one night stand to ones that continued for more than a decade. Tools are acquired but the single most indicator in moving forward is the affair partner’s ability to articulate his/her insight about why the affair happened and why it won’t happen again, while the hurt partner appropriately manages their emotions for the long haul. Affair recovery is three steps forward and two steps backward until enough time goes by for stability.

I have successfully worked with couples on both ends of the spectrum with much success. Being able to save your relationship rests on your desire to want to. That, coupled with affair recovery with me, can make that happen.

Please contact me for an appointment at (858) 735-1139 or through my website: CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus

Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus. With social distancing and being semi-quarantined to our homes it’s harder than ever to physically meet up with people with whom to cheat. According to the New York Post, Ashley Madison, a dating site that encourages people to have affairs is seeing a surge in users. Some are just looking to chat with someone other than their spouse, some are seeking emotional validation or the fantasy of pursuing a secret sex life. As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I haven’t seen an increase in people having affairs as much as I see a constant. People who want to cheat will cheat. People have affairs for many different reasons. Men and women have affairs even if they are in happy relationships. I don’t condone this, but I don’t judge or criticize either. Affairs enable a person to feel a sense of aliveness. The newness of any new thing is exciting. And like all new things that become normalized so do those new relationships. Normalization includes whatever they were trying to escape from in their primary relationship.

Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus

The rise in infidelity in the time of Coronavirus makes sites like Ashley Madison attractive as it is used as a release valve for the tension that’s built up at home.

Popular pet peeves of couples engaging affairs during quarantine based on 2,047 respondents:

58% “They have not initiated any sexual intimacy

28% “They are glued to their device”

19% “They are rude, moody, and/or constantly picking fights with me”

18% “They never give me any space or time to myself”

15% “they are messy and I’m constantly cleaning up after them”

Biggest benefit of an affair during isolation:

34% It’s something to look forward to

23% It’s a great distraction

14% I have someone to talk to

13% I can maintain some normalcy

10% It keeps my libido up

Members were asked if they’re trying to spice up their sex life with their spouses while socially distancing.  76% of respondents said no. As an Affair Recovery Specialist, a remedy for couples who have difficulty with monogamy is developing a New Monogamy.  A new monogamy agreement is designed with both partners’ input.

Just like love in the time of coronavirus, infidelity in the time of coronavirus is an opportunity to think about what you want in life moving forward. If the last 9 weeks have been unhappy being isolated at home do something about it. As a Marriage Counselor, I see some couples who have become closer due to the proximity of time and space. For others, that time and space adds to their unhappiness. A woman I’m working with said her husband doesn’t interact with her at all. She said it feels lonely while being in her relationship. She also said she’s taking this time to reassess her marriage as status quo is no longer wanted.

Rather than say, “life is short, have an affair,” how about saying “live is too short to live in a relationship that isn’t working for me.” Pick either option 1 – keep status quo, option 2 – move forward with an action plan, or option 3 – move on and find another life that best suits you.

If reassessing your relationship because of infidelity is something you know you want to do please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Decide what your “new normal” is going to look like.

 

 

 

 

 

Relationships & The New Year 2021

Relationships & The New Year 2021. With every New Year, there tends to be a New Year’s resolution. As a Marriage Counselor, the New Year brings in couples who are either ending their relationships or couples who are starting new ones. The past year gave those ending their relationship a chance to think about whether or not they could or even wanted to stay with their partner.  Those that are starting new relationships like coming into counseling to ensure they are putting forth their best efforts into making a healthy relationship.

Relationships & The New Year 2021

As a Marriage Counselor, I help couples nurture good relationships and let go of unhealthy ones. We may love our family members, but, there are some we just don’t like and feel good to be around.  Friends who take advantage of and manipulate us aren’t really our friends.  Toxic people create a bitter atmosphere that is not conducive a happy disposition.  I help individuals acquire the skills for self-care and teach others how to behave around them.  Without tools for teaching others how to appropriately behave around us, how can real change occur for those who display poor behavior towards us? Asserting oneself is not always easy, but in the long run, can indicate self-love and help you feel more in control of your life.

Relationships and the New Year 2021 brings about the end of relationships for some couples and the beginning for others.

The difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship is how well each person accepts responsibility and the willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner. (Mark Manson)

Stylish young couple fighting over luggage and playing tug of war with a large suitcase on an urban streetIn unhealthy relationships, two people try to solve each other’s problems in order to feel good about themselves.  A healthy relationship is when two people solve their own problems in order to feel good about each other.  Unhealthy relationships have poor boundaries.  Boundaries mean the delineation between two people’s responsibilities for their own problems.  Individuals in unhealthy relationships with poor or no boundaries will regularly avoid responsibility for their own problems and take responsibility for their partner’s problems.

Couple with unpacked boxes in new home

Healthy relationships consist of both partners being willing and able to say no to one another.  Without being able to say “no” or the occasional rejection, boundaries break down and one person’s problems and values come to dominate the other’s. Conflict is normal in healthy relationships and being conflict avoidant; not being able to hash out differences openly and vocally is a sure way for a relationship to deteriorate as it is based on manipulation and misrepresentation.  Trust is also very important in any relationship.  Healthy relationships experience conflict. Without it, there can be no trust.  Conflict exists to show us who is there for us unconditionally and who is just there for the benefits.

If you have recently broken off an important relationship and are experiencing grief and loss or need help maintaining a new relationship as we enter this New Year please contact at (858) 735-1139 or email me at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com to make sure you get the proper guidance to lead you to the maximum results.

 

 

 

 

Dumped The Week Before Christmas

Dumped The Week Before Christmas. My Husband Left Me The Week Before Christmas. Talk about a hurt ego. I got married after I finished college. That was what I was supposed to do. I did the first-marriage route with all its trials and tribulations and had a beautiful daughter, which made all of it worth the journey. But unbeknownst to me at the time, I had married for the wrong reasons. My lack of a well developed sense of self made me an unhappy person. I believed my “wonderful” life was a facade for how it was “suppose” to look overlooking the feelings of my discontent. That discontent made me behave in ways that were not always appropriate, and often, unkind toward my first husband. My husband left me the week before Christmas because I was controlling and made everything into a power struggle. In December 1986 I had given my husband a 30th birthday party at one of San Diego’s finest hotels. A week later, I was blindsided, as I came home to a note on the garage door stating he was leaving me and needed space. I acted out my emotions of feeling abandoned, hurt, scared, and fear of loss of control. Dumped The Week Before Christmas.

After months of therapy and self reflection, I realized I wanted to reconcile and try to move forward taking responsibility for my part in our relationship. In winning my husband back, I thought if I identified and exercised appropriate and more loving behavior, I would have the successful marriage I wanted.

Nine years later I was divorced and in the trenches of regaining and reesestablishing the life I wanted.

Throughout that reconciliation I realized I never had the intimacy I needed for an emotional connection where I was vulnerable enough to ask for what I need and want, and share my thoughts and feelings. My “tough guy” attitude plus my husband’s narcissistic traits made for a poor prognosis for happily ever after. Happily ever after starts with a well developed sense of self.

With years of gathering information and getting the insight I needed I understand that a happy me makes for a happy we. In relationships we are individuals first. When two individuals come together they are independent in an interdependent relationship. Having a strong sense of self helps keep the boundaries in check as individual issues affect relationship issues. If the individual is happy (me), then the relationship benefits (we).

Happy Me Happy We

My book, Happy Me Happy We: Six Steps To Know Yourself So You Know What You Want In a Relationship helps individuals understand what they want and how to get it. Often when I ask my clients what they want, they say they don’t know. I’m not surprised to hear this. I’ve been in their shoes, thinking the same way. By using the six steps, you will find your me–first, before all else–so you don’t jump into finding we before you are ready. These steps empower you to understand what you need and go get it.

A healthy relationship can be yours. Bad relationships can transition into good relationships with the understanding that a Happy Me is a Happy We.

For more information please contact at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com of call at (858) 735-1139

My Husband Left Me The Week Before Christmas