Developing A Self-Care Plan To Better Your Relationship

Developing A Self-Care Plan to better your relationship.  Self-care can be extremely challenging for individuals.  Taking care of oneself is so critical to survival as a person and as people in a relationship.  Yet it is something that is often neglected in our day to day consciousness of things to do.  Think of the ramifications of not taking care of yourself as an individual and how it can affect your relationship. Promoting strategies for enhancing personal health and well-being will offer work/life balance, helping recognize when stress is reaching a dangerous level, provide coping skills to manage difficult situations, and allow for making healthy lifestyle choices.

There are many small steps that can be taken to begin an effective self-care plan. Starting with a few small actions, then adding more as time goes by to ensure that your needs and wants are being met.

Essential components may include:

– Balance between work and family or personal life

– A support network of friends and coworkers

– A relaxed and positive outlook

For stressors in your personal life:          

– Regular exercise

– Sleeping 7 – 8 hours per night

– Eating a healthy diet

– Playing with a pet

– Journal

– Talk to a Therapist

– Talk to a supportive friend

– Read

– Listen to music

– Get a massage

– Take long baths

Stressors in your work life:

– Clarify your job description

– Request a transfer if needed or ask for new     duties

– Time some time off

– Find humor in situations

– Take your lunch break

– Avoid negative people

– Be more assertive

– Manage your time better; make to-do lists

– Don’t control things you can’t control

– Express and share your thoughts and feelings

The breakup rate can be high in couples due in part to lack of self care.  Learning to apply basic strategies as mentioned above, can promote a healthier sense of balance among relationships.  Creating and practicing an effective plan can improve aspects of a couple’s relationship and can result in a more harmonious and satisfying union.

For more information about couples and developing and maintaining satisfying relationships please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or email me at [email protected]

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Dating Men Who Won’t Marry

The Pros and Cons of Dating Men Who Won’t Marry may vary from one person to the other but here are a few that resonate with me:

I was divorced for seven years after being married for nine.  I didn’t particularly care for the single life and knew I was going to one day remarry.  I continued to learn about relationships as I dated quite a few men.  But I also learned that there are men who want to settle down and get married and men who don’t.  Some men who don’t want to permanently settle down pretty much make it clear at the beginning.  These men who do make it clear are typically the ones who commit for the time being and are successful, charismatic and attractive.  They can excite you with their lavish dates, vacations and lifestyle.  You think you can enjoy being in the here and now ignoring those red flag behaviors and take a chance.  Then there’s that possibility and hope that you are special enough and can change his mind and actually be the one he gives up bachelorhood for.  Our ego keeps us in denial for awhile as most courtships are very seductive.  It’s important to know what it is you want and have boundaries to determine whether or not you are getting what you want.  That way you can differentiate between the fun you are having and the goal you want to achieve.

Some of the pros and cons of dating men who won’t marry:

Pros:

1.  Typically successfully, affluent, and attractive men

2.  Can sweep you off your feet with their charismatic personality and lavish dates

3.  Are very exciting and alluring as they make themselves unavailable for long-term permanency; makes you want them more

4.  You can feel very important if he dates you for a longer period of time than expected as this makes you feel you might be “the one” he does break down and settles with

5.  Ego booster

6.  You can learn something about yourself as to why you allow yourself to remain in a relationship that isn’t giving you what you want

Cons:

1.  You may feel resentful and angry when the relationship ends when reality sets in

2.  If you had marriage in mind the time invested could have been spent attracting an appropriate partner

3.  If you are of child bearing years and too much time has gone by that window of opportunity might have closed

4.  You may have hurt your self-esteem as you ended up not being “the one”

5.  The negative feelings from this relationship may be carried onto the next and possibly sabotage an appropriate partner

Once you become aware that he is not going to make that long-term commitment reality sinks in and hurt, disappointment, anger and a range of emotions can set in.  Remember determine how you want to date.  Are you dating for fun or are you dating to settle down and get married?  That question will help you with how long you choose to stay in a relationship that is looking like it is working but, is it going to meet that goal?  No one needs to be the bad guy in the scenario as long as there is an understanding of what the relationship is about.  That understanding should start with YOU.

As a Couples Counselor I help Individuals with relationship goals and objectives.  If you are experiencing difficulty talking to your boyfriend about possibly moving to the next step please give me a call at (858) 735-1139.  I can help with the discussion you need to have so you can get the clarity and perspective that you need to move forward.

 

Are Three Ways Good For Your Marriage?

Are Three Ways Good For Your Marriage? Are Threesomes Good For Your Relationship?  Threesomes may or may not be good for marriages. I’ve been working with a Couple in Marriage Counseling who have been married for 7 years. In their third year they wanted to try a Three way at the request of her husband with another female. After careful thought and consideration they both decided to go forward with his fantasy. Remember fantasies are to be discussed first where both partners are made to feel comfortable before putting anything into action.

Are Three Ways Good For Your Marriage?

Initially the dynamics of three ways was working reasonable well. The sexual component was to everyone’s liking and no one felt left out. It wasn’t until the husband and the third person started to engage in extra encounters with one another without informing the wife.This made for secretive behavior and distrust became an issue for the wife. A betrayal had been committed as the initial agreement stated all would be present when engaging in sexual activity.

During the affair between the husband and 3rd person a mutual feeling of infatuation and feelings of love developed.  This is common as the couple is still in the Honeymoon Phase of the relationship.  The sexual tension creates even more desire for one another fueling the intense feelings of arousal and desire.  The wife feeling betrayed in this once agreed upon arrangement is now the Hurt party as her husband is now having an affair with this third person who was initially utilized to add sexual arousal and desire to their own relationship.

So the question is do Three ways work? They can IF the Couple is able to have an honest discussion about what they want from the experience and how they go about executing it. Often times a three way is desired to add variety and arousal to an already satisfactory sex life.  It can also enhance the sexual experience for those who want to explore an open relationship. The mere fact that someone else desires our partner makes them even more attractive to us resulting in a more heightened sexual encounter/experience.  As long as the couple understands the third person is to ENHANCE their sex and not replace one another throughout the process. Keeping the communication open between the couple before, during and after the physical activities should keep their relationship in check.

Are Three Ways Good For Your Marriage?

Some people believe it is possible to love more than one person and engage in loving making (sex) with those individuals which makes for a Polyamorous relationship.  Polyamory (from Greek, meaning “many” or “several”, and Latin amor, “love”) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.  It is distinct from swinging, which emphasizes sex with others as merely recreational.  3-Ways are distinct from swinging in that swinging involves multiples partners for each with their own set of agreements.  three ways typically include two females and a male or two males and a female.

Whatever the combination in Couples Counseling I help Couples understand that it is vitally important to make implicit expectations explicit to keep the integrity in their relationship. For more information please call me at (858) 735-1139

Why Married Men Don’t Cheat

Why Married Men Don’t Cheat.  According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy dated 9/8/2013 22% of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.  There have been many articles written by experts in the field as to why men cheat.  In 1995, Sheppard, Nelso & Andreoli-Mathie, reported men cheat because they are unsatisfied sexually.  Another study reported men cheat due to a lack of communication, understanding, and sexual incompatibility, (Roscoe, Cavanaugh, & Kennedy 1988). Marital dissatisfaction was the main reason cited in the 20th Century for infidelity for both male and female, however, there are many other reasons why men cheat and not just because they “can.”  There are also reasons why men don’t cheat.  A recent  article in AARP magazine by Joe Queenan takes a look into the mind of the male monogamist.  He states some men stay in their marriages without the stain of infidelity because men are:

Incredibly Lazy

As my ex-husband once said, “I’d never cheat because I’m too lazy, having an affair would be too much work.”  Men like to relax after a hard days work.  Downloading in their Man Cave drinking a beer, watching sports, on their computer, etc.  Romance, by contrast, is allot of work.  You have to shower, smell good, shave, exercise courtship behavior like buy flowers, go on dates and engage in conversation.  Cheating would require all of the above times two, the wife and the mistress.  Extramarital affairs are too exhausting if you consider wanting to make both women happy.

Startlingly Ugly

According to Queenan, “You might see a 10 with an 8, or an 8 with a 5, but you never see a 9 with a 2.”  That’s the reason unattractive men do not cheat on their wives.  “An ugly man is so happy that he found one woman willing to gaze at his dreadful countenance for the next 40 years” that he’s grateful and isn’t willing to risk everything by cheating on her.

Cheap

Taking women out on dates require a fair amount of financial resources and that’s additional money from the household income.  Often times men having affairs spend money on the same presents and dates for both their wives and mistresses.

Fearful of getting caught

Men know they aren’t as good at multitasking as most women and also know they don’t have that great of memory or are very organized.  So “shady” behavior like engaging in an affair is too risky in that they may get caught and don’t want to deal with the consequences of getting caught.

Under the assumption Affairs are time-consuming

There aren’t enough hours in the day to maintain an extramarital affair as having a mistress exerts as much energy as having a wife and family at home.  Their individual time gets narrowed down to no time and nobody gets the best of his time, not even himself.

(Bores) and can’t get dates

Just like the unattractive guys, boring guys are happy that they are able to find one woman who finds them half way interesting and although may think about cheating couldn’t find anyone interested in them to take them on.

They’ve seen the movie “Fatal Attraction” and bottom line they aren’t really good at it.

Neuropsychologist state there’s an area in the brain located in the frontal lobe that supports self-control processes.  These processes are referred to as “executive functions” and involve the ability to plan, inhibit or delay responding.  Resisting the temptation to cheat requires cognitive (thinking) effort. If you possess a high level of executive control, you probably are less likely to cheat on your partner as your way of thinking includes more inhibition and delayed immediate gratification capability opposed to someone with less executive control.  Whenever someone must focus hard on a task and ignore distractions, this area is particularly active. The extent to which these areas of the brain light up predicts a lot of important outcomes, including whether people are likely to follow the rule norms of society, resist a wide variety of temptations, and engage in risky behaviors.

Other Reasons Married Men Don’t Cheat have to do with character and good moral judgement.  A few to mention include:

Commitment to sexually exclusive monogamy

Integrity – a promise was made to vows; a commitment was given to exclusivity

Happy with wife – being in love their wife enhances the faithfulness

Don’t want to feel guilty

Civilized – the behavior of being unfaithful may be indicative to the contrary

Their wife doesn’t give them any reason to stray

Their father cheated on their mother and they don’t want to become like their cheater father –  repeating history and hurting other loved ones besides the hurt partner

Don’t want to possibly contract a sexually transmitted disease

Not empowering

The bottom line in deciding to engage in an affair happens to be a personal choice.  In Marriage Counseling I hear various reasons why affairs started.  They range from reasonable and understandable to the ridiculous.  As a Therapist who specializes in Affair Recovery, I believe affairs are symptoms of other problems that are being acted inappropriately when the initial step to prevent such behavior would be to talk to your partner about your feelings and go from there.  Marriage Therapy can give you the opportunity to talk about what you want in your relationship and how you can integrate that part of yourself that you feel while engaging in an affair.  Whilst married men who do not engage in affairs apparently are able to manage that part of themselves there are some who are not.  Bravo to those who can.

Please call me if you would like to understand more about affairs and why they happen at (858) 735-1139.

Is Your Body Language Getting Your Message Across?

Is Your Body Language Getting Your Message Across?  From first impressions to first dates, a smile can be worth everything.  A smile conveys warmth and friendliness.  It helps put the other person at ease.  Eye contact is an important nonverbal form of body language.  Direct eye contact shows respect for the other person, although, in some cultures, it shows disrespect and defiance.  However, in this culture, it shows interest in a person.  In fact, if you want to show a man you’re really into him, look deeply into his eyes as he speaks to you.  To catch the interest of a guy who you’re not on a date with (yet), catch his eye and smile, look away and hold his gaze the next time you glance over to him.

Ninety percent of our communication with one another is nonverbal.  Sometimes what’s in your heart and mind doesn’t come across in your body language.  When dating it’s important to make sure your body language is as sharp as your conversation skills.

Other signs that convey attraction include leaning toward a person, crossing your legs, tossing your hair, and lightly touching your arm and neck.  When people are really attracted to each other they often lick their lips.

If you’re wondering about him/her?  Same rules apply.  Some signs to look out for include fidgeting, crossing arms across the chest and darting eyes are signs of indifference or worse.  If he/she can’t stop scoping the room, it’s probably best to move on.

If you’ve been out in the Singles market longer than you wanted and would like help getting back into the swing of things with comfort and confidence Counseling with me can do just that.  Please don’t hesitate to call me at (858) 735-1139 so we can get started.