The Relationship Castle

March 9, 2018   The Relationship Castle Audio version- https://chirb.it/DErq9J I was recently working with a couple whose biggest problems were at home. They both had successful, well-paying jobs. Their problem was that neither could leave their office problems at the office.  The frustration and sometimes outright anger spilled over to their home life.  Additionally, they tended to handle arguments as they would with a coworker. Regrettably, this is not an uncommon scenario. Also, regrettably, it is a relationship disaster just waiting to explode.  For starters the person with whom you have a relationship should not be treated in the same manner as anyone else.  Healthy relationships grow when both partners elevate each other to top priority. I like to build what I call a “Relationship Castle.”  Think of a castle with a moat around it and a draw bridge.  Every workday morning each person puts on her/his armor.  The draw bridge is lowered, and both go out to fight the “big bad dragons” that most of us face each day.  At the end of the day they both return to the castle.  The draw bridge is pulled back up, and the moat prevents intruders.  The castle should be the place each partner feels the best – well-respected, loved, and appreciated.  It should be where they are the most relaxed.  The castle should insulate the partners from people and things that would harm the relationship. Yes, it’s only a make believe visual, but it’s not that far from what should take place. If “invaders” have been allowed to infiltrate the castle, they need to be banished, and quickly.  The longer...

Stop Keeping Score

March 2, 2018   Stop Keeping Score Audio version- http://chirb.it/htmC9s A young couple recently came in for help with their marriage of only two years.  When I asked each for her/his perspective, it became almost a court scene with two battling attorneys.  Each wanted to prove her/his point.  In essence, they both wanted to “win,” and they were clearly keeping score of who had won what argument.   It was amusingly like a court case complete with opening statements, cross-examination, rebuttal arguments, and closing arguments.  I had to let them vent before I could begin to help.  When both were satisfied with their respective case presentations, they were ready to listen. I thanked them both but explained it was not my job to act as a judge and jury. Relationships are NOT sports contests. Stop keeping score.  Unless both people “win,” both people lose.  The perceived “loser” in an argument will always find a way to get even, even if it’s in a passive-aggressive manner. Keeping score is one of the most sure-fire ways of forcing a relationship of the tracks. So, what should couples do when they disagree?  The first step it to clearly define what the disagreement is about and not drag other issues into the discussion.  Sometimes it’s fine just to realize the issue is not as important to one as to the other.  In such a case, just go along with it. This only works if the other person also goes along with something that may not be as important to him/her.  The other way is to figure out a compromise.  Neither person will get exactly what...

Love’s Law of Inertia

February 23, 2018   Love’s Law of Inertia Audio version- https://chirb.it/P82bOg A couple had come in several weeks ago wondering what had happened to their relationship.  After I got them to stop pointing fingers at each other, we began to explore what had gone off course after more than fourteen years of marriage.  They really wanted to make it work.   Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object will remain at rest or move at a constant speed in a straight line unless it is acted on by an unbalanced force.  His “law” even applies to relationships.  Relationships follow the law of inertia.  Yellen’s First Law of Emotional Inertia states, “A relationship at rest tends to stay at rest, while a relationship in motion continues to stay in motion and grow.”  Simply put, their relationship remained linear and “at rest” and did not grow because they did not apply any positive force to it.  It remained a straight line, not a learning curve. What happened?  They had put all their energy into becoming financially secure and to raising their two children.  They had put almost zero energy, “force”, into their relationship.  They grew apart. They stopped having fun together, no longer doing the very activities that had brought them together in the first place. We needed to infuse the relationship with new and exciting energy, which was a combination of what had brought them together in the first place and a few new things they had learned along the way. In reality, a relationship is much like a living, breathing organism.  It needs to be nourished and cared for, or...

Broken Heart Syndrome

February 18, 2018 My Heart Is Broken Audio version- https://chirb.it/Dyze19 One of the questions that came up this week regarding relationships was this – “Is there really such thing as a broken heart?” The answer is that the heart is not broken in the literal sense, but absolutely, yes, it’s a medical condition. It often occurs after either a hard breakup or the death of a loved one. It is particularly dangerous to people over 55 and occurs more in women than in men, but symptoms can appear at any age. Medically, it is called takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) and was discovered in Japan in the 1990’s. It is often mistaken as a heart attack because of the similarity in symptoms – shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeat). Due to stress hormones there is a weakening of the left ventricle, the chamber of the heart that pumps blood out to the body. It can last up to about three months. Just because of the common name, Broken Heart Syndrome, it should still be considered a medical emergency because it can lead to further serious complications. It needs to be checked out by a doctor. The simple idea that “you’ll just get over it” can be dangerous advice. Yes, most people go through Katherine Kubler-Ross’s stages of loss – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance – but for some the loss creates an actual medical condition. Depending on the severity, it can be treated with medication if necessary. If you or someone close has experienced a hard breakup or the death of a loved one, the best advice is to...
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The Love Shopping List Book at The NYC Book Expo America New Title Showcase May 27th-30th, 2015

The BookExpo America saw some huge changes, including the addition of BookCon, which brought 10 thousand members of the public onto the show floor. Another addition to the show floor was the New Title Showcase, an official exhibit of BEA that used to be located in the lobby of the Javits Convention Center. The move of the New Title Showcase to the inside of the hall, near the popular downtown stage, and in the BookCon accessible area, so a huge uptake in activity, with attendance at a constant within the popular exhibit. Publishers, booksellers, librarians, distributors, media and many other facets of the 40 thousand or so people who attend all seemed to make their way through the New Title Showcase.       A preview of the Love Shopping List book is available here: http://www.thebookcheckout.com/ebook/2015-bookexpo-america-new-title-showcase_105_523.html?pageno=2&perpage=25   Foreign licensing rights are available. For enquires please use the “Contact Us” form.  ...

Love Shopping List 3.0

The latest version of the app is available in the Apple Appstore: It fixes the crashing on IOS 8 among other things. For those of you that have been asking, yes, we are planning a release for Android. We are also planning a major upgrade to the Love Shopping List® app which will appear first for IOS and then be followed by the Android version. Stay...