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Posts Tagged ‘blog counseling’

If you are always trying to change the bad habits of the person you are dating, maybe it’s time to move on to someone else.

A woman came for therapy because she had just learned that her boyfriend of several months was still involved with his old girlfriend.

When I asked what she wanted from therapy, she said, “I want the guy to give up his girlfriend and commit to me.”

Since I wasn’t sure if her goal was in her best interest, I asked if she would tell me more about this man as well as her dating history with other men. I learned she had been married twice. Her first husband left her for another woman, and she left her second husband because he was an alcoholic. She then had a long-term relationship with a man who was always on the verge of bankruptcy. “I got fed up with paying all the bills,” she said, “so one day I kicked him out.”

After talking with her about her past relationships, I said my best advice was for her to explore why she kept getting involved with men who left her, either emotionally or physically. I also thought another goal of therapy should be that she would come to like and respect herself enough to move away from any relationship that spelled trouble.

Her situation reminded me of a woman I had seen several months previously. She had come to therapy because she wanted to straighten out a man she had recently met. He had stood her up for their first date and was a half hour late for the second date. Her goal was to teach him to be more responsible. Here, too, my advice was to drop the guy, spend her energies learning to like herself more, and look for a healthier relationship with someone who didn’t discount her.

Certainly when you’re looking for a mate and find someone that you’re attracted to, it’s tempting to ignore the obvious. But pursuing a relationship that is probably bound for disaster is not in your best interest. Here are some danger signs to watch for:

* He’s heavily in debt.

* He can’t hold a job.

* She drinks too much.

* She has no friends.

* He’s rude to the waitress, the car mechanic, the store clerk.

* He’s always finding fault with others or with you.

* He flirts with other women which drives you crazy.

* She’s possessive, wants all of your time, and tries to exclude your friends and family.

* She lies.

* He has a bad temper.

* He’s a sports addict and you hate sports.

* He’s Mr. Frugal and you like to spend.

* You want children and he wants no part of them.

* She has a child by a previous marriage and you dislike this child.

* He’s a slob and you’re a neat nick.

Do yourself a favor. If you’re dating someone and there are signs that you’re headed for difficulties, move on. Don’t get hung up with trying to change the person. Remember that no matter how eager you are to find a fulfilling relationship, “the light you see at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming train.”

Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World” as well as, “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide” and “Thin Becomes You”.

Doris’ web page: www.doriswildhelmering.com

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Doing what we say we are going to do or taking responsibility for our actions is not alway easy but many times is needed. Saying I’m Sorry can also certianly clear the air and make for a sunnier future.

Who have you closed off in your life? Is there anyone you’ve taken advantage of recently or treated unfairly in the distant past? Have you promised to do someone a favor and then not followed through? Before making a New Year’s resolution, make amends with someone.

Molly confessed she needed to make amends with her mother. From the time she was little, Molly knew she was adopted. Four years ago she decided to track down her birth mother. She was so happy to find her birth mother, she started doing things with her and neglected the mother who raised her.

When her mother complained that she was ignoring her, Molly told her mom she was imagining things. “I even threw it in her face that she was jealous of my birth mother. Of course, this was true because I made it that way.”

Molly will make amends by going to her mother and apologizing. If her mother gives her a lecture, she’ll take it. She won’t fight. She’ll make a list of 100 special memories she’s had with her. She’ll treat her mother to a nice lunch and read the list. And she’ll be careful in the future not to push her mother aside.

Gene has been critical of his wife for working part-time instead of full-time. Recently Gene has realized how much his wife does in addition to her part-time job. Gene will make amends by apologizing, and in the future he’ll support his wife’s decision to work part-time.

Bob has been bulldozing family members for years. If anyone disagrees with him, he becomes enraged. Or he pouts and won’t talk. To make amends, he is to get his anger under control and to learn to be respectful when others see things differently.

Carol has owed her dentist $400 for over nine months. Although she can’t pay the entire bill, she’s decided to pay him $50 a month. “It’s time I grow up and pay what I owe,” she says.

“I have a bracelet of my sister’s,” Renee said. “She left it at my house last spring.” Her sister has asked for the bracelet several times, but Renee keeps putting her off because she likes wearing the bracelet. “I promise to return her bracelet and to buy her some earrings to go with it by the end of the month.”

Have you borrowed something — a book, money, a dish, clothing — and not returned it? Now’s a good time to give the item back to its true owner.

Have you made a promise to see a doctor, clean the carport, make a will, have a neighbor for dinner and not kept it? Set the date today for when you’ll get the job done.

Are you neglecting a duty that is yours, such as taking financial responsibility for a child or caring for an aging parent? Refusing to put your shoulder to the wheel or to pull your weight financially forces others to do your share.

Have you been mean because of a slight or injustice? Are you sure you want to take such a stance?

Each day we make our destiny. Do you really respect the destiny you’re choosing?

Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World” as well as, “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide” and “Thin Becomes You”.

Doris’ web page: www.doriswildhelmering.com

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My boss overheard me making critical comments about her behind her back. What should I do to repair the relationship, or should I just quit my job?

If you know for sure that she overheard you, go to her and say, “The other day I realize I was out of line. You can expect that I’ll never do that again. I’m sorry.” Chances are if you’re a good worker, and you don’t repeat your behavior, she’ll eventually get over it.

Another piece of advice: Don’t talk about your boss or co-workers to anyone at work. You never know when your comments will be overheard or carried back to that person. Save those comments instead for your mate and closest of friends.

Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World” as well as, “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide.” and “Thin Becomes You”. Doris’ web page: www.doriswildhelmering.com

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Dear Doris,

My wife continually badmouths my parents who we hardly ever see and live 500 miles away. Needless to say I don’t feel very close to my wife when she does this. How can I get her to stop?

Tell her you love her but you also love your folks. Each time she badmouths them, she chips away at your good feelings for her. In other words, she’s killing your love for her by badmouthing your folks. Or as the saying goes, “Death by a thousand duck bites.”

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Let’s draw a trouble tree today. Take out a piece of paper and draw a tree with three branches.

Put your name on one of the branches.

Put two other peoples’ names on the other two branches. You might choose one of your children, a close friend, a neighbor, or a relative.

Now write your troubles on one branch and the other peoples’ troubles on their branches.

For example, on one of my friend’s branch I would hang the following miseries:

–  Son has learning difficulties

–  Oldest daughter has weight problem

–  Husband left her for another woman

–  Basement floods periodically

–  New car continues to break down.

Even people who seem to lead a charmed life like Mary Tyler Moore have problems.
Her misfortunes include:

–  Death of son

–  Two divorces

–  Diabetes

–  Miscarriage

–  Mother’s health problem.

Every person experiences troubles in life. Some people seem to experience more than their share of miseries. Others seem to be blessed and appear to have fewer troubles throughout their life. But no one escapes physical and emotional pain.

The trouble tree can help you put your problems in perspective.

 

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A man I am seeing in therapy says:
“How can I get my wife to stop bringing up an affair I had?”

“I had an affair two years ago and my wife won’t get off of it. She constantly brings up the affair. She says I don’t understand how hurt she is. I say, ‘Hey, I gave up the affair. I apologized. I’m here. Get over it.’ What can I do to get her to stop thinking about the past?”

Man, you don’t get it. It takes about 5 years to get over an affair, and then rarely does trust come back 100%. Each time your wife brings up the affair, something has triggered her bad feelings. And I bet there are plenty of times when your wife doesn’t bring up your affair even though she’s had thought of it and felt the hurt.

Instead of telling your wife to get over it, which is incredibly insensitive, apologize again and again for the hurt you have caused her. For example, “I’m so sorry I hurt you. I love you. I care about you. You’re the best. And again, I am really sorry.”

After several thousand sincere apologies, yes, several thousand, such as the one above, your wife will be more able to move on in her life without being reminded on a daily basis.

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Recently, I got  this question from a woman.

I’m dating a guy who doesn’t make much money. I have to admit that I like “things.” So should I break it off and look for someone with a higher salary?

Let me ask you this girlfriend. Are you looking for a meal ticket? If you want and enjoy things as most of us do, no problem. Focus on how you’re going to make more money however, instead of how much money the guy makes. This new focus will allow you to evaluate this new man in more appropriate terms, such as:

Do you have the same interests?
Do the two of you laugh together?
Is he a good sex partner?
Does he demonstrate integrity?
Is he honest?
Does he show empathy?

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