Hopefully you have watched all the videos on the 100 day challenge. Just to refresh your memory, since there 100 days between Valentine’s Day and Memorial Day(hence the 100 day challenge) you can improve the relationship that you are in just by doing a few simple things.
Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future,
but from wanting to control it
If you live in NJ and commute you know that you will drive in traffic. You will stop and go and stop and go. If you have to do one of those jug handle turns in order to turn left, you typically race to make the light. Did you ever think what would happen if you didn’t make the light? What would you miss? Would you get a better song to listen to, would you make one more phone call?
One day I got stuck at the traffic light. (For the record, I listened to more music) I waited and waited and waited for the light to change to green. As I made the turn on to my next street, I saw a police car, lights flashing, zoom past me. I kept on driving. I saw where the police car ended up. There was a serious car accident right down the street. I thought, “Wow if I had made that light could that have been me in that accident?” The thought shook me and I continued my commute.
After arriving at my destination, I began to think about recent world events. What would have happened if I was on that New York street the day the bombs went off in Chelsea, or I had been on the platform the day the NJ transit train crashed in Hoboken? How do you explain the randomness of these bad things happening? How do we deal with this? If you think too much about these questions, you will never leave your house again. Your motto will be “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
Staying home however isn’t the answer. I mean bad stuff happens in people’s homes everyday—accidents, falls, fires, robberies. That doesn’t sound any better, in fact it sounds worse.
What is the answer to the craziness of our world, a world where tragedies happen to both good and bad people? I mean we smile and smirk when karma comes back around and the bad people get it, but at the end of the day it’s hardly a victory. When the tragedies happen to good people, we are stuck, we are without words, we are without anything. There is nothing left to say or do.
Our lack of control in our life is frightening. We desperately want control. We want to know when people will die, so we can say our goodbyes at the right time. We want to know when we will be laid off so we can get our resumes out to land that new job. We want to know when our houses will sell so we can find the new house that we want. We never know any of these things in advance. We get upset, we get frustrated, and we get angry when we have no control.
We need to figure out how to handle our lack of control and how we can live our lives in a healthier, less anxious way. Here is a musical example of our fear and anxiety. The band Incubus, released the song “Drive” in 2000. It appears on their third album Make Yourself. Enjoy the song.
“Drive” gives us a clue for handling this fear and anxiety “I should be the one behind the wheel”. We’ll address this topic in greater detail in part 2 of this blog.
In this episode, we examine the most shameful of all addictions, sexual addiction. We will define addiction, identify how addiction impacts family members, and the addicted person. A case example is presented to highlight these issues
On Today’s show we will examine how technology is ruining your relationship- how people are spending too much time with their phones and not each other.
We’re going to talk about phones and relationships and most importantly, how to improve them.
My latest podcast is about grief. Learn what it is, what are the symptoms, and what are some coping strategies. Music from Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Ambrosia, and George Harrison provides examples for discussion.
I was contacted by fellow blogger “Ruby’s Reflections” . She wanted to be a guest blogger since we both like to write about music and change. Here is her post.:
Sometimes you think to yourself “I could do better than this guy/girl I’m with. I should look for something/someone new and more exciting, prettier/ more handsome, sexier, funnier, richer, more educated….” So you get rid of the “old” and/or push the “old” away, and you find someone “better”. But soon you realize “Hey I miss what I once had with that first one, but now it’s too late to get him/her back.”
So in the words of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”, before you “pave over” what you currently have in your life, take some time to really think, reflect, and ask yourself, “Could I just be honest with the one I love, and let him/her know I think we have something good, but it could be even better, maybe even GREAT if we work on it? Do I care enough about this person to do the work…..before I just give it all away?”
So remember… that new “paradise” that you are always seeking and think that you might have found, can just as easily end up as your next parking lot. So before you “move your car” into what could be a future “empty parking space”, please first take a look at what you’ve already got…it might just be worth saving!
Great post Ruby. Sage wisdom about “looking before you leap”
Let’s watch this clip to see how couples often have conflict:
The “rabbit season/duck season” argument occurs often among couples. They go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, usually with someone getting “blown up”. This ping pong match features lots of conflict which go nowhere. Just like rabbit and duck season, nothing is solved, there is no resolution of the conflict, and there are no negotiations. Things just go boom!
What is the cost of that boom? More conflict, less communication, holding grudges and resentment, less intimacy, and further distance between partners– a loud boom indeed for a relationship! The ironic part of this conflict is that many of the topics in the argument are pretty worthless! It is conflict for the sake of conflict and conflict in order to win. Please pause from reading this and think about the last five fights that you and your partner have had……
How many of these involved “big ticket items”—addiction, mental illness, infidelity, domestic violence?
How many of these involved a misunderstanding/misperception of who was going to do what /when?
If you have big ticket item fights you should be attending regular couples and individual therapy –Schedule that now.
If you are having the “rabbit season/ duck season” fights—explain to YOURSELF why you are doing this. Please do not rationalize, justify and blame your partner for HIS/HER actions. Please ask yourself……Why are I doing this? What is MY part in the fight? What is MY ISSUE that keeps coming up? Why do I want to engage in this conflict? –Do you want to know? (Do you need to know?)
YOU have the power to change YOUR behavior! If you do that, you can change the relationship! (If you change one part of a relationship, that changes other parts of the relationship — a lengthy conversation for another time.)
At this point, you may be feeling defensive and wondering why YOU have to do all the work? What about your partner? Shouldn’t s/he be doing some of this SELF examination? You may want your partner to do this, but is your partner open to this inquiry? If s/he is willing, communicate your desire for him/her to change in a loving, soft, gentle way. No need for another boom. If your partner is not open to change, then you have two choices—keep having booms over small ticket items or change YOURSELF. Start with the questions from the previous paragraph. Identify that issue. Work on making it better. Since you are looking at yourself, ask the hard question—is there any truth to what my partner is saying about me? . If I’m accused of being loud and obnoxious and insensitive, is there truth in that? If so, how can I change that? Can I be warmer, more caring, and more empathic? Can I be a better listener? Do I have to win every round of every fight? (You don’t)
If you work on changing yourself, then something magical is going to happen—you will feel better. You will feel better about the world, you will feel better about your partner, and you will feel better about the relationship. You will see how worthless the “rabbit season/duck season” argument is and how it is much better to appreciate the positives that your partner brings to the table, not his/her deficiencies. You can also acknowledge those positives, and validate his/her behaviors that you appreciate (instead of criticizing your partner repeatedly)
What do you have to lose? — Many pointless hours of frustration, stress, agita