Understanding Feelings of Guilt, Shame and Regret

We all make mistakes and no one is perfect but when something goes wrong, someone gets hurt or there is a missed opportunity and things don’t go as planned than how do you feel about that and how do you react? Do you feel guilt, shame or regret? These three terms can be confusing. Identifying how we feel and how we choose to move forward is important. Let’s look at the definitions;

Guilt is feeling bad about something you have done, a sense of legitimate condemnation in response to your own behavior. When you hurt someone else then guilt is a natural result. This feeling of guilt can be so uncomfortable that it motivates you to make things right if you can. To try to correct the hurt that you caused. You might apologize or accept responsibility. This is a healthy response to your guilt. A negative response to guilt would be to think about the action over and over, repeating it in your head and feeling worse each time. There is no correction only self condemnation. 

Shame is something different. It has more to do with how you see yourself, how you view your character.  It is less about the behavior. You have a negative evaluation of yourself, you may feel inadequate, flawed in some way or undeserving and this can result in depression and anxiety. You may withdraw from others or punish yourself in someway. This can lead to many harmful behaviors including feeling so bad about who you are that you no longer want to live. This feeling of shame often comes from a childhood where you were either outright told that you were bad and unworthy or you were made to feel this way by how you were treated.

The last term that is often confusing is regret. Regret means feeling bad about something that has happened but there is no moral judgement of right or wrong. Something happened and we just wish it had gone another way. We say “if only…”. We can look at what happened and learn from it and try to correct the outcome so it won’t happen in the future. Therefore, regret can again motivate us to learn from our behavior and make better choices in the future. 

Identifying what you are feeling is the first step. There is no reason to say you feel guilt when you haven’t done anything wrong. You may really be feeling sad or frustrated. Don’t give into feelings of shame when they are caused by your own false beliefs. Instead, choose compassion towards yourself and others. And there is no benefit in obsessively feeling regret when we can’t change the past. We can only choose to move forward with healthy behaviors. 

Understanding what you are feeling and why will help you change and choose behaviors that benefit you and your relationships. Don’t allow these feeling to block you from moving forward and growing in understanding.

Written by Lisa Strong

What is Compassion and Why You Need to Know

I read the newspaper.  Yes, the black and white printed paper that gets delivered to my door.  In every single issue, without fail, there are articles about crime, violence, hate speech, blame, conspiracies, and division.  And almost every morning I find myself wondering if it will ever be possible for us to relate to each other with compassion instead of blame and vengeance.  Then I wonder “what is compassion, exactly?”  So I did some reading.  

By definition, compassion is the sympathetic awareness of others’ distress, coupled with a desire to alleviate suffering. It’s empathy plus prosocial action to improve the condition of others. To be compassionate requires attention, insight, and engagement, says Joan Halifax, Ph.D., a Zen Buddhist nun and researcher. Interestingly, while the practice of compassion is inherently about helping others, emerging science shows that it can also help improve the physical health and psychological well-being of the person doing good.

In my line of work I hear about bullying, depression, anxiety, stress and health challenges starting in grade school.  Parents blame other parents and teachers.  Students blame their peers.  Families are riddled with strife and power struggles.  It’s quite overwhelming and sickening to me if I let it be. That’s when my roaming thoughts come back to compassion.  Let me be clear here… compassion does not excuse bad behavior.  But it does bring a new dynamic to the equation.  A dynamic of trying to understand and doing something to help the person who is hurting and acting out.  Instead of yelling at our kids let’s work to connect with their emotions and discover how we can help them and encourage them.  Instead of blaming your spouse, focus on what is troubling them and join forces to problem solve.  Compassion.

I understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy.  I am always here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!  Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.  

Written by Lisa Smith

Holiday Stress Can Be Challenging To Any Relationship?

I wrote a very similar article last year at this time but I think we can all benefit from a reminder of how to deal with the challenges during this time of year. Is the holiday stress starting to crowd in on you and your spouse? This time of the year does bring some unique challenges. So what is so different about this month of December? Here are a few possibilities of what might be causing stress in your home.

  • Money, you are not in agreement over how much should be spent on the holiday.
  • There are still the usual demands at work but now your schedule is extra busy with holiday festivities at school, church or with friends and family. Shopping takes time too. How do you fit it all in?
  • Pressure from family and friends. How can we make everyone happy including the in-laws, extended family, grandparents, kids and friends. Who do we celebrate with?
  • Different expectations, each of you were raised with unique holiday traditions. What do you do now?

When you see your partner starting to stress out, what can you do? Well being quick to give advice is not the answer. According to Dr. Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, 

       “The cardinal rule when helping your partner de-stress is that understanding must precede advice. You have to let your partner know that you fully understand and empathize with the dilemma before you suggest a solution,”

Usually the responsibility of juggling gift giving and parties falls on the wife. I know this is a stereotype but let’s just go with it for discussion sake. If the husband starts with the advice then it can put the wife on the defense. She needs to know that he understands her view before he can tell her what to do. This means being supportive. Give statements that show you get it.

Wives are not the only ones under stress, each of you need to be open to the other when they want to share what is stressing them out. If you see signs of your partners’ stress then come along side them, show support instead of judgement and let them know that you are a team together. The feeling of being alone in the stress is often what makes it worse. 

Also you may need to discuss holiday expectations. Each of you should think about what is important to you. You can write down a few things that are at the top of your list for the holiday season. I don’t mean gifts but instead talk about what makes the holiday special to you? Do you like to go as a family and pick out a live tree? Do you remember baking cookies or having a special meal? Do you have a family movie night or give gifts to children in need? Once you both share your ideas then work together to decide which you can make happen. 

I want you to have the best holiday possible so make your relationship the priority and care for each other. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support or have questions for us!  We are always here to help. Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.  

Written by Lisa Strong

Healing From Betrayal In Your Relationship

When you can no longer count on your partner, a promise is broken or an expectation is not met then you may feel betrayed. When we are in a relationship we all have expectations. There are too many varied expectations to list but just think about what your expectations are in your own relationship. It may be for your partner to provide financially, to listen to your concerns, to show compassion and understanding, to be a support or to share activities with and to remain faithful.

When a relationship is healthy each partner feels that their needs are being met and their expectations are fulfilled. We trust our partner to meet these needs and expectations. Some of our needs could be time with a spouse, the need for validation and understanding or a partner who regularly gives affection or appreciation. Each of us have different needs and as our needs are being met we become more and more connected to that person. 

Each of you have a responsibility to stay tuned-in to your partner and to communicate openly when you feel things are slipping or you are disconnecting.

Over time things change and we must stay tuned-in to our partner. If this is not happening then the relationship begins to break down. Our attention and focus can begin to change and then your partner can move from a place of trust to a place of betrayal. For example if you become too busy that you have no more time to sit and listen, or you are struggling at work and your partner no longer shows you the admiration and support that you need, these types of experiences may leave you feeling betrayed. This is not what you expected and now you are frustrated and disconnected from your partner. It may get to the point where you turn to someone else to meet your needs. 

If you have allowed this slow erosion to break down the connection with your partner then it will take work to get back on track. The healing of the relationship will become the focus. It does take work to move past the pain of a betrayal and it is not easy but here are some basic suggestions that can refocus your attention back onto the relationship so that the erosion does not cause a permanent separation.

  1. You need to be committed to the process of healing. Looking at each persons behavior with honesty and a willingness to change. 
  2. Learn to share what you need and listen well. One of the things that may have gotten you to this point is the lack of honest, supportive communication. There were signs of the erosion in the relationship and either one person did not share what they needed or the other person did not listen well. 
  3. Re-establishing trust by showing that you are someone who can be counted on. When you were dating you were there to meet your partners needs for support, encouragement, understanding and affection. Your partner wants to be able to count on you to meet their needs and keep your word.
  4. Your partner is human and life can be very demanding. I am not excusing bad behavior but I know that focusing on who is to blame will not move you forward and doing so can be toxic to the relationship.

If you are struggling to regain the trust and connection in your relationship I encourage you to not loose hope. Relationships take work and continual fine tuning but a healthy relationship can bring you great joy. If you need further help then give me a call at 562-260-4796 and I can help you reconnect and enjoy each other again.

Written by Lisa Strong

Kids to College: Survival Guide for Parents

Parenthood has two big transitions, when your children arrive and when they leave.  Both can be terrifying.  And after saying goodbye to your college student on move-in day, one of the hardest things to come to grips with at home is the sudden lack of information. You’re excluded from your student’s experience in a new way, and no one can invite you in except your student — and that’s only if they want to. That doesn’t mean you disappear from their lives.  But it does mean you play a different role.  You’re going from manager to consultant and supporter.

Here are some things parents and other professionals suggest to make the transition better and healthier for everyone.  The following tips have been collected from several articles and books that are proven to be effective and trustworthy.  Give these ideas a try.  

Give them space. College students need a grace period to meet people, get involved in campus life and focus on their new environment without constant reminders of home. No matter how eager they are for college, it’s not easy to get used to new surroundings and sleeping in a new bed. This is hard for some, extremely hard for others and super easy for a few.  Give them the space to figure it out. That doesn’t mean you don’t have conversations, but follow their lead. One of your kids may text constantly, while the other might not touch base for weeks on end.  

Be prepared to listen then let go. Often kids call or text when they’re feeling low, and trust me, you’ll hear about the roommate drama, the rotten exam or the malfunctioning laundry machines. But once kids have unloaded, they move on, leaving you to worry into the night about a problem that likely doesn’t exist for them the next day. Or if it does, it’s their issue to solve. Try not to let their download ruin your day. It’s probably not ruining theirs.

Offer guidance, not a quick fix. If your child is struggling with a normal issue, such as not finding people they like, hear them out (see above), because a sympathetic ear is helpful. But don’t leap to offer a fix, such as contacting a resident adviser on their behalf. We want our kids to become competent and independent, and they need to develop problem-solving skills. They also won’t learn to get comfortable with discomfort and build resilience if we handle things for them.

Point them to resources. When your student complains about homework or a dorm challenge, ask them about resources on campus, and nudge them to pursue those avenues. You should no longer be their one stop shop when it comes to solutions.  They need to seek out other avenues.  Colleges have staff ready to help students. Resist the urge to micromanage. If students don’t know where to start, suggest they check with their resident adviser. Resources include the tutoring center, academic advising, career services center, student health clinic, financial aid office, multicultural center, first-generation center and more. Engaging with other students and professional staff is the best way to adjust. Keep pointing them back to campus.

Ordering groceries for them? Stop. You’re paying for a meal plan, after all. And no, your student doesn’t need a laundry service. Campuses provide washing machines. Students need to develop life skills, and now’s the time to start. Their roommates and future partner will appreciate your not making life too easy for them. Hold back on all the extras.

Know when to get involved. You know your child best, and no one is paying attention like you are. If you suspect a mental-health condition is sending your student into a tailspin, or if they’re experiencing a recurring illness or unfamiliar allergy that doesn’t sound normal, it’s okay to ask questions and follow up. When a health or safety issue isn’t being addressed in a timely way, a phone call from a parent can make a difference.

I understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy.  I am always here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!  Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.  

Written by Lisa Smith

How to Avoid Letting Jealousy Poison Your Relationship

Jealous behaviors such as asking to be in touch continually, requiring a detailed account of your partners day or suspecting the worst of your partner can poison your relationship. It establishes an environment of suspicion and insecurity which is the opposite of a healthy relationship which needs to be based on trust and respect. In this article I am going to make the assumption that your partner is not cheating on you or looking to replace you but they are feeling the effects of your jealousy.

First I want to define jealousy which at its core is a byproduct of fear, fear of not being good enough, fear of loss. It is the feeling that someone might try to take what is yours. For example, your husband becomes close friends with an attractive co-worker, and you may feel jealous of — and threatened by — their relationship.

This is not to be confused with envy which is not fear based but is a reaction to lacking something and wanting what someone else has. You might be envious of someone’s good looks, or their beautiful home, etc.

Having a fear based emotion continually raising its head in your relationship is going to cause you problems. If you are jealous you may be constantly looking for reassurance because you are afraid that you are going to be replaced. Or you may resort to trying to control your partner so that you can feel reassured by checking on them, calling often or demanding behaviors that they are not comfortable with. Any of these behaviors can be exhausting for your partner.

Jealousy is an emotion that could be connected to some or all of these feelings 1. Insecurity, 2. Fear of being replaced and rejected or 3. Low self-esteem

Healing starts with awareness. The stories you are telling yourself are not true. Examining the origin of your fears will bring healing. Did something happen in a past relationship or in your childhood? The fear of being replaced may come from a past experience but you are carrying it over to this one and you are going to sabotage it. Remind yourself that your partner choose you because of your positive qualities that they like. Your insecurity and low self-esteem are not qualities that promote respect and trust. 

You need to talk to your partner about your feelings in a way that is non-accusatory. It will be helpful if you can be honest with how you feel and take responsibility for those feelings. One suggestion is to work to establish a set of ground rules that can establish trust. For example each of you honoring your word, be home on time, explain what is happening if you are running late. I find that open relationships create an environment of trust. Both of you need to agree to the guidelines.

If you are in a committed relationship or marriage then you can be open with your phone, email or any social media. If you are not ready for this level of openness then you may not be “all in” and if that is the case then talk about it. But once you have established commitment it is best to be transparent. This is not the same as allowing someone to be controlling, there is a difference and each of us can have behavioral boundaries that make us comfortable and working together to agree on these requires respect and consideration.

Don’t let your jealous feeling control your behaviors. It will bring pain to your relationship and that is not fair to either of you. It takes practice and if you need help then give me a call at 562-260-4796. I would be happy to support you.

Written by Lisa Strong

How to Teach Your Kids and Teens About Money

A new study published in the Journal of Family Issues asserts that when it comes to teaching your children about money, hands-on experience is key — even if those hands end up empty. In fact, one of the best things you can give your kids is the opportunity to screw up.

“It’s important for parents to give kids age-appropriate financial experiences,” the study’s author, University of Arizona doctoral student Ashley LeBaron, told the UA News. “Let them make mistakes so you can help them learn from them, and help them develop habits before they’re on their own, when the consequences are a lot bigger and they’re dealing with larger amounts of money.”

The study, entitled “Practice Makes Perfect: Experiential Learning as a Method of Financial Socialization,” says that it’s not enough to explain good financial management to your children and set a good example, they need to get their hands dirty. 

“We should be teaching our kids about money,” says Miata Edoga, Founder and President of the Los Angeles-based financial education company Abundance Bound.  “But the answer isn’t simply adding a few hours of a class in school. The answer is actual practice.”
 
What that practice would look like depends on the age of the child and the family’s financial situation, but some possibilities include giving them a regular allowance, rewarding achievements like good grades or paying them for certain chores over and above their regular responsibilities. (Side note: every child and teen should have tasks required of them daily that contribute to the household and family unit that do not get rewarded with money.  This teaches that they are required to contribute to the bigger unit without regards only to themselves.)  What’s important is that there’s a plan in place that both parent and child are clear about.

“I think it’s essential that kids have an agreement with their parents about what they are required to pay for from their own money,” says Edoga, who also recommends that children have a bank account and an ATM card by high school. “With my teenage daughter, she knows what the things are that she’s expected to pay for from money that she has earned so if she runs out and there’s something that she wants, then we discuss ways that she can earn the money that she needs. But to simply give it to her is creating that illusion that there will always be a safety net.”

Because in the real world, of course, there isn’t.  Stop being the safety net!  

In her experience Edoga has observed that millennials are often better savers than Gen-Xers and Boomers because they know that they are entering a work force that is much more transient and uncertain than the one their parents experienced. “Millennials are not likely to finish school and then step into a 40-year job with security and a pension, no matter what field they choose,” she says. “So, because our children are likely going to have to piece together their careers, our responsibility as parents is even greater to help them develop into powerful financial thinkers.”

Without freaking them out, of course. “We don’t want our kids to be afraid of spending, be afraid of managing credit,” she cautions. “We want them to feel confidant in their ability to negotiate successful financial lives, to come at money from a place of power, rather than fear.”

And like most things that are worthwhile in life, that comes down to one simple thing: practice practice practice. “We wouldn’t just give our kids a book and a lecture on driving a car and then expect them to get behind the wheel and actually be safe and know what they’re doing,” Edoga reasons. “It’s the same thing with money.”

I understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy.  I am always here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!  Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.  

Written by Lisa Smith

If Your Partner Says There’s a Problem, What Should You Do?

If your partner comes to you with a problem or concern about the relationship, how do you respond? Maybe they are unhappy with you or something you are doing. Does it make you feel under pressure, defensive or frustrated. You can respond in many ways, some more productive than others. The typical fight, flight or freeze response can be seen in relationships but are not healthy choices. If your partner has a problem and wants to discuss it with you they would hope that you would listen to their concern and work with them to find a solution but that is not always the case.

The fight response results in anger, arguments and hurt feelings. This breaks down the emotional connection and the ability to be honest and vulnerable in the relationship. When your partner shares their concern they don’t want to then have to deal with you becoming angry and fighting with them. This only increases your stress level.

The flight response results in a feeling of abandonment. If when your partner shares their concern, you leave the room or slams the door and walks away tyou might feel safe because you have avoided the stress but they feel alone with their problem with no partner to stand with them and solve it together. 

The freeze response usually results in frustration. Again they share their concern which causes stress in you because you don’t want to hear that they are unhappy with you or something that you have done. You  may feel attacked and you don’t know how to respond so you just freeze or listen quietly, maybe even agreeing but in the long run nothing changes. There is not action taken. The problem remains which is frustrating.

There needs to be freedom and safety in your relationship to share a concern. One of the basic relationship needs is compassion which means that if your partner has a problem then you need to be concerned and want to help them. When they share their concern they want to know that you are listening, that you understand and that you are not being judgmental or dismissive. At his moment it is not about you, try to think of how they are feeling and how you can help. 

I know that this is not easy, your own insecurities surface, you want to defend your behavior but dismissing their concern and focusing on your own defense or stress level will not solve the problem. Try not to see it as a battle which involves you on one side and your partner on the other. Instead look at it as both of you on the same side, standing together to battle the thing that is causing the stress. You are united, working together to build a relationship that works for each of you. 

Communicating your concerns in a safe environment, listening to each other and avoiding the fight, flight or freeze response will build a healthy foundation for each of you. It takes practice and if you need help then give me a call at 562-260-4796. I would be happy to support you.

Written by Lisa Strong

6 Ways to Raise Awesome Teenagers

Really, the first thing that I will tell you is to disbelieve the myth that teenagers are sullen, angry creatures who slam doors and hate their parentsSome do that (that’s when parents call me), but the overwhelming majority do not.  I’ve worked with thousands of teens so I can testify to this.  Expect more from your teen than a lousy attitude and lazy work ethic.  Teens are awesome so expect awesomeness!  Here’s how, according to Christie Halverson but with my commentary.

1. Love Them Fiercely

Yes… fiercely.  As in everything about them as much as you can imagine loving another.  Love their whit, their quirks, their messy hair, their scattered minds, their funky style, their type A, B or C personality.  Love it all because they are growing in to glorious humans and you get to be a witness to that and you get to profoundly influence what they are growing in to.  But just loving them isn’t enough.  Love them so much that they are overwhelmed by it, inspired by it and  propelled by it.  Love them so much that they can’t help but experience it and be comforted by it.  Demonstrate this love regardless of their performance.  Love them fiercely just because they are yours.

2. Listen Extravagantly
 
When they walk in the door after school, you have a precious few minutes when they will divulge the secrets of their day with you.  Be excited to see them. And if that is hard or impossible because of bad behavior then call me and we can work that out.

Put down the cell phone. Don’t waste this time making dinner or taking a phone call or working on the computer. Look them in the eye and hear what they are saying. Be empathetic. It is really hard to navigate high school and middle school. Don’t offer advice at this time unless they ask for it. Don’t lecture. Just listen. It makes them feel important and valued. We all need to feel that way.

3. Say Yes More Than You Say No

The world is forever going to tell them no. For the rest of their lives, they will be swimming in a stormy sea with wave after wave of “you’re not good enough” and “you can’t do this” crashing down on their heads. As adults, we experience this often.  It’s draining, discouraging and defeating.  Don’t be that voice in their life.  Of course, there are things they can not do.  But do you need to be the one to point that out?  Or can they learn that on their own with you still being their cheerleader?  If nothing else, instill in them the belief that they are not limited and they can do anything if they’re willing to work hard enough for it.  Be the YES, YOU CAN in their lives. Help them leave the house every day feeling invincible.

4. Say No Often

I know.  I’m killing you with “say yes” then “say no”.  There’s a reason so stick with me.  This is more about saying no to experiences that will be harmful to them or expose them to too much, too early in their life.  

You need to say no to experiences and situations that will set your child up for harm or unhappiness. Don’t let them go to the parties where they will be forced to make a choice about alcohol at age 16 in front of their peers . Don’t let them stay out until three in the morning with a member of the opposite sex… or anyone for that matter.  Teenagers need to be home and asleep in the middle of the night.  Be the parent. Set up rules for their safety, both physical and moral. You would think this rule goes without saying, but trust me, I’ve known a shockingly large number of parents who don’t. 

5.  Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

When living with teenagers, it can be so easy to see the backpack dropped in the middle of the living room or the socks on the sofa as laziness. Or the bedroom scattered with dirty clothes as irresponsible. And sometimes it is.  But sometimes it’s not.  Instead, and before you open your mouth to yell at them, put yourself in their shoes. Find out about their day first. Maybe they are feeling beaten down, and they just need to unwind for a minute and tell you about it. Ignore the mess for a bit and put your arms around that big, sweaty kid and give him a hug. Talk to him about his world. Find out what he did, wants to do, and dreams of doing. THEN, and only then, ask him to pick it up and put it away.

That being said, do you completely ignore the state of their bedrooms all the time? No, you do not. But pick your battles, and and pick the appropriate time to fight them. Once every seven to 10 days or so, tell them their bedrooms need to be picked up. Which they will do more happily because it’s not the running loop of a nagging mom. They know when you  ask, it needs to be done.

6. Stand Back and Watch the Magic Happen

If you let them, these glorious creatures will open their hearts and love you more fiercely than you could possibly imagine. They are brilliant, capable, strong spirits who bring with them a flurry of happiness. They are hilarious and clever. They are thoughtful and sensitive. They want us to adore them. They need us to adore them. They love deeply and are keenly in touch with the feelings of others.  I know, I know… it doesn’t always feel that way.  But it’s almost always that way.  If you go at it from that perspective you will find yourself responding differently to them, embracing them instead of trying to remake them.  Imagine the power in that and the impact it will have on them as a human and on your relationship!  

I understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy.  I am always here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!  Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.  

Written by Lisa Smith

Is It Time To Talk To My Partner About What’s Bothering Me?

In a relationship when something is not right we have options as to how to handle it. We can avoid it and push away our concern but this usually results in frustration, resentment and a possible angry outburst. We could jump right in and tell our partner how their behavior irritates us but this could result in defensiveness on their part, hurt feelings and more anger. So how do we bring up the things that are bugging us and when is the right time. 

You need to be in the right frame of mind. You are ready to share your concern when you can…

  1. Be clear on what do you want to achieve? Before you approach the other person think about what you want to achieve. The goal is not to always get your way but it can be to come to a solution that will work for both of you. The relationship is more important than getting your way. Get clear in your own head what you want to share.
  2. Put the problem in front of the two of you. It is something that you are going to work on together. It is not you pointing fingers or blaming. 
  3. Be ready to listen, ask questions and accept that you may not fully understand the issue so you are open to new understanding.
  4. No shaming or blaming but you can hold each other accountable Be open to owning your own part in the concern.
  5. Model vulnerability and openness that you would like to see in your partner.
  6. Be ready to genuinely thank your partner for their efforts and what they do rather than only criticizing them for their failings or picking apart their mistakes.

When you are ready to share the specifics I suggest keeping it simple and concise so that it can be understood and received. State the facts of what is happening and how it is making you feel. It is easy to get sidetracked and bring up the past, other concerns or exaggerate. This is not a good idea, it confuses things and gives opportunity for rebuttal. In the end it is helpful to state what you need from them. Provide a possible solution and then ask “what do you think?”. This way you are not dictating but asking your partner to work with you to find a solution. 

Unless you and your spouse change your habits and activities so that they make you both happy, instead of only making one of you happy, you will eventually find that your relationship is broken down.

You are not always going to agree but I want you to respectfully disagree. Try to understand your spouse’s reasoning. Present the information that brought you to your opinion and listen to the information your spouse brings. You are working together to find a solution.

This is not always easy and may take time to learn to communicate in this way but it is worth it. If you need help then give me a call.

Written by Lisa Strong