Posts tagged with ‘relationship experts’

16 oct

Make Change an Evolution, Not a Revolution

MaricleMaricle3A young woman was telling me recently how torn she feels about whether or not to leave her boyfriend. They have been together for years, but now they spend less time together, he isn’t supportive, doesn’t like her friends, and gets jealous when she wants to go out without him. Should she leave him? Sounds like a no brainer, right?

Not really.

Each one of us follows a set of routines and habits that make up what we think of as our “reality.”

Consider this: there’s a consistent pattern to how you get ready in the morning, when and how you contact friends and family, where you get coffee, and where you go out for fun. What I am suggesting is that this young woman’s current habits make her boyfriend seem like integral part of her life. She texts him, talks to him, and may hang out with him on the weekend. Despite the fact that they no longer get along, they have habits that keep them connected. She is uncomfortable with their lack of connection, but the habits of their relationship are still comfortable, and therefore she has not changed them yet.

Because our habits and routines are so ingrained, we don’t have to consciously think about them.

This creates the sense that our reality is fixed, when in truth, it’s highly impacted by our habits.

Someone who is outgoing and seeks adventure likely has a different view of themselves and the world than a person who is a homebody. However, if either of these people wanted to change, a first step might be to slightly shift a habit or two.

As our experiences, interactions, and what we see changes, so does our perspective, and therefore our behavior and feelings.

If you think you want to change something, you might experiment with shifting one small habit and see what you notice.

For example, this young woman might be subtly avoiding conversations with men in order to not anger her jealous boyfriend. Perhaps she might experiment in low-pressure situations with making small talk, such as with the barista who makes her coffee, or the man in the elevator. She might notice that these men are kind to her and make her laugh. She might even feel desirable. Wouldn’t that experience shift her view of herself and her “reality?”

Sometimes change is simply peeking around the corner to see what else is there. We tend to think of change as big, sudden, and sweeping, but frequently change is more evolution than revolution. We have to prime ourselves for change through mini exposures to new experiences. This allows us to experiment slowly, deciding what we like and don’t, therefore incurring minimal risk. That’s a change most of us could tolerate.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not a substitute for professional psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content provided by Maricle Counseling and Amy Maricle, LMHC, ATR-BC is intended for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical or psychological advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you read here.

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Posted by Amy Maricle on October 16th, 2013 in Career, Health, New Directions, Relationships | No comments Read related posts in , ,

04 feb

5 Communication Tips to Spark Up Your Intimate Relationship

MotiRonitIn today’s fast paced society, more and more people find it difficult to listen to one another. The stress of modern, daily living affects many areas of our lives, and it particularly takes a huge toll on relationships. Too often, we tend to run our lives in a robotic manner, communicating through codes and SMS.

We often see people talking at one another rather than to each other, hearing but not really listening. Many cannot wait for individuals to finish talking. They cut them off before they complete their sentence, and in turn come up with an answer to bring up their own agenda. Chances are that you have been in this situation and can recall your feelings of frustration.

Do you remember a time in your life when you felt someone really listened to you with his/her whole being?

Do you recall listening to someone wholeheartedly with “all ears”?
Listening plays an important role in the success and vitality of relationships. Heartfelt listening enables an intimate connectedness and an empowered union to flourish. An honest wholehearted listening deepens the partners’ familiarity with one another and opens their eyes to explore the richness of each other’s inner worlds. It offers an opportunity to discover the mystery of intimacy.

Dr. Jack Zimmerman and Dr. Jaquelyn McCandells developed a relationship model for couples intimacy which is based on a unique way of communicating and listening without judgment .The practice named, “Flesh & Spirit”, emphasizes listening to the voice of the relationship, which best serves the relationship. This practice enables a heartfelt dialogue which transcends the couple’s relationship into a new path- a place of the heart. The model encourages the growth of the relationship as well as the individual empowerment within the relationship. Many couples that practice this heartfelt communication reported rejuvenation and a deepening of their intimate bond.

1. Designate time to frequently celebrate the relationship

Allocate a quiet place with no interruptions from cell phones, TV. etc. Create a romantic setting filled with candlelight. Sit, facing one another, hold hands, look into each other’s eyes and share a positive story, a positive memory that you remember about your partner. Focus on something you love and appreciate in your partner that brings a smile to your face.

Not only share with your partner what you feel will enhance the relationship and deepen your intimate bond, but also share what are you willing to do to make it happen.

The practice helps create a safe environment that can transform your relationship into a source of inspiration by stretching your imagination through, creativity, playfulness, humor, adventure and spontaneity. The transformation brings a fresh new energy and a renewed life force into the union.

2. Listening without interruption

Each time you feel like reacting when your partner speaks, take a deep breath, and listen to the end of his/her last word. It helps to use a talking piece, and only the person who speaks, holds it. Put the talking piece down when you finished speaking, and allow your partner to express him/her self.

3. Speaking from the “I feel”

Ask yourself, “am I communicating from my ego or from my heart?” Relax and be totally present. Allow your vulnerability to emerge when you speak from the” I feel” place rather than reacting or blaming. When speaking from the heart, share how you feel without pointing a finger. It creates a room for healing, as obstacles and challenges turn into stepping-stones and opportunities for growth.

4. Affirmations

We all can use positive affirmation… a show of love, kindness and support rather than criticism.

Express to your partner frequent words of affirmation. Compliment your partner. Leave love notes, write poems and love letters, and express positive validation towards your partner for the things he/she does that make you feel good. Familiarize yourself with those things that make your partner happy or that are important to him/her.

A hug, a pinch, or a smile will spark up your day. Your relationship thrives on such shows of affection.

5. From the “Me” to “We”

In every relationship, there is an individual voice within each partner that feeds self-indulgent, egotistical needs. But it is important to stay mindful of the relationship’s needs. This third voice is called “The Voice of the Relationship”, a neutral voice that serves the well being of the relationship. In times of tension, conflicts and disagreements, attuning to the voice of the relationship cultivates a conciliatory atmosphere by bringing a different perspective to consider. It’s like going out to the balcony to get a different view on things.

Dr. Moti Peleg & Ronit Rinat Peleg

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Moti & Ronit Peleg on February 4th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , ,