Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Hijacked

May 16, 2016

grass seeds

We have all been hijacked in our relationship more than we would like to admit. Getting hijacked by our brain and reacting negatively is one of the most common experiences we have with our partners. It feels terrible.

You know the drill …

Your partner and you have a disagreement about something. It could be anything – big or small, important or ridiculous, personal or political-it doesn’t really matter. It’s the sense of being different that may cause you to disconnect and then react to each other. It is an old dance step that repeats. over and over. It is one of the most discouraging and repetitive experiences intimate relationship offers us.

Alas, what ensues next is also far too familiar for most of us. One partner feels panic as a result of the disconnect and then escalates their reaction to great heights (i.e. need to talk about it immediately, can’t let it go, keep trying to connect even in negative ways, starting yelling etc). The other partner shuts down (i.e. withholds, leaves the room, goes to sleep, refuses to communicate. etc). This is the scene of the hijacking.

It feels so bad and usually gets worse the longer it goes on and/or the more intense each partner feels about being wronged. The hijacking gets into full swing as each partner plays out their unconscious role during the attack. One will escalate the emotional climate while the other will pull back in retreat mode. While this is predictable, it is also out of control – not a good combination.

I call this the 3Ds… The Destructive, Discouraging Dynamic Attack.

So what is the answer?

Here’s an idea on how to avoid the 3Ds.

  1. Admit to yourself that a hijacking is taking place. This requires an honest self assessment that does not include primarily blaming your partner. FYI This is the hardest step and not meant for the faint of heart.
  2. Take time away from each other for 20-25 minutes (with a commitment to return after a predetermined agreed upon time). Time away means to calmly go to another room, to not slam the door on your way out, to stop talking, to go for a walk, to do whatever calms you and then return after the specified time has taken place.
  3. When you do reconvene all you are allowed to do is MIRROR each other or take a break from talking all together and MIRROR the next day. I know this is difficult but it is a much better result than a discussion which is likely to go sideways again.
  4. CALM yourself. This is critical to getting past the 3Ds. Finding calm is one of the most difficult human tasks to accomplish during an emotional hijacking incident. I think CALM can be better understood if we break it down into 4 distinct parts.

CALM

C stands for COUNTING breaths. Count your breath as you focus on it. Inhale for 4 counts, pause for 2 counts and exhale for 4 counts. Imagine that you are creating a circle with your breath as you count 4 in 2 hold 4 out. Continue doing this for minutes at a time. It changes everything.

A stands for ACKNOWLEDGE your partner is NOT YOU! Really say this to yourself many times over… my partner is not me and that is the reality.

L stands for Listen to your partner’s perspective. While you may not agree it is possible to decide to listen to their perspective while remaining quiet. To be successful at this remember to Breathe 4 in, hold 2 and 4 out.

M stands for Monitor yourself during the emotional interaction. This alone will force you to take responsibility for your part in the hijacking and allow you to respond a little more intentionally.

So to avoid the 3Ds practice CALM in your relationship. Just so you know, this isn’t supposed to be easy or feel good or even natural so don’t let that be your excuse!

Dare ya

For the next 2 weeks, practice breathing multiple times during the day – 4 in, hold 2 and 4 out.

Then take the big step and come up with a predetermined timeframe so the next time the two of you are hijacked you can institute the time out plan and avoid the 3Ds using the CALM 4 point plan. Mirror each other when you re-engage. Allow yourself to feel liberated and successful in overcoming emotional hijacking while it is in progress.

Good luck I know you can do it!

In support

T.A.

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Rituals to Transition from Work to Play

March 28, 2016

Tips from Esther Perel on getting in the mood…

work-hands

Rituals to Transition from Work to Play

This article is originally posted here on Esther Perel.

 

“I work long hours and at the end of the day I don’t feel like having sex. Any tips on how to shake off the stress to get myself in the mood?”  Claire, 41

When people used to work at the factory or on the farm, they came home from work. The separation between home life and work life was clear. But for so many of us today, the lines are blurred. It’s not uncommon for Claire to receive an email at 10:30 at night, and be expected to reply within 30 minutes.

We live in a goal-oriented society, where capitalism and productivity are top priority. Yet, play is an important part of life, and one that adults often neglect. Just as you nurture your career, you also need to nurture the erotic in your relationship. We can only play when we are finished working, and most of us today never feel like the work has ended. You can’t be sexual if you’re still in busy worker-bee mode.

Even people who look forward to being sexual with their partner must go through a transition from responsibility to pleasure. This is a difficult transition for many of us. There are two internal transitions that must occur before you can think about entering an erotic space:Professional → Partner then Partner → Lover.

Eroticism at home requires active engagement and willful intent; It doesn’t just happen. It requires that you create your own demarcation between pragmatism and pleasure and that you cultivate a space where a sense of intrigue and curiosity can emerge.

1. Build anticipation throughout the day
Committed sex is premeditated. Anticipation and imagination are the precursors and can be as enchanting as the act itself. For example, imagine you have tickets to go hear a favorite band. Throughout the day, you’ll be savoring the thought of the songs they may play, what you’ll wear, the memories that you will share, of other times you saw this band, etc. Unconsciously, you’re setting expectations and building anticipation for a wonderful night, and you feel energized and alive. It is the same sexually speaking.

  • Let your partner know that tonight, you want to create a digital free zone in the home and all devices are cut off at 9:30pm.
  • Send a suggestive text or email to your partner.
  • Buy wine, lube or flowers on your lunch break: whatever invites love-making in your unique dynamic.

2. Create and maintain a relaxing ritual at the end of the day
No matter whether you commute, or work from home, you must mark the end of your work day by entering a soothing ritual of your choice. It can be an indulgent, playful, or a guilty pleasure. Shift your context by sending a message to your brain: it’s time to start relaxing. If you spend most of your day sitting down, try incorporating any movement into your ritual. If you’re on your feet, try reading or listening to music. Go for a walk. Take a shower. Read a magazine. Whatever works for you. 

3. Connect with your partner when you get home
Are you the person who comes into the house and looks at the mail first, or checks the pets, or the plants, or the windows? If so, remember this: People first. It’s important to give your relationship your focused attention. Make it a habit to kiss your partner when you get home. It doesn’t need to be blatantly sexual. It’s the focused attention that invites the erotic. Even a loving gaze sets the right tone.

4. Change the mood and ambiance
Create the space in which you transition from your roles as parents/business partners/friends, into your roles as lovers. Shift from focusing on your responsibility for others to self care. Again, no pressure, even if there is no sex, you’ll enjoy being physical and sensual together. Here are some simple ideas to set the stage:

  • Put on your pre-set love making tracks
  • Take a short walk
  • Open a bottle of wine
  • Draw a bath
  • Light candles
  • Read out loud to each other (not about the election)These are not immediate turn ons, but they help you switch mindset, mood, and sensibility. The point is to create an erotic space where pleasure exists for its own sake, where “pleasure is the measure” and where sex can take place without pressure. By successfully managing the transition from work to home, you can create space to enter a playful erotic zone.

Dare ya!

What is the cue, code or ritual that you and your partner share between the two of you that helps you switch from your productive self to your erotic self?  Whatever is your special turn on, try it this week and make something happen! Hey Spring is here so why not get started with some sexy time!
Yours truly, T

Guest Post: 3 ways to Jumpstart Your Relationship

January 25, 2016

Since we are all about starting the New year off on the right foot, we thought you might also enjoy this article from Richard Nicastro on three ways to jumpstart your relationship.

Richard is a couples therapist in New Mexico. He publishes a Strengthen your Relationship newsletter and also offers podcasts. Find out more through his website: StrengthenYourRelationship.com

3 ways to Jumpstart Your Relationship

1) See your spouse or partner with new eyes

Years ago a client said something to me that I doubt I will forget. She said it took her husband almost having an affair for her to see him with new eyes, and she was cautioning all her friends not to wait to that point with their husbands. I was fascinated by that idea and asked her to explain.

“He’d become familiar to me,” she said, speaking about her husband. “Don’t get me wrong, that was a good thing, too. I liked knowing I could rely on him and be reasonably certain about how he’d behave in certain situations. But…” She paused to heave a big sigh. “I think that level of familiarity caused me to stop seeing him. I stopped seeing him as the individual that he was and instead only saw him as my husband, almost an extension of me.”

Her husband started to sense that, perhaps, because he accepted a Facebook friend request from an ex-girlfriend from college, even though part of his brain told him he shouldn’t. He began sharing thoughts with her that he wasn’t sharing with his wife. He didn’t feel right about it, and eventually came to his wife.

“It was a jarring moment,” she said. “Jarring and disorienting, but ultimately, beneficial for our marriage. It was like I was blinking awake out of a long sleep. I saw my husband as a vibrant, complex human being, much more than just my mate, and I saw that he was desirable and quite a catch. I tell you, from that day on, I’ve been seeing him with new eyes, and our marriage is stronger for it.”

Keep in mind that your relationship doesn’t have to be on the brink of an affair for you to see your partner with new eyes! It is a decision, and it partly involves setting aside the taking-for-granted mindset that we all fall into from time-to-time. Make the effort to see your partner the way others might see him/her. See your partner as the unique, interesting individual s/he is and bring into the forefront of your mind all the characteristics that drew you to him/her in the first place.

2) Nurture an attitude of gratitude

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how vital gratitude is for a happy life. But did you know that it’s also beneficial for your relationship? When you make it a rule of thumb to start with what’s already working in your marriage (before you focus on what isn’t), and when you nurture appreciation for those positive aspects of your union or the good things your partner does for you and the relationship (keep in mind they don’t need to be “big” things—the relatively little things have a positive cumulative effect), you help to nurture the relationship overall.

3) Initiate loving moments (rather than wait for them)

A client once told me that her boyfriend wasn’t as affectionate as she wanted him to be. In exploring this further, I asked about what happened when she showed him affection. She looked at me blankly and finally said, “Well, I’m certainly not going to be affectionate toward him if he’s not affectionate toward me first!”

When I asked her to think about that from her boyfriend’s point of view, and asked her to consider that he might be thinking the very same thing, I could see her opening to that.

The fact is, moods and mindsets and behaviours are often contagious. Did you ever notice how you might’ve been in great mood one morning but you got to work where people were cranky and complaining about their problems and your mood plummeted? (Or the reverse…your mood might’ve been lifted by the positivity of those around you.) This dynamic is at work in your relationship, too.

Decide to jumpstart the loving moments in your marriage or relationship by deciding to be the one to initiate them, rather than wait for them. (And eventually, your partner might initiate them too!)

There you have it, 3 ways to jumpstart your relationship in the New Year. You might try one at a time, and you’ll see that if you stick with it, you’ll likely feel motivated to try them all.

New Beginnings

September 8, 2015

a5b5965b058f1d6f446aca155ce5fcb7September is a time for new beginnings ! There is so much that happens this time of year…a new school year for kids, a new job for some, a new series starting, a new fitness regime, new apples (finally) at the market, and new weather patterns. This time of year is when new things always happen.

In the Jewish calendar, September is the New Year – a time of reflection, of taking stock and even asking forgiveness for the things one needs to take responsibility for over the past year.

It’s a time of contemplation and being as conscious as one can be. It’s about new beginnings and difficult conversations;  it’s about cleaning up what needs to cleaned up and creating new goals to work towards.

In the spirit of being conscious and moving forward, I thought it might be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to think about how the next season of life and love should begin.  Let’s take the time to reflect on how you to make changes in our own relationships or even recommit to them in a more meaningful way.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Is there something in your relationship that’s holding you back that you need to let go of?
  • Is there a behaviour change that is needed in your relationship?
  • Is there something you want to take responsibility for that you have been putting off?
  • Are there life changes about to happen you need to talk about?

As the summer draws to a close, you might find that you and your partner have been putting off discussions you haven’t wanted to have because you have been in summer mode.  This rings true in my own relationship as we are about to become empty nesters. Our youngest is moving away to go to university next week. We know we will miss him like crazy but we keep avoiding talking about how this is going to affect us. Because we are not sure of what to do with all the time we will have, we have been putting off making plans or committing to new things. We, like many of you, have been avoiding discussing what needs to be addressed because the newness of our next chapter is scary and unfamiliar.

As I reflect on this I want to kick my own butt and sit down with my partner and start figuring out how to cope with the massive change that is about to happen.

I have some ideas about what I want to do both as a couple and individually but it’s time to sit down together and start figuring out what the next chapter might look like. It’s time to feel the fear and do it anyway and see what we might be able to create that is exciting , fulfilling and helps deal with the sadness of our baby leaving home.

Dare ya- Sit down this week and have a meaningful dialogue about something you have been avoiding talking about. Tell us how it goes!

In support,

T.A.

Don’t Take your Partner for Granted

August 12, 2015

bridge

After two decades  of being a relationship therapist I want to share a piece of wisdom I have learned – Don’t take your partner for granted.

This is one of the most surefire ways to alienate your partner and sometimes unwittingly end your relationship.

As the years roll by in your  relationship it is all too easy to take your partner for granted. This would include not listening , not appreciating, not showing gratitude, and not showing care and attention to your partner’s needs. Instead of treating your partner as precious you may be allowing your irritation , annoyance and disagreement to dominate. When things between the two of you take on an edge of criticism you are on a slippery slope to the abyss.

The best way to lose your partner’s affection and trust is to take them for granted. When I see couples at my office they often say things like, “I am too shut down to open up again”, or “Now that they are finally trying, I just don’t have those feelings anymore”, or “It’s too little. too late”.

Don’t be another partner who regrets their indifference or lack of appreciation towards their partner. Don’t wait until it’s too late to change.

Dare ya – Acknowledge to your beloved that you have not been the partner you want to be. Take responsibility and listen to what their needs are and do your best to meet their wishes . Be the best you can be… this will be life changing and save you from so much regret.

In support,

T.A.

EXITS? Are Ya Coming Back?

March 24, 2015

Exits

The word EXIT is derived from the Latin word exire which means to “go out”. What does this have to do with our relationships? Well, let’s think about the many ways we “go out” of our relationship everyday.

We “go out” of our relationships to go to work, visit friends, buy groceries, go for a run, go to yoga, run errands, walk the dog, care for the children, spend too much time having relationships with our technology etc. We all do many things each day that take us away from our relationships and that is a normal part of life. The problem arises when you don’t come full back into the relationship. And unfortunately that’s true for many us.

By coming back, we mean to come back so that you can SHOW UP in your relationship fully and completely. You might come back physically but do you really come back emotionally?

What does not coming fully back look like?

It could be when you walk in the door from work but you stay disconnected. Maybe you go right to your computer before you say hello to your Partner. Maybe you greet the dog more effusively than your Partner. It could look like talking to a friend about your life more than your partner. Or maybe focusing only on your kids and never having a Date Night to focus your relationship. Maybe you continually check your phone or mindlessly look at your Facebook.  And maybe you pick a fight or criticize your partner because you know that will drive your Partner away for the rest of the day. These are all examples of how we EXIT and “go out “of our relationship. Most of us have perfected ways to disconnect from our partners.

Why do we do this?

Maybe we are afraid of conflict? Or vulnerability? Or intimacy? Or we don’t want to rock the boat so we stay distant? Or we take our relationship for granted? Or we want to focus on our own needs more than our partners? Or we are just tired? There are lots of reasons but I want to suggest that when we exit, it’s because we generally do not feel safe in our relationships. And so the feelings we don’t feel safe to say get acted out in our Exiting behaviours.

What is the solution to this situation?

It’s obvious. Building a safe connection and fostering  trust in your relationship is key. Remembering to laugh and have fun together is vital. Letting go of the little things sure helps. Finding the courage to show up authentically and be interested in your partner. And the critical first step is to stop hiding behind whatever Exit you are hiding behind and be willing to speak your truth to your Partner.

Believe me, it is more satisfying to be in a relationship that is connected and alive. Ask yourself, have I gone out (at some level) and  have I forgotten to come back? Maybe it’s time to enter through the front door and say, “hi honey, I am HOME!”

Dare ya – Come to our Half Day workshop on EXITS April 18 from 9-1pm and find out everything you need to know about how to come back to your relationship (this is offered to anyone who has already attended our Getting the Love You Want Weekend Workshop)

Workshop Details: 
April 18 9am-1pm
YWCA, 733 Beatty Street, Vancouver B.C.

Register at Imagovancouver.com
*Registration is only open to those who have already attended a previous Getting the Love You Want workshop

Receiving

December 9, 2014

Receiving from our partners is a complicated business. Puzzling as the thought might be, it is difficult for many of us to receive even though we’re convinced we want it. What am I referring to when I say receive? It could be anything…. a spontaneous compliment, a gift, a surprise, a gesture, affection, anything! Receiving from a partner the things we want most from them is very tricky indeed.

It all starts with wanting to have our needs met. We want our partners to meet our needs. Yet this can lead to lots of trouble because we often have a hard time receiving what they are giving. I know this sounds crazy but we often reject the very things we say we want and that our partner may be trying to give us in order to meet our needs.

Why does this happen? Let me explain. For many of us, when our partner tries to meet our needs, their giving never feels quite right. It is as if WHAT we actually WANT, THEY never can get quite right! We then respond with disappointment and a cycle begins of us feeling let down, becoming critical and feeling annoyed. The next step in this out-of- sync dance is that we get mad at our partners for our unhappiness and that creates distance. This may be an over simplification but hopefully you get the picture and can relate to this.

This dynamic can become a perpetual theme in the life of a relationship and believe me, it is one of the best ways to build up resentment.

Imago founders Harville Hendrix and Helen La Kelly Hunt write about this phenomenon in their book, Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationship by Letting Yourself Be Loved. They suggest that the reason we cannot receive love in our adult intimate relationships is rooted in our childhood experience. They describe how we learn to dislike the parts of ourselves that our caretakers ignored or rejected in us. So, for example, if my family didn’t think I was very lovable, or even worse, told me I was unworthy, as a result of this childhood pain, I build up inner defenses . I learn to pretend that being seen as lovable isn’t very important. I disown that part of me.

This same sequence would apply to any personality trait or behaviour that children need to have validated in order to grow–it could be being sporty or social, attractive, smart, graceful, determined, hardworking, spiritual, artistic – you name it.

But, even though we are adults, a part of us still craves these needs to be met (and who better than by our partner! ). But because of our defences we are unable to receive what they give us and we often go one step further and blame our partner for not doing it right.

Here is an example to illustrate this complex dynamic.

Let’s say you want your partner to sometimes surprise you and demonstrate that they think about how special you are. First off, we often express this wish in a negative way, believing that being a being prickly porcupine will get us what we want (and where’s the logic in that!).

But we often believe we have a right to complain because our needs aren’t being met. So you complain to your Partner about how they don’t do this. Does this sound familiar at all – “How come you never surprise me with anything?” “don’t you care about me?” “aren’t I special to you ?” etc.)

Well, one day your partner shows up with a surprise bouquet of roses for you and gives them to you saying something like, “I saw these and thought of you because you’re so special to me”.

But our mind does weird things. We focus on the negative. You might become aware of noticing you are only half enthused because you hoped for something other than flowers, or you think your partner only did it because you complained in the first place. Or maybe you think your Partner spent too much money on the roses. Or you are disappointed because what you were really hoping for was a surprise dinner out not another night of cooking with roses on the counter!

So what is going on here? Why aren’t you receiving the surprise gift from your partner?

It could be….

As a child you did not feel special so now you want to feel that you are special and that you matter. Yet, when your partner does show you that you are special (by buying the flowers), you aren’t able to accept it due to your own defenses. It is very difficult to feel special in the here-and-now when there have been painful childhood experiences. You would rather reject your partner’s giving than have to feel the long- ago pain. For most of us, over the years we have built up defenses to protect ourselves from this pain so it becomes unconsciously automatic to reject instead of receive. Instead of being able to receive what they have to give us, we end up feeling continually annoyed and/let down by them.

A big part of being in an intentional relationship is to let go of our built up defenses and learn to receive what our partner has to give us – even if it isn’t exactly what we want. What we really want may not even exist anymore. We have to learn to recognize the childhood need that never got fulfilled and begin to stretch into a more conscious place.

Dare ya

Start by consciously examining if you have ANY trouble receiving what your partner has to give you. If so, read on…

Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and accept that whatever they have to give is for you. Without judgment, be grateful for it. Be gracious and let it in.

Begin with the smallest things- a hug, a cup of coffee, a phone call, a smile . Work up to the big ones!

That’s it for now.

T

Giving

November 4, 2014

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Is it easier for you to Give or Receive?  Both? Neither? Of course, there is no right or wrong but it’s an interesting question to ask yourself because it will help you understand some of your relationship challenges.

This blog focus will focus on Giving in your relationship and the next post on Receiving.

Giving is a complicated business. For many of us, when we give to our partner, either consciously or unconsciously, we want something back. This is tricky because we rarely articulate what it is we want in return and usually end up feeling disappointed and let down  because we don’t think our partner has given back.

Giving, by the way, can be about almost anything  –  giving a massage, buying a surprise gift, making a meal, going to a partner’s work event, being extra nice…. the list goes on. The point is how often do you give hoping you will get something back? Are you even aware you have an expectation? If yes, do you know what you want to receive? Do you ever tell your partner about your expectations?

Or  do you do what most people do, sit back and wait? FYI- because this can be done at a very unconscious level, the only way you may become aware of it is when you start resenting your partner for not giving enough.

Perhaps the highest form of  giving is unconditional, but,  let’s be honest, how many of us are that evolved? We may like to think  we are but I am not sure how true that is. The  need to get something back, while not the most desirable way to be,  is quite human.

Of course a higher aim would be to give unconditionally but to do that one must be very conscious about not expecting or hoping for a return give.

To give to your partner unconditionally and in an authentic manner,  means you must believe that the giving is the gift itself. It’s an end point, put a period on it and move on . Do not expect anything to happen next.

Dare ya- Make a plan, give, enjoy it and move on. Try it this week with INTENTION!

Love,

T

Feeling sexy eh?

June 23, 2014

Maybe it is the long dark night of Canadian winters but yet another study has indicated that Canadians have robust sex lives.  Almost 7,000 Canadians answered Canadian Living magazine’s annual sex survey of preferences and practices.

Researchers are not necessarily confident that respondents don’t exaggerate their answers inflating their answers in order to feel good about their sexuality. Nevertheless, the results indicate Canadians are generally satisfied with their sex lives and also embracing new trends in enriching their sexual expression.  Nearly 45 per cent of Canadians said they use technology to enhance their sex lives. 25 per cent sent  sexts;  15 per cent sent erotic photos and 4 per cent sent racy  videos.

And Canadians are eager to try new things to keep the spice in their sexual relationships. Some 58 per cent of respondents said they had tried anal sex;  33 per cent had tried bondage, 24 per cent had tried cyber sex , 30 per cent had tried role playing, 19 per cent had a threesome and 11 per cent had someone else watch their sexual encounter.

Some results aren’t a surprise, such as the fact that on average, men wish to have sex twice as often  as women or that the number one reason for lack of sex is relationship conflict. As one respondent put it, “when I’m mad at him, he’s in the penalty box of no sex!”

When asked where Canadians like to have sex, there were some memorable lines such as “We do it carefully in a canoe like Canadians, eh?” And  some old fashioned advice from an Alberta reader: “don’t try have sex while you are both swimming in the lake –fyi- it doesn’t work!” There’s a story behind that line!

See the survey results or click here: canadianliving.com/sexsurvey

2014-Sex-Survey

Negativity creep

June 17, 2014

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Ever started out on a house renovation and the project just kept getting bigger and bigger…adding one more change, one more fixture, and even one more room? Contractors call it “scope creep”.

Well, relationships experience their own painful version of creep: “negativity creep”, which we will define as the unconscious process of allowing painful, defensive dynamics to slowly replace loving intimacy in a primary relationship.

Jeannie Ingram, an Imago therapist from Atlanta, Georgia has been noodling on negativity; more specifically, how to work towards eliminating it from our relationships.  She offers the definition above and describes how it creeps into a relationship, often so slowly that we don’t know it’s happened until it’s too late.

Harville Hendrix, co-founder of Imago Relationship therapy, says that “negativity creep” is so pervasive that it’s like air for us or water for fish. We don’t see it. It’s the atmosphere of our eco-system”.

Those of us who are attempting to reduce and eliminate negativity in our relationships find that we have to work on it every single day. As Doug Wilson, another Imago therapist from Houston, Texas says, “Everything can be going great and than one slip, one digging comment….and, instantly it is like flies at a picnic.  One fly attracts another and soon you have a swarm.”

And Carole Kirby, an Imago therapist from Ann Arbor, Michigan reminds us that we easily slip into negativity without much awareness because the alarm centre of our brain (the limbic area) takes charge and slides us right into negativity as it tries to protect us. Unfortunately, instead of protection, it catapults us with one comment, accusation, or a look followed by the other’s comment, accusation, or glance into a quicksand of negativity.

Dare y’a: – Are you doing the negativity creep? C’mon, be honest with yourself! We can all find ourselves there when we don’t  even realize it. Here’s the antidote for the negativity creep….change the climate in your relationship by focusing on your body language. Remember to smile a little more, have a positive and kind voice tone, HUG your partner, do a caring behaviour, and ….whatever you do, be sincere about it.  Dare ya!

Yours truly,
Tamara and Maureen