Linda's Relationship Counseling Blog


Second Chances and the Search for Self

Second Chances and the Search for Self

I was at an event recently and ran into two adult men who attend a self-improvement class I teach weekly. These middle-aged men were recently released from prison and are finding their way in an organization, called Homeboys, where ex-gang members get to start over.

The event was for the volunteers at Homeboys, of which I am one. So, seeing my two students made me feel right at home…

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Why People Yell: How You and Yours Can Manage Pain

Why people yell. Young couple screaming at each other. Photo.

I was running in my neighborhood one Thanksgiving Day. The streets were empty, and smells filled the air. I was thinking about the meal I would be eating later, with loved ones, when a sharp yell pierced the air. It was a woman screaming at a child.

I heard it come from a home across the street so I couldn’t see who was yelling, but I got an instant picture. At first I felt pain for the child, but then the mind traveled to the one who was yelling and I realized something else. It was something familiar I must have felt as a child, something this woman could be feeling at this moment.

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Overcoming Your Past to Meet Your Needs

Overcoming Your Past to Meet Your Needs

I was listening to a friend talk about his parents recently. Both suffered enormous hardships in World War II. They found each other after all of their individual suffering, bonded as a couple, married, then came to the United States, and had a family.

My friend is their child. His parents had very difficult circumstances, losing all their family members. They suffered unimaginable trauma. So, when they raised my friend and his sister, they were very firm about a few things. One: that God did not exist. If God existed they believed, then the terrible things that happened to them would not have happened.

My friend grew up atheist and untrusting, taught to him by his parents who could not see another way. But my friend said he hungered for something more. He needed to find a way for his own soul to flourish, not stay in the world of his parents.

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Expressing Feelings in Relationships: What You Need to Know

Expressing Feelings in Relationships: What You Need to Know

Expressing feelings in relationships doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Maybe you struggle with expressing your feelings in a relationship. Or perhaps you have a partner who has trouble expressing their feelings.

I bet many of us have suffered when we have tried to get our partners to open up about their feelings. I hear this situation often when I meet a new couple during a counseling session.

It usually starts out with the female saying, “He doesn’t like to share his feelings and I don’t know what is happening to him.” And sometimes it can be the opposite where the male says, “I never know what she is thinking. She doesn’t share with me.” It even happens in same sex couples, so you know this is a problem with all genders.

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Remember Who You Love

Remember Who You Love

I was talking to a friend the other day when I said something that made me think, “Wow, I have to write a blog about this.” What I said was we have to remember who our special person is, instead of focusing on what they are doing.

Let me explain. We love our person because they just feel right to us. We know it on the inside. No one is able to see this, only us. No one can feel this like we feel it, either.

When it is right, we just know it. And then we just throw in with everything we have and try and make a life. So, we start from where we are knowing what we want. We love our mate and we want to always feel this love.

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Why We Blame in Relationships

Why We Blame in Relationships

Even though all of us are different, if we blame someone or something for our discomfort, then we have one thing in common: we’re internally wired the same. There are many of us in the world. And it’s my guess that if you blame or criticize when you are unhappy, you have heard about your behavior from others all your life.

I know I have. When I was little my older sister called me “the angry child,” because of my loud, blaming ways. I didn’t intentionally come into the world this way. I didn’t have a conversation with myself when I was learning how to express myself that said, “Start blaming. It’s a good system.”

No, that’s not what happened. I imagine it was my circumstances that encouraged me to use my voice to let my caregivers know I needed something. I just used my vocal cords to be heard. This habit just morphed over the years and I got better at leveling the criticism or blame when I got upset.

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Coming From An Open Heart Improves Your Relationship

Coming From An Open Heart Improves Your Relationship

I was thinking about something I heard recently. It was a story about a counselor that talked to this couple. The couple had some relationship difficulties and the counselor simply advised them to come from the heart, not from the head. That’s it. The therapist just said, “Come from the Heart, not the Head.” Yep, that was the advice. And guess what? The couple cleared their challenges and became more mindful, and then they lived happily ever after.

I know I probably sound glib. I’ve worked with many couples, and helping them is not that easy unless there is very little that needs fixing. But I do realize that this is a wonderful opportunity to talk about what coming from the heart means and why it can be so powerful.

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My Husband Blames Me for Everything! What Do I Do?

My husband blames me for everything. What do I do?

Every time we blame our partner for something that has gone wrong in our life, we hold them responsible for our discomfort. We are placing them in what I like to call a “cause and effect” system. You get hurt: they caused it. You blame them: that is the effect.

The reason I know this system so well is because I grew up in it. In my house when I was young, if something happened, you looked for who was to blame, and then you let them have it. It seemed to work, or not in my family, but it did not work when I partnered with my mate.

He did not grow up the same and was not used to being held accountable when I became unhappy. He always looked like a deer in the headlights, wondering why I was having a meltdown aimed at him.

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Why We Feel Like Leaving When We Get Mad

Why We Feel Like Leaving When We Get Mad

All of us feel like leaving when we get mad. It’s just something that happens to us when we are in relationships with others. We get our feelings hurt and we have to get away as soon as possible. We can’t help it. Getting away is just the quickest way to end our suffering, or is it?

I know the times I have grabbed my dog and headed out the door to get some relief from an argument I had with my boyfriend I was just protecting myself from further pain. I had to go. I had to go cool off and figure out what just happened.

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“I Think We Irritate Each Other”

I Think We Irritate Each Other

The other night while my husband and I were having dinner I grew very enthusiastic about something he said. I wanted to enhance my enthusiasm and extend it, so I asked him to call the person who made the remark that I got me so excited.

He said in a very loud and firm voice, “No, I am not going to call him.” I was stunned. I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t be swept up in my excitement and play along. I argued with him, urging him to commit, “Come on, just call him. It will be fun.”

He dug in his heels and said louder and even more firm, ‘NO. If you want to talk to him, you call him.”

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