Monthly Archives: July 2006

Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

A minor disagreement can get out of hand very quickly or a simple conversation can suddenly turn into a shouting match.


Because your fear of being abandoned or disappointing your partner makes itself the primary consideration in the conversation.

Hearing another person’s opinion or point of view can trigger the feeling of being invalidated, and for many people, it’s a signal that ridicule, criticism or judgment is on the way!

Good communication is telling your truth about YOU to others and being congruent within yourself.

Being congruent is a process in which you value yourself; you take ownership of your thoughts and feelings, and your resources and choices; honor and express your deepest knowing about yourself and be sure that what you say and how you say it match what you are feeling.

Don’t avoid saying what is in your heart or on your mind to say.

Don’t hide your worries because you don’t want your partner to know that you are not in control.

Don’t hide your hopes and dreams because you are afraid no one will share your excitement.

When you stay emotionally intelligent and emotionally available the lines of communication stay open. Create a safe and supportive place to tell each other the truth mindfully, responsibly and respectfully and always remember that the foundation of your relationship is built on good will and good intention.

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!



The old rules don’t work anymore!


We have powerful desires to belong and to connect with a special someone. We inherited a model for marriage and relationships that has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years. That traditional model was never intended to integrate our individual needs with the needs of the partnership. The traditional way promised physical and financial security, a sense of belonging, continuity and comfort. The old model has been deeply ingrained in all of us by watching our parents and grandparents.

The old rules don’t work anymore! We cannot continue to depend on traditional, deeply ingrained beliefs, expectations and assumptions about relationships. We need to stop building the most important relationships of our lives on outdated beliefs, destructive myths, unrealistic expectations, faulty assumptions and un-negotiated roles and responsibilities.

Modern partners are concerned with:

  • Living their vision
  • Love of self
  • Deepening emotional intimacy
  • Having shared values
  • Commitment to living in authenticity
  • Willingness to honor the fires of passion that burn inside

Couples are demanding more intimacy and insisting on supporting each other to live their best “individual” life. At the same time, contemporary partners are committed to co-creating deeply meaningful relationships that provide:

  • Safe havens to be one’s most vulnerable self
  • Open to the most sacred feelings shared with another
  • Connections defined by joy and the hopes of a future that will be a lasting testament of their love and commitment.

A big challenge for partners today in committing to another person is the potential loss of personal identity and giving up personal hopes and dreams. Those losses would have been a virtual certainty in the old model of marriage and relationships.

Not so today! Contemporary men and women are ready to honor their individual needs and create partnerships that honor their deeper selves; create committed, functional relationships that deepen their emotional intimacy, trust, love, and connection; and develop skills, rituals, and practices for deepening emotional, physical and spiritual connection with each other!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

The Joys and Dreads of Giving and/or Receiving Gifts

What do you think about giving and receiving gifts? Are you an enthusiastic, appreciative receiver or does getting a gift make you feel uncomfortable? Are you a spirited gift giver picking up small (or large) tokens of your esteem and affection wherever you go for the people you care about?

In a small survey I conducted over the last several months here’s what I discovered:

  • Women tend to be more comfortable than men giving gifts to family and friends not related to a special occasion

  • Women are more apt than men to give a gift to a friend

  • Men are willing and eager to buy gifts for loved ones especially for special occasions, though they feel enormously uncertain most of the time that the gift they buy will be valued and appreciated by the receiver

  • Men have less of a need to receive a personal gift than women, particularly for birthdays and anniversaries

  • Men are more welcoming and appreciative of a wider range of gifts than women

  • Women make more meaning of the gifts they receive than men

Here are a few personal Gift Giving & Receiving Guidelines I’d like to offer for your consideration:

When I give a gift the very act of giving says, “I was out in the world, saw this gift, thought of you and bought it for you. Please know that you are special to me and I care for you.”

It is not so important to me that people like the gifts I give, though I certainly hope they do. It is very important to me that people to whom I give gifts know that my “gifting” to them represents one of the ways I show that I care and that I am thinking of them.

As far as I am concerned, if someone doesn’t like the gift or would prefer something else, I want them to feel perfectly comfortable returning or exchanging it. The really important outcome of my gift giving to the people I love and care for is that they know I love and care for them.

  • Why do you or don’t you give people gifts?

  • What is it about receiving a gift that feels good to you? Or uncomfortable to you?

  • If you could change one thing about giving or receiving a gift so that it would be a pleasurable experience, what would that one thing be?

I hope you can make giving and receiving gifts fun and meaningful!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!


Dr Jackie Black Newsletter

Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

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