Monthly Archives: October 2006

The Art of Compromise

The art of compromising is an important life skill.

Compromising, not unlike setting boundaries, crafting agreements and honoring commitments, is an essential skill for successful dating relationships as well as long-term, primary love relationships.

During a recent TeleRoundtableâ„¢ Discussion I conducted, a gentleman from the UK asked this question: "On a scale of one to 10, how important is it to make compromises in a relationship?"

My answer: "On a scale of one to 10, the willingness and ability to compromise in a dating or long-term love relationship is a 10!"

Knowing how to compromise is absolutely vital to the health and well-being of any relationship that you hope to last more than a blink of an eye.

It doesn’t matter how much you enjoy each other’s company; how much you love and adore each other; how great the sex is. Without the willingness and ability to skillfully compromise, your dating and committed relationship is at high risk for failure.

Would you be shocked to hear that many men and women avoid or dread the very notion of compromise? It is all too often likened to agreeing to be bludgeoned into something that is unpleasant or disagreeable.

In truth, making compromises is nothing of the sort!

What do you believe? What has been your experience with compromising and negotiating in relationships?

Have you suffered a loss or losses when you compromised with someone? Have you felt taken advantage of or wronged?

There are three basic attitudes that are essential to embrace and demonstrate when you engage in a conversation of compromise:

  1. Mutual respect
  2. Good will
  3. Good intention

Before you sit down to compromise with anyone about anything, create base-line agreements that each person will honor during the compromise conversation(s):

  • It is unacceptable to both people that by nature of the compromise the other will experience a substantial loss.
  • It is crucial to the success of the compromise event that each person trust that the other will not knowingly take advantage of him or her or otherwise knowingly harm him or her in any way.
  • It is mutually agreed that each person commits to as close to a win/win outcome as is possible.
  • Neither person will agree to a compromise if he or she thinks, feels or believes s/he can not or will not be able to live with the compromise.

Be sure to add any other attitudes or agreements that will help you become willing and able to compromise.

Dating and committed relationships require participation and contribution that is conscious, active and from each person’s deepest place of integrity.

There is no room for fears or old behavior.  No one has signed up to be in a relationship with an old, injured part of you!

Get to work!  Become the full expression of your passionate, loving and enthusiastic self. Repair the disillusionment and disappointment from the past.

Become able and willing to be your best self in the present and act from your authentic, integrated adult. You’re worth it!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!



Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Accept that it’s your job to educate your partner about what makes you feel most loved.

Feeling loved, that is feeling respected, valued and celebrated, is the result of hearing your partner’s words and experiencing your partner’s actions consistently over time.

Feeling loved or happy or satisfied or competent is sourced by each of us inside ourselves.

Love is not a feeling you feel. It is the result of a combination of words and actions that you interpret to mean love.

It is our job to help our partners know what loving words and behaviors are to us. Don’t expect the man or woman who loves you to know what to do and say so that you feel loved. Let him or her know, specifically.

Some of us enjoy sending or receiving cards and flowers. Some appreciate behaviors like getting the car washed, taking the dog for a walk or initiating an evening out.

How do you like to be touched? Do you appreciate a bear hug? A gentle pat or soft kiss as your partner walks past? How do you express affection and sexual desire?

Do you let your partner know when s/he pleases or tickles you? Do you ask, in a very gentle and respectful way, for what you need and like?

Receiving and expressing touch, affection and desires of a sexual nature are very personal and as unique to you as your finger prints. It is our job to be as direct and candid as we can and really educate our partners about us and what we want/need and how to meet those legitimate needs.

What words resonate deep inside your heart? What behaviors tickle you or move you?

Take some time to deepen your awareness of what you need and want to hear and experience that means you are loved. Ask your partner these questions and become an expert on what makes him or her feel loved.

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

After Divorce: Falling in Love or Falling For Comfort

Healing from divorce is not easy. It is often a long and excruciating process and always brings out strong emotions.

The divorce process frequently leaves people feeling:

  • Lonely
  • Flawed
  • Enraged
  • Undesirable
  • Helpless
  • Empty
  • Emotionally raw and overwhelmed

An important part of divorce is the repair process. The repair process includes learning to honor and heal the many normal and natural emotions of divorce:

  • Anger at yourself and your ex-partner;
  • Shame and guilt that haunts you and keeps you stuck and unable to think about many of the alternatives and possibilities;
  • Sadness and despair over the loss of the relationship;
  • Anxiety over the disruption of the family;
  • Loss of a lifetime of hopes, dreams, expectations.

I recommend that clients wait to start dating until they have completed the repair process and regain some of their personal strength and resilience. I strongly urge clients not to move in with anyone or get into a committed relationship during this all-important process.

The repair process takes more or less time depending on various factors:

  • What was the nature and structure of your relationship?
  • How much conflict, resentment, or power struggles did you have in your marriage?
  • How available are you to the normal, natural and necessary feelings you are feeling?
  • How strong is your external support system?

Remember that typically, the men and women you meet while you are healing from the pain, disappointment and emotional upheaval of your divorce will more than likely not be a good match for you.

Understand that we project a certain image and express certain energy all the time. Our sense of self and our energy is changing constantly and is always a mirror reflection of what we are dealing with and experiencing in our lives.

When we are passionate, creative and making choices and decisions that match our life purpose and values, we project self-confidence and express enthusiasm, joy and a real excitement about life!

Conversely, when we are healing from divorce, we may likely project a more dependent, fragile image and experience less joy, passion and enthusiasm in any given day than we might otherwise.

The people who meet you when you are not at your best are attracted to your vulnerability and to that part of you that is more needy and wanting to be comforted and taken care of. These folks are signing up to be with a less passionate, less independent, less self-reliant person.

As you heal from the grief and loss of your divorce you regain your personal strength, passion and joie de vive, the men and women who signed up to take care of you generally wind up feeling jealous, confused, and threatened by your “new independence.”

Recovering from loss and heartache is an inside job. It is important to stay mindful of body sensations and your reactions and responses to people and situations.

Become a good observer of yourself. Notice new attitudes, thoughts, feelings or beliefs that might be emerging?

Have you learned anything you would like to integrate into your worldview or your way of being in the world? With friends and family? At work? In another love relationship?

Let me end by encouraging you as strongly as I can to trust the process and trust yourself to be able to get through the tough times alone. Please resist attaching to new acquaintances and friends who see you as less than you are.

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

Living a Life in Alignment With Your Vision, Values and Life Purpose

We create our life and our love life through our beliefs, intentions, and the actions we take in the world.

Every one of us has an inner guidance system that drives us and guides our choice-making whether we are aware of it or not. Our system includes:

  • A "vision" of what we want our life to be,
  • Values that are the structure of our life and
  • A "life purpose" that is our reason for being

A love relationship is most fulfilling and satisfying when it is in alignment with our vision, values and life purpose.

When you think of your "vision", think of your personal world of family and friends, your community, work and colleagues?everything in the world that touches you in some way every day and how you want that to be.

Consider that to value something is to esteem it to be of worth. Your values drive your choices and actions. Your values are who you are, what you do, and how you express yourself. When you live through your values, you make decisions and choices that honor those values without regard for your desires, thoughts or fears, and your life has meaning.

Each one of us has a unique purpose. We create meaningful work and a fulfilling life when we live on purpose. When our "life purpose" is clear it guides our choices and helps us know where we are headed.

When we live from our being we live a life in alignment with our vision, values and life purpose. When we live from our being we can genuinely love and be loved by another; to know a love that grows out of choice. Real love with our partner-in-life allows us to experience being loved by someone who chooses to love us, who sees in us something worth loving.

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

Committed Couples: Repairing Hurt Feelings and Shaken Trust

There may be occasions during your relationship when you hurt your Honey’s feelings or s/he hurts your feelings. There may be those rare times that your beloved does or says something that shakes your trust or you do or say something that shakes his or hers.

Those times may seem like the end of your relationship. You might fear that nothing can be said or done to repair the damage. Repairing the hurt is possible if you are both willing to work it out!

When you are hurt do you try to hurt your partner back? Do you hold a grudge? Do you reject your partner’s effort(s) to apologize and make up? Sometimes partners don’t have good tools and skills and don’t use their words effectively in emotionally charged situations.

While acting out against your partner may feel good in the moment, it really only serves to make the situation worse in the long run. Acting out creates more hurt feelings and makes it harder for both partners to work through the original hurt.

Here are several essential steps in the repair process:

  • Acknowledge what happened
  • Admit that you did or said something that you now recognize was hurtful and unkind or that has shaken your partner’s trust
  • Offer an apology that includes acknowledging that you said or did something that hurt his/her feelings or contributed to shaking his/her trust in you
  • Ask what you can do or say to make things better
  • Allow your partner time to soothe himself or herself and be open and ready to receive him or her when the time is right.

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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