Monthly Archives: October 2015

Choose Your Partner As If You Only Get One Chance

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, “How do I choose the right partner and build a healthy, loving and lasting relationship?”

Most couples find themselves without personal experience or good models of healthy relationships, and wind up feeling inadequate or unsure about how to build a healthy, lasting committed relationship.

In a healthy relationship…

  • Each partner values the open sharing of thoughts and feelings.
  • There is a routine or regularity to events.
  • Conflict occurs and partner’s work to resolve disagreements, upsets and hurts by talking it out together.
  • Partners communicate clearly; they say what they mean and mean what they say.
  • Partners care about each other and how they feel; they are responsive to the feelings and needs of each other.
  • Each partner sets boundaries, both physically and emotionally.
  • Each partner interacts with, and is involved in the larger world.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

 

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com

Stay inspired and in the know by subscribing to the RSS
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Are Solitude and Loneliness Different?

Have you ever wanted some time alone?

The notions of solitude, loneliness and being alone are often confusing or misunderstood, especially by committed partners.

One way to look at this is to say that solitude is the joy of being alone while loneliness is the pain of being alone. Being alone is not necessarily to be lonely.

Being alone involves only physical separation. Being lonely includes spiritual and psychological separation, or isolation.

According to author Richard J. Foster, “solitude is an inner fulfillment, while loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is a voluntary retreat from the company of other people and loneliness seems beyond our control.”

Theologian and philosopher Paul Tillich writes, “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

Solitude is the ability to enjoy inward quietness. Times of solitude are frequently enriching and refreshing if we use them wisely. When we choose times of limited seclusion we often experience new perspectives that help us know more fully the things that really matter. Solitude is the prerequisite for creativity and the place in which we can discover the treasure chest of tranquility and serenity and all their benefits.

The fact of the matter is that the state of “aloneness” is the same whether we are suffering loneliness or enjoying solitude. The only difference is in our attitude toward ourselves.

In solitude we enjoy spending time alone, because we know that we are in the best company there is! In loneliness we believe we are alone because nobody wants to be with us.

Loneliness is not simply a matter of being alone, but rather the feeling that no one really cares what happens to you. It is the painful awareness that you lack close and meaningful contact with others, which produces feelings of being cut off from them.

According to Mother Teresa, “The biggest disease is not leprosy or cancer. It is the feeling of being uncared for, unwanted – of being deserted and alone.”

So next time you want time alone or you hear someone ask for time alone, stop and remind yourself that this is a precious gift we give to ourselves and to other people.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

 

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com

Stay inspired and in the know by subscribing to the RSS
feed for Dr. Jackie’s weekly podcast, “Just Between Us”

Commitment: Relationship Accountability & Agreements

To continue our discussion about the importance of commitments made by partners in a relationship, this week we will explore the essential steps needed to create the foundation on which to build a loving and strong committed relationship.

What is Accountability?

Being held accountable means we accept responsibility for the results of our choices, decisions and behaviors instead of blaming others or external factors. Individuals who believe they are in charge of the quality and direction of their lives, rather than victims of circumstance, are empowered to move forward. They focus on solutions, not problems, and they move forward towards the goals and commitments of their shared vision and purpose, both as individuals and as a couple.

Successful Commitments and Agreements

Couples who have clarified their own personal values, and individual and couple visions and purpose have a stronger foundation from which to commit to their agreements and achieve more consistent and satisfying results. Their overall effectiveness in making and honoring agreements is greatly increased. Success is an almost certainty when both partners keep their agreements and most certainly can be at risk if one person doesn’t keep his or her agreements.

Crafting Elegant Agreements

Life is an ongoing process of creating agreements with others. An effective agreement means more than getting another person to do what you want. It means buy-in and true commitment from both people.

Most couples have hopes and dreams, and desires and expectations. They establish goals and make commitments that are developed from a joint visioning process; a process that expresses an inclusive vision of desired outcomes; their road map to success!

Another way to look at this is that we join forces with others by forming agreements. Agreements are expressed in writing or verbally during very intentional conversations. Most of us have never learned how to craft effective, explicit agreements. It is a skill we were never taught, even though it is fundamental to all relationships and a basic life skill.

While this is a method offered for committed partners, any two or more people who wish to make agreements can easily adapt it. So here goes!

Here is a straightforward 15-step method you can use to craft elegant and effective agreements:

1.  Create and clearly articulate your joint vision with as much rich detail as possible. Be sure that both of you participate with eagerness and passion.

2.  Be sure that both of you are creating the agreement with intention and with a belief that you are well served making and honoring the agreement.

3.  Make a list of each person’s strengths, gifts, skills and talents that are available to be drawn on by each of you.

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Commitment: What Are You Committing and To Whom?

Do you make commitments? If so, to whom do you make commitments? What do you make commitments about? What does making a commitment mean to you?

Do you honor the commitments you make? Do you expect others to honor their commitments? Absolutely? Mostly? Nearly always?

I have recently been rudely awakened to the unfortunate reality that commitments made by partners in committed relationships may not mean what they used to. I am outraged and alarmed to say the least!

For the last several years articles have appeared in traditional magazines and on the Internet reporting on the surge of workplace romance between happily married men and women.

Do you know about the Internet chat rooms geared specifically for married people like Yahoo’s “Married and Flirting” or Microsoft’s “Married But Flirting”?

Previously, shortly before her death, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Shirley Glass, Ph.D. on my radio show. Dr. Glass is considered one of the world’s leading experts on infidelity and the author of NOT “Just Friends”: Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal.

Dr. Glass explains that there is a new crisis of infidelity occurring in the workplace. “In the new infidelity,” she says, “one doesn’t have to have sex to be unfaithful, and infidelity is not between people who are intentionally seeking thrills, as commonly believed. Good people in good marriages-men and women who say they are happily married-are unwittingly forming deep, passionate connections before realizing that they have crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love.”

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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.

Learn more at DrJackieBlack.com