Monthly Archives: November 2015

Gratitude Is Deliberate and Intentional

There is no limit to what you don’t have, and if that is where you put your focus, then your life will inevitably be filled with endless dissatisfaction.

Most people focus so heavily on the deficiencies in their lives that they barely perceive the good that counterbalances them.

Getting into the habit of showing appreciation and being grateful affirms you. The things you are lacking are still there, but all of a sudden you will recognize the multitude of goodies you didn’t realize were there as well!

Expressing gratitude can, indeed, change your way of seeing yourself and the world.

We know from tracking personal stories of people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis that they exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who record hassles or neutral life events.

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Committed Couples: Keep That Spark Alive!

If you are in the majority of contemporary committed couples, I’ll bet, if you thought about it for a moment, you would discover that you spend more time each week watching television or commuting to work than you do alone with your honey!

In our demanding world filled with multiple priorities, responsibilities and distractions, everything and everyone else seems to be more important than attending to our most intimate and special relationship.

I think you’d agree that to keep that spark alive, you and your beloved must spend quality, eyeball-to-eyeball time together.

Do you and your sweetheart carve out quality, alone-time every week? Do you both take responsibility for it, or does the task fall to one or the other of you? Do one or both of you allow “real” interruptions to get in the way or spoil your planned time together?

Here are a few simple suggestions to get your own personal creativity going:

  • Meet once a week to look at your schedules and set aside time for each other.
  • At least once a week plan a Date Night. Once a month plan a Date Day (that’s right! A whole day from morning to evening). Once each quarter plan a weekend get-away. Once each year plan a week away together.
  • Mark your planned time in your calendar, just like a dentist appointment or an appointment with a client. Write it in ink! Mark yourself out for a block of time.
  • Take turns planning your dates each week.
  • One week you might send the kids to Grandma’s house or a neighbor’s, stay in, order a pizza and watch a movie. The next week you might get a sitter and go out on the town.
  • Do the grocery shopping and buy a bouquet of flowers for your partner
  • Write a love note and leave it for your partner to find.
  • Put the kids to bed, and, instead of watching T.V., doing laundry or other chores, go to bed early and share massages, talk or cuddle.
  • Turn off the T.V., turn on some background music and have a talk.
  • Kiss your spouse Good Morning and Good Night every day. Just say, “I love you.”

Think back to when you first started dating. What did you do? What things did you both enjoy that you no longer make time to do? Why did you fall in love?

Let your creative juices flow! Let your imagination go wild! Anything goes. This is the most important person in your life. Rejoice! Celebrate yourself and each other. Embrace the moment and the gift of your love.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC ~


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A Few Thoughts about the Value of Communicating Well

Why is communication important in a relationship? Is it the most important part of a relationship?

First let’s agree that when we use the word communication we are referring to verbal and non-verbal communication.

Verbal and non-verbal language is an essential element for committed relationships, friendships, business relationship and virtually all other kinds of relationships. We depend on making ourselves understood to convey our wants and needs, likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings, and to make requests of others.

We communicate non-verbally with our faces and our bodies. For example, when we are listening, we might tilt our heads a bit or lean forward toward the speaker. The speaker would likely perceive us to be interested, and listening attentively.

Conversely, if we fidget, sigh, roll our eyes, make any of a number of faces with our mouths and lips (you know what I mean!), we could be accurately perceived by the speaker to be in disagreement, contemptuous, critical, disapproving, etc.

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Settling, Compromising & Negotiating: What Are the Differences?

Too often we think we have successfully compromised or negotiated an issue with a loved one when, in fact, we have actually given up, given in or settled. Where do these actions come from, and how do you recognize them?

Giving Up and Giving In

Giving up and giving in are completely unacceptable ways of resolving issues, handling disagreements or solving problems. Giving up and giving in are signs that you feel powerless and undeserving. Anger and resentment are sure to follow. Nothing good ever comes from giving up or giving in!


Settling is a behavior of the injured, younger part of yourself. It is that part of you which lacks belief and trust that you are loveable and that you deserve what you need and want.

Settling is often the result of you not recognizing that your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, needs and wants are legitimate. When you do not honor your right to have your needs and regard them as legitimate, be aware, you will more than likely settle.

Compromising & Negotiating

Compromising and negotiating are behaviors of your integrated adult. It is that part of you that is emotionally mature and emotionally literate.

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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.

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