Monthly Archives: January 2016

Repairing Hurt Feelings & Shaken Trust

There may be occasions during your relationship when you hurt your partner’s feelings or she or 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 her trust.

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.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


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

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Take Time for Little Things that Still Mean a Lot

Over the last decade or so “life” seems to have gotten busier and more rushed.

People are over-extended and over-committed, and trying to meet multiple deadlines and address often conflicting priorities. Travel is easier and more affordable. Leisure time options are more plentiful. For many reasons most of us are on the go…doing, doing, doing!

And children all over the world seem to be over-stimulated and over-scheduled. There is hardly any time to day-dream or lay in the grass and watch the clouds move overhead anymore!

That’s why it is more important than ever to carve out precious moments to “do the little things” for the people who mean a lot to us and to let them know how much they matter.

Beyond cards, flowers, expensive jewels and surprise trips to exotic places, there are so many tiny ways we can say, “I love you,” “I am so glad you are in my life,” “I am so much richer because I am here with you.”

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Are New Year’s Resolutions a Set-up for Failure?

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Are you successfully achieving your goals? Or have you failed already?

If you are in the minuscule percentage of people who are successfully achieving your goals, congratulations!

For everyone else, don’t give it a second thought if you have already failed and have decided “to heck with that stuff anyway!”

New Year’s Resolutions are a set-up for failure. Changing anything in life when you do so with intention is hard enough, never mind trying to change something based on faulty thinking and faulty planning.

Here’s a simple three-step formula to make any change you wish in your life:

First, decide what behavior you want to change or goal you want to achieve. Carefully craft a statement about one or two benefits that will come as a result of changing this behavior or achieving this goal.

How will your life be enriched or improved if you change this behavior or achieve this goal?

Next, make a list of the relevant steps necessary to attain this goal. Be sure to include short-term, mid-term and long-term benefits so you can feel good about all the tiny wins you will have on your way to making this change or achieving this goal.

Last, be sure to include two or three strategies that you are planning to employ. Also include two or three special people who will be your cheerleaders and support you through this time of change.

Relationships can tolerate and accommodate changes if and when partners are included in the process. Sit down and tell your partner exactly what you want to change. Include all the benefits you expect to enjoy and what your partner can anticipate from these changes.

Tell your partner who is on your cheerleader team. Be specific about the role of each person. Ask your partner for any feedback or for any support you need from him or her.

This is the recipe for successful life change, not just a New Year’s Resolution that may last for an hour or for a day. Make the changes you desire for a lifetime.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


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

Invitation to Take Stock and Design Your Life

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is over and 2016 is here.

The beginning of the year is a good time to take stock; to examine where we’ve been; where we are now; and where we want to go this year.

I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the various aspects of your life.

  • What accomplishment are you very proud of?
  • What goal did you have that wasn’t realized?
  • Did you experience any losses or disappointments? Have you spent time grieving the hurt associated with the loss or disappointment?
  • Anything unexpected happen? Have you expressed your gratitude?
  • Is there a task or an endeavor that is incomplete that you want to complete or bring closure to this year?
  • Do you still need or want to do or say something to someone?
  • Do you have a dream for 2016? And a plan to make it a reality?

This is just a partial list that I want to invite you to use to spark your personal inquiry.

My amazing Grandmother used to say, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” Loosely translated, that old saying reminds us to stay actively engaged in our lives and to resist becoming complacent.

Be the architect of your life. Don’t wait for something to happen. Design your life and your love life for the rest of your life and be sure your design matches your vision for your life; your values; and your life purpose.

Don’t settle; compromise; or negotiate away that which is your right and your obligation to Be, Do and Have.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


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

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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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