Two Important Tips for Improving Your Relationship

By John and Elaine Leadem

RelationshipsTo be an authentic person in our romantic relationships and to experience spiritual communication we must learn to be true to our partner. In order to be true to our partner however, we will need to first be true to ourselves. The opposite is also true. In order to be true to ourselves about who we really are we must learn to be completely open and honest with our partners.

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New Year’s Resolutions

By John and Elaine Leadem

Resolutions

Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions:

I’ll lose weight. I’ll stop smoking. I’ll spend more time with my partner or my children.

Somewhere around the second week of January however, those promises go the way of all the other promises. We start snacking, smoking, and/or spending more time at the office.

Many times our promises are unrealistic. They are often made to impress someone else. Other times, the promises are made half-heartedly, with no real intention of following through. Still others are made with the hope of doing the impossible.

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Holidays Are What We Make of Them

By John and Elaine Leadem

holiday loveWhat reaction do you get when the holiday season is mentioned? Do you immediately have warm thoughts of family, holiday meals, and merriment, or does your mind conjure up dark images of depression, chaos, and family arguments?

Memories are a powerful thing. Feeling memories of the pain and disappointment of holidays past can overwhelm us so much so that we have come to expect nothing different. Or perhaps, our feeling memories might be so wonderful that we again have expectations of exciting holiday experiences to be had.

If we are so sure that the pain of the past will revisit us, we automatically brace ourselves for it, and we are seldom disappointed; the pain returns because that is what we were dwelling on. In the same vein, if we are so sure that each holiday will bring the same joy of the past, we are bound to be disillusioned if the reality does not favorably compare with the memory.

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The Same Old Argument. Over & Over & Over…

By John and Elaine Leadem

The Same Old Argument. Over & Over & Over…So many of us seem to rehash the exact same arguments with our partners time and again, yet nothing changes. It is as if the dialogue could be pre-scripted, each partner knows what the other is about to say beforehand and then we each go ahead and say it anyway!

The truth is that change is possible. There is a way out of this vicious lack-of-communication cycle.

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The Amends Process in the 12 Steps

By John and Elaine Leadem

Making AmendsThere is great disagreement in the recovery community about the best path to follow when we have wronged another.

In an effort to avoid the discomfort of direct amends, there will be those who claim that “living amends” is more important than acknowledging the specific nature of our wrongs. Living amends are certainly important because there can be no lasting change without them, but they cannot take the place of telling the exact nature of the truth, if that is possible. All too often, “living amends” become a way of hiding from the truth of our wrong.

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Your Past is Part of Your Story

By John and Elaine Leadem

Your Past is Part of Your StoryThe true “back-stories” about our days when we were still lost in life’s challenges or in our active addiction is very important to explore and acknowledge. We each carry our stories with us.

Many times the struggles we are experiencing in a romantic relationship, for example, have their roots in past life experiences that evolved into some pretty ineffective ways of coping with discomfort. Those coping strategies (or defects of character) will usually follow us into the new life we are trying to build in our recoveries. They do not just disappear because we have decided to turn things around or have surrendered our respective drugs of choice.  Those defects can do a great deal to undermine the integrity of a romance.

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A New & Healthier Way to Cope. It Can Be Done!

By John and Elaine Leadem

silhouette fight“You’re wrong!”

How many times have you felt attacked with these words from a loved one?  In response, how many times did you recoil in anger or hurl back an equally insensitive accusation?

When we behave in this way within our relationships, we are making a decision to cut off communication and opportunities for personal growth.  Our behavior looks and feels childlike because we are, in essence, throwing a tantrum.  Children respond this way because they are not aware of alternatives.  They have not had the opportunity to develop more appropriate ways to deal with their emotions and the reactions they have to others.  As adults, we may also find that our choice of alternative behaviors is lacking so we resort to childlike attitudes and actions.

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Money and Love

By John and Elaine Leadem

Economic Insecurity vs Romantic SecurityThere are many who suffer from truly devastating financial difficulties. Others however, do not suffer from actual financial insecurity as much as they suffer from fear of financial insecurity. Regardless of whether it is founded in reality or not, the fear of financial insecurity can be crippling to those who suffer from it!

Unfortunately the fear of economic insecurity can also seriously undermine another very important security: the security and integrity of our romantic relationship.

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“This Too Shall Pass” – How to Weather Our Emotional Crises

By John and Elaine Leadem

Emotional Support

When we are in emotional pain, it is sometimes so difficult for us to remember that there was a time when we were not in pain – and it is even harder yet, to envision our current pain ever coming to an end. The pain of the moment, if left unattended, can wake up all the pains of the past. These awakenings of pain make it difficult for us to imagine life without pain, since the past and the present have now become joined.

The past can become fused with the present at blazing fast speeds!

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The Serenity Prayer

By John and Elaine Leadem

Serenity PrayerThere is so much to do and so little time to do it!

All of us have known the disappointment of wanting more out of life than it can deliver. We have also known the frustration of having life deliver more than we have ordered, or so it seems. We have been “whelmed” many times in our recovery by the demands of life as we tried to determine what the priorities should be.

Where do we start? How will we endure?

At times the drone of life was deafening and the frustration of trying to manage “all the stuff” left us emotionally toxic (and miserably ineffective!).

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Elaine Leadem, MSW, LCSW & John Leadem, MSW, LCSW are authors of many books, including One in Spirit & An Ounce of Prevention.
Check them out!


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