While almost everyone working with couples and every self-help book underscores communication as central to any good relationship, there are times when the last thing that brings a couple together is “ talking.”
If you have ever said or heard someone say “ We Need to Talk,” you know that those words rarely invite closeness, valuable communication or good memories!
The reality is that communication between couples is complex and involves much more than talking–particularly when talking is on demand, without attention to the cues of the other and without the on-going life experiences that tell partners about each other in spoken and unspoken ways.
There is often more mutual understanding that comes from spontaneous sharing in the midst of living—than rehashing issues in the well caricatured “ Woody Allen Style.”
Here are some suggestions for those times when alternatives to talking may be worth considering:
After a Cease-Fire–Re-set the Relationship
The period of time in which there is a cease-fire after an argument is not the best time to talk.
Yes, there may be more to say…
Yes, You may feel you have the ability to just clarify…
But, the most effective thing you can do is to re-set the relationship with an experience of your positive connection as a platform for going forward.
“Do you want to get something to eat?”
“Do you want to see the next episode of that series?”
When Sharing Time Together–Use Affection
I have often had partners complain to me that when sharing time with their spouse or partner the other “ doesn’t talk.”
They, of course, are tired of making conversation and often complain to the other “ You never talk.” This …
For every suicide there is an estimated six or more “suicide survivors,” people who are left behind trying to cope with this traumatic loss. They include spouses, parents, siblings, friends and relatives.
When the person lost is Robin Williams, a famous comedian and actor whose creativity and art brought laughs to millions, it illuminates the pain, confusion, shock, and even guilt suffered by others who have lost a loved one to suicide.
The Question WHY?
One of the haunting thoughts that survivors carry in the aftermath of suicide is “ WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?”
As Bev Feigelman, one of the authors of Devastating Losses, and the mother of a young filmmaker who died by suicide describes, “ The question mark stays in the forefront of your mind haunting you and only with time starts to slowly move toward the back.”
Depression, often unrecognized and untreated is considered the major cause of suicide. What complicates this finding is that those suffering often struggle with the fear that they will not find the proper treatment.
In her important book, Depression and Your Child, one of the contributions of author Deborah Serani, is a listing of over 300 names of famous people from athletes, actors to writers who have suffered with depression.
Suicide as “ Psychache”
In work with suicide survivors – be they family members, siblings or cops, the consideration of suicide as “ psychache” has been considered helpful.
Essentially it comes from the work of suicide expert, Edwin Shneidman who defined suicide as a misguided solution to unbearable psychic pain.
In such pain, thinking becomes constricted, there is tunnel vision and the only compelling need is to end the pain. When suicidal, the thought of ending the pain is not always equated with ending life.
Intolerable, Interminable and Inescapable.
Dan Bilsker and Peter Forster (2003) who also define suicidal thinking in terms of a crisis of pain–describe it in terms of “ The Three I’s” – The person suffering perceives the pain as Intolerable, Interminable and Inescapable.
When intervention is possible, it aims at relieving despair by demonstrating that emotional pain …
Can you say NO to your partner?
Can you tolerate hearing NO?
In a relationship, the freedom to say NO may be one of the most important dynamics your share. If there is no space for NO, there really is no space for an authentic relationship. Partners believe in the “ I do” because it is a choice of Yes over NO.
About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Lasting longer than six months, such pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, inconvenient or totally incapacitating.
For too many, chronic pain is an invisible and debilitating condition. Often employers and even spouses can’t quite appreciate the impact of a migraine or the limitations imposed by back pain. As such, those who suffer often report feeling isolated in addition to feeling depressed, worried about levels of medication and anxious about a future of no relief from pain.
Scientifically Proven Non-Medication Strategies
The good news is that in addition to ever expanding medication options, there are an increasing number of scientifically proven non-medication approaches to reduce chronic pain, increase the effectiveness of medication, address flare-ups, and in some cases reduce need for medication.
Divorce statistics tend to obscure the emotional impact of divorce. Whether a divorce is chosen, imposed, contested, litigated or mediated, divorce is difficult.
What often adds to the difficulty even after a divorce is finalized are lingering thoughts and feelings that bewilder, disturb, preoccupy and interfere with moving forward in a self-productive way.
How satisfied are you with your appearance?
Across the ages, norms of beauty have been set by cultures and passed down in the context of family, close community and friends. With time and technology, however, the setting of norms has changed and so has their impact.
How well do you really know yourself?
Have you ever discovered with surprise that the type of movie you hate was actually interesting; the sushi you would never try was delicious; or the cruise you resisted was really a blast?
You are not alone.
Laughing is a wonderful human trait that we all share. It is something we do from earliest childhood and something that benefits us in many ways.
Whereas men and women both enjoy humor and benefit from laughing, there are some interesting gender differences.
If so, you are not alone. It may surprise you to know that according to a 2012 CBS News poll, 51% of Americans endorse “knocking on wood” to insure good luck or ward off adversity, and 17% of Americans believe in the power of sports superstitions, like fans wearing lucky hats, to determine the outcome of a game!
Most of us procrastinate about doing some things, some of the time. I may put off folding clothes and you may find yourself avoiding the mail, the boxes in the garage or the report due next week. For 20% of men and women in the US, procrastination becomes a pervasive life style pattern that impairs quality of life by limiting success, compromising relationships and lowering self-esteem.
Procrastination and Anxiety
While there are many different reasons offered for procrastination, one dynamic that underscores many of them and much of the delaying or postponement of responsibilities is the difficulty regulating anxiety. In a sense, procrastination becomes a default position which offers a temporary fix but ultimately adds more anxiety.