Preparing for Worst

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2020

Most of the people that come to therapy are on the “worst” side of “for better or for worst.” I often ask, “what did you think ‘worst’ looked like?” The reality is that ‘worst’ is coming to visit every marriage and every relationship. It is not a matter of IF but WHEN will it come. Although everyone would agree that things will get hard at times in your relationship, most people are unprepared for what they say is inevitable.

Preparation is crucial to success in almost every area of life. It is alarming to me how often people are unprepared for marriage and yet they are sure it is what they want to do. No one makes the decision to get married because they love the difficult part. People get married for the potential benefit, ignoring the reality of how difficult it can possibly get as if ignoring it will make it less likely to show up. Trust me, worst is coming. And the truth is that it will come more than once throughout a...

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Mamba Mentality

personal development Jan 29, 2020

On January 26, 2020, the world lost one of the fiercest competitors and greatest basketball players we have ever known. As I reflect on the loss of Kobe Bryant and how sudden life can change, I wanted to share with you something I learned from a distance from Kobe Bryant.

When I was growing up, my favorite player was Michael Jordan. I still believe that Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever play the game. But back then all I knew was what I saw on the court. There was no social media and 24 hours news outlets like there is now. With Kobe Bryant having that same killer instinct on the court I now understand why Michael Jordan was so great. It was a certain mentality that they had.

Unlike Michael Jordan, Kobe has been more visible off the court and beyond basketball. It was a few years ago when I started watching YouTube videos about his work ethic and determination. Just a few weeks ago someone asked him what motivated him to be the player he was. He said, “When I...

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Missed Opportunities

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2019

Most relationships are not destroyed by major events. Instead, most of them deteriorate over time because of small missed opportunities for connection. John Gottman calls these opportunities “bids for connection.” Here is an excerpt from his book, “What Makes Love Last”: In a committed relationship, partners constantly ask each other in words and deeds for support and understanding. These are called “bids.” They can be as simple as “could you get me a beer” or as profound as “I need you,” after a scary medical diagnosis. Not all bids are obvious. Many of them get missed, ignored or misinterpreted. One partner may say, “I love you,” expecting the other to turn around and initiate a hug. But the partner, distracted and half-listening, says “I know you do.” Every bid made in a relationship initiates a “sliding door moment.” When one partner expresses a need for connection, the other’s...

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Injury Timeout - Come See About Me

Uncategorized Dec 02, 2019

Last night I was watching the Texans game. We finally beat the Patriots!! It was a really good game. We even threw in a trick play. At one point during the game, one of our players got hurt. I can’t remember who it was but he was laying on the field injured. When the “people who respond to injuries” saw him, they ran out on the field to help. When they came over I noticed that he let them help him. He did not push them away. This got me to thinking about how we should respond to injuries in our marriages.

When we are injured in our relationship the normal tendency is to put a wall up, withdraw and isolate from our mate. I want to encourage you to welcome your mate’s comfort when you are injured. This is especially true when they are the one who injured you. You have to let them tend to you.

When your partner is injured, you should run to them (come close to them) and find out what is hurting and how you can help. Now, this does not mean start asking a lot of...

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Patience Through the Process

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2019

Currently I am facing a difficult time in my personal life. I am in a place where I have to be patient through the process of growing. As I was coming back to the office I thought about how hard it is to work for something when you do not see any results. We want to see the “fruit of our labor” and we want to see it fairly quickly.

In your marriage it is easier to “work the process” when you can see the process working. But what about when you do not see any results? The truth is, while it’s not easy working when the payoff is delayed, it is even more difficult when you work at something and you believe the payoff is coming but you have no idea when. If you had a job where you had to work 6 months at a time with no income but then at the end of the 6 months you got a check for $200k then you could probably work hard for 6 months. In this case the payoff is delayed but you are certain it’s coming. However, what about when you do not know how long...

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Therapy Works If You Do!

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2019

Week after week I find myself looking at my schedule and dreading certain days because I know it is going to be like pulling teeth working with certain clients. It’s not because I do not enjoy therapy. I LOVE the work I do. I love changing lives and helping people come out of the dark places they find themselves in. The thing that makes my work difficult is the client who has paid for my help, comes to therapy faithfully, but does NO work outside of the therapy room. I’m sure they are getting SOME benefit from coming, but they are not maximizing their healing potential.

Therapy works if you work. Therapy is not like the magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. You can’t go to therapy, listen to the therapist and then all of a sudden your life is radically changed. You have to put in the work for your change. Your therapist is more like your emotional coach than your teammate. He instructs you on what to work on, how to address weaknesses and ways to improve, but it...

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