November 28, 2016
by Hilda Huj
It is easy to fall in love. Staying in love, when we are facing difficulties, is the tough part. [More]
October 25, 2016
by Hilda Huj
Communication is an act of transferring information from one place to another. This seemingly simple act is pivotal to our success within our relationships, our education, our workplace, and other important areas of our life and throughout our lifetime. Therefore, it is safe to say that communication is one of the most important aspects of our everyday life. [More]
When stress levels are high empathy tends to be very low. This is especially true in the most intimate relationships. Stress shows up in an intimate relationship when partners begin to doubt each other. Central to the doubt is the uncertainty of really knowing the partner. The common belief is the partner has changed or is somebody different than who they presented themselves to be. These beliefs create an image of the partner as a stranger. Seeing the partner as a stranger heightens stress and blocks empathy. Blocking empathy prevents empathic communication from happening. [More]
Brushing problems under the rug or stuffing hurt feelings to avoid a conflict will likely do more harm than good. Those issues and feelings never really go away, they just go underground. Giving our partner the “silent treatment” may result in silence, but also results in no communication. As much as we may dislike or fear conflict, being able to do it well is essential for a healthy relationship. [More]
Intimacy is one of the most important facets of a relationship. It is the connection and bond formed between two individuals; and the deeper the connection and bond, the higher the intimacy. In a relationship, intimacy can be experienced both emotionally and physically. When it comes to sex, some believe the act of sex creates deeper intimacy, whereas others feel that intimacy leads to sex. [More]
April 11, 2014
by Casey Truffo, LMFT
You don’t have to be a therapist to know that becoming close to a colleague can potentially lead to becoming more than just friends. One needs to be aware of the danger signs, especially if they’re already in a committed relationship (with someone outside the office, that is). To be clear, it is possible to work closely with a person of the opposite sex without crossing the line into intimacy or a full-blown affair. The key is setting boundaries and sticking to them. [More]
March 24, 2014
by LuAnn Pierce, LCSW
In 5 Tips for Building and Keeping Healthy Relationships we discussed some of the things couples do in successful relationships. Relationship researchers like John Gottman spend time working with couples to learn from them. Gottman is well known for his work in the ‘love lab’ where he and other researchers conduct studies to learn more about the very difficult subject of successful relationships. [More]
September 14, 2013
by Casey Truffo, LMFT
Great chemistry, communication, and trust are at the top of the list when it comes to having a succe [More]
Directed by Canadian Film Maker Mr.James Cameron
Like all great artists and masters of language, Mr. Cameron's genius opens up the deeper and sometimes hidden collective themes and truths of life. On the surface, "The Abyss" presents a good story filled with elements of mission, danger and risk. Basically the story is about a team of people on an undersea drilling rig who are asked by the military to salvage a wrecked submarine in the depths of the ocean. The incentive for the team's acceptance is money. They are beset by numerous catastrophes; however, in the midst of these they encounter an advanced non human race of aquatic beings living in the deeper abyss. These translucent beautiful aliens can only be compared to the angelic.
The hero is played by Ed Harris and he is married to the heroine Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. In the midst of their heightened marital discord and disharmony, they must join forces for the sake of the mission. It seems an impossible task for them to transcend their anger and bitterness toward one another.
The Armour We Wear
I was reminded of many underlying truths presented in and through this story. The personas we choose to develop at the early stages of our lives are usually quite strategic. These masks, or coverings, are usually linked with our basic needs to belong, to be loved, to be included and to feel a sense of self worth.
Appearances and what one displays to the world, may hide that which is hidden in the depths of one’s being. In the abyss of one’s heart and soul there may be such caged pain, bitterness, resentment and anger.
If the basic needs to feel a sense of self confidence and self worth have been compromised during the developmental stages of one’s life, then pain sets in. This affect may be too difficult to handle and a primal reaction is released. Skins or walls are grown around the pain so one does not have to feel insignificant. As I watched the heroine, I was reminded how we, as humans, all have a common ground. However unique we are, we all share this truth: the basic need to be regarded with dignity and respect.
The challenge of true growth is often thrown at us in unexpected and vicarious ways. It is very often that in the midst of a crisis, loss and earth shattering experience that our walls crumble, armour falls and skins are shed.
We are enthralled...
as the story becomes more complicated with the uncovering of an evil plot brought aboard by two of the military members.
The heroine is shunned by the team. Although she is clever and can run a ship, they see her as an arrogant and dominating woman who is far too self serving. She wears her intelligence and superior position as a threat to others. However, it is to this woman that the angelic beings first appear in the depths of her despair and helplessness.
The story takes us through chaos, the struggle between good and evil, the threat of nuclear war, the limits of humanity, pride and humility which finally lead to redemption.
The essential and core threads that create this marvellous tapestry are the moral choices made by the hero and heroine: the husband and wife. Initially we see the enraged husband take off his wedding band and throw it into the toilet only to turn back and retrieve what he has thrown away. As the story unfolds, he is the one who looks upon his unconscious apparently drowned wife and with determined passion brings her back to life.
It is the crisis that returns them to their original love through choices of forgiveness and sacrifice. We witness the vulnerability and tears of the real heroine underneath her armour after her encounter with death and her rescue by her husband. When at the crescendo of the film the hero is as well at death's door, he is saved by the gentle graceful alien of the seas.
She communicates to him an eternal truth which he embraces and which indeed makes him a hero. It is in the simple acts of forgiveness to our spouse and as well the moral choices that we make for the good of the other that set us free.
Each time we forgive the other and each time we look to others before ourselves, we become heroes of our own lives.
"Only the weak hang on to hatred and bitterness ... the strong ones forgive." - Mahatma Gandhi
February 22, 2013
by Gloria Day
Well here we are again, the busy month of January behind us, the holiday glow has dampened and life is back! I am not sure about you, but for me the holidays give a great opportunity to practice boundaries. There are so many opportunities for being pulled here and there. As well, with family involved who cannot need to be able to communicate clearly a confident set of boundaries?
Chapter 9 which deals with boundaries within a marriage is jammed full of useful tips on how one can conduct his/herself as well as what one can choose to tolerate and when to put your foot down.
One part that stuck out for me most is that of taking responsibility for what I can control…ME and truthfully ONLY me. Page 164 gave a nice chart of some examples of how we can take control of our own actions versus being powerless in a situation. I will warn you for those who boundaries are not natural this will need some practice. I do believe over time with a renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2) we can begin to see ourselves as God does and thus we can demand in a loving way to be treated as the bible clearly lays out in Ephesians.
Examples of how to take control of what I can:
1. “Stop yelling at me. You must be nicer.”
1. “You can continue to yell if you choose to. But I will choose not to be in your presence when you act that way.”
2. “You’ve just got to stop drinking. It’s ruining our family. Please listen. You’re wreaking our lives.”
2. You may choose to not deal with your drinking if you want. But I will not continue to expose myself and the children to this chaos. The next time you are drunk , we will go to the Wilsons’ for the night, and we will tell them why we are there. Your drinking is a choice. What I put up with is mine.”
3. “You’re a pervert to look at pornography. That’s so degrading. What kind of sic person are you anyways?”
3. I will not choose to share you sexually with naked women in magazines. It’s up to you. I will only sleep with someone who is interested in me. Make up your mind and choose.”
Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (1992) Boundaries: When to say Yes, When to say No; to take control of your life. (Pg 164) Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.
What is interesting when we look at these examples of how to communicate boundaries is that some women may be confused about how setting consequences is submissive or is respecting her husband. What needs to be understood is that both husbands and wives are to be submissive in a marriage. We need to remember as women that boundaries are not about being mean, or denying others. Boundaries are the personal property lines which deﬁne who we are, what we are responsible for, and where we have limits and limitations. Having clear boundaries is essential for a healthy, balanced lifestyle as well as for spiritual growth and for our ability to give and receive love.(Pg 31)
The Bible does speak clearly about boundaries in a marriage:
22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
Ephesians 5:24-28 The Message (MSG)