Why Nagging Your Mate Doesn’t Work

There are plenty of lies we buy into about relationships. Let’s face it, we’re all working to get better in that area.

One tempting misconception is that nagging a mate will encourage and motivate them to change for the good.

It actually causes the opposite. Why is this? Let’s explore what nagging really is and why it doesn’t work.

What Is Nagging?

Simply put, nagging is an ongoing attempt to get someone to change but the attempt is carried out in a persistent, uncaring way.

A nagged mate feels demeaned, put down, treated like a child and attacked. This leads us to the first reason nagging doesn’t work.

Because of Human Nature

The natural human response to ongoing negative criticism is to rebel. This may be more commonly attributed to children but adults respond the same way.

A nagged mate won’t say, “You know, I finally see it. All along you were right!”

Instead, they’ll say, “You want to be mean? I can be mean too. You want to confront? Then I’ll just avoid.”

Since the nagging partner takes an adversarial role, for a nagged mate to give in to their critic would be to admit defeat. Human nature is to hold the high ground, not to grovel in this case.

Opposite Of What a Relationship Should Be

A good and healthy relationship is a shelter. It’s a safe place from the storms and “haters” of life.

When a mate is nagged, the one relationship that should be the safest and most supportive painfully becomes everything but that.

This inevitably leads to resentment, hurt feelings and anger. Some nagged mates live a miserable existence for years in this state.

Others quickly hit the eject button on a relationship like that. They search for someone who will be a safe, loving and admiring mate instead of a naysayer.

The Endless Nagging Cycle

Here’s how the downward spiral works.

One mate nags their partner. The other partner resists, avoids, becomes frustrated or angry. The nagged person begins becoming more “nag-worthy” because they don’t want to conform.

As a result, the confronter increases the amount and severity of their criticism. This causes the amount and severity of the push back from the receiver to multiply at the same time.

Over time, the nagging cycle grows stronger and more destructive. The nagger feels it necessary to nag because their mate is failing so badly.

The nagged person no longer wants anything to do with their mate who, in many cases, has become the most difficult person in their lives to deal with.

Summing It Up

Nagging isn’t fun for either mate. It’ll put both parties on the fast track to misery and greatly increase the chance of relationship failure.

Stop the nagging cycle by complementing your mate, talking openly about your struggles and by being more patient. You can also find an outside party to help you work through your frustrations in a healthy way.

You can break free from the nagging cycle one good choice at a time and experience a much higher quality of life in the process! Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Live a Happy and Satisfying Life

Everyone desires to be happy and to lead a satisfying life. It could even be argued that every decision that we make is done with the attempt to be happy. Although this may be the case, one thing’s for sure. Not everyone is happy or fulfilled. So how can you lead a happy and fulfilled life? That’s a question that people have asked since the dawn of time. Here are few ideas to help you get there.

Positive Perspective

The most unbearable aspect of bad things that we go through is often our perspective. Perhaps trust was breached in a relationship, you lost your job or you have an ongoing health problem. It’s easy to believe that negative life circumstances can make you unhappy. The reality is that bad circumstances can throw you on your head for a while. It is even natural to experience some sadness, but that’s not where you need to stay.

A positive or negative attitude will determine the rest. A negative attitude can injure you long after a painful life problem occurs. Negative self-talk, internally putting yourself down and bitterness will eat away at you. In contrast, a positive attitude will speak tenderly to you, heal your pain and lead to a smile.

A perfect life isn’t a prerequisite for a happy life. If that was the case, no one could be happy. Even if you only had one small negative aspect to your entire life, if you focused on that one thing, you would become miserable.

Conversely, if your life was full of mostly trouble but you focused on the good, you could become happy. Although it’s often difficult to believe at first, unhappy circumstances in your life are not the greatest barrier to you becoming happy. It is your attitude about those unpleasant problems.

Delayed Gratification

Here’s something crazy to think about. Do you realize that the surest way to be unhappy is to attempt to be happy now at all costs? Imagine what your life would be like if you only thought about making yourself happy for the moment.

For example, if you thought that eating pizza was the chief means by which you could be happy, what would happen? You could wind up very overweight, rack up large dining expenses, experience high blood pressure and lower your life expectancy.

One of the reasons we struggle so much to find happiness is that we often reach for what we think will fulfill us now instead of keeping long-term happiness in mind. This could be seen in someone who quits a job after a bad day even though the job was a good fit for them. Sometimes people seek out romantic happiness at the expense of a committed relationship. True happiness is much more than what we think will make us happy now. A truly fulfilling and happy life means aiming for long-term goals that will make us happy, too.

Wrapping It Up

Another quick way to boost your happiness is to seek the happiness of others. This could mean helping someone out who is struggling financially, offering a sincere compliment, refraining from anger with your child or staying committed to the one you love. There is nothing more like an air-tight casket than a life that helps only itself. If you make a positive difference in the life of someone else, you will find deep fulfillment!

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Committing to a Long-Distance Relationship

Long distance relationships often get a bad rap but they really shouldn’t. Do you know a few people who struck out when it came to long-distance relationships? You probably do. But then you also know plenty who couldn’t make the relationship work living right next to their significant other. Are you considering a long-distance relationship? If so, it doesn’t have to spell the end of your bond. Here are a few ways that you can make your relationship a success.

Test the Waters

Long-distance relationships are something you don’t want to just let happen. Before you go your separate ways, have a heart-to-heart talk with the person you love. This needs to be a chance for both of you to be honest about how you feel. If there are strong feelings from both sides that you want the long-distance relationship to work, then go for it. If not, you may have to reevaluate whether it’s a good idea. This may save you a lot of hurt down the road. Many long-distance relationships fail because this initial discussion doesn’t happen.

Give Each other Space

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have to give each other space. This seems like a contradiction. After all, you’re already separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles. There can be the tendency to try to make up for the separation by spending every waking moment with your significant other.

All of a sudden, every spare moment of your existence is spent on the cell phone, email, Skype or Facebook. This overcompensation can cause problems just like it can if you are in close quarters. Often, there’s one person in the relationship who pushes for this excessive contact. Don’t be that person.

You could cause just the opposite of what you want to happen if you’re not careful. You may push the one that you love most away. Also, excessive contact in a long-long distance relationship tends to communicate that you don’t trust them or that you’re too needy. This can turn into unhealthy control.

Plan Visits

As much as possible, plan trips to visit each other so that you have something to look forward to. Recognizing that available time and money may determine how much you can meet up, get some dates on the calendar. This will be a morale booster to you and the one you love.

In Conclusion

There have been many successful long distance relationships. It really is true that the of adversity of it can make you stronger. It’s not a reason to despair or throw in the towel. It’s an opportunity to rise to the occasion and show your significant other how committed you really are to them. It communicates to both you that regardless of what life throws, you’re not going to give up. You have grit. You have staying power and you can do it!

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Be More Assertive in a Relationship?

There is a mistaken notion that assertiveness equals aggressiveness or abusiveness. However, this is far from the truth. In reality, being assertive simply means articulating your needs and wants, while also welcoming the needs and wants of your partner. It is a stark contrast to being passive or aggressive, and one that can help improve your relationship tremendously. Here, we provide some tips for how to assert yourself in healthy, meaningful ways so that you can live life authentically. Keep in mind that assertiveness is a skill, one that takes practice before mastery.

Recognize the difference

Many people are afraid of asserting themselves because they fear being called a bitch. Here’s an analogy to help. If you assume a passive role, everyone is allowed to play at the park except you. Instead, you stand on the sidelines and watch. If you assume an aggressive role, no one else plays there because you bully them away. If you’re assertive, everyone is allowed to play at the park and be themselves, you and them included.

Learn to say “no”

More often than not, the word that divides people between being a pushover and being strong is the word “no.” For a variety of reasons, we are taught that saying no either doesn’t matter or isn’t acceptable. Instead, we pad it with excuses, reasons and false hopes. As soon as something doesn’t feel right for you, simply say “no.” Don’t offer excuses. Quite likely, the moment you start providing reasons, you’ll either begin lying or your partner will begin the dance of trying to negotiate or manipulate you into accepting the demand or request.

Start small

If you’ve never run a mile, you surely don’t want to leap into a marathon. Same goes for practicing assertiveness. Doing otherwise is a recipe for failure. If you’re unaccustomed to being assertive, start with small tasks. Ask to be seated elsewhere in a restaurant or request that a telemarketer remove you from his phone list. Once you gain the skills to do these relatively minor tasks, you’ll be able to move into significantly more difficult situations, such as asking your boss for a raise or discussing concerns about infidelity with your spouse.

Replace guilt

Being assertive can definitely feel unnerving, particularly if you’ve spent your life trying to please others. Keep in mind that it is best for your self-care, however, and try to let go of guilt. One way to do this is to replace negative self-talk (“I’m a bad person for not lending her money”) with positive thoughts (“I deserve financial security”).

Becoming assertive is about setting boundaries, both with yourself and with others. Practice these techniques to live more authentically, and find a happier you.

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Clever Ways to Tell Your Partner That You’re Pregnant

Whether this baby is your first or your fifth, there’s something exciting about the moment when the double line appears. After you’ve checked — and likely triple-checked — to be sure that you really are pregnant, you’ll probably want to tell those who mean the most to you. Before you start decorating the nursery, consider some clever ways that you may want to spill the beans. We’ve compiled a variety of ways for you to surprise your sweetheart or family with the important news.

  • Next time you’re near a photo booth, drag your partner in for a picture. Right before the camera clicks, offer a glimpse of the positive pregnancy test. Let the photo booth do the job of capturing the moment on film. Later, you can copy the photo strip and use it as a pregnancy announcement to others.
  • Few people can resist a good movie, especially when they are the star! Make a slideshow with pictures showing the timeline of your relationship from beginning to present. Make the final slide an announcement of where your relationship is headed.
  • Lay out a pair of your shoes lined up next to a pair of your partner’s shoes on the cement. Use sidewalk chalk to identify the years of your births below the shoes. Then, add a pair of shoes for any of your children and their years of birth, including a pair of baby shoes with the year your little one will be born.
  • Place a note in a jewelry box that reads, “This is the size of our baby” and your estimated due date. Attach a small bean to the paper, then wrap the box and deliver as a gift.
  • If you already have a pet, create a decorative chalkboard sign and take a photo of your pet with it. On the chalkboard, write “If you think I’m trouble now… Wait till you meet my partner in crime. Baby (your last name) due (your due date).” Present the photo in a fun frame as a gift.
  • Tie twine around a chocolate bar along with a handwritten note that reads, “If I’m going to get big, so are you.”
  • Make a memorable debut with a breakfast plate. On it, place cut-out letters spelling, ‘I’M PR’ next to an Eggo waffle.
  • Head to a do-it-yourself pottery store or simply get a non-toxic pen to write on a plate you already have. Cook a nice meal for your partner and when the food is eaten, the words ‘We’re pregnant’ will appear. Surprise!

While there are tons of unique ways to make a pregnancy announcement, the most important thing is that you and your partner enjoy the reveal. Find a way that captures your personality for a memory to enjoy forever.

Need help? We are here for you. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Avoid These 5 Statements No Matter How Angry You Are

Quite likely, we’ve all done it, yet few of us want to admit it. Our heartbeat is racing; our skin clammy; our minds dizzy with emotion. And we say it. We let the words spill out of our mouth like an undeterred waterfall. Once the words are out, we can’t take them back, just as we can’t scoop up all of the fallen water once it has rushed over the cliff. What follows often plays back in our minds much after the fact: the hurt expression on our partner’s face, the inescapable silence, usually a huge explosion of emotion.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a “How to Argue Correctly for Dummies” manual, nor is there a script to follow when tensions run high. Instead, we have to continually work at fighting fair, which means a lot of hurt feelings along the way. Despite the inevitability of an argument, though, some things should never be said. Here’s a list of five of them.

“Here we go again”

For maximum effect, this should be accompanied by an eye roll and an exaggerated sigh. If your partner has brought up a concern, it is probably because something needs to be discussed, not because one person desires a fight. Discounting the other person’s needs is a surefire way to shut them down next time, thereby discouraging them from working toward solutions in the future.

“I want a divorce/I want to break up.”

No matter how much you feel it at the moment, let your emotions subside so you can clear your head and determine if a separation is truly wanted. These words are hard to take back and often lead to a lack of confidence in the other person.

“Look, now you’ve made the kids cry.”

Before it gets to this point, just STOP. Saying hurtful things in front of children is a no-win situation. Bringing them into the argument or using them as leverage is equally detrimental. If you do slip and argue in front of them, make sure they see the resolution as well.

“You ALWAYS…You NEVER…”

Regardless of how these phrases end, it won’t be good. More, it won’t be accurate. Using these words shows a complete lack of confidence and encourages your partner to fulfill your statement. It also allows them to easily dismiss whatever you’ve said because they know (and so do you) that they likely don’t always do it, nor do they never do it.

“Why can’t you be more like ____?”

Avoid comparing your partner to someone else, male or female. Most everyone seems perfect and desirable from the outside, yet comes with their own set of imperfections.

No article or class can repair your relationship without your serious effort. If you’ve made these statements, or others that are equally as damaging, ask for forgiveness. These statements aren’t a sign of the end, but they are a sign that work is needed.

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Should you give a past relationship a second chance?

You’ve finally done it. You’ve said goodbye to a relationship that didn’t feel right. Just when you’re confident that you made the right decision, a certain smell reminds you of the person. Or maybe it’s a song or a photograph. Suddenly regret creeps in. All of the positive memories flood your thoughts. Conveniently, the bad memories seem to disappear, vanishing like they never existed.

On one hand, you want to persevere through thick and thin. Perhaps there are children. Maybe finances make the situation complicated. Regardless, there are enough promising memories that you’ve developed a nagging question in the back of your mind. “What if?” you keep asking yourself. At some point, you have to be willing to say “enough is enough.” Yet how do you know when that line is crossed, the line that proves it’s time to say no to a second chance? With few exceptions, this isn’t an easy question to answer. However, there are some guidelines to use to make sure you’re making the right decision. Before you pick up the phone, read below:

You have reason to believe change is possible

You’ve been with this person for a while. If you have substantial reason to question the person’s ability to do the right thing, or credibility, or overall character, it may be time to say goodbye permanently. If this person has earned your trust and respect, however, and you believe that your partner has achieved important maturation as a result of your split, consider whether you’re both willing to put in the extra effort to make it work. If so, it may be time to rekindle the romance.

You were wrong

We all make mistakes. The end of a relationship rarely involves only one person messing up. If you can recognize your own role in the relationship’s demise, it may be time to swallow your pride, admit defeat and apologize. Own your mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and reflect on what you need to change. Then work on making the necessary changes.

There are enough rewards and benefits

Every relationship has its problems. Usually we put up with the problems because we like what we receive despite them. If your overall relationship was enjoyable, if there were more ups than downs and you feel forgiveness is possible, consider a second chance. If those ” second chances” add up to double digits, however, or if they’re having a poor impact on your physical or mental health, it’s best to move on.

When you consider the possibility of reuniting with a previous partner, there’s one important principle to follow: Take care of yourself. If that means you should forgive and work through the challenges, employ strategies to do so. On the other hand, if taking care of yourself means letting go, be honest with yourself and look toward the possibilities a new future entails.

What is next?

If you do decide to give it a second chance, a good idea is to seek couples counseling as you reunite. It is likely that, as a couple, you developed patterns of relating that didn’t work. It is possible that there are some old wounds that need healing. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that love can conquer all – especially with an ex.

Couples counseling can help you explore what you each need from the relationship and each other. It can help you learn how to better communicate so you might avoid repeating patterns that did not work.

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

What to do When Your Significant Other’s Friends Don’t Like You

Nothing can stifle the progress of a budding relationship like the disapproval of your partner’s friends. Whether you’ve been the recipient of mean, sideways glances or rude behavior, it can cause tension and conflict between everyone involved. If you hope to continue the relationship without having to avoid any form of social interaction with your partner’s best friends, then it’s best to figure out ways to improve the situation.

Talk to your partner about it.

No one knows your significant other’s friends better than he/she does. If they’ve shown an obvious distaste for you, then chances are your partner has noticed and picked up on the glares and unkind treatment. If not, then it’s best to ask them about it. Tell them that you can see something is bothering their friends about you or the relationship and ask your partner what you should do. If they shrug it off, don’t make a big deal about it and be open to the possibility that you’re misreading them.

Make them feel special.

One of the best things you can do to win the approval of your partner’s friends is to do something nice or thoughtful for them. You can go out of your way to let them know that you value the roles they play in your partner’s life by buying them coffee, sending thoughtful notes, and involving them in things you’d do with your significant other so they don’t feel shut out. In other words, kill them with kindness.

Watch your behavior.

When you’re in group settings with your partner and his/her friends, be acutely aware of the vibes you’re putting off. There may be a reason they aren’t too keen on you based on certain ways you’re acting. Are you ignoring them and excluding them from conversations? If you have clashing personalities, find something all of you have in common and discuss that. This will make them feel more involved and they’ll see that you’re making an effort to get to know them more.

If nothing else seems to work, then it’s time for you to go directly to the source to figure it out. It’s important to be non-confrontational, let them know how much you care about your partner, and ask them if there’s anything you can do to make them feel better about the relationship. Maybe they’ll come to their senses and realize you aren’t as bad a person as they thought you were.

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.