Have you ever been told, you're defensive"? Most often, this sounds like an accusation, not an observation, coming at a time when we are likely feeling the need to protect ourselves. Defenses,inandof themselves, can be a part of healthy functioning. They are a part of our emotional immune system, protecting us from perceived, and/or real [...]
Too many times in my experience and the experience of many of my marriage and family therapy colleagues, a middle-aged couple (40s to 65-ish) will present for marital counseling, and the husband will be shocked to discover his wife is done. These couples often come for counseling at the husband's initiative, a reversal of the [...]
Communication is vital to keeping intimacy in a relationship, and it consists of talking, listening and understanding. Usually each spouse is really skilled at one of these. There are those who find pleasure in talking. This can be either gender. Most of us do not mind talking if we are talking about something we enjoy or are passionate about. Some enjoy talking so much they do so without pausing long enough to see if anyone is listening. And others are good at listening. They do not need to offer an opinion or advice. They are just willing to be with you to listen to what is on your mind and in your heart.
A friend of mine called the other day and asked for guidance about how to forgive. Following our conversation, I thought the ideas we shared could be helpful with others struggling to forgive. Here are three aspects of forgiveness we explored. 1. Forgiveness is an organic process, not mechanical, not subject to absolute willpower or pure moral obligation. Forgiveness has its own course of healing from within. Wanting to forgive is, of course, necessary. But this alone does not make it happen. Time is essential; time for us to grow and to be ready to forgive and time for the spirit to work within us, preparing us for the forgiving. We don't control the when, but we can invite the willingness.
When I have been asked what courageous thing I have done in my life, I often answer sitting in a classroom full of people who were studying to be pastors, worship leaders, or missionaries. I was terrified that someone would find out that I did not belong there. It did not take long for them to recognize that I was “different.” I was there out of a calling that made no sense to me, and they were very okay with that. Not just okay, but supportive.
Before the men’s movement took off, Sidney Jourard had deep understanding of the epidemic isolation and dysfunction created by the stereotypical role modeled for men in this country. The isolation, fear of shame (resulting from not getting it right) and an overall lack of self-awareness has been killing us men, literally, for years. Heart disease, addiction, undiagnosed depression and suicide in men are all too frequent. And tragically our culture, and we men, are greatly unaware of what’s happening to us.