“It’s a preference!” One of the more common complaints we hear as we attempt to sort out marital discord, is that he, or she, “isn’t doing it right!” “It” in these cases can be anything from loading the dishwasher (most common), to picking a route to someplace or other, to folding socks, and a thousand other potential annoyances. Most of us never stop to consider why our partners’ actions trigger a response all out of proportion to the event. That being the case, let’s consider where these underlying, and usually unconscious, responses come from.
A Hodgepodge A titled this edition “A Hodgepodge” because that’s what the topic requires, a hodgepodge of answers. I’ll start with a recent client’s email, “I don’t know exactly what you said to my husband, but I do know that whatever it was, you saved our marriage.” I won’t pretend it isn’t gratifying to get such an acknowledgement, nor that she may be right, so this is a somewhat abridged rendition of the conversation I had with him.
Happy Valentine’s Day I imagine the day will be less festive than many wish, as has been the case with holidays, birthdays and anniversaries for a year now, but perhaps it’s a good day to remember those who have been lost and be thankful for those who, so far, have escaped – and to help all of us to continue to stay healthy. Instead of Halloween – wear a mask for Valentine’s Day, please.
Why We Do What We Do the Way We Do It We often forget that the way we work with you is unique until a client reminds us as one did recently. When that happens, I start to remember the differences that I developed 30 years ago and that Mary Ellen and I have perfected over the years. These include:
Calls are picking up As we expected, as the vaccine gets distributed and an end to the pandemic may be almost in sight, those of us who have survived are beginning to take stock of what condition we’re in. That means that lots of you are beginning to wonder if it might not be worth ramping down the drinking that’s expanded to fill the available space Covid created in our lives. Yes, overwhelmed health care professionals who’ve been using alcohol to come down after 18 hour adrenaline fueled shifts are wondering how to get back to some semblance of “normal” – whatever that is.
Three Things Everyone Needs to Know at All Times If you want to make informed decisions in your life then you always need to know where you stand: Medically; Financially; Legally. It’s hard to over emphasize these three basic dimensions of our lives or how rarely people actually know all three. Generally, women are better than men at knowing where they stand medically, an area where men are generally clueless and, worse, unwilling to learn. Financially men are the ones who usually know where they stand and women, particularly married women, frequently are as in the dark as men are medically.
Chaos Around Us Does Not Necessitate Chaos Within. One would be hard pressed to imagine, last January, what 2020 and beyond would hold for all of us. A worldwide pandemic and domestic insurrection. And both inflicting confusion, uncertainty, and danger, and – paradoxically - boredom. Is it any surprise that many of us have turned to alcohol to find respite and relief? The surprise, probably, is that more of us haven’t done so. In response to the predictable benefits of drinking (yes, there are benefits) there also comes a time when we can see these ebbing and the potential for escalating costs. As we look at the upcoming months, we may be able to discern a country moving back to a less fractured life and a more American one, as well as a disease being brought under control.
“How Can You Help Me in Just 4 Days?” We hear this question all of the time, which isn’t surprising given that almost everyone has been brainwashed into the “you have to go away for 30, 60 or even 90 days!” A better question might be, if people go off to rehab for a month or two, why is the “success” rate only 5-10%, if that?
Physicians, Nurses, First Responders and Other Health Care Workers While Covid19 has hit everyone, those on the front lines have experienced stress levels unimaginable to most of the rest of us. Not only is it a war zone, but the hours of engagement are impossibly long, the death toll staggering, and the majority of the public unwilling to abide by even the smallest common sense measures to abate the slaughter. Frightening, disheartening, enraging, and exhausting: physically, mentally and emotionally.
2021 It’s About Time 2020 is toast – so are far too many people and far too few politicians. None the less, those of us still standing are left with wondering how to put our lives together again. I don’t say “back together” as there will be no going back, only going ahead with perspectives we have acquired the hard way.